California Educator

December/January 2022

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Page 40 of 63

Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill, includes important provisions related to cre- dentialing for teachers and teacher candidates. In addition to extending COVID-related testing flexibilities, it creates new options for aspiring teachers to meet the basic skills requirement and to demonstrate sub- ject matter competence. Student Assessments Thanks to CTA advocacy and over- whelming outcry and support, districts were allowed to administer standards-aligned local assessments during the 2020-21 school year, in place of the summative assessments of the California Assessment of Student Per- formance and Progress, and receive an apportionment at a rate approved by the State Board of Education. Health and Student Support Services Also incorporated in the budget trailer bill are CTA-supported AB 285 (Holden) to appoint a state school nurse con- sultant to work with local educational agencies and school nurses to promote school nursing and school health pro- grams; and AB 563 (Berman) to create an Office of School-Based Health Programs to improve operations and technical support for students through- out the state. School Nutrition The state budget provides funding for the Universal School Meals Program, with an increase in state meal reim- bursements of $54 million in 2021-22 and $650 million in ongoing Prop. 98 funding beginning in 2022-23, to cover the costs of offering breakfast and lunch for all students. Special Education Special education funding is increased by $396 million in ongoing Prop. 98 funding, by increasing the per-student statewide base rate; and the special education funding formula is increased by $260 million in ongoing Prop. 98 monies to include funding for specified services for children ages 3-5. Charter Schools Mandated lockdowns surrounding the pandemic made it necessary to extend the existing moratorium on the approval of new non-classroom-based charter schools by three years to Jan. 1, 2025. Community Colleges The budget includes the following for California Community Colleges: a 5.07 percent COLA (or $371.2 million in ongoing Prop. 98 funding); $100 million in ongoing Prop. 98 funding to increase the hiring of full-time faculty; and $90 million one-time and $10 million ongoing Prop. 98 funding to support part-time faculty office hours. Ethnic Studies CTA-co-sponsored AB 101 (Medina) requires all high school students to complete a semester of ethnic studies in order to graduate, effective in the 2029-30 school year. (See related story, page 33.) Teacher Credentialing CTA-supported SB 488 (Rubio) makes substantive changes to the outdated and controversial Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA) statute. CTA has worked for several years with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and education stakeholders to eliminate the RICA because of its negative impact on the teaching profession and the lack of evi- dence it has improved reading literacy for students. Employee Rights CTA-co-sponsored SB 294 (Leyva) removes the 12-year limitation for CalSTRS or CalPERS service credit earned on an employer-approved compensated leave such as union work. CTA-co-sponsored AB 438 (Reyes) makes the required advance notice of layoffs for classified staff equal to that of certificated personnel and administrators. Voter Access Thanks to CTA-supported AB 37 (Berman), the practice of sending vote- by-mail ballots to every registered voter is here to stay for future elections. The bill extends the practice, which helped prevent the spread of COVID-19 at poll- ing sites in 2020. Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2021 CTA-supported AB 367 (Garcia) requires community colleges and schools serving students in grades 6-12 to stock each school's restrooms (including at least one men's restroom) with feminine hygiene products, and prohibits a public school from charging for any menstrual prod- ucts provided to pupils. The Legislature is in recess until Jan. 3, 2022, when the second year of the 2021- 22 legislative session will commence. 39 D E C E M B E R 2 0 21 / J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 2

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