Bill SBX5 1 stalled in the Assembly Education Committee while alternative Bill ABX5 8 moves forward to the Assembly Floor.
A major education reform package aimed at reforming California Education Code to align with the Federal education reform mandates of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) failed to gain approval of the California Assembly Education Subcommittee.
Both SBX5 1 (Romero) and ABX5 8 (Brownley) would make key changes to California Education laws making the state eligible to apply for some of the nearly 4 billion dollars in ARRA funding through the Race to the Top (RTTT) program. The key differences in the bill reported by the SF Chronicle is the elimination of a strong parent choice component in SBX5 1 that would have allowed parents of children in Program Improvement schools to move their child to any school, anywhere in the state; and stronger regulations imposed on Charter Schools in ABX5 8.
ABX5 8 may be voted on today in special session. If approved, the bill would be sent to the Senate for confirmation. California has only until January 19th to submit grant for the first round of RTTT funding. Not all states will receive RTTT funding and it is a one-time grant to the states so there is a sense of urgency to get a “hat in the ring” before the money runs out.
Proponents of SBX5 1 denounced the elimination of parental choice and the imposition of regulations on Charter Schools concerned that the Assembly form of the bill makes California less competitive in the RTTT competition.
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