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CUE Legislative Update – July 2018

social justice

California Senate votes to establish net neutrality

State Senator Scott Wiener introduced SB 822 to establish California net neutrality rules and policies to take the place of the repealed Federal net neutrality rules. SB 822 states the intent is to: enact legislation to effectuate net neutrality in California utilizing the state’s regulatory powers and to prevent Internet service providers from engaging in practices inconsistent with net neutrality. His introduction of SB 822 was, in part motivated by the CUE-sponsored resolution (AJR7) asking the U.S. Congress and President to restore net neutrality as well as preserving Life Line and E-Rate. Senator Wiener and all of the SB822 co-authors had previously signed on as co-authors of AJR7.

Photo shows Assembly Member Santiago and Senator Wiener.

Photo shows Assembly Member Santiago and Senator Wiener.

Current Status of SB 822: On May 30th the California State Senate voted 22 to 12 to approve SB 822. The bill then proceeded to the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee where it was unexpectedly amended by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago before it could be presented by Senator Wiener and allow for witnesses to testify. The amendment “gutted” the major components of the bill so than it would no longer protect net neutrality. We were asked by Senator Wiener to oppose the version of the bill with the Santiago amendment and support the original version in our testimony at the hearing. After several days of heated negotiation and discussion along with intervention from U.S. Senator Pelosi, other U.S. representatives, and the public, Santiago reversed his position and agreed to remove the destructive amendment.  After Santiago reversed his position he agreed to become a co-to author and vocal supporter of the original bill along with Senator Wiener, Senator Dodd, Assembly Member Kevin Mullin and others. Go to the following link to an SF Chronicle article for more details: https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Wiener-Santiago-reach-deal-on-California-net-13051370.php

Next, SB822 must be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, the Assembly Floor, and if approved goes to the Governor for his signature during August when the Legislature re-convenes. CUE will continue to work with the net neutrality consortia to support the bill as it proceeds through the State Assembly. CUE has submitted support letters for SB822 and will be working to help get the needed votes to move the bill through the next hurdles. For bill status, schedule, and current text, go to: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB822.

Action to be taken by CUE: Anticipated actions by CUE would be to: 1) encourage CUE members contact members of the State Assembly urging support for SB 822, 2) update and distribute SB 822 support letters from CUE, and 3) provide testimony to support SB 822 before the Assembly Appropriations Committee in August. Details such as names of Assembly Members to target, hearing schedules, and timing and guidance for support letters will be provided by Senator Wiener’s staff during the next few weeks.

U.S. House and Senate legislation introduce legislation to reinstate net neutrality

Democratic leaders in the House and Senate introduced legislation to reinstate the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules regulating Internet service providers. The Open Internet Preservation Act was introduced by Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif. — members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — with a companion bill introduced by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. The bill would reinstate the FCC’s “open Internet” order prohibiting Internet providers from blocking or discriminating against Web traffic. The House bill will be joined to net neutrality legislation already passed by the Senate, authored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). Congresswoman Eshoo said in a joint statement.  This bill ensures that consumers, not their Internet service provider, are in the driver’s seat when it comes to their online experience.

Co-sponsors of the legislation include Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Doris Matsui, D-Calif., and Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Al Franken, D-Minn.

Media Literacy Legislation passed the State Senate

SB 830, by Senator Dodd and Principal Co-Author Assembly Member Mullin would require the State Curriculum Commission to develop, and the state board to adopt, reject, or modify, a model media literacy curriculum for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, for voluntary use by educators. The bill would require the Commission to submit the model digital literacy curriculum to the state board on or before January 1,2023, and would require the state board to adopt, reject, or modify the model curriculum on or before March 31,2023, in accordance with specified procedural requirements. SB 830 focuses on “digital citizenship” and “media literacy” which are broad terms that encompass consumption and use of media and digital products defined as follows:

  1. Digital citizenship means a diverse set of skills related to current technology and social media, including the norms of appropriate, responsible, and healthy behavior.
  2. Media literacy means the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and use media and encompasses the foundational skills that lead to digital citizenship.

SB 830 specifies: The Instructional Quality Commission shall develop, and the state board shall adopt, reject, or modify, a model curriculum in media literacy for kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, for voluntary use by educators. The model curriculum in media literacy shall be designed for the purpose of providing instruction in the safe and responsible use of media and supporting pupils’ use of critical thinking skills when consuming media. The State Department of Education would be required to make available on its website a list of resources and instructional materials on media literacy, including media literacy professional development programs for teachers.

Current Status of SB 830: On June 27, the bill passed the Assembly Education Committee 5 to 0, and moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee in August. SB 830 already had passed the Senate Floor, 12 to 11. For details go to: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB830

Action Needed: CUE has provided a support letter and have also met with the Author’s staff to express support as well as meeting with the legislative advocate for the California School Library Association–the primary sponsor of the bill. It is anticipated that testimony may be desired from CUE and a follow-up support letter.

CUE Initiates an Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) to make Educational Technology a high priority

As discussed in the last Update and at a prior CUE Board Meeting, CUE initiated a resolution that would declare that the Legislature strongly support specific guidelines, incentives, and funding, as needed, for the development and implementation of an educational technology plan. Such a plan would provide for K- 12 school districts, in concert with California Department of Education (CDE) County Offices of Education (COE), sufficient professional development and support needed for teachers to effectively utilize digital resources in support of State adopted Curriculum Frameworks. It also addresses the establishment and implementation of Computer Science, Digital Media, Internet Safety, and Digital Citizenship Standards, home technology access to the high-speed Internet, and other related resources and policies. The ACR does the following as stated in the Legislative Council Digest:

  1. This measure would provide that the Legislature considers education technology to be of the highest priority and supports providing all California educators and students with the state of the art technology resources, connectivity, and related support needed to enable the use of technology to expand and optimize instruction and learning opportunities for all students.

  2. This measure would provide that the Legislature, convene a State level summit conference, representing teachers, school administrators, county offices of education, professional education associations, and the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), to address the above conditions stated in this resolution; and related topics to establish possible new legislative and funding priorities

  3. This measure would also urge the Legislature and the Governor to take into consideration prior and current educational technology initiatives, programs, and plans to help inform any new legislation and budget changes related to education technology.

Current status: The resolution has been approved by the Assembly Legislative Council and is set to be heard at the next Assembly Education Committee and then it would move to the Assembly Floor sometime in August.

Action Needed: When the ACR is scheduled for the committee hearing will be necessary to provide testimony and a support letter from CUE and other entities.

California Education Budget for 2018-19

The May Revision includes total funding of $96.2 billion ($57.4 billion General Fund and $38.8 billion other funds) for all K-12 education programs. The revision increases Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by $277 Million. This increase brings the Governor’s total proposed LCFF augmentation in 2018-19 to $3.2 billion. This K-12 school districts will have $6.16 billion more in one-time and ongoing appropriations to spend in 2018-19 than in the current year. That’s more than $1,000 per student. Most of that money will go toward permanently increasing funding for the Local Control Funding Formula, which Gov. Jerry Brown made his funding priority since the Legislature passed the funding formula law in 2013.

While the Governor proposed increased and full funding for LCFF it does not earmark funds specifically for education technology. While it is positive that he increased LCFF, educators will still need to convince their school and district leadership to allocate a portion of the LCFF funding for educational technology and related professional development and technical support. The CUE Educational Technology Resolution (discussed above) addresses the need to make State funding available, based on local needs, for accessing, implementing, and supporting education technology. http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/2018-19/pdf/Revised/BudgetSummary/K-12Education.pdf

Following are a few of the State Budget items that may be applicable to the planning and support for the use of educational technology:

  • Statewide System of Support—$57.8 million Proposition 98 General Fund for county offices of education to provide technical assistance to school districts, of which $4 million will go towards geographical regional leads to build system-wide capacity to support school district improvement.
  • Educator Effectiveness Block Grant—$490 million one-time Proposition 98 General Fund in 2015-16 to support educator professional development.
  • California Educator Development Grant Program—$9 million one-time federal Title II funds in 2017-18 for competitive grants that assist local educational agencies in attracting and supporting the preparation and continued learning of teachers, principals, and other school leaders in high-need subjects and schools.
  • Kids Code After School Program—$15 million one-time Proposition 98 General Fund to increase opportunities for students in after-school programs to access computer coding education.

CUE Advocacy Strategy

As opportunities arise, CUE continues to be proactive in the development, co-development, and sponsorship of state and Federal legislation and resolutions. The CUE Legislative Advocacy Committee (LAC) meets monthly to take positions on relevant bills and other related actions suggested by the CUE Legislative Consultants and the Committee members.  Anyone who is interested in being involved in supporting the CUE advocacy effort should contact Mary Kopp, CUE Senior Program Manager, mkopp@cue.org or John Cradler, cradler@earthlink.net

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John Cradler