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AB-377 Examination fees: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Examination Fee Grant Program.(2015-2016)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 377


Introduced by Assembly Members Linder and Dababneh

February 18, 2015


An act to add Chapter 19 (commencing with Section 53400) to Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2 to the Education Code, relating to pupil instruction.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 377, as introduced, Linder. Examination fees: Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Examination Fee Grant Program.
Existing law authorizes a system of incentives to encourage high schools to operate International Baccalaureate Diploma Programs, and to encourage pupils in these schools to enroll in, attempt, and pass the International Baccalaureate course of study and examinations that lead to the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, from funds appropriated for the purpose of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, to annually allocate to each school district, on behalf of each high school or middle school within the district that offers the program, up to $25,000 for each participating high school and middle school to cover the costs of professional development required by the program and to help pay the test fees for low- and middle-income pupils in need of financial assistance.
Existing law authorizes a school district receiving economic impact aid funds to expend any portion of those funds to pay for all or part of the costs of one or more advanced placement examinations that are charged to economically disadvantaged pupils, as defined.
This bill would, subject to appropriation in the annual Budget Act or other statute, establish a grant program, administered by the State Department of Education, for the purpose of awarding grants to cover the costs of advanced placement examination fees or International Baccalaureate examination fees, or both, for eligible economically disadvantaged or foster youth high school pupils, as defined. The bill would authorize a school district or charter school to apply to the department for grant funding under the program based on the number of economically disadvantaged or foster youth high school pupils in the school district or charter school who will take the next offered advanced placement or International Baccalaureate examinations and would require that grants be expended only to pay the fees required of eligible economically disadvantaged or foster youth high school pupils to take an advanced placement or International Baccalaureate examination, or both. The bill would authorize an eligible economically disadvantage or foster youth high school pupil enrolled in an advanced placement or International Baccalaureate course, or both, to apply to the designated school district or charter school staff for a grant to pay the examination fee, as provided.
The bill would also make various findings and declarations relating to advanced placement courses and college outcomes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Advanced placement (AP) courses provide willing and academically prepared high school pupils with the opportunity to obtain college-level coursework experience.
(b) According to a research report conducted by the college board, a positive relationship has consistently been shown between AP participation and performance and various college outcomes, including grades earned in subsequent courses related to the AP courses, higher first-year grade point averages, retention, and graduation.
(c) Also according to the college board’s research, AP participation and performance is related to an increased likelihood of majoring in areas related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and fostering interest in those particular careers.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 19 (commencing with Section 53400) is added to Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:
CHAPTER  19. Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Examination Fee Grant Program

53400.
 (a) Subject to appropriation in the annual Budget Act or other statute for this purpose, there is hereby established a grant program for the purpose of awarding grants to cover the costs of advanced placement (AP) examination fees or International Baccalaureate (IB) examination fees, or both, for eligible economically disadvantaged or foster youth high school pupils. The department shall administer this program.
(b) (1) As used in this section, “eligible economically disadvantaged high school pupil” means a pupil in high school who is eligible for a state or federal free or reduced-price meal program.
(2) As used in this section, “eligible foster youth” has the same meaning as “foster youth,” as that term is defined in Section 42238.01.
(c) A school district or charter school may apply to the department for grant funding pursuant to this section, based on the number of economically disadvantaged or foster youth high school pupils in the school district or charter school enrolled in AP courses or IB courses, or in both, who will take the next offered AP or IB examinations. A school district or charter school that applies to the department for this purpose shall designate school district or charter school staff to whom pupils may submit applications for grants and shall institute a plan to notify pupils of the availability of financial assistance pursuant to this section. Grants shall be expended only to pay the fees required of eligible economically disadvantaged or foster youth high school pupils to take an AP or IB examination, or both.
(d) An eligible economically disadvantaged or foster youth high school pupil who is enrolled in an AP or IB course, or both, may apply to the designated school district or charter school staff for a grant pursuant to this section. A pupil who receives a grant shall only pay five dollars ($5) of the examination fee.
(e) School districts and county superintendents of schools may join together and form collaboratives or consortia in order to participate in the grant program established by this section.
(f) Grants provided pursuant to this section shall not be used to supplant fee waivers available to low-income pupils who take AP or IB examinations.
(g) If the total applications from school districts and charter schools exceed the total funds available pursuant to this section, the department shall prorate the grants based upon the ratio of the total amount requested to the total amount allocated in the annual Budget Act or another statute for this purpose.
(h) To facilitate program administration and school district or charter school reimbursement, the department may enter into a contract with the provider of AP or IB examinations. For purposes of the contract authorized pursuant to this subdivision, the department is exempt from the requirements of Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code and from the requirements of Article 6 (commencing with Section 999) of Chapter 6 of Division 4 of the Military and Veterans Code.