Sparsity Aid. A sparsity aid package designed to help rural schools won’t clear the house in this session, the Assembly Majority Leader told a statehouse insider news publication. The $9.7 million package would have provided rural districts with 745 students or less with $400 per pupil through sparsity aid rather than the current $300. There also would have been a second tier in the program for districts with between 746 and 1,000 pupils of $100 per student. Read the Legislative Reference Bureau Memo. In saying that the proposal wouldn’t move, Representative Robin Vos said the budget has made “historic” investments in schools, and school funding won’t be revisited. Public school advocates counter the “historic” notion – noting that the per-pupil increase in the budget, made outside of the funding formula, doesn’t restore the nearly billion dollars cut from public schools since 2011.
In the Assembly last week:
- Montessori Teaching License. AB-423 (companion bill SB-299),which would grant an initial teaching license based on completion of a Montessori teacher education program, passed the Assembly.
- Human Trafficking + Drivers Ed. AB-540 (companion bill SB-444), which would require education instruction on human trafficking in drivers education courses, was placed on the Assembly calendar.
- Pupil Exam Information. AB-300, which would increase/expedite the information about mandatory pupil examinations available to families, passed the Assembly.
- Pupil Exam Opt-Out. AB-304, which would allow a pupil’s parent or guardian to opt out of certain statewide examinations, except the civics exam required to graduate, passed the Assembly.
The full Assembly and Senate are now recessed until January, but here are a number of legislative meetings planned this week, including:
- Assembly Committee on Children and Families public hearing on AB 504, relating to child labor permits, and other bills.
- Assembly Committee on Labor executive session on AB 308, relating to the composition of the Council on Worker’s Compensation.
- Assembly Committee on Labor public hearing on AB 516, relating to various changes to the unemployment insurance law and making an appropriation.
- Assembly Committee on Education executive session on AB 159, relating to policies regulating the use of electronic smoking devices on school district property; AB 221, relating to creating a pilot program under which certain school districts are not required to provide a minimum number of hours of direct pupil instruction; and AB 398, relating to summer school and interim session classes.
- Assembly Committee on Education public hearing on AB 496, relating to suspending and expelling a pupil for possession of a firearm at school.