Sacramento – Governor Brown recently signed several pieces of legislation aimed at improving the quality of life for disadvantaged children, and reducing the teacher shortage for the benefit of all students in California.
The first measure will establish a task force that will develop strategies to reduce the high rate of child poverty in the state. Another bill will require schools to inform students who are suspended of any previous attempts at behavior correction prior to the suspension referral. And the third piece of legislation will expedite approval of California teaching credentials for military spouses with teaching credentials in other states.
California has more children living in poverty than any other state in the country, currently estimated at nearly two million children. Although 2016 census data indicated a slight decline from 21.2 to 19.9 in the child poverty rate, it remains above pre-recession levels, and those rates vary significantly across racial, ethnic, and county lines.
Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) sponsored AB 1520, establishing the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force. The goal is to lift as many as one-million children out of poverty by providing a comprehensive framework for education, social service, economic, health care, and human service programs. The Task Force report is due to the legislature by November 1, 2018.
And AB 226, authored by Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), will limit the time the Commission on Teacher Credentialing will have to consider applications of spouses of active military service members to seven days. To qualify for the expedited process, the spouse must hold an existing teaching credential in another state. This legislation will remove delays that currently prevent qualified individuals from teaching, as various places in the state suffer from a teacher shortage.