Email the Senate and Assembly Education Committee Members
The Senate and Assembly Committees on Education have announced a joint public hearing on Thursday, October 3 on a series of bills created as a result of the Legislature’s Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding. This will be the only opportunity this to provide feedback on these bills.
Take a minute to read through the bills under consideration, and email members of both committees today.
Here are the bills receiving a public hearing:
Kindergarten Attendance Age (SB 407 / AB 464). This bill changes the age at which a child may attend four-year-old kindergarten. Under current law, a child is eligible to attend four-year-old kindergarten if the child is four years old on September 1 in the year the child proposes to enter school. The bill provides that a child may attend four-year-old kindergarten if the child is four years old on September 1 or will be four years old on December 31 in the school year that the child proposes to enter school. In addition, a child may be admitted to the first quarter or semester of a four-year-old kindergarten beginning after January 1 of that school year if the child is four years old on January 1 or will be four years old on June 30 in that school year.
Under current law, if a school board establishes a four-year-old kindergarten
program, the school board must make the program available to all pupils who are
eligible for the program. The bill provides a transitional period for school boards that
were operating a four-year-old kindergarten program in the 2019-20 school year.
Under the bill, such a school board does not have to make its existing four-year-old
kindergarten program available to the additional pupils eligible under the bill until
the beginning of the 2025-26 school year.
Kindergarten Enrollment Counts (SB 408 / AB 465). This bill changes how a pupil enrolled in a four-year-old kindergarten is counted by a school district for purposes of state aid and revenue limits. Under current law, a pupil enrolled in a four-year-old kindergarten program is counted as 0.5 pupil unless the program provides at least 87.5 additional hours of outreach activities, in which case the pupil is counted as 0.6 pupil. Under the bill, if the four-year-old kindergarten program requires full-day attendance by pupils for five
days a week, a pupil enrolled in the program is counted as one pupil.
Feasibility studies for consolidation or grade sharing (SB 409 / AB 456). This would require the Department of Public Instruction to award grants of up to $10,000 each to consortia of school districts to be used for a professional financial analysis of how school district consolidation or entering into a whole grade sharing agreement would affect the school districts.
Aid for consolidation or grade sharing (SB 412 / AB 442)This would create a categorical aid for school boards that enter into a whole grade sharing agreement and adopt a resolution to consider school district consolidation. Under the bill, the Department of Public Instruction pays an eligible school board an amount equal to $150 per pupil enrolled in a grade included in the whole grade sharing agreement. A school board may not receive this aid for more than five school years.
Shared Services (SB 413 / AB 441). This bill creates a categorical aid for a school district that enters into an agreement to share administrative personnel services with other school districts or a local unit of government. To be eligible for the aid, the school district must pass a resolution approving participation in the shared services aid program. The amount of aid a school district receives under the shared services aid program is based on the administrative positions that are shared under the agreement.
Timing of equalization aid payments to school districts. (SB 415 / AB 461). Under current law, the Department of Public Instruction pays equalization aid to school districts for each school year in the following four installments: 15 percent in September, 25 percent in December, 25 percent in March, and 35 percent in June. This bill increases the percentage of equalization aid distributed in September by 2 points each school year, and decreases the percentage of equalization aid distributed in June by 2 points each school year, until the 2023-24 school year, at which time the amount of equalization aid distributed in both September and June will be 25 percent. The result is that equalization aid will be paid to school districts in four equal installments beginning in the 2023-24 school year.