By: Matt Patton, CATA Executive Director
As the clock struck midnight on August 31, the 2021-22 legislative session ended. The session started eight months ago. All passed bills are now sent to the Governor’s desk for final approval. Newsom has until the end of September to sign or veto the bills. The national media will scrutinize these signings as many suspect he may run for national office in 2024 (CalMatters Staff, 2022).
The following is a list of bills related to education that impact agricultural education and their fate in the 2022 legislative session.
AB 1705 (Irwin) – The bill limits remedial English and Math classes that could be required for transfer from a Community College. In addition, the bill outlines stricter rules on when community colleges are allowed to enroll students in remedial classes. Community colleges are expected to enroll most students in transfer-level classes if signed.
AB 2044 (O’Donnell) – The bill would extend the option for students to fulfill state high school graduation requirements by completing a Career Technical Education (CTE) course until 2027. This bill died in the Senate for reasons unrelated to its contents. However, language from this bill was inserted into an education budget trailer bill, ensuring the continued implementation of CTE classes counting toward graduation requirements. Assembly Member O’Donnell is not seeking re-election.
AB 2273 (Wicks, Cunningham, and Petrie-Norris) – Establishes the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, which generally requires businesses that provide online services, products, or features likely to be accessed by children to comply with specified standards. The bill is waiting for the Governor’s signature. This could expand online accessibility for students at school.
AB 2088 (Cooper) – This bill, if passed, would establish the California Pilot Paid Internship Program. The program would provide grants to establish or expand internship programs within CTE courses or pathways. Unfortunately, AB 2088 failed to get out of the Assembly. The bill’s author, Assembly Member Cooper, is leaving the Assembly to become Sacramento County Sheriff.
AB 2617 (Holden) – This bill seeks to establish a grant program to increase participation in dual enrollment programs at local education agencies. The bill did not make it out of committee as it was held in submission. This action could allow the bill to be brought up again next session.
The next significant political activity will be California’s November ballot. Because of redistricting and a mass exit of representatives, several Senate and Assembly seats are up for grabs. Governor Newsom and Superintendent of Public Instruction Thurmond are both up for re-election. Additionally, there will be an education-related ballot measure to vote on. Proposition 28 would set aside funding for arts and music at the secondary level. If passed, the funds from this proposition would be disproportionately reserved for low-income schools to hire staff (Christopher and Kamal, 2022).