Lara's Educational Equity Measures Move to the Senate

June 01, 2012

Bills Seek to Ensure Student’s Constitutional Right for a Free Public Education, Recognize Faculty Public Service in University Tenure Policies and Ensures Curriculum Access for Long Term English Learners

SACRAMENTO – This week, Assembly Member Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) advanced important educational equity measures to the Senate.

AB 1575 Identifies, Eliminates and Prevents Students from being charged fees in Violation of his/her constitutional right to a free public education

AB 1575 Eliminates the "pay to learn" system that is widespread among public school districts in which some students are being charged mandatory fees to participate in educational activities in violation of the California Constitution's free public education guarantee. AB1575 will empower students and parents to challenge fees immediately and receive reimbursements through the existing Williams Uniform Complaint Process that provides local resolution within 30 working days. The measure received support on the Assembly Floor with a 50-22 vote and now moves to the Senate.
"Over 133 years ago we made a promise that every child in the state will have access to a free public education and I stand by that promise. The successful passage of the bill in the Assembly brings us one step closer to fulfill our promise to California's children and ensuring that every student receives equal opportunities for success." said Lara.

AB 2132 Recognizes Faculty Public Service in University Tenure Policies

AB 2132 ensures that the public service work performed by faculty is recognized as an important component of the tenure process. While California's public higher education system is renowned for its contributions to the state in the form of teaching and research, a clear policy valuing public service is lacking. The measure passed the Assembly Floor with a vote of 51-26 and now moves to the Senate.

"As an undergraduate at San Diego State University, the leadership of our professors in public service projects was invaluable. Research methodologies that seemed like foreign concepts in the classroom came alive when we applied them to our public service work," said Lara. "AB 2132 ensures that our colleges and universities uphold public service as a valuable and necessary component of tenure."

A study by the Higher Education Research Institute shows a positive effect between service participation and academic performance. When faculty members engage in service with students it bolsters student adjustment, achievement, and graduation rates.

AB 2193 Ensures Full Access to a Curriculum that Meets Language Development Needs of Long Term English Learners

AB 2193 prevents English learners at risk of becoming Long Term English Learners from falling through the cracks of our educational system by creating a definition for this group of students and by requiring the CA Department of Education to collect data on Long Term English Learners. The measure passed the Assembly Floor with a vote of 68-10 and now moves to the Senate.

"Parents want the best for their children and knowing their needs is at the core of their ability to provide for them. AB2193 ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the educational needs of a child and will help to provide the best education possible for the student," said Lara.

Of English learners enrolled in California public schools for more than six years, an alarming 59% stagnate at low levels of English proficiency.