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AB-1914 Special education: inclusive education.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/09/2020 09:00 PM
AB1914:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1914


Introduced by Assembly Member O’Donnell

January 09, 2020


An act to amend Sections 33530 and 60010 of, to add Section 60001.5 to, and to add Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 56870) to Part 30 of Division 4 of Title 2 of, the Education Code, relating to special education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1914, as introduced, O’Donnell. Special education: inclusive education.
(1) Existing law requires school districts, county offices of education, and special education local plan areas to identify, locate, and assess individuals with exceptional needs and to provide those pupils with a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, and with special education and related services as reflected in an individualized education program.
This bill would establish the Supporting Inclusive Practices project, to be administered by the State Department of Education through the provision of grant funds, upon appropriation, to department-designated lead local educational agencies, as defined. The bill would require the project to have certain goals, including increasing opportunities for pupils with disabilities to meaningfully participate in general education. The bill would require the department, in awarding grant funds, to prioritize local educational agencies that are identified as not meeting specified standards pursuant to federal and state law. The bill would require a local educational agency that receives a grant to provide the department with specified data. The bill would require, on or before June 30 of each year until any and all funds appropriated for these purposes have been expended, the project to submit a report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, as provided. The bill would require the project to, among other requirements, create and disseminate technical assistance that includes developing and disseminating guidance on building state and local capacity to establish and sustain inclusive education practices.
The bill would require, on or before January 1, 2022, the department and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to develop and disseminate joint guidance clarifying the ways in which inclusive classrooms and placements may be staffed under current law, as provided. The bill would require, on or before January 1, 2022, the department and the commission to submit a report to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature with recommendations for statutory or regulatory changes necessary to eliminate barriers to the staffing of inclusive placements. The bill would require the department, on or before January 1, 2022, to issue guidance clarifying ways in which early education inclusive placements may be expanded and established under current law to increase access and quality across programs, as provided. The bill would require the department, in consultation with the State Department of Social Services, on or before January 1, 2022, to submit a report to the Legislature on any recommendations for statutory or regulatory changes to eliminate barriers to the establishment and expansion of early education inclusive placements, as provided.
(2) Existing law establishes in state government the Instructional Quality Commission, which is required to be composed of, as part of its membership, 13 public members, as provided. Existing law requires at least 7 of the 13 public members to be persons who have become recognized authorities or experienced practitioners in their field, as provided.
This bill would require at least one of those members to be a recognized authority or experienced practitioner in the principles and strategies of universal design for learning, as defined.
Existing law requires the commission to, among other things, study and evaluate instructional materials submitted for adoption and recommend instructional materials for adoption to the State Board of Equalization.
This bill would require the commission, in establishing evaluation criteria for the adoption of instructional materials, to assess the extent to which instructional materials submitted for state adoption use as a foundation the principles and strategies of universal design for learning, as defined, throughout the core instructional program designed for all pupils.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Research has demonstrated that for pupils with disabilities, inclusion results in higher rates of academic performance, higher levels of pupil engagement, more satisfying and diverse friendships, improved communication, less disruptive behaviors, and better outcomes after high school.
(2) Research has also demonstrated that for pupils without disabilities, inclusion results in greater gains in mathematics and reading, reduced fear of differences, greater empathy, improved self-concept, increased social cognition, and better ethical principles.
(3) Inclusion means that a pupil is receiving education in general education class settings, reflecting age-appropriate groups, in core academic and elective courses, and participating in other school programs as members of the school community. In an inclusive environment, teachers and administrators support universal access to education and have the knowledge, resources, and support to effectively teach all pupils. Teachers are provided access to technical assistance in evidence-based practices, instructional methods and materials, and supports tailored to the pupils’ needs.
(4) Inclusion is not a place, but rather a systemic approach to uniquely addressing pupil learning and social engagement within the same instructional frameworks designed for the whole school community. Inclusion is supported by research on effective teaching and service delivery and a focus on equity in order to create a school community in which all pupils are valued.
(5) In California, 56 percent of all pupils with disabilities were educated in an inclusive setting at least 80 percent of the instructional day in the 2017–18 school year. California ranks 40th out of 47 states on this measure.
(6) The State Department of Education’s Supporting Inclusive Practices project provides individualized, tiered technical assistance to local educational agencies focused on envisioning, building, implementing, and scaling up evidence-based practices within integrated educational systems to increase inclusion of children and pupils with disabilities in prekindergarten and kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in general education settings and to systemically address equity and access for all pupils. This project has resulted in increased use of inclusive practices by schools and improved academic performance of pupils with disabilities.
(b) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to do both of the following:
(1) Ensure that, in accordance with applicable federal and state law and regulations, children and young adults with disabilities are provided a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment possible in accordance with their needs and capabilities.
(2) Eliminate statutory and regulatory barriers to inclusion in early education settings and in schools that provide educational instruction in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and to provide the support to local educational agencies to establish, expand, and sustain inclusive practices.

SEC. 2.

 Section 33530 of the Education Code is amended to read:

33530.
 (a) There is in the state government the Instructional Quality Commission consisting of a Member of the Assembly appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, a Member of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, one public member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, one public member appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, one public member appointed by the Governor, and 13 public members appointed by the state board upon the recommendation of the Superintendent or the members of the state board.
(b) So far as is practical and consistent with the duties assigned to the commission by the state board, at least seven of the 13 public members appointed by the state board shall be persons who, because they have taught, written, or lectured on the subject matter fields specified in Section 33533, in the course of public or private employment, have become recognized authorities or experienced practitioners in those fields. fields, and at least one member shall be a recognized authority or experienced practitioner in the principles and strategies of universal design for learning, as defined in subdivision (o) of Section 60010. The state board shall make its appointments to ensure that, at any one time, at least seven of the public members shall be current classroom teachers, or mentor teachers, or both assigned to teach kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive.
(c) Notwithstanding the requirement that seven of the public members shall be current classroom teachers or mentor teachers, current members of the commission who were appointed on or before December 31, 1989, shall be allowed to complete their terms.
(d) (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage the state board to consider appointing a pupil to the commission, using the current appointment process.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 1020 of the Government Code, if the state board elects to appoint a pupil to the commission, the pupil shall meet both of the following criteria:
(A) The pupil has been enrolled in a California high school for a minimum of two consecutive years.
(B) The pupil is in good standing.
(e) In making the remaining appointments to the commission, and in establishing the commission’s advisory task forces or committees, the state board is encouraged to consider the role of other representatives of the educational community in the development of curriculum and instructional materials, including, but not limited to, administrators, governing school board members, pupils, and parents who are reflective of the various ethnic groups and types of school districts in California.

SEC. 3.

 Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 56870) is added to Part 30 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:
CHAPTER  9. Inclusive Education
Article  1. Supporting Inclusive Practices Project

56870.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, charter school, the California School for the Blind, or the California School for the Deaf.
(b) “Project” means the Supporting Inclusive Practices project.

56871.
 The Supporting Inclusive Practices project is hereby established, to be administered by the department through the provision of grant funds, appropriated pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 56873, to department-designated lead local educational agencies.

56872.
 (a) The project shall have both of the following goals:
(1) Improve local educational agency performance indicators as mandated by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.) and the outcomes measured by the California School Dashboard, pursuant to Section 52064.5.
(2) Increase opportunities for pupils with disabilities to meaningfully participate in general education.
(b) The project goals shall be met by providing tiered technical assistance to local educational agencies focused on envisioning, building, implementing, and scaling up evidence-based practices within integrated educational systems to increase inclusion of children and pupils with disabilities in prekindergarten and kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, in general education settings.

56873.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would appropriate twelve million dollars ($12,000,000) in one-time state funding over three years to the department to provide funds to the department-designated lead local educational agencies in order to expand the project to serve more local educational agencies and in order to build capacity to serve and assist additional local educational agencies.
(b) (1) Upon an appropriation by the Legislature for these purposes, the department shall annually award the amount of two million dollars ($2,000,000) in grants to local educational agencies and two million dollars ($2,000,000) to the project to build state and local capacity.
(2) The minimum grant awarded to local educational agencies shall be twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) in the first year of operation, and shall be awarded no later than September 30 of the fiscal year in which funding is appropriated. In subsequent years, to the extent funding is available, the department shall award these grants no later than September 15 of that fiscal year.
(3) In awarding grants, the department shall grant priority to local educational agencies that are identified as not meeting federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.) state performance plan indicators and those identified by the California School Dashboard, pursuant to Section 52064.5, as requiring differentiated assistance on the basis of the performance of pupils with disabilities.
(4) A local educational agency that receives a grant shall, as a condition of receiving the grant, provide to the department any implementation or outcome data required by the department. Such data may include, but is not limited to, implementation data, performance on state performance plan indicators, indicators used on the California School Dashboard, pursuant to Section 52064.5, and the Desired Results Developmental Profile, as specified in Section 18272 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
(c) On or before June 30 of each year, until funds appropriated for purposes of this section have been fully expended, the project shall submit a report to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The Superintendent shall provide copies of the report to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature. Each report shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) A summary of the activities conducted and resources developed.
(2) The number of local educational agencies, educators, and pupils served by the activities and resources.
(3) A summary of implementation and outcome data, which may include, but is not limited to, performance on state performance plan indicators, indicators used on the California School Dashboard, and the Desired Results Developmental Profile.
(4) Recommendations for improving state-level activities or policies.

56874.
 The project shall create and disseminate technical assistance in collaboration with the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence and the statewide system of support, pursuant to Section 52059.5. This assistance shall include all of the following:
(a) Developing and disseminating guidance on evidence-based practices that increase the access of pupils with disabilities, including pupils with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to inclusive education.
(b) Developing and disseminating guidance on building state and local capacity to establish and sustain inclusive education practices.
(c) Developing and disseminating guidance for teachers, paraeducators, early childhood educators, administrators, and related service providers in all educational settings on universal design for learning principles and strategies as a part of core instruction, collaboration between general education and special education teachers to plan and deliver instruction and assessment, and systemic practices such as multitiered systems of support and schoolwide behavioral interventions and supports.
(d) Supporting the Commission on Teacher Credentialing on the development and dissemination of guidance for teacher, early childhood educator, and administrator preparation programs emphasizing general and special educator competencies for collaboratively delivering instruction and assessment to all pupils, including pupils with disabilities, pursuant to Section 56878.
(e) Establishing exemplary local educational agency demonstration sites that can be used as state models for replication and for training of teachers and administrators.

56875.
 In order to ensure alignment and integration with related state initiatives, the project shall do all of the following:
(a) Partner with the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence and the statewide system of support, pursuant to Section 52059.5, to support one another and coordinate supports and services for pupils with disabilities, at the state level and regionally.
(b) Support special education local plan areas system improvement leads and multitiered systems of support projects, pursuant to Section 57 of Chapter 13 of the Statutes of 2015, in improving special education services and supports for pupils with disabilities, including building capacity and incorporation of best practices and resources for inclusion into the statewide system of support.
(c) Collaborate with county offices of education and school districts in other geographic areas in planning inclusive practices, and provide opportunities for local educational agencies to receive regional support to address barriers to inclusive practices.

Article  2. Staffing

56878.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2022, the department and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing shall develop and disseminate joint guidance clarifying the ways in which inclusive classrooms and placements may be staffed under current law. The joint guidance shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Guidance on staffing of inclusive classrooms, including those in which coteaching is used for instruction.
(2) Guidance on staffing of case management of pupils with disabilities, including ways of reducing the administrative burden on educational specialists so that they may focus more on instruction of pupils and collaboration with general education teachers.
(3) Guidance for teacher, early childhood educator, and administrator preparation programs emphasizing general and special educator competencies for collaboratively delivering instruction and assessment to all pupils, including pupils with disabilities.
(4) Guidance on providing related services in the general education setting.
(b) (1) On or before January 1, 2022, the department and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing shall submit a report to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature on recommendations for statutory or regulatory changes necessary to eliminate barriers to the staffing of inclusive placements.
(2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2026.

Article  3. Early Education

56890.
 (a) On or before January 1, 2022, the department shall issue guidance clarifying the ways in which early education inclusive placements may be established and expanded under current law to increase access and quality across programs. The guidance shall include both of the following:
(1) Alignment of requirements for each program.
(2) How funding can be maximized across programs.
(b) (1) The department, in consultation with the State Department of Social Services, by January 1, 2022, shall submit a report to the Legislature on any recommendations for statutory or regulatory changes, including changes to licensure requirements, to eliminate barriers to the establishment and expansion of early education inclusive placements.
(2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2026.
(3) A report submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.

 Section 60001.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:

60001.5.
 The commission, in establishing evaluation criteria for the adoption of instructional materials, shall assess the extent to which instructional materials submitted for state adoption use as a foundation the principles and strategies of universal design for learning, as defined in subdivision (o) of Section 60010, throughout the core instructional program designed for all pupils.

SEC. 5.

 Section 60010 of the Education Code is amended to read:

60010.
 For purposes of this part, the following terms have the following meanings unless the context in which they appear clearly requires otherwise:
(a) “Basic instructional materials” means instructional materials that are designed for use by pupils as a principal learning resource and that meet in organization and content the basic requirements of the intended course.
(b) “Commission” means the Instructional Quality Commission.
(c) “Curriculum framework” means an outline of the components of a given course of study designed to provide state direction to school districts in the provision of instructional programs.
(d) “District board” means the board of education or governing board of a county, city and county, city, or other district that has the duty to provide for the education of the children in its county, city and county, city, or district.
(e) “Elementary school” means all public schools in which instruction is given through grade 8 or in any one or more of those grades.
(f) “Governing boards” means the state board and any one or more district boards.
(g) “High school” means all public schools other than elementary schools in which instruction is given through grade 12, or in any one or more of those grades.
(h) “Instructional materials” means all materials that are designed for use by pupils and their teachers as a learning resource and help pupils to acquire facts, skills, or opinions or to develop cognitive processes. Instructional materials may be printed or nonprinted, and may include textbooks, technology-based materials, other educational materials, and tests.
(i) “Nonpublic school” means a school that both satisfies the requirements of Section 48222, and is exempt from taxation under Section 214 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
(j) “School official” means a member of a governing board, a city, county, city and county, or district superintendent of schools, and a principal, teacher, or other employee under his or her their charge.
(k) “State board” means the State Board of Education.
(l) “Supplementary instructional materials” means instructional materials designed to serve, but not be limited to, one or more of the following purposes, for a given subject, at a given grade level:
(1) To provide more complete coverage of a subject or subjects included in a given course.
(2) To provide for meeting the various learning ability levels of pupils in a given age group or grade level.
(3) To provide for meeting the diverse educational needs of pupils with a language disability in a given age group or grade level.
(4) To provide for meeting the diverse educational needs of pupils reflective of a condition of cultural pluralism.
(5) To use current, relevant technology that further engages interactive learning in the classroom and beyond.
(m) (1) “Technology-based materials” means basic or supplemental instructional materials that are designed for use by pupils and teachers as learning resources and that require the availability of electronic equipment in order to be used as a learning resource. Technology-based materials include, but are not limited to, software programs, video disks, compact disks, optical disks, video and audiotapes, lesson plans, and databases.
(2) Technology-based materials do not include the electronic equipment required to make use of those materials, unless that equipment is to be used by pupils and teachers as a learning resource. However, this shall not be construed to authorize a school district to replace computers or related equipment in an existing computer lab or allow a school district to establish a new computer lab.
(3) This subdivision does not relieve a school district of the obligation to provide pupils with sufficient textbooks or instructional materials pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 60119. If a county office of education determines that a school district is out of compliance with paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 60119, that school district is not authorized to procure electronic equipment pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subdivision.
(n) “Test” means a device used to measure the knowledge or achievement of pupils.
(o) “Universal design for learning” means a scientifically valid framework for guiding educational practice that does both of the following:
(1) Provides flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways pupils respond or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the ways pupils are engaged.
(2) Reduces barriers in instruction, provides appropriate accommodations, supports, and challenges, and maintains high achievement expectations for all pupils, including pupils with disabilities and pupils with limited English proficiency.