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AB-968 Naturalist Pathway Pilot Program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/09/2019 09:00 PM
AB968:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 09, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 968


Introduced by Assembly Member Cristina Garcia

February 21, 2019


An act to add and repeal Article 6 (commencing with Section 78070) of Chapter 1 of Part 48 of Division 7 of Title 3 of the Education Code, relating to community colleges.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 968, as amended, Cristina Garcia. Naturalist Pathway Pilot Program.
Existing law establishes the California Community Colleges, under the administration of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, as one of the segments of public postsecondary education in this state. Existing law requires the board of governors to appoint a chief executive officer, to be known as the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges. Existing law establishes community college districts, administered by governing boards, throughout the state, and authorizes these districts to provide instruction to students at the community college campuses maintained by the districts.
On or before the start of the 2020–21 academic year, this bill would require the chancellor to develop and implement a pilot program, at a voluntarily participating community college located in a disadvantaged community, that provides a pathway for participating students to become naturalists and achieve careers providing public access to, or preserving, restoring, or enhancing outdoor areas. The bill would require the chancellor to submit a report on the pilot program to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2024, and would repeal the pilot program on July 1, 2025.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Article 6 (commencing with Section 78070) is added to Chapter 1 of Part 48 of Division 7 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  6. Naturalist Pathway Pilot Program

78070.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Disadvantaged community” means a community in the state with an annual median household income that is less than 80 percent of the statewide annual median household income.
(2) “Interpretive naturalist” means an expert in the natural and cultural history of public parks and open space who communicates to visitors of public parks through formal and informal education and interpretive programming.

(2)

(3) “Outdoor areas” include, but are not limited to, any park, beach, or recreational area.

(3)

(4) “Pilot Program” program” or “program” means the Naturalist Pathway Pilot Program established pursuant to this subdivision (b).
(b) On or before the start of the 2020–21 academic year, the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, in coordination with the Community Nature Connection, a nonprofit organization or public park agency that employs naturalist educators and has a demonstrated commitment to, and expertise in, the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to be an interpretive naturalist, shall develop and implement a Naturalist Pathway Pilot Program, at a community college located in a disadvantaged community of the state, that provides a pathway for participating students to become naturalists and achieve careers providing public access to, or preserving, restoring, or enhancing outdoor areas. Participation of the college in the pilot program shall be voluntary.
(c) On or before July 1, 2024, the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges shall submit a report on the pilot program established pursuant to subdivision (b) to the Legislature, pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code. The report shall include, but not be limited to, completion rates for program participants and, to the extent feasible, the percentage of participants who pursued careers providing public access to, or preserving, restoring, or enhancing, outdoor areas after completing the program.
(d) This article shall remain in effect only until July 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before July 1, 2025, deletes or extends that date.