Senate Republican Education Package Faces First Committee Test

Goals Include Parent Empowerment, Student Opportunity and Effective Schools
Friday, April 12, 2013

A package of education reform bills designed to empower parents, give them an impactful voice in their schools, ensure districts can protect great teachers and allow all students – regardless of race or income – to have access to high quality schools face important policy tests in the Senate Education Committee next week and the week after.

The Senate Republican Caucus introduced the measures following discussions with educators, school leaders and education advocates. The Republican reform bills target key areas of California’s education system.

“California needs a school system that provides fair treatment to all - not just those blessed with living in certain zip codes," said Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar), who serves as the Senate Republican Leader. “Our students and communities deserve better."

The Senate Republican reforms include:

SB 451 (Huff) - Access to the Best Schools:
Allows any student -- regardless of race or income -- to transfer to a high performing public school district of their choice. Opportunities for a quality education exist only for those who have the financial means to acquire it by moving to a neighborhood with high performing public schools or paying for private school.  As a result, low income and minority students are often refused access to great schools.
Set for hearing in Senate Education Committee on April 17th, 2013.

SB 452 (Huff) - Put parents in the driver’s seat:
Expand the landmark Parent Empowerment Act to include the lowest performing schools. The Parent Empowerment Act enables parents in certain underperforming schools to make real changes to their schools if a majority of parents sign a petition to authorize reforms.
Set for hearing in Senate Education Committee on April 17th, 2013.

SB 453 (Huff) - Ensure every classroom has a great teacher:
Require school districts to make staffing decisions based on job performance evaluations and factors other than simply a teacher’s date of hire.
Set for hearing in Senate Education Committee on April 24th, 2013.

SB 531 (Knight) - Student Protection Act:
In order to ensure every child is safe and has the best teacher possible, this bill offers reasonable reforms to protect pupils in the classroom while providing due process for teachers.
Set for hearing in Senate Education Committee on April 24th, 2013.

SB 687 (Anderson) - Let parents be a part of the school community:
This bill will remove barriers restricting parents from volunteering at school sites.
Set for hearing in Senate Education Committee on April 17th, 2013.

“The legislation introduced by Senate Republicans returns power to schools and parents, and puts the interests of our students first,” said Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley).