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AB-123 Early childhood education: state preschool program: access: standards.(2019-2020)



Current Version: 04/29/19 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


AB123:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 22, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 123


Introduced by Assembly Members McCarty, Berman, Bonta, Burke, Carrillo, Chiu, Chu, Friedman, Eduardo Garcia, Gonzalez, Limón, Reyes, Robert Rivas, Blanca Rubio, Santiago, Smith, Ting, and Wicks
(Principal coauthors: Senators Chang, Dodd, Hill, and Wieckowski)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Ramos)

December 03, 2018


An act to amend Sections 8265 and 8363 of, to add Sections 8236.3, 8264.9, 8279.8, and 8499.8 to, and to add Article 16.1 (commencing with Section 8375) to Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of, the Education Code, relating to early childhood education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 123, as amended, McCarty. Early childhood education: state preschool program: access: standards.
(1) The Child Care and Development Services Act, administered by the State Department of Education, requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer childcare and development programs that offer a full range of services to eligible children from infancy to 13 years of age, inclusive. Existing law requires the Superintendent to administer all California state preschool programs, which include part-day age and developmentally appropriate programs for 3- and 4-year-old children, as provided. Existing law provides that 3- and 4-year-old children are eligible for the state part-day preschool program if the family meets one of several eligibility requirements, including income eligibility.
This bill would, commencing with the 2020–21 fiscal year, and notwithstanding any other law, authorize a provider operating a state preschool program within the attendance boundary of a public school, except as provided, where at least 70% of enrolled pupils are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, to enroll 4-year-old children meeting specified priorities. The bill would authorize any remaining slots to be open for enrollment to any other families otherwise not otherwise eligible, as provided. The bill would prohibit a state preschool classroom from exceeding 24 children.
Existing law requires the full-day state preschool reimbursement rate to be $12,070, as provided.
This bill would instead require the full-day state preschool reimbursement rate to be $14,062.50 commencing July 1, 2020, as provided.
(2) Existing law requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to establish requirements for the issuance and renewal of permits authorizing service in the care, development, and instruction of children in childcare and development programs.
This bill would require the commission, on or before July 1, 2020, to update the permit requirements to include the requirement that, as of July 1, 2028, head teachers in a state preschool program with a teacher permit or higher have earned a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis or major in early childhood studies or child development, obtained at least 24 units in early childhood studies or child development, and obtained any other practicum and alternative certificates as determined by the commission. commission, as provided. The bill would establish the California Preschool Teacher Qualifications Program for the purpose of supporting staff of licensed preschool and child development programs in acquiring the qualifications described above to improve the quality of preschool programs in California, increasing the compensation of preschool teachers, and maintaining the diversity of the existing preschool workforce. The bill would require the department, subject to an appropriation, as specified, to provide funding to a licensed child development provider that participates in the program upon meeting specified criteria adopted by the department.
(3) Existing law requires the county board of supervisors and the county superintendent of schools to select members for the local childcare and development planning council, known as a local planning council, for that county. Existing law requires a local planning council, by May 30 of each year, and upon approval by the county board of supervisors and the county superintendent of schools, to submit to the State Department of Education the local priorities the council has identified that reflect all childcare needs in the county.
This bill would require a local planning council, on or before May 30, 2020, and upon approval by the county board of supervisors and the county superintendent of schools, to submit to the department a plan for expanding state preschools based on the specified enrollment priorities described above, as provided. By imposing new duties on local planning councils, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law requires the department to disburse augmentations to the base allocation for the expansion of childcare and development programs to promote equal access to child development services across the state. Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop a formula for prioritizing the disbursement of augmentations.
This bill would require the Superintendent to consider the plans submitted by a local planning council, as described above, in determining the disbursement of augmentations to the base allocation for the expansion of childcare and development programs. The bill would require the department to allocate funding within each county in accordance with the priorities identified by the local planning council of that county, as provided.
(4) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Pre-K for All Act of 2019.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Quality early care and education for children from infancy to five years of age is a sound and strategic investment to narrow achievement gaps that are present before children enter kindergarten.
(b) Research shows that by five years of age, low-income children can be more than two years behind in language development relative to their higher income peers.
(c) Rigorous research shows that high-quality preschool significantly improves children’s school readiness and school performance and, in the long term, increases high school graduation rates, college enrollment, and adult earnings.
(d) A mixed-delivery early care and education system, including both public schools and community-based organizations, can support quality programs and effectively address the needs of working parents who need full-day, full-year services for their children.
(e) Well-trained teachers are crucial to quality preschool, and fair and adequate pay is key to valuing and retaining a qualified early childhood workforce. However, the median salary for California preschool teachers is less than one-half that of a kindergarten teacher.
(f) A targeted universal system of offering preschool to all children in high-poverty schools would help address the detrimental impact that concentrated poverty has on pupil achievement. Children living in communities with high proportions of low-income families experience crucial gains from quality early education that set them on the trajectory for academic success.
(g) In the annual Budget Act for the 2014–15 fiscal year, the Legislature and the Governor committed to providing all low-income children with at least one year of early care and education.
(h) California should build a more unified early care and education system, with adequate funding, quality standards driven by the best available evidence, simplified eligibility processes, and options for full-day, full-year services.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8236.3 is added to the Education Code, to read:

8236.3.
 (a) Commencing with the 2020–21 fiscal year, and notwithstanding any other law, a provider operating a state preschool program within the attendance boundary of a public school, except a charter or magnet school, where at least 70 percent of enrolled pupils are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, may enroll four-year-old children, as defined in Section 8208, as follows:
(1) First priority shall be given to children as provided for in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 8236.
(2) Second priority shall be given to children as provided for in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 8236.
(3) Any remaining slots may be open to enrollment of any families not otherwise eligible pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 8263, subject to both of the following:
(A) Enrollment of eligible four-year-old children pursuant to this paragraph shall be limited to families that establish residency within the attendance boundary of the qualifying public school pursuant to subdivision (a). Providers shall require proof of residency as a condition of enrollment.
(B) To the best of their ability, providers shall give first enrollment priority for slots available pursuant to this paragraph to families with the lowest income, and last enrollment priority to families with the highest income.
(b) For purposes of this section, “magnet school” means an entire school with a focus on a special area of study, such as science, the performing arts, or career education, designed to attract pupils from across the school district who may choose to attend the magnet school instead of their local public school.

SEC. 4.

 Section 8264.9 is added to the Education Code, immediately following Section 8264.8, to read:

8264.9.
 The number of children served in a California state preschool program classroom shall not exceed 24.

SEC. 5.

 Section 8265 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8265.
 (a) The Superintendent shall implement a plan that establishes reasonable standards and assigned reimbursement rates, which vary with the length of the program year and the hours of service.
(1) Parent fees shall be used to pay reasonable and necessary costs for providing additional services.
(2) When establishing standards and assigned reimbursement rates, the Superintendent shall confer with applicant agencies.
(3) The reimbursement system, including standards and rates, shall be submitted to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.
(4) The Superintendent may establish any regulations the Superintendent deems advisable concerning conditions of service and hours of enrollment for children in the programs.
(b) (1) Commencing July 1, 2018, the standard reimbursement rate shall be eleven thousand nine hundred ninety-five dollars ($11,995) and, commencing with the 2019–20 fiscal year, shall be increased by the cost-of-living adjustment granted by the Legislature annually pursuant to Section 42238.15. From July 1, 2018, until June 30, 2020, inclusive, the full-day state preschool reimbursement rate shall be twelve thousand seventy dollars ($12,070) and, commencing with the 2019–20 fiscal year, shall be increased by the cost-of-living adjustment granted by the Legislature annually pursuant to Section 42238.15.
(2) Commencing July 1, 2020, the full-day state preschool reimbursement rate shall be fourteen thousand sixty-two dollars and fifty cents ($14,062.50) and shall be increased by the cost-of-living adjustment granted by the Legislature annually pursuant to Section 42238.15.
(3) (A) It is the intent of the Legislature that the increase to the full-day state preschool reimbursement rate provided in 2020 pursuant to paragraph (2) be used to advance towards parity of pay between state preschool teachers and public school kindergarten teachers.
(B) In order to make progress towards the goal set in subparagraph (A), contracting agencies shall use no less than 65 percent of the increase to the full-day state preschool reimbursement rate provided pursuant to paragraph (2) to increase the wages of lead teachers who have obtained a bachelor’s degree.
(c) The plan shall require agencies having an assigned reimbursement rate above the current year standard reimbursement rate to reduce costs on an incremental basis to achieve the standard reimbursement rate.
(d) (1) The plan shall provide for adjusting reimbursement on a case-by-case basis, in order to maintain service levels for agencies currently at a rate less than the standard reimbursement rate. Assigned reimbursement rates shall be increased only on the basis of one or more of the following:
(A) Loss of program resources from other sources.
(B) Need of an agency to pay the same childcare rates as those prevailing in the local community.
(C) Increased costs directly attributable to new or different regulations.
(D) Documented increased costs necessary to maintain the prior year’s level of service and ensure the continuation of threatened programs.
(2) Childcare agencies funded at the lowest rates shall be given first priority for increases.
(e) The plan shall provide for expansion of child development programs at no more than the standard reimbursement rate for that fiscal year.
(f) The Superintendent may reduce the percentage of reduction for a public agency that satisfies any of the following:
(1) Serves more than 400 children.
(2) Has in effect a collective bargaining agreement.
(3) Has other extenuating circumstances that apply, as determined by the Superintendent.

SEC. 6.

 Section 8279.8 is added to the Education Code, immediately following Section 8279.7, to read:

8279.8.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that all four-year-old children within the attendance boundary of a public school, except a charter or magnet school, where at least 70 percent of enrolled pupils are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and all eligible three-year-old children in poverty have access to a state preschool program or other child development program.
(b) It is further the intent of the Legislature to appropriate sufficient annual funding to expand additional full-day, full-year slots in the state preschool program in accordance with the goals identified in subdivision (a).

SEC. 7.

 Section 8363 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8363.
 The Commission on Teacher Credentialing shall by rule or regulation establish the requirements for the following:
(a) (1) The issuance and the renewal of permits authorizing service in the care, development, and instruction of children in childcare and development programs, as well as the issuance of emergency permits for this purpose.
(2) On or before July 1, 2020, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing shall update the permit requirements to include the requirement that, as of July 1, 2028, head teachers in a state preschool program with a teacher permit or higher shall have earned a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis or major in early childhood studies or child development, obtained at least 24 units in early childhood studies or child development, and obtained any other practicum and alternative certificates as determined by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing shall ensure that the requirements for the permit include credits or another method of demonstrating competency in serving the needs of young children who are dual language learners, or those with exceptional needs in a fully inclusive environment.
(3) By July 1, 2028, in each California state preschool classroom there shall be at least one teacher present who provides instruction who meets the educational requirements identified in paragraph (2).
(4) (A) A person issued an early childhood teaching permit from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing who served as a head teacher in a state preschool program as of December 31, 2019, shall be deemed to meet the educational requirements identified in paragraph (2).
(B) A person deemed pursuant to this paragraph to meet the educational requirements identified in paragraph (2) shall be eligible to participate in the California Preschool Teacher Qualifications Program to obtain a bachelor’s degree in early childhood studies or child development pursuant to the approved application of a licensed child development provider pursuant to Section 8377.
(5) Permits for other job roles in a state preschool program, including those identified in subdivision (b), shall be created and revised in alignment with the requirements listed in this subdivision.
(b) The issuance and renewal of permits authorizing supervision of a childcare and development program, as well as the issuance of emergency permits for this purpose.
(c) The periods of duration of the permits set forth in this section.

SEC. 8.

 Article 16.1 (commencing with Section 8375) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  16.1. The California Preschool Teacher Qualifications Program

8375.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Preschool Teacher Qualifications Program.

8376.
 For purposes of this article, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Applicant” means a licensed child development provider applying for program funds pursuant to this article.
(b) “Department” means the State Department of Education.
(c) “Institutions of higher education” means the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, and private not-for-profit postsecondary educational institutions that offer child development and early childhood education courses.
(d) “Paraprofessional” means a person who assists classroom head teachers in a child development program, and includes a teaching assistant.
(e) “Participant” means a licensed child development program employee who elects to participate in the program.
(f) “Program” means the California Preschool Teacher Qualifications Program.

8377.
 (a) The California Preschool Teacher Qualifications Program is hereby established for the purpose of supporting staff of licensed preschool and child development programs in acquiring the qualifications specified in Section 8363 to improve the quality of preschool programs in California, increase the compensation of preschool teachers, and maintain the diversity of the existing preschool workforce. A person serving as a head teacher or a paraprofessional in an early childhood setting shall be eligible to apply for a scholarship provided through the California Preschool Teacher Qualifications Program to achieve the accomplishments identified in subdivision (e) upon approval of an application covering the child development provider employing the head teacher or paraprofessional.
(b) Subject to an a non-Proposition 98 General Fund appropriation for these purposes in the annual Budget Act or another statute, the department shall provide funding to a licensed child development provider that participates in the program upon meeting specified criteria adopted by the department. A consortium of licensed child development providers or a county office of education applying on behalf of a licensed child development provider shall also be eligible for funding and technical assistance pursuant to this article. The criteria adopted by the department for the selection of licensed child development providers to participate in the program shall include all of the following:
(1) The extent to which the applicant has identified a potential partnership with one or more local campuses or online programs of participating institutions of higher education with coursework in early childhood education or child development.
(2) The extent to which the applicant plans to enter into a written matriculation agreement with the participating campuses of the institutions of higher education and develops a process of paying tuition and fees of participants directly to the participating institutions of higher education.
(3) The extent to which the applicant’s plan for recruitment attempts to meet its own specific teacher needs.
(c) The department shall establish a plan to pursue equity in the selection of applicants from a variety of settings and areas of the state, including providing technical assistance to licensed child development providers with limited infrastructure to submit the application.
(d) An applicant that is selected to participate pursuant to subdivision (b) shall provide information about the program to all eligible staff in the child development program and shall assist each employee it recruits under the program regarding admission to an institution of higher education.
(e) An applicant shall certify that it has received a commitment from each participant that the participant will accomplish all of the following:
(1) On or before July 1, 2028, successfully earn a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis or major in early childhood studies or child development, obtain at least 24 units in early childhood studies or child development, and obtain any other practicum and alternative certificates as determined by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
(2) Complete all of the requirements established by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to obtain a teacher permit for employment in a licensed preschool program.
(3) Complete one year of classroom instruction in the licensed preschool or child development program for each year that the applicant receives assistance for books, fees, tuition, and other eligible expenses while attending an institution of higher education under the program.
(f) The department shall determine the level of state assistance for participants based on an analysis of the cost of tuition, books, and fees for obtaining the qualifications listed in subdivision (e).

SEC. 9.

 Section 8499.8 is added to the Education Code, to read:

8499.8.
 (a) On or before May 30, 2020, upon approval by the county board of supervisors and the county superintendent of schools, a local planning council shall submit to the department a plan for expanding state preschool based on the enrollment priorities described in Section 8236.3. The plan shall be developed in consultation with stakeholders within the county, including, but not limited to, local First 5 agencies, alternative payment programs, resource and referral agencies, Head Start grantees, and preschool and childcare providers. The plan shall include the following components:
(1) A phase-in period of four years for serving additional children who are eligible under Section 8236.3, including the additional slots needed each year and identifying the distribution of additional slots between existing and new local educational agencies and community based community-based providers.
(2) A special emphasis on the steps required to serve all four-year-old children within the attendance boundary of a public school where at least 70 percent of enrolled pupils are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, as identified in Section 8236.3, as well as all three-year-old children in poverty, as defined by the California Poverty Measure.
(3) An analysis of the need for additional facilities and associated costs.
(b) The Superintendent shall consider the plans submitted pursuant to this section in determining the disbursement of augmentations to the base allocation for the expansion of childcare and development programs, as described in Section 8279.3.
(c) Except as otherwise required by subdivision (c) of Section 8236, the department shall allocate funding within each county in accordance with the priorities identified by the local planning council of that county and submitted to the department pursuant to this section, unless the priorities do not meet the requirements of state or federal law.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide sufficient funding to local planning councils to undertake the additional planning required by this section.

SEC. 10.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.