Today's Law As Amended

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AB-520 Teacher retention: California Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Grant Program.(2021-2022)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Men of color comprise less than 10 percent of the state’s teaching workforce, with Black and Latinx men making up 1 percent and 2 percent of their peer teaching population, respectively. Data shows that only one-third of teachers are non-White, even though pupils of color make up about three-quarters of the state’s pupil population.
(b) Across the state in the 2017–18 school year, fewer than 20.7 percent of teachers were Latino and 4 percent were African American, while 54.2 percent of the state’s pupils were Latino and 5.4 percent were African American.
(c) Black and Latino educators feel that they are not valued, finding frustration at being expected to take on extra duties without compensation or even the necessary support systems. As a result, teachers of color give up their careers more often than White teachers do.
(d) Data shows that Title I schools and schools serving high proportions of pupils of color and pupils from low-income families have higher rates of teacher churn.
(e) Turnover for new teachers of color is influenced by a lack of preparation and lack of early mentoring. Teachers of color leave teaching at about twice the rate of those who receive regular mentoring, collaborative planning time with other teachers, and a reduced teaching load.
(f) There is a clear body of research that teachers of color positively impact social and emotional learning and achievement for pupils of color. Having more elementary and secondary male teachers of color teaching classes encourages a sense of belonging for pupils of color, resulting in increased participation in careers after college.
(g) Having male teachers of color boosts the academic performance of pupils of color, including improved reading and math test scores, improved graduation rates, and increased aspirations to attend college. Pupils of color also experience social-emotional and nonacademic benefits to having teachers of color, such as lower likelihoods of chronic absenteeism and suspension.
(h) Research shows that teachers are leaving high-need schools when they do not have the support strategies in place to help develop their teaching skills. These support strategies include, but are not limited to, social and emotional learning, restorative justice, and strategies to address school climate and trauma.
(i) Local educational agencies need to equip, cultivate, and bolster teachers within their schools to effectively support male teachers of color. Local educational agencies that foster an environment of professional learning to support continuous improvement, school climate, mentorship, and social and emotional learning are more likely to attract and retain male teachers of color.
(j) By preparing and investing in the retention of male teachers of color, the state will address the racial and ethnic disparities that exist throughout the state, helping to reduce the equity gap.
(k) By 2026, the state aims to improve retention rates of male teachers of color by 10 percent, and create a stronger base of male teachers of color.

SEC. 2.

 Article 17 (commencing with Section 44419) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 25 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:

Article  17. Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Grant Program
 (a) For purposes of this article, “applicant” means one of, or any combination of, the following:
(1) A school district.
(2) A county office of education.
(3) A charter school.
(b) The California Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Grant Program is hereby established in the department to provide one-time competitive grants to local educational agencies to develop and implement new, or expand existing, programs that address a local need to develop a teacher workforce that serves all pupil populations, including Black pupils.
(c) Grant program funding may be used for local efforts to develop support systems for, provide outreach and communication strategies to, and retain teachers. These efforts can include, but are not limited to, retention solutions that address a local need for teachers that can serve all pupil populations, including Black pupils. Allowable grant activities include any of the following:
(1) Collaborating with existing teacher education programs at institutions of higher education, including minority-serving institutions, as defined in Section 1067q of Title 20 of the United States Code, or existing regional teacher coaching programs, or developing new support and coaching networks for teachers.
(2) Professional learning for teacher educators, including, but not limited to, intensive mentorship programs dedicated to retaining teachers.
(3) Efforts to transform the local educational agency’s or schoolsite’s culture to one that values diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
(4) Creating career pathways to encourage teachers to pursue administrative positions.
(5) Implementing practices to create a positive school climate, including restorative justice.
(6) Strategically planning communications and outreach to engage stakeholders in activities to create positive school climate through community engagement.
(7) Offering structured feedback and coaching systems organized around social-emotional learning, including, but not limited to, promoting teacher self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships, and responsible decisionmaking skills, improving teacher attitudes and beliefs about one’s self and others, and supporting learning communities for educators to engage in a meaningful classroom teaching experience.
(8) Other retention solutions that address a local need for a pool of teachers that can serve the entire student body.
(d) The department shall prescribe rules regarding the timing, manner, and the information required to be included in grant applications.
(e) When selecting grant recipients, the department shall require grant applicants to demonstrate all of the following:
(1) Significant turnover of teachers.
(2) Receipt of federal Title I funds at the time of the application.
(3) A disproportionate number of novice teachers compared to the statewide average.
(4) A commitment to developing culturally responsive teachers with a special emphasis on improving outcomes of high-needs, low-performing pupil populations.
(5) Experience with social and emotional learning practices and restorative justice.
(f) For purposes of administering the California Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Grant Program, the department shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide technical assistance and guidelines on the retention of teachers, social and emotional learning, school climate, and restorative justice for purposes of professional development. These core competencies shall be published on the department’s internet website and be made available to local educational agencies.
(2) Determine the number of grants to be awarded and the total amount awarded to each grant applicant.
(3) Require grant recipients to submit annual reports on the status and progress of the grant program and to submit a final implementation report within three years of receiving a grant award that describes the outcomes and effectiveness of the grant program.
(g) The department shall conduct an evaluation of the California Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Grant Program to determine the effectiveness of the various initiatives in developing support systems for and retaining teachers, and shall submit this evaluation to the Department of Finance and the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature on or before June 30, 2026.
(h) Implementation of this article is contingent on an appropriation being made for its purposes by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or another statute.
(1) This funding shall be available for encumbrance until June 30, 2026, and shall be available for liquidation until June 30, 2027.
(2) Of the funds appropriated for purposes of this article, one hundred seventy-five thousand dollars ($175,000) shall be made available annually until June 30, 2027, for the department to administer the California Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Grant Program.
 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2027, and as of that date is repealed.