Small Business Procurement and Contract Act For Postsecondary Institutions, Employment Contracts for Local Agency Executives, Sex Offenders on School Grounds, and Graduation Requirements for Pupils in Foster Care

KMTG will be issuing a series of updates on new legislation signed by Governor Brown.  All laws became effective January 1, 2014, unless otherwise stated.

Small Business Procurement and Contract Act For Postsecondary Institutions—AB 173

Pursuant to the Small Business and Procurement Act, a state agency may award a contract with a value between $5,000 and $250,000 for goods, services, or information technology to a certified small business including a disabled veteran business enterprise and a microbusiness, without complying with competitive bidding requirements.  There are also statutory provisions that regulate the award of contracts for goods and services by the University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges.  There are criminal penalties for violation of the provisions governing the award of contracts for goods and services.

AB 173 adds section 14838.64 to the Government Code and sections 10508.5 and 20651.2 to the Public Contract Code.  Section 14838.64 will provide that, notwithstanding any other law, the California State University may award a contract for the acquisition of goods, services, or information technology to a certified small business, including a microbusiness, or a disabled veteran business, if the contract has an estimated value of greater than $5,000, but less than $250,000 and “the California State University obtains price quotations from two or more certified small businesses, including microbusinesses, or from two or more disabled veteran business enterprises.”  According to the Legislative Counsel’s Digest, the California State University may award such a contract “without complying with specified competitive bidding requirements.”

Section 10508.5 of the Public Contract Code now provides that, notwithstanding any other law, the University of California may award a contract to a certified small business, including a microbusiness, or to a disabled veteran business enterprise, for the acquisition of goods, services, or information technology that has an estimated value of greater than $100,000 but less than $250,000,  if it “obtains price quotations from two or more certified small businesses, including microbusinesses, or from two or more disabled veteran business enterprises.”  However, section 10508.5 provides that none of its provisions apply to the University of California except to the extent the Regents of the University of California make the provisions applicable.

Section 20651.2 of the Public Contract Code will provide that, notwithstanding any other law, the governing board of a community college district may award a contract to a certified small business, including a microbusiness, or to a disabled veteran business enterprise for the acquisition of goods, services, or information technology that has an estimated value of greater $5,000 but less than $250,000, if the community college district gets “price quotations from two or more certified small businesses, including microbusinesses, or from two or more disabled veteran business enterprises.” 

AB 173 provides that no reimbursement is required by this act. 

Employment Contracts for Local Agency Executives—SB 407

Existing law prohibits the automatic renewal of an employment contract for a local agency executive if the contract provides an automatic compensation increase that is more than a cost-of-living adjustment or a maximum settlement that exceeds statutory limits.  A local agency executive is defined by section 3511.1 of the Government Code as the chief executive officer of a local agency or a person who is the head of a department of a local agency. 

SB 407 amends section 3511.1 of the Government Code to expand the definition of local agency executive to any person who “is the executive officer, a deputy chief executive officer, or an assistant chief executive officer of the local agency” and any person’s whose “position within the local agency is held by an employment contract between the local agency and that person.”  SB 407 provides that if the Commission on State Mandates concludes SB 407 contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to the specified statutory procedures. 

Sex Offenders—SB 326

Under current law, any person required to register as a sex offender who comes upon school grounds or in any school building without lawful business and written permission from the school’s chief administrative official is guilty of a misdemeanor.  SB 326 amends Penal Code section 626.81 to add the additional requirement that the written permission must include “the date or dates and times for which permission has been granted.” 

SB 326 also gives a school’s chief administrative officer the authority to grant a sex offender, who is not a family member of a pupil of the school, permission to volunteer at the school if the chief administrative officer gives at least 14 days notice to the parents and guardians of each child attending the school that the person who is registered as a sex offender has been granted permission to come upon school grounds or into a school building.  The notice must give the dates and times for which permission has been granted and inform the parents and guardians of their right to obtain information from a designated law enforcement agency about the sex offender.  A school employee or chief administrative officer who disseminates the required notice and information is immune from civil liability for action taken in accordance with these amendments.

High School Graduation Requirements for Pupils in Foster Care—AB 216

Under existing law, pupils are required to complete specific courses to receive a high school diploma.  However, school districts are currently required to exempt pupils in foster care from all coursework that has been adopted by a school district’s governing board that is in addition to the statewide coursework requirements if a pupil transfers between school districts or high schools when he or she is in grade 11 or 12, unless the school district finds that the pupil is reasonably able to complete the additional requirements in time to graduate while the pupil remains eligible for foster care benefits. 

AB 216 amends Education Code section 51225.3 and adds section 51225.1 to the Education Code to modify the responsibilities of school districts to pupils in foster care.  As an urgency statute, AB 216 went into immediate effect. 

Pursuant to AB 216, a school district must exempt a pupil in foster care “who transfers between schools any time after the completion of the pupil’s second year of high school from all coursework and other requirements adopted by the governing board of the school district that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements specified in Section 51225.3, unless the school district makes a finding that the pupil is reasonably able to complete the school district’s graduation requirements in time to graduate from high school by the end of the pupil’s fourth year of high school.”  If a school district decides that a pupil in foster care will reasonably be able to complete its graduation requirements within the fifth year of high school, the district must (1) tell the pupil that he or she has the option to remain in school for a fifth year to complete the graduation requirements; (2) tell the pupil and the person who has the right to make the pupil’s educational decision about how the decision to complete a fifth year will affect the pupil’s ability to gain admission to a postsecondary educational institution; (3) provide information about transfer to a community college, and (4) permit the pupil to stay in school for a fifth year.    

In order to determine if “a pupil in foster care is in the third or fourth year of high school, either the number of credits the pupil has earned to the date of transfer or the length of the pupil’s school enrollment may be used, whichever will qualify the pupil for the exemption.”  A school district must notify a pupil or the person making educational decisions for the pupil within 30 calendar days of the date of the pupil’s transfer of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for the exemption.  If a pupil who is exempt from local graduation requirements completes the statewide course work requirements before the end of his or her fourth year in high school but is still entitled to remain at the school, neither the district nor the school can request or require that the pupil graduate before the end of his or her fourth year of high school. 

The school or district shall not deny an exempt pupil “enrollment in or the ability to complete courses for which he or she is otherwise eligible, including courses necessary to attend an institution of higher education, regardless of whether those courses are required for statewide graduation requirements.”

If a pupil has not been exempted or has previously declined an exemption, a school district must exempt the pupil if later he or she either requests the exemption or qualifies for the exemption.   A school district shall not revoke the exemption of a pupil in foster care.  An exemption will continue to apply “after the termination of the court’s jurisdiction over the pupil while he or she is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school or school district.”  A school district cannot request or require a pupil in foster care to transfer schools in order to qualify for an exemption.  However, a pupil or his or her social worker, probation officer, or person who holds the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, cannot request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption.

AB 216 requires school districts to perform additional duties.  If the Commission on State Mandates determines that AB 126 “contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to . . . the Government Code.”

What This Means To You

Board policies and administrative regulations should be reviewed to ensure compliance with the newest changes in the law.  School administration and staff should be updated as to any changes so that the appropriate policies are consistently followed. 

Published In: Civil Rights Updates, Criminal Law Updates, Education Updates, Government Contracting Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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