California Educator

October/November 2021

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Page 34 of 55

Legislative Update INDEPENDENT STUDY • Specifies that local educational agencies (LEAs) may receive funding for students participating in independent study because of COVID-related quarantine, beginning on the first day of quarantine. • Specifies that a classroom-based charter school providing independent study to students who are unable to attend classes in person because of COVID-related quarantine is not required to count these students as non-classroom-based charter school average daily attendance and is not required to file for a funding determination. • Clarifies that an LEA may obtain signed independent study master agreements up to 30 days after a student begins an independent study program. • Clarifies that synchronous instruction under independent study may be provided by the teacher of record or the certificated teacher of the LEA providing instruction for course-based independent study. FUNDING PROCESS DURING EMERGENCIES • Clarifies that LEAs must have a plan to offer instructional services to students within 10 days but may provide for short-term independent study for 15 school days pursuant to independent study requirements. If applicable, an LEA must provide the state or local public health or public safety order that required school closure to the superintendent of public instruction. • Specifies that from Sept. 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, an LEA may not receive funding for material decreases in attendance or closures related to COVID-19, except due to COVID- related staffing shortages if certain criteria are met. SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS • Extends the amount of time a substi- tute teacher can provide instruction in a class from 30 to 60 days. This exten- sion expires on July 1, 2022. MODEL CURRICULUM • Requires the California Department of Education to enter into contracts with county offices of education for the development of model curricu- lum related to each of the following: the Vietnamese American refugee experience (by Sept. 1, 2024); the Cambodian Genocide (by Sept. 1, 2024); Hmong history and cultural studies (by Sept. 1, 2024); and Native American studies (by Sept. 1, 2025). "Every student's school day depends on the work of thousands of ESPs, from office workers to food service workers and custodians. AB 438 recognizes the hard work of these essential employees by providing them with greater stability and professional rights." —CTA President E. Toby Boyd Lawmakers Clarify Independent Study in Budget Cleanup Bill A D D R E S S I N G I S S U E S with independent study is one of many pieces of "cleanup" legislation approved by the state Assembly and Senate in early September. The 2021-22 education budget cleanup bills, including SB 170 ("Budget Bill Jr."), AB 167 (K-12) and SB 169 (higher education), contain technical changes and address other unresolved issues from the June budget. These bills were signed by the governor Sept. 23. Here are notable provisions in these bills: HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENT HOUSING • Creates the Higher Education Stu- dent Housing Grant Program and the Capacity Expansion Grant Program to support affordable student housing at UC, CSU and community colleges. The bill appropriates $500 million in one-time General Fund monies in 2021-22 for student housing projects, and includes legislative intent to pro- vide $750 million each in 2022-23 and 2023-24 for this purpose. Community colleges will receive 50 percent of this funding. 33 O C T O B E R / N O V E M B E R 2 0 21 Advocacy By Julian Peeples

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