This bill would appropriate $2,000,000 in carryover funding from the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a statewide framework and training and support network for the purpose of training and supporting qualified mentor teachers who will be supporting the new statewide influx of special education teachers in California. The bill would require the State Department of Education to award grants on a competitive basis using criteria it establishes. The bill would require the department to allocate a one-time grant of $500,000 from the funds appropriated, for the above-described purposes, to an eligible entity, as defined, with demonstrated expertise in the area of retention of teachers at elementary and secondary schools. The bill would require the department to offer $1,500,000 from the funds appropriated as grants to local educational agencies, as defined, to create or expand local and regional infrastructure to support special education teacher mentoring for the purpose of supporting the retention of new special education teachers.
To the Members of the California State Assembly:
I am returning Assembly Bill 2168 without my signature.
While I support the need to retain and support special education teachers, I cannot support this bill. The 2018 Budget Act includes $50 million Proposition 98 General Fund for the Local Solutions Grant Program for schools to develop and implement new, or expand existing, locally identified solutions that recruit, support and retain special education teachers.
Nothing in the grant language prohibits schools from providing mentors for special education teachers.
Edmund G. Brown Jr.