What Happens When The Two Bills Below Are Acted On?
State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell Urges Governor to Sign ?Education Funding Bills Into Law Before Going on Asia Trade Mission
SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today urged Governor Schwarzenegger to sign into law Senate Bill (SB) 847 and Assembly Bill (AB) 185 before he leaves the state tomorrow to embark on a trade mission to Asia. The two bills authorize the state to distribute federal education funds and will take effect immediately upon his signature.
“Federal and state lawmakers worked quickly to pass laws that would provide millions in critically needed funds to save education jobs in California,” said O’Connell. “Yet the Governor has not even requested SB 847 and AB 185 from the Legislature so that he can sign them into law.
“California’s students and teachers are already bearing the brunt of billions in budget cuts in the past few years, and they should not have to wait until the Governor gets back from his trip in mid-September to begin this funding process. I urge him to request the bills from the Legislature and sign them now, so we can distribute the funds to schools as quickly as possible.”
California’s Constitution requires that without a state budget, any appropriation bill, like SB 847 and AB 185, may not be sent to the Governor. That’s unless the Governor requests them by a formal letter. Once that happens, the Legislature would send the Governor the bill immediately.
SB 847 was coauthored by state Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles). The measure provides the California Department of Education (CDE) with the authority to allocate $1.2 billion from the federal Education Jobs Fund to school districts. SB 847 is estimated to save 16,500 education jobs in California. These funds will be distributed based on the state’s revenue limit formulas.
AB 185, authored by Assembly member Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo), provides the CDE with the authority to distribute nearly $904 million from two federal programs:
$416 million is provided for districts that have schools participating in the School Improvement Grant program. The participating schools must implement one of four specified school intervention models to turn around the achievement of their students.
- $488 million is for Phase II of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund program designed to stabilize local school budgets. About $271 million will be distributed to K–12 schools, with the remaining funds going to institutions for higher education. The K–12 funds will be distributed based on cuts to district revenue limit (general purpose) funding.
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The California Department of Education (CDE) is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. The core purpose of CDE is to lead and support the continuous improvement of student achievement, with a specific focus on closing achievement gaps. For more information, please visit http://www.cde.ca.gov or by mobile device at http://m.cde.ca.gov/. You may also follow Superintendent O’Connell (@SSPIJack) on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sspijack.
(Editor’s Note: The press release above was issued September 8. A spokesman for the GOP governor said Schwarzenegger was “currently reviewing the bills to determine the most appropriate course of action.” Now that the governor has departed for China, Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado is acting governor and apparently will sign the measures within the next few days. While the funds will likely allow the rehiring of some pink-slipped teachers, the result will be still be disruptive. The school year began September 7. Hiring back teachers will mean staffing reshuffling, students moved from classroom to classroom and the attendant administrative — and parental– headaches. Signing the bills before Labor Day would have avoided the logistical mess. It also would have been a more appropriate time to send the press release.)
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