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SB 820 – Provisions Regarding COVID-19 (Budget Bill) (Urgency Bill Effective Immediately On September 18, 2020)
Extends Time for Conducting English Language Development Assessment
Existing law requires the State Department of Education to develop a standardized English language teacher observation protocol for use by teachers in evaluating a pupil’s English language proficiency on or before, December 31, 2021. Existing law also requires a local educational agency to assess the English language development of each pupil annually during a 4-month period after January 1. SB 820 extends the date for completion of the English language teacher observation protocol to December 31, 2022. SB 820 also extends the time for conducting the English language development assessment for the 2020-2021 school year by 45 calendar days and requires local educational agencies to screen new pupils at the time of enrollment to determine English learner status.
Suspends Requirement of Site Visit by County Superintendent of Schools to Schools that Meet Criteria for Low Performance
Existing law requires a county superintendent of schools to annually submit a report, at a regularly scheduled November board meeting, to the governing board of each school district, the county board of education, and the county board of supervisors describing the state of schools in the county that meet specified criteria for low performance. Existing law requires the county superintendent of schools to visit those schools at least annually for purposes of developing that report. SB 820 suspends the visit requirement during the 2020-2021 school year in which schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The county superintendent may rely on information gained through other means than a physical visit to complete the report. The report must include a justification indicating why the county superintendent of schools did not conduct a school site visit and an outline of plans to conduct a school site visit as soon as possible. The county superintendent must provide an update report before July 1, 2021.
Reimbursement to Contracting Agencies Operating State-Subsidized Childcare Programs for Impacts of the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
The Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to reimburse contracting agencies for certain state-subsidized childcare programs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, due to ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic if the contracting agency’s program is open and offering services throughout the 2020-2021 school year. SB 820 adds to that requirement and requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to reimburse contracting agencies for the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic if the contracting agency’s program is operated on the campus of a local educational agency closed due to a public health order and the local educational agency has required the childcare program to close.
Extends Date by Which Local Educational Agencies Must Use Funds to Support Pupil Achievement and Mitigate Learning Loss Due to COVID-19
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 during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The Superintendent allocates the funds to eligible local educational agencies to support pupil academic achievement and mitigate learning loss related to COVID-19 school closures. Previous law required local educational agencies to use the funds appropriated Federal Trust Fund between March 13, 2020, and September 30, 2021, and the funds appropriated from the Coronavirus Relief Fund and General Fund between March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020. SB 820 extends the dates, as follows:
Local educational agencies must use the funds appropriated from the Federal Trust Fund between March 13, 2020, and September 30, 2022; and
Local educational agencies must use the funds appropriated from the General Fund between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
Allocates Funds to Reimburse Alternative Payment Childcare Providers and Reimbursed State-Subsidized Childcare Providers
Existing law appropriates $198,000,000 from the Federal Trust Fund for the 2020-2021 fiscal year to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for COVID-19 pandemic-related relief and assistance for childcare providers, the families those childcare providers serve, and essential workers. Existing law allocates $62,500,000 of that amount to reimburse alternative payment program providers with a one-time stipend. SB 820 splits that amount between alternative payment program providers and state-subsidized childcare providers as follows:
Allocates $31,250,000 to reimburse alternative payment program providers with a one-time stipend; and
$31,250,000 to reimbursed state-subsidized childcare providers for providing childcare to eligible children when a provider is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Appropriates Funds for the Cost of School Meals
SB 820 appropriates $80,000,000 from the General Fund to the State Department of Education to reimburse local educational agencies for costs relating to providing school meals from the months of March 2020 to August 2020, inclusive.
Waives Requirement to Pass Certain Assessments Required for Credential Because of Closures Due to COVID-19
Applicants for a California teaching credential must pass various assessments and examinations approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to obtain a credential. SB 820 suspends the requirement for preliminary multiple subject credential candidates and Level 1 or preliminary education specialist credential candidates to complete a reading instruction competence assessment to obtain a credential who, between March 19, 2020, and August 31, 2021, are unable to complete a reading instruction competence assessment due to testing center closures related to COVID-19. These candidates must complete and pass a reading instruction competence assessment approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing before the Commission will recommend them for a clear credential.
Existing law requires that candidates for admission to a credential program must pass a basic skills proficiency test. SB 820 suspends this requirement for applicants who, between March 19, 2020, and August 31, 2021, are unable to complete the basic skills proficiency test due to testing center closures related to COVID-19. These applicants for credential programs must complete the basic skills proficiency test during the credential program before the Commission on Teacher Credentialing will recommend them for a preliminary credential.
Excludes Moneys Appropriated to Mitigate Learning Loss Due to COVID-19 from Calculation of Minimum Amounts for Major Maintenance Accounts
The Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act establishes a program in which the State Allocation Board is required to provide state per-pupil funding for new construction and modernization of school facilities. Applicant school districts who receive funding under the Act must establish a restricted account within the district’s general fund for the exclusive purpose of providing money for ongoing and major maintenance of school buildings. School districts must also agree to deposit minimum amounts into the restricted account based on certain calculations.
SB 820 excludes from those calculations certain money appropriated to mitigate learning loss and to reimburse local educational agencies for school meals program costs from school closures caused by COVID-19.
Exemption for Basic Skills Examination
Existing law authorizes any person 16 years of age or older, and certain other persons, to have their proficiency in basic skills taught in the public high schools verified according to criteria established by the department. Existing law authorizes the State Department of Education to award a certificate of proficiency. Existing law requires administration of the test once in the fall semester and once in the spring semester.
SB 820 provides for the administration of the exam more often, at least once in the fall semester and at least once in the spring semester. SB 820 provides for the administration of the tests in 2020-2021 only if the State Department of Education can administer the test in accordance with state and local public health orders, as determined by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Because it is a bill providing for the appropriations related to the budget bill, SB 820 became effective immediately when the Governor signed it on September 18, 2020.
(SB 820 amends Sections 313.3, 8209, 14041.8, 17199.4, 17391, 17463.7, 37700, 41024, 41207.47, 43501, 43502, 43503, 43504, 43505, 43509, 48412, 51461, 52065, 52074, 56836.07, 56836.148, 56836.24, 60010, 69996.3, 71000, and 92495 of, adds Sections 1241, 17199.15, 43502.5, 43506.5, and 92411 to, adds and repeals Section 92496.1 of, the Education Code, amends Sections 14900, 14901, 14902, 14903, 14904, 14905, 14906, 14910, and 14911 of, to adds Section 8880.4.1 to, and repeals Section 14905.1 of, the Government Code, amends Sections 8025, 102426, and 102430 of, and adds Section 8024 to, the Health and Safety Code, repeals Section 48 of Chapter 29 of the Statutes of 2016, to amend Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of Chapter 3 of the Statutes of 2020, and amends Sections 95, 97, 110, 111, 112, 116, 117, 118, and 119 of Chapter 24 of the Statutes of 2020, relating to education finance.)