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SB-463 English learners: reclassification.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/26/2017 10:00 AM
SB463:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 26, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  March 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 463


Introduced by Senator Lara
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Limón)

February 16, 2017


An act to amend Section 313 of, and to repeal and add Section 313.5 of, the Education Code, relating to English learners.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 463, as amended, Lara. English learners: reclassification.
Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to review existing tests that assess the English language development of pupils whose primary language is a language other than English, and requires that the tests include, but not be limited to, an assessment of the achievement of these pupils in English reading, speaking, and written skills, in accordance with specified criteria. Existing law requires each school district that has one or more pupils who are English learners, and, to the extent required by federal law, a county office of education and a charter school, to assess the English language development of each of those pupils in order to determine their level of proficiency. Existing law requires the State Department of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Education, to establish procedures for conducting that assessment and for the reclassification of a pupil from English learner to English proficient.
This bill would delete the provision requiring the department to establish procedures for the reclassification of a pupil from English learner to English proficient and would instead require, commencing with the 2018–19 school year, a local educational agency, as defined, that has one or more pupils who are English learners in any of grades 3 to 12, inclusive, and who do not have an individualized education program or a pupil disability accommodation plan adopted pursuant to specified federal law, that specifies the pupil requires assistance due to language proficiency issues, to determine whether to reclassify such a pupil as English proficient according to specified factors. The bill would authorize, commencing with the 2018–19 school year, a local educational agency to determine whether to reclassify such a pupil in kindergarten, grade 1, or grade 2 according to similar specified factors. The bill would require, on or before March 1, 2018, January 1, 2019, the department, with the approval of the state board, to develop guidance for local educational agencies to implement those provisions. The bill would require, on or before September 1, 2018, the department, in consultation with the state board, to develop and submit recommendations to the Legislature regarding the appropriate reclassification criteria for English learner pupils learners with individualized education programs or pupil disability accommodation plans adopted pursuant to specified federal law. that specify the pupil requires assistance due to language proficiency issues. The bill would require, on or before July 1, 2018, January 1, 2019, the state board, in consultation with the department, to determine minimum scores on specified assessments for reclassification of a pupil as English proficient, and would provide that an English learner pupil is immediately eligible for reclassification if the pupil attains those minimum scores on the assessments, unless the local educational agency determines there is academic-related evidence the pupil will not be successful in a mainstream curriculum. The bill would require the department to develop a rubric to measure academic-related evidence. The bill would require a local educational agency that has a numerically significant pupil subgroup of English learners or that includes specific goals and actions for that pupil subgroup in its local control and accountability plan to complete specified actions for purposes of reclassifying pupils as English proficient. By imposing additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also delete obsolete provisions relating to the reclassification of a pupil from English learner to English proficient.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 313 of the Education Code, as amended by Section 2 of Chapter 478 of the Statutes of 2013, is amended to read:

313.
 (a) Each school district that has one or more pupils who are English learners, and, to the extent required by federal law, each county office of education and each charter school, shall assess the English language development of each pupil in order to determine the level of proficiency for purposes of this chapter.
(b) The department, with the approval of the state board, shall establish procedures for conducting the assessment required pursuant to subdivision (a).
(c) Commencing with the 2000–01 school year until subdivision (d) is implemented, the assessment shall be conducted upon initial enrollment, and annually, thereafter, during a period of time determined by the Superintendent and the state board. The annual assessments shall continue until the pupil is redesignated as English proficient. The assessment shall primarily utilize the English language development assessment identified or developed by the Superintendent pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 60810) of Part 33 of Division 4 of Title 2.
(d) (1) This subdivision shall not be implemented unless and until the department receives written documentation from the United States Department of Education that federal law permits the implementation of the changes set forth in this subdivision or until the 2013–14 school year, whichever occurs later.
(2) The assessment shall be conducted annually during a period that commences on the day upon which 55 percent of the instructional year is completed through July 1 of that calendar year. Annual assessments shall continue until the pupil is redesignated as English proficient. The annual assessment shall primarily utilize the English language development assessment identified or developed by the Superintendent pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 60810) of Part 33 of Division 4 of Title 2.
(3) The assessment shall be conducted upon the initial enrollment of a pupil in order to provide information to be used to determine if the pupil is an English learner or is English proficient.
(A) If the initial enrollment of a pupil occurs on a date outside of the testing period identified pursuant to paragraph (2), the prior year’s annual assessment for the grade in which the pupil is enrolling shall be used for this purpose.
(B) If the initial enrollment of a pupil occurs on a date within the testing period identified pursuant to paragraph (2), the initial assessment of the pupil shall be conducted as part of the annual assessment conducted pursuant to paragraph (2).
(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a school district shall assess the English language development of a pupil pursuant to this section no more than one time per school year.
(e) The assessments conducted pursuant to subdivision (d) shall be conducted in a manner consistent with federal statutes and regulations.
(f) This section does not preclude a school district or county office of education from testing English learners more than once in a school year if the school district or county office of education chooses to do so.
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until the Superintendent reports to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (h) of Section 60810 as added by the chapter that added this subdivision during the 2013–14 Regular Session, and as of January 1 of the following year, this section is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 313 of the Education Code, as added by Section 3 of Chapter 478 of the Statutes of 2013, is amended to read:

313.
 (a) Each school district that has one or more pupils who are English learners, and, to the extent required by federal law, each county office of education and each charter school, shall assess the English language development of each pupil in order to determine the level of proficiency for purposes of this chapter.
(b) The department, with the approval of the state board, shall establish procedures for conducting the assessment required pursuant to subdivision (a).
(c) Commencing with the 2000–01 school year until subdivision (d) is implemented, the assessment shall be conducted upon initial enrollment, and annually, thereafter, during a period of time determined by the Superintendent and the state board. The annual assessments shall continue until the pupil is redesignated as English proficient. The assessment shall primarily utilize the English language development assessment identified or developed by the Superintendent pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 60810) of Part 33 of Division 4 of Title 2.
(d) (1) This subdivision shall not be implemented unless and until the department receives written documentation from the United States Department of Education that federal law permits the implementation of the changes set forth in this subdivision or until the 2013–14 school year, whichever occurs later.
(2) The summative assessment shall be conducted annually during a four-month period after January 1 determined by the Superintendent with the approval of the state board. Annual assessments shall continue until the pupil is redesignated as English proficient. The annual assessment shall primarily utilize the English language development assessment identified or developed by the Superintendent pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 60810) of Part 33 of Division 4 of Title 2.
(3) The assessment for initial identification shall be conducted upon the initial enrollment of a pupil in order to provide information to be used to determine if the pupil is an English learner or is English proficient.
(A) If the initial enrollment of a pupil occurs on a date outside of the testing period identified pursuant to paragraph (2), the prior year’s annual assessment for the grade in which the pupil is enrolling shall be used for this purpose.
(B) If the initial enrollment of a pupil occurs on a date within the testing period identified pursuant to paragraph (2), the initial assessment of the pupil shall be conducted as part of the annual assessment conducted pursuant to paragraph (2).
(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), a school district shall assess the English language development of a pupil pursuant to this section no more than one time per school year for each assessment purpose pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 60810) of Part 33 of Division 4 of Title 2.
(e) The assessments conducted pursuant to subdivision (d) shall be conducted in a manner consistent with federal statutes and regulations.
(f) This section does not preclude a school district or county office of education from testing English learners more than once in a school year if the school district or county office of education chooses to do so.
(g) This section shall become operative when the Superintendent reports to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (h) of Section 60810 as added by the chapter that added this subdivision during the 2013–14 Regular Session.

SEC. 3.

 Section 313.5 of the Education Code is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 313.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:

313.5.
 (a) (1) (A) Commencing with the 2018–19 school year, a local educational agency that has one or more pupils who are English learners in any of grades 3 to 12, inclusive, and who do not have an individualized education program or a plan adopted pursuant to Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794(a)) that specifies the pupil requires assistance due to language proficiency issues shall determine whether to reclassify such a pupil as English proficient according to the following:
(i) Assessment of language proficiency using the English language development assessment that is identified or developed pursuant to Section 60810.
(ii) Teacher evaluation of the pupil’s English language arts curriculum mastery.
(iii) The opinion of, and consultation with, parents and guardians.
(iv) Comparison of the performance of the pupil in English language arts against an empirically established range of performance in basic skills based upon the performance of English proficient pupils of the same age, that demonstrates whether the pupil is sufficiently proficient in English to participate effectively in a curriculum designed for pupils of the same age whose native language is English.
(B) A local educational agency shall use the results of assessments the English language arts assessment established by Section 60640 for purposes of conducting a comparison of basic skills pursuant to clause (iv) of subparagraph (A).
(2) Commencing with the 2018–19 school year, for an English learner pupil in kindergarten, grade 1, or grade 2 who does not have an individualized education program or a plan adopted pursuant to Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794(a)), that specifies the pupil requires assistance due to language proficiency issues, a local educational agency may determine whether to reclassify the pupil according to the following:
(A) Assessment of language proficiency using the English language development assessment that is identified or developed pursuant to Section 60810.
(B) Teacher evaluation of the pupil’s English language arts curriculum mastery.
(C) The opinion of, and consultation with, parents and guardians.
(D) Academic performance of the pupil in English language arts as measured by grades or locally developed assessments.
(b) (1) On or before March 1, 2018, January 1, 2019, the department, with the approval of the state board, shall develop guidance for local educational agencies to implement subdivision (a). This guidance shall include, but is not limited to, a definition of factors that may be used to determine a pupil’s “curriculum mastery” in English language arts mastery for purposes of clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of, and subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of, subdivision (a) and detailed information on the implementation of clause (iii) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of, and subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of, subdivision (a). The guidance may include the development of instructional tools to help local educational agencies be consistent in implementing reclassification criteria.
(2) For purposes of developing guidance pursuant to paragraph (1), the department shall consult with parents of English learners, experts with demonstrated experience in developing and administering assessments for English learners, classroom or resource teachers, or both, bilingual education teachers, school and school district administrators with expertise in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and accountability, and researchers possessing expertise in the education of English learners.
(c) On or before July 1, 2018, January 1, 2019, the state board, in consultation with the department, shall determine minimum scores for reclassification as English proficient on the English language proficiency assessment identified or established pursuant to Section 60810 and assessments the English language arts assessment established by Section 60640. The state board shall consider the academic performance of non-English learners on the assessments in determining minimum scores.
(d) (1) An English learner pupil shall immediately be eligible for reclassification as a pupil that is English proficient if the pupil attains the minimum scores established by the state board pursuant to subdivision (c).
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a local educational agency may determine an English learner pupil is not eligible for reclassification if there is academic-related evidence the pupil will not be successful in a mainstream curriculum, as determined by the process established pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f). curriculum. The department shall develop a rubric to measure academic-related evidence.
(e) (1) On or before September 1, 2018, the department, in consultation with the state board, shall develop and submit recommendations to the Legislature regarding the appropriate reclassification criteria for English learner pupils learners with individualized education programs or plans adopted pursuant to Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794(a)). that specify a pupil requires assistance due to language proficiency issues. The recommendations shall address issues related to the following:
(A) Proficiency in English.
(B) Teacher evaluation of the pupil’s English language arts curriculum mastery.
(C) The opinion of, and consultation with, parents and guardians.
(D) Academic performance of the pupil in English language arts, including, at a minimum, how to use results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress. English language arts assessment established by Section 60640.
(2) For purposes of developing recommendations pursuant to paragraph (1), the department shall consult with experts in language processing, language development, English as a second language development, and special education.
(3) (A) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under paragraph (1) is inoperative on September 1, 2022, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(B) A report to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(f) A local educational agency that has a numerically significant pupil subgroup, as defined in Section 52052, of English learners or that includes specific goals and actions for that pupil subgroup in meeting the state priorities described in paragraphs (2) and (4) of subdivision (d) of Sections 52060 and 52066 in its local control and accountability plan, as required pursuant to Sections 52060 and 52066, shall do all of the following for purposes of reclassifying pupils as English proficient:
(1) (A) Identify a group of teachers and administrators with expertise in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and accountability of English learners who shall meet regularly to review the language proficiency and academic performance of English learners, as it relates to the English learner academic indicator adopted by the state board pursuant to subdivision (c), under their jurisdiction for the purposes of ensuring English learners are being reclassified.
(B) A local educational agency with an average daily attendance of fewer than 1,000 pupils may form a partnership with another local educational agency to comply with subparagraph (A).
(2) Develop a process and procedures to monitor the academic performance of pupils for a minimum of four years after their reclassification as English proficient.
(3) Review current processes and procedures for the placement of English learners in a special education program. A local educational agency shall use the manual developed pursuant to Section 56305 in completing this review.
(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that school district and schoolsite staff, including, but not limited to, classroom teachers and administrators, receive professional development on English learner reclassification criteria prior to implementation of subdivision (a).
(h) For purposes of this section, “local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.

SEC. 5.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.