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New state laws taking effect Jan. 1

12.30.2011 | Ridgecrest Daily Independent | John V. Ciani

When Californians welcome in the New Year, new education and child-safety laws go into effect in 2012.

Assembly Bill 130 enacts the California Dream Act of 2011.

Under the new law, effective Jan. 1, 2012, undocumented students attending the California State University, the California Community Colleges or the University of California who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition are eligible to receive scholarships derived from nonstate funds received.

As of Jan. 1, 2013, AB131 amends the Donahoe Higher Education Act, to require the trustees of the California State University and the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and  request the University of California regents to establish procedures and forms that enable such students to apply for, and participate in, all student-aid programs administered to the full extent permitted by federal law, except as provided. This provision would apply to the University of California only if the regents, by appropriate resolution, act to make it applicable.

This new law enables students who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition to apply for, and participate in, any student financial-aid program administered by the state.

The law also requires the Student Aid Commission to establish procedures and forms that enable those students to apply for, and participate in, all student financial-aid programs administered by the state and prohibits students who are exempt from paying nonresident tuition from being eligible for competitive Cal Grant A and B awards unless specified conditions are met.

This new law, as of January 1, 2013, requires community college districts to waive the fees of students who are exempt from nonresident tuition.

Senate Bill 138 changes the required birthday for admission to kindergarten and first grade to Nov. 1 for the 2012–13 school year, Oct. 1 for the 2013–14 school year, and Sept. 1 for the 2014–15 school year and each school year thereafter, and requires a child whose admission to a traditional kindergarten is delayed to be admitted to a transitional kindergarten program.

The new law requires pupils participating in transitional kindergarten to be included in computing the average daily attendance of a school district in accordance with specified requirements.

AB 124, AB 250 and SB 140 help implement the Common Core State Standards.

AB124 makes a clarifying change to the provisions relating to the standards for English-language development.
This law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, in consultation with the state board, to update, revise and align the English-language development standards adopted pursuant to existing law to the state board-approved academic content standards for English-language arts.

The new law also requires the superintendent to convene a group of experts in English language instruction, curriculum, and assessment to assist in updating, revising, and aligning the English-language development standards and to present the updated, revised, and aligned English language development standards to the state board on or before Aug. 31, 2012. The state board must adopt, reject or revise the standards presented by the superintendent on or before Sept. 30, 2012.

The new law also requires the superintendent and the state board to present to the governor and the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the legislature a schedule and implementation plan for integrating the English language development standards adopted pursuant to this bill into the state public education system.

The law requires the department to use certain federal funds to implement these provisions of the bill.

AB250 deletes the schedule for submission of instructional materials for foreign languages and health and the exception to the requirement that criteria for the evaluation of instructional materials be approved when curriculum frameworks are approved or at least 30 months before the date that the materials are to be approved for adoption.

This new law requires the state board to adopt revised curriculum frameworks and evaluation criteria that are aligned to the common core academic content standards developed by the consortium and adopted by the board for mathematics and English language arts no later than May 30, 2013, and May 30, 2014, respectively.

It also requires state board policies to ensure that the English-language arts curriculum frameworks for kindergarten and first through 12th grades and instructional materials for kindergarten and first through eighth grades include the English-language development standards as adopted by the state board in 1997 and revised thereafter, and English language development strategies in the core subjects of mathematics, science, and history-social science.

The law also requires state board policies to ensure that curriculum frameworks for kindergarten and first through 12th grades and instructional materials for kindergarten and first through eighth grades  include strategies to address the needs of pupils with disabilities in the core subjects of mathematics, science, history-social science and English language arts.

AB 250 also requires the curriculum frameworks to describe the manner in which content can be delivered to intentionally build pupil creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication into and across each content area.

The law states the intent of the Legislature to ensure that school districts are provided with as many standards-aligned instructional material options as possible and requires the superintendent to develop model professional-development modules and to report to the state board on the development of those modules.

The new law requires the superintendent to develop recommendations, to be reported to the fiscal and appropriate policy committees of both houses of the legislature on or before Nov. 1, 2012, for the reauthorization of the statewide pupil-assessment program and would require the recommendations to include a plan for transitioning to a system of high-quality assessments.

SB140 requires the State Department of Education to recommend and to approve evaluation criteria to guide the development and review of supplemental instructional materials.

The law requires the department, on a one-time basis, to develop a list, on or before July 1, 2012, of supplemental instructional materials for use in kindergarten through eighth grades that are aligned with the California common core academic content standards for language arts and for use in kindergarten as well as first through seventh grades that are aligned with the California common core academic content standards for mathematics.
The new law also requires the state board to perform specified reviews and to approve or reject all, or a portion, of the list of supplemental instructional materials proposed by the department and authorizes the state board to add an item to that list.

The law also allows school district governing boards to approve supplemental instructional materials other than those approved by the state board if the governing board performs specified reviews and determines that other supplemental instructional materials are aligned with the California common core academic content standards and meet the needs of the pupils of the district.

SB 929 prohibits the operators of limousines for hire, authorized emergency vehicles or taxicabs from operating these vehicles unless the operator and any passengers 8 years of age or older in the front seat are properly restrained by a safety belt.

This law also prohibits parents, legal guardians or drivers from transporting children or wards who are under 8 years of age on a highway in a motor vehicle, without securing them in appropriate child-passenger restraint systems meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards, and imposes specified fines and penalties for violations of those requirements, as prescribed.

The new law authorizes law-enforcement officers to stop vehicles transporting children appearing to be within the age range of less than 8 years of age.

Existing law permits a court to exempt from the child-passenger restraint system requirements any class of child by age, weight, or size if it is determined that the use of a child passenger restraint system would be impractical by reason of physical unfitness, medical condition, or size, and establishes two statutory exemptions.

This law also allows children or wards under 8 years of age who are 4-feet 9-inches or taller to be properly restrained by a safety belt rather than a child-passenger restraint system.

The new law also requires public or private hospitals, clinics or birthing centers, at the time of the discharge of a child, to provide and discuss information on the current law requiring child-passenger restraint systems, safety belts, and the transportation of children in rear seats to the parents or person to whom the child is released if the child is under 8 years of age.

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