Gov. Jerry Brown signed a large number of bills of importance to our members, bills that reached him in the last days of the legislative session.
Among the most important bills he signed is AB 484, a bill that suspends the state's assessments to make way for the Common Core State Standards. AB 484 suspends the current Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program immediately and allows students and educators to fully prepare to transition to the new, computer-based assessments.
Another important bill signed into law is CTA-backed AB 449, by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), which will protect students by subjecting to criminal charges and credential revocation superintendents of school districts and county offices of education who fail to report serious charges of employee misconduct to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
The governor also signed SB 368, an important bill by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) that will allow educators to use their experience and prior coursework to qualify for add-on authorizations for their Special Education credentials. The bill will keep our members from having to devote time and money to fund coursework related to skills they already have.
In addition, the governor signed SB 594, by Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo). It blocks non-profit groups from using public dollars for campaign expenditures.
The governor signed AB 955, a bill by Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) that would create a two-tier fee system in community colleges by authorizing six pilot colleges to charge their students exorbitant fees for intersession courses. These fees will cost more than $750 for a typical three-unit community college course. This increase would make some community college courses more expensive than courses offered by the CSU. CTA opposed this bill and urged the governor to veto it.
The governor vetoed AB 375, by Assembly Education Chair Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo). The measure was designed to speed up the teacher dismissal process, help protect the safety of students, and safeguard the profession. CTA supported this bill and expressed disappointment by his decision to veto it.
The governor also vetoed AB 729, a bill by Assemblymember Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) that would have protected the confidentiality of communications between union members and their grievance representatives. It also would have ensured our members' ability to share information with their representatives without fear that the union personnel could be compelled to reveal the information shared in confidence.
Look for a complete bill wrap-up in the next edition of Capitol News.