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SB-425 Opportunity schools.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/12/2021 09:00 PM
SB425:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 425


Introduced by Senator Archuleta
(Principal coauthor: Senator Ochoa Bogh)

February 12, 2021


An act to add Sections 48642, 48643, 48644, and 48644.5 to, and to repeal and add Sections 48640 and 48641 of, the Education Code, relating to opportunity schools.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 425, as introduced, Archuleta. Opportunity schools.
Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary education in this state, and authorizes local educational agencies throughout the state to provide instruction to pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive. Existing law establishes continuation education as an alternative high school diploma program for pupils who are 16 years of age or older, have not graduated from high school, are still required to attend school, and who are at risk of not graduating. Existing law also authorizes local educational agencies to provide opportunity education programs to support pupils who are irregular in attendance, display negative behaviors, or are unsuccessful academically.
Existing law authorizes county boards of education that have an average daily attendance of less than 8,000 to establish opportunity schools in lieu of complying with otherwise applicable requirements to establish continuation education schools.
This bill would delete the provisions relating to opportunity schools established by county boards of education that have an average daily attendance of less than 8,000. The bill would authorize county boards of education and school districts to establish and maintain opportunity schools as a program of guidance, placement, and followup for all pupils within the county or school district, as appropriate, who are subject to compulsory continuation education.
The bill would specify the criteria for a school to meet the definition of an opportunity school, and would specify and define categories of pupils who would be eligible to attend an opportunity school that is an alternative school of choice or charter school meeting certain criteria. These categories would include, among others, pupils who have been expelled or suspended, or who are wards or dependents of the court, pregnant or parenting, recovered dropouts, habitual truants, credit-deficient pupils, foster youth, or homeless youth.
The bill would specify entities with which an opportunity school could enter into a partnership. The bill would authorize county boards of education and school districts to establish opportunity schools in lieu of meeting statutory requirements to establish continuation education schools. The bill would specify funding arrangements for opportunity schools established under the bill.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 48640 of the Education Code is repealed.
48640.

Opportunity schools established pursuant to this article by the county board of education shall be limited to counties which have an average daily attendance of less than 8,000.

SEC. 2.

 Section 48640 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48640.
 It is the intent of the Legislature that opportunity schools be established and maintained to provide all of the following:
(a) An opportunity for pupils to complete the required academic courses of instruction to graduate from high school.
(b) A program of instruction that emphasizes career and college readiness, occupational orientation, or a work-study schedule, and offers intensive guidance services to meet the special needs of pupils.
(c) A program designed to meet the educational needs of each pupil, including, but not necessarily limited to, independent study, career technical education, work study, career counseling, and college counseling and job placement services, as a supplement to classroom instruction.
(d) A program that provides a supportive environment with specialized curriculum, instruction, guidance, and counseling, psychological services, tutorial assistance to help pupils overcome barriers to learning, and that connects the pupil to other supportive and social services as necessary.
(e) A trauma-resilient, community- and evidence-based educational program that includes all of the following:
(1) Systematic, schoolwide adoption of trauma-informed practices grounded in adverse childhood experiences science.
(2) Safe and supportive learning environments with trauma-informed resiliency programs.
(3) A school culture that addresses the needs of maltreated youth while also supporting and benefiting the needs of all youth.

SEC. 3.

 Section 48641 of the Education Code is repealed.
48641.

An opportunity school established by a county board of education in a county which has an average daily attendance of less than 8,000 shall be deemed to be in lieu of any continuation education program, and shall excuse the school districts within the county from complying with otherwise applicable statutes requiring the establishment of continuation education schools.

SEC. 4.

 Section 48641 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48641.
 An opportunity school may be established and maintained by a county board of education or a school district as a program of guidance, placement, and followup for all pupils within the county or school district, as appropriate, who are subject to compulsory continuation education.

SEC. 5.

 Section 48642 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48642.
 For purposes of this article, an opportunity school is defined as a public school that meets one of the following criteria:
(a) It is an alternative school, as described in subdivision (d) of Section 52052, which includes any of the following:
(1) Schools under the jurisdiction of a county board of education or a county superintendent of schools.
(2) Community day schools.
(3) Nonpublic, nonsectarian schools within the meaning of Section 56366.
(4) Alternative schools serving high-risk pupils, including continuation high schools, dropout recovery high schools, and opportunity schools.
(b) It is an alternative school of choice or charter school that serves high-risk or opportunity youth and meets, or is certified as meeting, the criteria for the Dashboard Alternative School Status program. To comply with this subdivision, a school shall have an unduplicated pupil count of at least 70 percent of the school’s total enrollment, as counted upon first entry to the school, composed of high-risk pupil groups, including any of the following:
(1) A pupil who has been expelled within the meaning of subdivision (b) of Section 48925, or whose expulsion has been suspended pursuant to Section 48917.
(2) A pupil who has been suspended within the meaning of subdivision (d) of Section 48925 for more than 10 days in a school year.
(3) A pupil who is a ward of the court within the meaning of Section 601 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or a dependent of the court within the meaning of Section 300 or 654 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(4) A pupil who is pregnant, parenting, or both pregnant and parenting.
(5) A pupil who is a recovered dropout who is either of the following:
(A) The pupil has been designated as a dropout pursuant to the exit and withdraw codes in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System.
(B) The pupil has left school and has not been enrolled in a school for at least 180 days.
(6) A pupil who has been habitually truant within the meaning of Section 48262 or who has been habitually insubordinate and disorderly and whose attendance at the school is directed by a school attendance review board or probation officer pursuant to Section 48263.
(7) A pupil who was retained more than once in kindergarten or in any of grades 1 to 8, inclusive.
(8) A pupil who is credit deficient, which is defined as being one semester or more behind in the credits required to graduate on time, per grade level, from the enrolling school.
(9) A pupil with a gap in enrollment, which is defined as having not been in any school during the 45 days immediately before enrolling in the current school, where the 45 days does not include noninstructional days such as summer break, holiday break, off track, and other days when the school was closed.
(10) A pupil with high-level transiency, which is defined as having been enrolled in more than two schools during the past academic year or having changed secondary schools more than twice since entering high school.
(11) A pupil who is a foster youth, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 42238.01.
(12) A pupil who is a homeless youth, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 52052.

SEC. 6.

 Section 48643 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48643.
 A county board of education, governing board of a school district, or governing body of a charter school that operates an opportunity school may establish a partnership with any of the following:
(a) A regional occupational center.
(b) A partner affiliated pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-128).
(c) A partner affiliated with the YouthBuild program of the United States Department of Labor.
(d) A provider of federal Job Corps training or instruction, pursuant to a memorandum of understanding with the provider.
(e) The California Conservation Corps or a community conservation corps certified by the California Conservation Corps pursuant to Section 14406 or 14507.5 of the Public Resources Code.

SEC. 7.

 Section 48644 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48644.
 (a) An opportunity school established by a county board of education or a school district under this article may be deemed to be in lieu of any continuation education program, and shall excuse the school districts within the county from complying with otherwise applicable statutes requiring the establishment of continuation education schools, as described in Section 48431.
(b) A county board of education or school district that chooses to use an opportunity school in lieu of any continuation education programs shall comply with Section 48432.3.
(c) A pupils who enrolls in an opportunity school operated by the governing body of a charter school shall be deemed to have voluntarily enrolled in the opportunity school.

SEC. 8.

 Section 48644.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48644.5.
 (a) Opportunity schools established under this article shall be funded pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 14000) of Chapter 1 of Part 9 of Division 1 of Title 1.
(b) Opportunity schools may use independent study pursuant to Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 51745) of Chapter 5 of Part 28.
(c) Opportunity schools operated by a charter school shall comply with both of the following:
(1) All provisions of this code applicable to independent study, including but not limited to, Article 5.5 (commencing with Section 51745) of Chapter 5 of Part 28.
(2) The funding determination requirements of Sections 47612.5 and 47634.2 of this code and of Sections 11963 to 11963.7, inclusive, of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.