BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 101 (Alejo) - Pupil instruction: ethnic studies.
          
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          |Version: June 1, 2015           |Policy Vote: ED. 9 - 0          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          Bill  
          Summary:  This bill requires the Superintendent of Public  
          Instruction (Superintendent) to oversee, and the State Board of  
          Education (Board) to adopt, an ethnic studies model curriculum  
          framework and other support systems, as specified.  This bill  
          also requires an Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee to advise,  
          assist, and make recommendations to the Board on ethnic studies  
          issues.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           The California Department of Education (CDE) anticipates costs  
            of about $476,000 in the first year and $313,000 in the second  
            year to develop the model curriculum framework and support the  
            Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee.  This includes two  
            full-time and two part-time positions.  See staff comments.   
            (General Fund)

           Ongoing out-year costs to the CDE of about $258,000 and two  







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            positions to continue to support Ethnic Studies Advisory  
            Committee and its advisory role to the Board.  (General Fund)

           Potentially significant additional costs for the  
            Superintendent to oversee "other support systems" to ensure  
            quality ethnic studies courses, as required by this bill.  See  
            staff comments.  (General Fund)   


          Background:  Academic content standards define the knowledge, concepts, and  
          skills that students should acquire at each grade level.   
          Curricular frameworks are the blueprint for implementing the  
          standards, and include criteria by which instructional materials  
          are evaluated.  The history-social science framework was last  
          adopted in 2005.  The revision to the history-social science  
          framework was suspended in July 2009, and subsequently resumed  
          in July 2014.  The draft revision was released for field review  
          in September 2014, is expected to be presented to the Board in  
          November 2015, and expected to be adopted in May 2016.  The  
          draft history-social science framework developed by the IQC,  
          describes high school elective courses in ethnic studies. 
          Existing law establishes the Instructional Quality Commission as  
          an advisory body to the Board and is responsible for  
          recommending curriculum frameworks, developing criteria for the  
          evaluation of instructional materials, evaluating and  
          recommending adoption of instructional materials.  (Education  
          Code  33530 and  60204)




          Proposed Law:  
            This bill requires the Superintendent to oversee the  
          development of, and the Board to adopt, a model curriculum  
          framework and other support systems to ensure quality courses of  
          study in ethnic studies through partnerships with universities.
          This bill requires that by the 2016-17 school year, the  
          Superintendent establishes an Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee  
          to advise, assist, and make recommendations to the Board about  
          programs, curriculum content, and other related ethnic studies  
          issues.


          By June 30, 2016, the Superintendent is required to submit to  








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          the Board a plan to fully implement, at a minimum, key actions  
          needed to overcome any challenges foreseen implementing the  
          model curriculum framework and other support systems as required  
          by this bill, timetables, staffing responsibilities, and budget  
          requirements.


          Finally this bill authorizes school districts to offer an ethnic  
          studies course based on the model curriculum framework to  
          students in grades seven through 12.




          Related  
          Legislation:  AB 1750 (Alejo, 2014) would have required the  
          Instructional Quality Commission to evaluate existing standards,  
          curricula, programs, and training regarding ethnic studies at  
          the high school level.  AB 1750 failed passage in this  
          Committee.


          Staff  
          Comments:  Though the CDE's cost estimate of $476,000 in the  
          first year and $313,000 in the second year assumes two years for  
          the development of a model curriculum framework for ethnic  
          studies, the CDE anticipates that it will take three years.   
          This estimate includes two full-time positions and two part-time  
          positions to support development of the framework and the Ethnic  
          Studies Advisory Committee.  In addition, the CDE would contract  
          for a curriculum framework primary writer; outside curriculum  
          experts from California universities; three meetings per year  
          for the Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee; and other activities.
          This bill also requires the Superintendent to establish an  
          Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee to advise, assist, and make  
          recommendations to the Board about programs, curriculum content,  
          and other related ethnic studies issues.  This provision of the  
          bill contemplates tasks of the committee that go beyond  
          developing the model curriculum framework.  Therefore, the CDE  
          indicates ongoing costs of about $258,000 and two positions to  
          continue to staff the committee.


          Finally, the bill requires the Superintendent to oversee the  








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          development of a model curriculum framework and "other support  
          systems" to ensure quality ethnic studies courses.  It is  
          unclear what is meant by "other support systems."  This could be  
          interpreted to mean the development of additional tools and  
          guidance documents for the field such as an online professional  
          development learning module for teachers, principals, and school  
          leaders to facilitate implementation of the model curriculum  
          framework in ethnic studies.  The CDE indicates that this would  
          be a one-time cost of about $185,000.  




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