BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                     AB 101

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          Date of Hearing:  April 15, 2015


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair

          101 (Alejo) - As Amended March 18, 2015

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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   

          SUMMARY:  This bill requires the development of a model  
          curriculum framework in ethnic studies, establishes an advisory  
          committee on ethnic studies, and requires that all school  
          districts serving students in grades 7-12 students offer ethnic  
          studies as an elective course.


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          Specifically, this bill: 

          1)Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to  
            oversee the development of a model curriculum framework that  
            meets A-G requirements and ensure quality courses in  
            partnership with universities with ethnic studies programs.  
            Further, requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt  
            the model curriculum.

          2)Requires the SPI to establish an Ethnic Studies Advisory  
            Committee comprising a majority of educators with experience  
            in teaching ethnic studies from high schools and institutions  
            of higher education. The Committee shall advise, assist, and  
            make recommendations to the SBE on programs, curriculum  
            content, and other issues related to ethnic studies.

          3)Requires the SPI, by June 30, 2016, to submit a plan to the  
            SBE to implement the requirements of the bill and include  
            actions needed to overcome implementation challenges,  
            including timetables, staffing responsibilities, and budget  

          4)Requires school districts enrolling students in grades 7-12,  
            in the school year following the adoption of the model  
            curriculum, to offer to its students as an elective course, a  
            course of study in ethnic studies based on the model  
          FISCAL EFFECT:

          1)General Fund administrative costs of in the range of $300,000  


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            to $500,000 for the California Department of Education (CDE)  
            to develop a model curriculum framework in ethnic studies.   
            Developing curriculum framework involves an extensive process  
            that would likely take two to three years to develop and would  
            necessitate contracting with subject matter experts.  

          2)Annual General Fund costs of approximately $300,000 to  
            establish and convene the Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee.

          3)Unknown, annual Proposition 98/GF state mandated costs,  
            potentially in excess of $100 million, for school districts to  
            offer ethnic studies courses to all students in grades 7-12  
            once they are adopted by the SBE.  There are approximately  
            2,500 schools that serve grades 7-12 that do not currently  
            provide ethnic studies courses.  Significant costs are related  
            to teacher salary and benefits and instructional materials. 


          1)Purpose.  Courses in ethnic studies typically explore the  
            issues of race, ethnicity, and culture, with the goal of  
            preparing all pupils to engage in the responsibilities of  
            citizenship in an increasingly multicultural global society.   
            Given California's diversity, the author stresses the  
            importance of student's knowledge of the various racial and  
            ethnic groups of our state.

          2)Background.  California curriculum is based on state-adopted  
            content standards.  The curriculum frameworks are guidelines  
            for implementing the standards that are developed by the IQC  
            (also referenced in statute as the "commission") and approved  
            by the State Board of Education (SBE). In addition to  
            curriculum development, the Superintendent of Public  


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            Instruction can be directed by law to develop model curricula  
            on different topics, such as the life of Cesar Chavez, and  
            human rights and genocide.

            The pending history-social science curriculum framework  
            encourages districts to offer ethnic studies courses.   
            Completion of this framework has been delayed over the years  
            due to budget and workload constraints but is now scheduled to  
            be completed by the Fall of 2016.  

            Mandated Costs. This bill requires school districts with  
            students in grades 7-12 to offer a course in ethnic studies  
            once one has been adopted by the SBE.  Currently, many school  
            districts have made the local decision to offer ethnic studies  
            courses as an elective. Additionally, some districts,  
            including Los Angeles Unified School District, are exceeding  
            the requirements of this bill by not only offering ethnic  
            studies but making completion a graduation requirement.    If  
            this bill were to become law, LEAs would likely seek  
            reimbursement from the state for activities they are currently  
            choosing to provide.  

          3)Prior legislation.  

             a)   AB 1750 (Alejo) (2014) required the Instructional  
               Quality Commission to identify a model curriculum on ethnic  
               studies at the high school level.  This bill was held in  


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               the Senate Appropriations Committee.

             b)   AB 2001 (Diaz) (2002) required the Curriculum  
               Development and Supplemental Materials Commission  
               (Commission) within the CDE to identify model programs,  
               standards, and curricula relating to ethnic studies at the  
               high school level. This bill was vetoed by Governor Gray  
          Analysis Prepared by:Misty Feusahrens / APPR. / (916)