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2003 Vetoed K-12 Education Legislation


Bill Number Author                                                        

Subject
Summary

Governor's Veto Message

AB 51 Simitian                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Child Care/Child Development
Existing law requires the legislative body of each county and city to adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of the county or city, and of any land outside its boundaries that bears relation to its planning. The law requires the plan to include a specified land use element that designates the proposed general distribution and general location and extent of the uses of the land for housing, business, industry, open space, and other categories of public and private uses of land. This bill would require the land use element of the general plan to identify categories of land use, if any, that provide for certain childcare facilities no later than one year from a specified date. By increasing the duties of local officials, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 51 without my signature.

This bill requires the land use element of the general plan to identify categories of land use, if any, that provide for certain child care facilities and would take effect upon the next revision of a local jurisdictions housing element.

As I have emphasized in the past, I fully recognize the importance of childcare facilities, which prompted me to sign AB 305 (Mullin) this year. AB 305 addresses the need for childcare facilities in a cost neutral manner as it provides developers additional density bonuses, concession, or incentives if a childcare facility is included in a developer's housing project.

I vetoed a similar bill last year, AB 2954 (Simitian) because it would have resulted in a reimbursable state mandate. According to the Department of Finance, this bill would result in a reimbursable mandate on local government. While I appreciate the author's effort in diligently addressing this issue, I am unable to sign this legislation in light of California's fiscal condition.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 52 Simitian                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Summer/After School
Existing law requires a school district to offer supplemental instruction to pupils in grades 2 to 9, inclusive, who are recommended for retention or who are retained in the same grade. This bill would repeal that provision and make conforming changes in a related provision. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 52 without my signature.

This bill, in conjunction with SB 19, would indefinitely uncap the apportionment for local educational agencies to offer supplemental instruction for pupils in grades 2-6 who have been identified as being at risk of retention.

During the last five years, I have provided schools with unprecedented resources directed toward ensuring that schools are provided with the essential elements for bringing students to grade level standards. Specifically, I have provided over $2 billion for supplemental instruction; more than $705 million has been provided towards standards aligned professional development to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach to the standards; another $1.1 billion has been devoted to administrator professional development and additional teacher training to further improve the schools instructional program; almost $955 million has gone to low performing schools to reform and develop cohesive standards-based programs; over $1.7 billion has been allocated for instructional materials; and this year I have given school districts 100% flexibility for categorical programs to help meet local needs, including supplemental instruction.

Given the States fiscal outlook and the significant funding I have provided to help students meet the new standards, it would not be fiscally prudent, at this time to remove the cap. For these reasons, I cannot support this bill.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 274 Koretz                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Employment Issues
Under existing law, it is unlawful for a person to retaliate against an employee for exercising his or her employment rights. This bill would create a rebuttable presumption that an adverse employment action taken within 60 days after an employee exercises his or her employment rights is retaliatory, unless there is clear and convincing evidence that the employee made up the claim in order to prevent the employer from taking adverse employment action. This presumption would not apply to the criminal penalty for retaliation and would not apply to a discharge upon the completion of a limited-term employment.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 274 without my signature.

This bill would create a rebuttable presumption that a persons action to discharge, demote suspend, or reduce the hours of an employee is retaliatory if it occurs within 60 days after the employee has exercised any rights enumerated under the Labor Code. This bill could allow any employee who suspects the possibility of an adverse action to stall that action by fabricating a complaint. It would also make it difficult for a supervisor to legitimately discipline a problem employee who has exercised any right given under the Labor Code.

This bill would create a burden on employers who would constantly have to defend any disciplinary action taken. Lastly, AB 274 has the potential to pre-empt a collective bargaining agreements grievance procedures, and could interfere with the ability for the parties to negotiate a settlement.

This bill is similar to AB 2990 which I vetoed last session. While this bill attempts to address the concerns of AB 2990, it still conflicts with the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 446 Matthews                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

CDE Admin/Governance
Existing law sets forth the requirements for payment cycles for employees of private employers, and provides that any person who fails to pay the wages of these employees as provided in specified provisions is subject to a civil penalty, and any person who violates certain of these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor. This bill would require that wages earned by state employees with regularly designated paydays be paid on those days. For labor performed in excess of the normal work period, the bill would require that employees be paid no later than the next payroll period. The bill would also specify when permanent intermittent state employees and state employees that do not have regularly designated paydays are paid. It would specify that civil and misdemeanor penalties would apply for violation of these requirements. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 446 without my signature.

As I have emphasized in the past, this Administration strongly believes that State employees should be paid on a timely basis, and we have worked diligently with the State Controller to accomplish that.

Last year I vetoed SB 360, which is nearly identical to this bill. Similarly, this bill is not needed because the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act already provides for the payment of wages, including overtime, prior to the close of the next subsequent pay period. The State is also subject to Labor Code Section 207, which requires regular paydays.

Additionally, according to the Department of Finance, the provisions of this bill would result in increased workload and undetermined costs to the State Controller, resulting from the necessary revamping of the payroll system. At a time when the State is operating with limited staff resources and striving to further reduce State expenditures, this bill is unnecessary.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 457 McLeod, Negrete                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

CDE Admin/Governance
The Public Employees' Retirement Law authorizes specified state, local, and school employees, including state judicial and legislative employees, upon a specified determination by their employer, to receive credit for an additional 2 years of service if those employees retire within a designated period and certain other conditions are met. This bill would authorize specified state, local, and school employees, including state judicial and legislative employees and employees of the California State University, upon a specified determination by their employer and, in the case of state and university employees, upon a certification of cost savings by their employer, to receive credit for up to 2 additional years of service or 2 additional years of age, or both, and, in certain circumstances, to receive service credit for accrued leave time if those employees retire within a designated period, prior to January 1, 2005, and certain other conditions are met. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 457 without my signature.

This bill would authorize the State of California, the California State University System, the Judicial Branch, CalPERS contracting agencies, local schools and community colleges, and 1937 Act counties to offer an incentive of up to two years service credit or two years of age to employees who agree to retire within a certain timeframe.

While this bill contains many safeguards, including requirements that the incentive is bargained for and that cost savings must result, there is still a very real potential that public employers will be paying to encourage retirements that would have occurred even without that incentive. Further the existence of a retirement incentive program such as a Golden Handshake has the unintended consequence of delaying rather than encouraging timely retirements; specifically, employees who normally would retire delay that retirement awaiting the implementation of a Golden Handshake. At any rate, I have already signed AB 719 and AB 55 this year, which would allow State and local government employees to purchase up to 5 years of service to enhance retirement benefits. These benefits will encourage early retirement at no cost to the public employer. Therefore, I am unable to sign this bill.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 522 Diaz                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Governance
Existing law provides for the issuance of driver's licenses and identification cards by the Department of Motor Vehicles, as specified. This bill would authorize a city, county, city and county officer or city, county, or city and county peace officer to ask for additional evidence of identification if the officer believes an identification document is forged or altered, or identifies another individual. The bill would also require every city, county, and city and county officer or employee to accept for purposes of personal identification an identification card issued by the Mexican Consulate Office, the same as a driver's license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, or Matricula Consular, except as specified. The bill would also limit the use of a Matricula Consular, or information collected from, or appearing thereon. The bill would also set forth the findings and declarations of the Legislature in this regard.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 522 without my signature.

This bill would have required local agencies to accept an identification card issued by the Mexican Consulate Office, or Matricula Consular, as an official form of identification to the extent permitted by federal law.

Under current law, any local agency is free to accept identification cards issued by the Mexican Consulate Office, and a number already have. However, I recently signed SB 60, which allows taxpaying immigrants to obtain either a valid California identification card or a valid California driver's license. Thus, there is no need to sign this measure.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 642 Mullin                            Date Vetoed: 09/24/2003

Curriculum & Instructional Materials
Existing law requires the State Board of Education to adopt statewide academically rigorous content standards in the core curriculum areas of reading, writing, mathematics, history/social science, and science, and to adopt content standards in other areas, including visual and performing arts and English language development. Existing law also requires the State Board of Education to adopt statewide performance standards, as provided. This bill would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction, commencing in 2005, to conduct a periodic review of the content standards for those areas, and as part of that review, to hold regional public hearings. The bill would require the State Board of Education to adopt or reject any changes to the content standards deemed necessary or desirable and any conforming changes to the statewide performance standards.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 642 without my signature.

This bill would require, commencing in 2005, the Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to conduct a periodic review of the statewide adopted content standards and to hold regional public hearings. This bill would also require the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt or reject any changes to the content standards that the SPI deems necessary or desirable and to adopt conforming changes, as necessary, to the statewide performance standards.

I vetoed a similar bill last year and continue to believe that the review process is unnecessary and could result in administrative activities that yield no improvement to the academic content standards. The SBE has the authority to adopt changes to the content standards, as they deem necessary.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 697 Maldonado                            Date Vetoed: 07/01/2003

Employment Issues
Existing law, known as the Bill of Rights for State Excluded Employees, among other things, requires the state to meet and confer, as defined, with verified supervisory employee organizations representing supervisory employees. Existing law defines "excluded employee" for these purposes to mean all managerial employees, confidential employees, supervisory employees, and specified employees of the Department of Personnel Administration, the Department of Finance, the Controller's office, the Legislative Counsel Bureau, the Bureau of State Audits, the Public Employment Relations Board, the Department of Industrial Relations, and the State Athletic Commission. This bill would revise the definition of "meet and confer" for the purpose of that law, and would require the state to meet and confer with employee organizations representing excluded employees. The bill would also make other conforming changes.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 697 without my signature.

Last year, I signed AB 2477 which established the State Excluded and Exempt Employee Salary-Setting Task Force. The Task Forces mandate is to develop and recommend by July 1, 2004, an equitable salary and benefit setting process for excluded and exempt employees in State government. This new process will address the primary concerns of excluded employees. Accordingly, this bill is premature until the task force has completed its mandate.

Furthermore, this bill would dilute the management structure of the State because managers, confidential employees, or other excluded employees who set State policy on wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment would meet and confer with management.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 718 Pacheco                            Date Vetoed: 08/03/2003

General Government
Existing law requires, with certain exceptions, a general municipal election to be held on the 2nd Tuesday in April of even-numbered years or the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of odd-numbered years. This bill, instead, would require a general municipal election to be held on any established election date or on the 2nd Tuesday of April in each odd-numbered year. This bill would require a general municipal election held on the same date as a statewide election to be consolidated with that statewide election, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 718 without my signature.

This bill would mandate multiple, additional activities that local election officials would have to perform as part of their normal duties and election operations.

Without bias to the merits of the proposal, I am vetoing this bill because it could result in a potentially significant reimbursable State-mandated cost to the General Fund at a time when the State is facing a fiscal environment of considerable constraint.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 1051 Goldberg                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

School Facilities
Existing law authorizes a public agency that provides public utility service, as defined, to impose a capital facilities fee on any school district, county office of education, community college district, the California State University, the University of California, or state agency, subject to certain restrictions. Existing law defines the terms "capital facilities fee" or "capacity charge" as any nondiscriminatory charge to pay the capital cost of a public utility facility, and defines the term "nondiscriminatory" for these purposes. This bill would revise the definition of the term "public utility service." It would revise the definition of the term "capital facilities fee" to mean a nondiscriminatory connection fee, as defined, or a nondiscriminatory capacity charge, as defined, or both. This bill contains other related provisions.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 1051 without my signature.

This bill would revise and recast the statutory provisions that govern the methodology by which public agencies providing public utility services assess their capital costs for providing those services to school districts, community college districts, California State University, University of California, and State agencies.

Current law, enacted in 1988, requires capital costs assessed upon the State and other public entities to be proportionate to those entities use. AB 1051 would define capital facilities fees as those capital costs related solely to providing service to new or expanding customers. Unfortunately, this change in definition would exclude capital costs related to maintaining, repairing, or upgrading existing utility infrastructure from the requirement that costs be allocated proportionately, or otherwise be negotiated.

In redefining the terms service rate/charge and surcharge, this measure would allow new capital facilities fees, fee increases, and surcharges to be imposed without mutual agreement and removes the "actually serving" and price deflator limitations. In addition, it imposes a short statute of limitations on recovering past overcharges and provides little in the way of notice and disclosure for new fees and fee increases. These existing statutory provisions are the only protections that educational facilities and State agencies have against being unfairly charged.

I am concerned about the potentially significant fiscal impact on public entities and state agencies, specifically, educational institutions. Public utility providers should provide more information about how capital costs are allocated by rate class. I note that some public agencies providing utility services already make such information available to their customers.

For these reasons, I am unable to approve this measure at this time.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 1093 Lieber                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Child Care/Child Development
Existing law prescribes requirements relating to health care coverage provided by employers subject to local living wage laws, and prescribes requirements relative to payment of prevailing wages on public works. This bill would enact provisions known as the California Living Wage Act. This bill would require the state, and any qualified contractor and qualified subcontractor, as defined, that performs work under a qualified contract, as defined, for a state agency, to pay not less than a living wage, as defined, to each of its employees, as defined, performing work under that contract, as provided. This bill would also authorize an employee to sue to recover unpaid wages, costs, and attorney's fees from a qualified contractor or qualified subcontractor, as specified. This bill would also require certain provisions to appear in a qualified contract and any subcontract to that qualified contract. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 1093 without my signature.

This bill would enact the California Living Wage Act, which will require the State of California, and any employer that contracts with the state, to pay a living wage to its employees.

Although I support the concept of higher wages for workers, this bill would:

  • Result in increased General Fund costs that are not included in the Budget Act of 2003;
  • Increase contracting costs for all state departments at a time when they can least afford it;
  • Reduce competition for state contracts, thereby driving up costs and limiting the types of solutions available to state agencies;
  • Raise policy concerns about the appropriateness of paying a living wage to high school and college students, who work part time for the state and who are presumably not independent wage earners;
  • In addition, it is not clear which state entity, the Department of Finance or the Department of Industrial Relations, would be responsible for adjusting the wage annually, nor under what circumstances the CCPI would be discarded in favor of an adequate living wage standard as determined by DIR.

In light of the States current economic condition, I am hesitant to sign this measure at this time and would hope the next Administrations reconsider this proposal in better economic times.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

AB 1219 Montanez                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Adult Education
Existing law establishes the position of Superintendent of Correctional Education. This bill, the Prison Education Reform Act, would repeal those provisions. The bill would establish the Robert E. Burton Correctional Education Board within the Department of Corrections. The board would be composed of 15 members, appointed as specified. The bill would require the board, among other duties and responsibilities, to approve education programs in correctional institutions and adopt rules and regulations for the admission of inmate students to these programs. This bill contains other related provisions.

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 1219 without my signature.

This bill would establish the within the Department of Corrections (CDC) a Correctional Education Board (Board). The Board would be required to adopt and enforce all rules and regulations for the management and operation of educational programs within CDC, including operating procedures and the goals of correctional education.

This measure, which is nearly identical to Senate Bill 1845 which I vetoed in 2000, and Senate Bill 404 which I vetoed in 2001, would result in major General Fund costs, potentially in excess of $200 million annually according to the Department of Finance, to expand correctional education programs. Additionally, the bill would also require additional funds to be appropriated to correctional education programs even if the overall prison population declines due to the success of correctional educational programs. Given the States budget circumstances, I cannot support a bill that increases State spending in situations where declining caseloads should produce General Fund savings.

Additionally, this bill would remove management control of educational programs at the institutional level. The bill also prohibits the redistribution of funds appropriated for correctional education programs for other purposes without the approval of two-thirds of the Board. Effectively, this bill would impair CDC's ability to manage its resources.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

SB 19 Escutia                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Summer/After School
Existing law authorizes a school district or charter school to offer programs of direct, systematic, and intensive supplemental instruction to pupils in grades 2 to 6, inclusive, who are either deficient in mathematics, reading, or written expression based on the results of statewide achievement tests or at risk of retention in the same grade. Existing law limits the amount of funding a school district or charter school may receive for this instruction. This bill would remove the funding limitation for supplemental instruction to a pupil who is at risk of retention in the same grade and would revise the funding limitation for supplemental instruction for a pupil who is deficient in mathematics, reading, or written expression. The bill would make related conforming changes. This bill contains other related provisions.

To Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 19 without my signature.

This bill, in conjunction with AB 52, would indefinitely uncap the apportionment for local educational agencies to offer supplemental instruction for pupils in grades 2-6 who have been identified as being at risk of retention.

During the last five years, I have provided schools with unprecedented resources directed toward ensuring that schools are provided with the essential elements for bringing students to grade level standards. Specifically, I have provided over $2 billion for supplemental instruction; more than $705 million has been provided towards standards aligned professional development to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach to the standards; another $1.1 billion has been devoted to administrator professional development and additional teacher training to further improve the schools instructional program; almost $955 million has gone to low performing schools to reform and develop cohesive standards-based programs; over $1.7 billion has been allocated for instructional materials; and this year I have given school districts 100% flexibility for categorical programs to help meet local needs, including supplemental instruction.

Given the State's fiscal outlook and the significant funding I have provided to help students meet the new standards, it would not be fiscally prudent, at this time to remove the cap. For these reasons, I cannot support this bill.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

SB 45 Vincent                            Date Vetoed: 07/02/2003

Teachers & Credentialing
Existing law prohibits the governing board of a school district from initially hiring on a permanent, temporary, or substitute basis a certificated person unless that person has demonstrated basic skills proficiency or is exempted from the requirement. Existing law exempts, among others, from that prohibition a certificated person who has been employed in a position requiring certification in any school district within 39 months prior to employment with the district. This bill would also exempt from that prohibition a retired certificated employee who has taught 15 years or more in a California public school and who meets other specified requirements.

To the Members of the California Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 45 without my signature.

This bill would exempt retired certified teachers who have taught for at least 15 years from taking the state basic skills proficiency test to be eligible for employment by a school district.

This bill is essentially identical to a bill I vetoed last year (SB 1250, Vincent 2002.)

Furthermore, California is currently undertaking the task of ensuring that all pupils have a highly qualified teacher, pursuant to the federal No Child Left Behind Act. It would be premature to make any changes to current law that may be seen as weakening California's rigorous standards for teachers until the new rigorous assessment standards are in place.

I will revisit this issue once federal regulations are implemented and California has an assessment and alternative process in place to meet federal requirements.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

SB 242 Knight                            Date Vetoed: 07/27/2003

School Facilities
Existing law requires the Department of General Services to supervise the design and construction of certain school buildings to ensure that plans and specifications comply with specified structural safety standards and to ensure that the work of construction has been performed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications, for the protection of life and property. Existing law also requires the department to pass upon and approve or reject all plans for the construction, and in some cases, the alteration of any school building subject to those provisions, and to inspect the school buildings and work of construction or alteration that in its judgment is necessary or proper for the enforcement of these requirements and the protection of the safety of the students, the instructors, and the public. These requirements are part of the body of law known as the Field Act. This bill would authorize certain school buildings designed for community college purposes, and to be used to house classes of the California State University or the University of California in addition to community college classes, to be built either according to those provisions or built according to the California Building Standards Code if, prior to the commencement of construction, the governing board of the community college district enters into an agreement for the use of classroom space in that building by the California State University or the University of California. The bill would require a community college district governing board that proposes to construct a school building under this bill that does not comply with the Field Act to provide appropriate public notice, including the holding of a public hearing, as specified. The bill would also correct erroneous cross-references in the Field Act.

To Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 242 without my signature.

This bill would allow a community college building to be built in accordance with either the Field Act or the Uniform Building Code, if the building is used to house classes offered by a community college and either the University of California or the California State University. These provisions apply to buildings constructed after January 1, 2004.

It is important that community colleges continue to meet the more rigorous building standards than those standards used by the University of California or California State University campuses as they are expected to serve as community facilities as well as emergency shelters following a disaster.

As I indicated in my veto message of AB 484 (Runner), of 2001, I strongly support the Field Act, which provides greater earthquake protections for building California schools than provided for by the California Building Standards Commission. An exemption would be inconsistent with the State's policy of ensuring structural safety.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

SB 495 Vasconcellos                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Assessment & Standards
Existing law establishes the Public School Performance Accountability Program which consists of the Academic Performance Index (API), the Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program, the High Priority Schools Grant Program for Low Performing Schools, and the High Achieving/Improving Schools Program. The API measures the performance of schools and the academic performance of pupils and consists of a variety of indicators. Existing law establishes the California Quality Education Commission for the purpose of developing, evaluating, validating, and refining a Quality Education Model for prekindergarten through grade 12, inclusive. This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to establish the Opportunities for Teaching and Learning (OTL) index as part of the Public School Performance Accountability Program to measure the opportunities for teaching and learning as evidenced by access to high-quality learning resources, conditions, and opportunities, based on standards that specify what all schools should have available for instruction and support. This bill contains other related provisions.

To Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 495 without my signature.

This bill would require the Quality Education Commission to make recommendations by July 1, 2004, to the Superintendent of Public Instruction regarding the indicators that should be included in the Opportunity to Learn Index (OTL) to measure the opportunities for teaching and pupil learning.

This bill also would require the Commission to determine a method for computing the OTL index using available data and recommend appropriate minimal standards for the indicators that make up the OTL index. I am concerned that the index proposed in this legislation may conflict with the Academic Performance Index, which serves as the basis for the state's accountability system.

Additionally, the proposed index would be largely redundant as schools already provide information on four of the five indicators required by this bill on their School Accountability Report Cards. Given these existing mechanisms for measuring student performance and school conditions, I am reluctant to add additional mechanisms that would complicate state education policy and may distract parents, students, and teachers from the state's existing accountability system.

For these reasons, I am unable to support this legislation.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

SB 556 Sher                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Class-Size Reduction
Existing law establishes the Class Size Reduction Program, in which participating school districts are provided funding for each class in which the class size is reduced to a ratio of 20 pupils to 1 teacher in kindergarten and any of grades 1 to 3, inclusive. This bill would require any school district establishing a class size reduction program to select the grade level or levels at a school site to be reduced and to give priority to reducing class size in the selected grade level or levels before reducing class size in other grade levels at the school site. This bill would, through the 2005-06 school year, require the Controller to deduct from the district's next principal apportionment a specified amount based on the annual pupil enrollment of a class above a prescribed number. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

To Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 556 without my signature.

SB 556 would make the following amendments to the K-3 Class Size Reduction (CSR) program:

  • Allow school districts to provide class sizes without regard to the current grade-level priorities;
  • Establish a funding deduction schedule for districts failing to maintain the required pupil-to-teacher ratio effective for the 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06 fiscal years; and
  • Allow school districts to utilize their local matching funds pursuant to the State School Deferred Maintenance Program for the 2003-04 fiscal year to supplement state funding for CSR programs to avoid the reduction or elimination of those programs.

I believe the bill's revised fiscal consequences for exceeding the current 20:1 student-to-teacher ratio are inappropriate. The existing CSR program allows school districts sufficient flexibility to adhere to the 20:1 ratio. I am not aware of any information that suggests increasing class sizes up to 21.9 would not erode the benefits of this current, successful school reform measure. Indeed, by relaxing the penalties for infractions of the class size limits, this bill would only serve to provide fiscal incentives to reduce the educational benefits of the current program.

For these reasons, I am unable to sign this measure.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

SB 588 Johnson                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Budget Issues
Existing law, the Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 (the Greene Act of 1998), requires the State Allocation Board to allocate to applicant school districts, prescribed per-unhoused-pupil state funding for construction and modernization of school facilities, including hardship funding, and supplemental funding for site development and acquisition. This bill would, notwithstanding any other provision of law, and until January 1, 2006, authorize a school district to sell, lease, or leaseback certain surplus real and personal property, as provided, to deposit the proceeds into the general fund of the school district or county office of education, and to use the proceeds from that transaction for any one-time general fund purpose, however, if the purchase of the property was made using the proceeds of a general obligation bond act or revenue derived from developer fees, the amount that may be deposited into the general fund of the school district or county office of education may not exceed the difference between the purchase price of the property and the proceeds of the transaction divided by the amount of the proceeds of the transaction, as defined. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

To Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning SB 588 without my signature.

This bill authorizes school districts, until January 1, 2006, to sell, lease, or leaseback certain surplus real and personal property owned by the district for a specified length of time, and use the proceeds from this transaction for any one-time operational purpose.

Existing law contains protections to ensure that school districts do not deplete capital facilities resources in order to fund operational expenses.

This broadly drafted bill would allow school districts statewide to utilize the entire proceeds from the sale or lease of surplus property to support operational activities. I am concerned that, to the extent that districts utilize capital resources to fund general fund costs, they would reduce their capacity to fund future capital needs, which would be contrary to the long-term interests of both the districts and the State.

Special district circumstances may on rare occasions require exceptions from current law. However, I cannot support a general statewide policy that would undermine existing protections that help ensure students have access to safe and appropriate facilities.

For these reasons, I am returning this bill without my signature.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

SB 606 Vasconcellos                            Date Vetoed: 10/09/2003

Child Health
Existing law requires, upon first enrollment in a California school district of a pupil at a California elementary school, and at least every 3rd year thereafter until the pupil has completed the 8th grade, the pupil's vision to be appraised by the school nurse or other authorized person, as specified. This bill would also require that if a vision appraisal is conducted, each pupil is to receive a notice and questionnaire regarding pupil vision, which he or she would be instructed to deliver to his or her parent or guardian. The bill would require each school to commence that distribution no later than September 1, 2004. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

To Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 606 without my signature.

This bill would require that, commencing no later than September 1, 2004, a specified vision notice and questionnaire be sent to the parent or guardian of every pupil given a vision appraisal.

While I am concerned about our pupils' vision, school districts may, at their discretion, establish programs similar to the one proposed by this bill without establishing a statewide program. The statewide program in this bill would create a State-reimbursable mandate resulting in costs of $220,000 to $1.5 million Proposition 98 General Fund to send questionnaires to the parents of every pupil given a vision appraisal with additional unfunded costs for the Department of Health Services and State Department of Education. California is facing a tremendous fiscal crisis and as a result, many valuable programs have been reduced and other programs of merit have not been implemented. For these reasons I cannot support this bill.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

SB 636 Machado                            Date Vetoed: 10/12/2003

Special Education
Existing law provides procedural safeguards, including due process hearings, for the resolution of complaints regarding alleged violations of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Existing law also authorizes parties to special education disputes to seek resolution through mediation prior to filing a request for a due process hearing. This bill would require the State Department of Education to establish and administer a statewide program of grant funding, with specified components, to support special education local plan areas in conducting alternative dispute resolution programs for resolving special education disputes. The bill would state the intent of the Legislature to make $300,000 available for purposes of the program, on an annual basis, would prescribe the allocation of funds under the program, would require grant recipients to perform specified services related to alternative dispute resolution, and would prescribe other matters related to the grant program. The bill would provide that the grants awarded under the program and the administrative costs incurred by the State Department of Education to administer the grant program are to be funded with moneys appropriated from the Federal Trust Fund in the annual Budget Act. The bill would require the Legislative Analyst to submit an evaluation related to the program to the State Department of Education, the Legislature, and the Governor on or before January 1, 2006.

To Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 636 without my signature.

This bill would require the State Department of Education (SDE) to establish and administer a statewide program of grant funding to establish alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs for special education.

Although I support more efficient ways resolve disputes, current law already allows for the non-adversarial resolution of special education issues through mediation prior to a formal, due process hearing. Since the 2003 Budget Act already appropriates $10.3 million for dispute resolution services including mediation and fair hearing services, this bill would create an unnecessary duplicate program.

This bill appropriates $300,000 to the SDE for administration of the ADR program and could result in local assistance costs between $13.1 and $17.8 million for three years and ongoing costs of between $3.3 and $4.4 million annually. This bill would redirect these funds from educational services to students with disabilities, to program administration.

It is premature to implement a new program prior to analyzing the results of a current Alternative Dispute Resolution pilot program in operation. This program could be replicated at other Special Education Local Plan Areas, possibly with little guidance and assistance. Additionally, California has 11 federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers, and 32 Family Empowerment Centers. These entities should provide training, information, and resources to parents relative to alternative dispute resolution.

Sincerely,

GRAY DAVIS

 

Questions: Legislative Affairs Division | BShotts@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0821 
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