Update on Recent Education Legislation: Obscene Matters Depicting Minors, Financial Literacy Instruction, Surplus Property to Charter Schools, Proposition 39 Implementation, and Digital Format For Instructional Materials

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

Obscene Matters Depicting Minors—AB 20

Current law prohibits a person from producing or distributing “any representation of information, data, or image” of obscene matter depicting a person under the age of 18 who is engaging in or simulating sexual conduct.   A violation of these statutory provisions is a crime.

AB 20 amends section 1203.4 of the Penal Code and adds section 311.12 to address obscene materials involving minors.  Section 311 adds additional financial penalty of up to $2,000 for a person who is convicted of violating Penal Code section 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, 311.10, or 311.11, for an offense that “involves the production, use, possession, control, or advertising of matter or image that depicts a person under 18 years of age personally engaging in or simulating sexual conduct” if such an offense is committed on or through a government-owned computer or computer network.  Section 311.12 also requires the imposition of a fine up to $2,000 if the offense involving the production, transportation, or distribution of obscene materials involving minors is accomplished through the use, possession, or control of government-owned property.  However, the court may reduce or eliminate the fee if the judge finds the defendant does not have the ability to pay.

The revenue from fines collected will be deposited in a county fund established for that purpose, for use as follows:  one third for sexual assault investigator training, one-third for public agencies and non-profit corporations that provide shelter, counseling, or other direct services for victims of human trafficking, and one-third for multidisciplinary teams.  A county may transfer all or part of the funds collected to another county to be used for the allocated uses.

Financial Literacy Instruction—AB 166

As part of an adopted course of study for grades 7 through 12, school districts are required under existing law to offer courses in specified areas of study, including the social sciences.  AB 166 modifies the existing social studies requirement of teaching “financial preparedness” to “financial literacy, including, but not limited to, budgeting and managing credit, student loans, consumer debt, and identify theft security.”

In AB 166, the Legislature finds and declares that “[f]inancial literacy education is an essential component of preparing individuals to manage money, credit, and debt, and of becoming responsible workers, heads of households, investors, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and citizens.”  The Legislature further declares, “At this crucial economic time, it is imperative that California encourage the provision of financial literacy instruction for all students.”

Education Finance; Surplus Property to Charter Schools—AB 86

Among other changes, AB 86 extended the requirement of Education Code section 17457.5 that requires school districts to offer surplus property to charter schools.  The existing provision was set to expire at the end of June, but has been extended until July 1, 2016.  AB 86 makes several other changes to section 17457.5, including that the offer only needs to be made to a charter school with projections of at least 80 students at the time of the offer and that property sold or leased to a charter school must be exclusively used to provide direct instruction or instructional support (the revisions remove the requirement that the property be used for instruction for not less than 5 years).  Additionally, facilities that are built by the charter school on property acquired through this process must be Field Act compliant. Finally, if a charter school decides to sell property obtained via this process, it can only use the proceeds for capital outlay, maintenance, and other facilities related costs.

Implementation of Proposition 39 Funding for Energy Efficiency Projects and Clean Energy Jobs—SB 73

SB 73 implements Proposition 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, approved by the voters on November 5, 2012 to provide funds to improve energy efficiency and create clean energy jobs.  SB 73 provides that for five fiscal years, commencing with the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year, up to $550,000,000 annually will be transferred from the General Fund to the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund.  Of that amount, for the upcoming 2013-2014 Fiscal Year, $28,000,000 will be transferred from the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund to the Education Subaccount for low-interest and no-interest revolving loans for eligible projects and technical assistance made available to local educational agencies (“LEAs”) and community college districts.  Funds will also be available to develop and implement a competitive grant program for eligible community-based and training workforce organizations serving disadvantaged youth and veterans.

The balance of the Clean Energy Job Creation funds will be allocated 89% to LEAs and 11% to community college districts.  For LEAs, allocation of such funds will be based on average daily attendance and students eligible for free and reduced-price meals for the prior year.  Further guidelines will be developed and promulgated in consultation with the Department of Education and the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, including how LEAs will submit energy project expenditure plans to the California Energy Commission for approval and how the California Department of Education will disburse funds.  Please note that the deadline for LEAs with 1,000 or less ADA to receive the current and subsequent year Proposition 39 funding entitlements has passed.

Digital Format for Instructional Materials —AB 133

AB 133 adds section 60063 to the Education Code to require a publisher or manufacturer that submits printed instructional material on or after January 1, 2014, for adoption by the State Board or for use by the governing board of a school district to ensure that the printed materials are also available in an equivalent digital format during the entire term of the adoption.  The equivalent digital format must “conform to the most current, ratified standards under Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794d), as amended, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium for accessibility.”

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. 

Topics:  Charter Schools, e-Books, Jerry Brown, New Legislation, Obscenity, Proposition 39, Public Schools, School Districts

Published In: Education 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.

© Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »