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It’s a wrap: Budget trailer bill caps legislative year 

SB 97 spells out details on LCFF and collective bargaining, local accountability

The Legislature completed its work in the wee hours of the traditionally anxiety-provoking date of Friday the 13th. For the education community, the end of the legislative year brought a number of items of note.

Two measures of deep concern moved to Gov. Jerry Brown. CSBA opposes Assembly Bill 375 (by Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo) on the teacher dismissal process and Senate Bill 344 (by Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima) on requirements related to the Local Control and Accountability Plans. Read CSBA’s letters asking Gov. Brown to veto AB 375 and SB 344.

The education budget trailer bill, SB 97, was also sent to the governor after some late-breaking amendments. Once he acts, we’ll provide a more comprehensive summary of the trailer bill, which contains clarifications to the new Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 education and those Local Control and Accountability Plans that local educational agencies must adopt under LCFF.

LCAPs and local collective bargaining agreements

The trailer bill provides additional requirements for consultation by district governing boards and county superintendents in developing the LCAPs; local bargaining units must also be consulted, in addition to the six groups that were named in the original LCFF statute (teachers, principals, other school personnel, administrators, parents and pupils).

There was also a troubling last-minute amendment regarding the relationship of the LCAP and provisions of collective bargaining agreements. CSBA and other education, civil rights and public interest organizations, including Public Advocates and the California Association for Bilingual Education, were able to raise our concerns and get less overreaching language in the final version. As adopted, SB 97 states that “the specific actions” to be included in in the LCAP “shall not supersede the provisions of existing local collective bargaining agreements within the jurisdiction of the school district” or the county superintendent of schools.

California Collaborative for Educational Excellence

The trailer bill also amends language regarding the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence. The CCEE is a new entity created to advise and assist school districts, county superintendents of schools and charter schools in achieving the goals set forth in the local control and accountability plans. There is $10 million in the budget for this purpose.

The amendment in SB 97 is a bit of a “tweener” (to use a legislative term of art), between those who envisioned creating a “FCMAT-like” entity—something along the lines of the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, which has an governing board composed of county and district superintendents from each of FCMAT’s 11 regions plus a representative of the California Department of Education—and those who wanted the CCEE to remain under the auspices of the state superintendent of public instruction and CDE.

SB 97 provides that the state superintendent shall, with approval of the State Board of Education, contract with an LEA or consortium of LEAs to serve as the fiscal agent of the CCEE. However, a last-.minute amendment to the trailer bill also provides that CCEE shall be governed by a five-member board consisting of:

  • The state superintendent or designee
  • The SBE president or designee
  • One county superintendent appointed by the Senate Rules Committee
  • One teacher appointed by the speaker of the Assembly
  • One district superintendent appointed by the governor

At the direction of the governing board of the CCEE, the fiscal agent shall contract with individuals, LEAs or organizations with relevant expertise, experience and a record of success to carry out the purposes of the LCAPs. In certain circumstances, SB 97 also authorizes the state superintendent to direct the CCEE to advise and assist school districts, county superintendents or charter schools.

Shout-outs

CSBA extends shout-outs to several legislators for raising questions at the Senate Budget Committee hearing on Sept. 9 about possible unintended consequences of other language previously drafted for SB 97. After questions from Sens. Marty Block (D-San Diego) and Richard Roth (D-Riverside), with follow-up from committee chair Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), representatives of the Department of Finance agreed at the hearing to look at the language again, resulting in amendments that improved some of the bill’s terms.

Shout-outs go, too, to Sens. Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands) and Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) for follow-up on an issue raised in June during floor debate on the budget. They were successful in getting an amendment to SB 97 that mitigates the emergency loan payments of the South Monterey County Joint Union High School District in King City.

Watch for more

We will provide more information on outcomes of the legislative session in upcoming issues of CSBA’s California School News, California Schools magazine and on our Legislative News Web page and CSBA blog, and we continue to add to the storehouse of information on LCFF on our dedicated Web page: www.csba.org/LCFF.