COVID-19 reporting and public health requirements, instruction support grants, the Cal Grant Program, and learning loss mitigation.

AB-86

session 2021-2022
priority Standard
Author Committee on Budget
position Oppose
Letter View Letter

(1) Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary education in this state, and authorizes local educational agencies throughout the state to provide instruction to pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive. Existing law establishes procedures for the apportionment of state funds to these local educational agencies. Existing law, for purposes of calculating apportionments for the 2020–21 fiscal year, requires a local educational agency to offer in-person instruction and authorizes these agencies to offer distance learning, as specified.
This bill would require the school administrator or other person in charge of a public or private school campus maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, upon learning that a school employee or pupil who has been present onsite at the public or private school campus has tested positive for COVID-19, to immediately, and in no case later than 24 hours after learning of the positive COVID-19 case, notify the local health officer by telephone about the positive case, as specified. The bill would prohibit this information from being disclosed by the local health officer, except as provided. The bill would require every school district, county office of education, charter school, and private school maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to notify the State Department of Public Health of certain information relating to in-person activities of the educational entity on or before the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, as specified. The bill would require an educational entity to post a completed COVID-19 school safety plan containing certain information on its internet website home page by April 1, 2021. By requiring additional actions by local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would make these provisions inoperative on June 30, 2021, and would repeal them as of January 1, 2022.
(2) For the 2020–21 fiscal year, this bill would appropriate $6,557,443,000 from the General Fund to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, of which $4,557,443,000 would be apportioned to school districts, county offices of education, charter schools, and state special schools, as prescribed, and available for expenditure until September 30, 2022, for certain activities, including activities that support academic achievement by offering supplemental instruction and support. As a condition of receiving these funds, the bill would require a local educational agency to, among other things, adopt at a public meeting and post on its internet website a plan describing how these funds will be used consistent with eligible purposes. The bill would require the Superintendent to develop and post on the department’s internet website a template for the plan to be used by local educational agencies, as prescribed. The bill would require the remaining $2,000,000,000 to be apportioned to school districts, county offices of education, and certain charter schools, and available for expenditure until July 30, 2021, if those local educational agencies, among other things, submit a COVID-19 school safety plan and provide optional in-person instruction to certain pupil groups within prescribed timelines. The bill would require certain reporting requirements regarding the use of apportioned funds, would impose certain penalties for noncompliance with prescribed requirements, and would require the Superintendent to initiate collection proceedings for unexpended funds. The bill would require county public health departments to make COVID-19 vaccines available to schoolsite personnel who are working at a schoolsite where pupils are attending in person. By imposing additional requirements on counties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would make these provisions inoperative on June 30, 2023, and would repeal them as of January 1, 2024.
(3) The Cal Grant Program establishes the Cal Grant A and B Entitlement Awards, the California Community College Transfer Cal Grant Entitlement Awards, the Competitive Cal Grant A and B Awards, the Cal Grant C Awards, and the Cal Grant T Awards under the administration of the Student Aid Commission, and establishes eligibility requirements for awards under these programs for participating students attending qualifying institutions.
A provision of the program specifies that the commission shall require that a grade point average be submitted, as specified, to the commission for Cal Grant A and B applicants, except for those applicants permitted to provide test scores in lieu of a grade point average. Existing law requires the commission to adopt regulations that set forth the circumstances under which a student may submit a specified test score designated by the commission, by regulation, in lieu of submitting a qualifying grade point average.
For the 2021–22 award year, this bill would authorize commission staff to waive the requirement to submit a test score in lieu of a qualifying grade point average for a student who does not have a grade point average and is unable to submit a test score due to unavailability of designated testing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would require the commission to require a student seeking a waiver under these provisions to submit a signed certification verifying they were prevented from taking and submitting a test score in lieu of a qualifying grade point average due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(4) Existing law appropriates $355,227,000 from the Federal Trust Fund, $4,439,844,000 from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, and $539,926,000 from the General Fund to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for allocation in the 2020–21 fiscal year to eligible local educational agencies to support pupil academic achievement and mitigate learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures. Existing law requires the funds appropriated from the Federal Trust Fund to be used from March 13, 2020, to September 30, 2022, inclusive, the funds appropriated from the General Fund to be used from March 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, inclusive, and the funds appropriated from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to be used from March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020, inclusive, unless otherwise provided in federal law.
This bill would instead require the funds appropriated from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to be used from March 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021, inclusive. By extending the date to encumber or otherwise use funds appropriated from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the bill would make an appropriation. The bill would require an eligible local educational agency that retains unspent funds received pursuant to these provisions after December 30, 2020, to recertify, on or before March 1, 2021, that the remaining funds will be used in full compliance with federal law by May 31, 2021, and if an eligible local educational agency does not certify or recertify as required by these provisions, the bill would authorize funds to be reallocated upon order of the Director of Finance. The bill would (A) require funds not expended by May 31, 2021, to be reported by the eligible local educational agency to the Superintendent, (B) require the Superintendent to recover those unexpended funds and deposit them into the Coronavirus Relief Fund, and (C) authorize those deposited funds to be reallocated, upon order of the Department of Finance. By authorizing those moneys to be reallocated, the bill would make an appropriation.
(5) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
(6) Certain funds appropriated by this bill would be applied toward the minimum funding requirements for school districts and community college districts imposed by Section 8 of Article XVI of the California Constitution.
(7) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as a bill providing for appropriations related to the Budget Bill.