Education Legislative Update

New Laws Declare May As Labor History Month, Address Testing Accommodations For Law School Admission Test, Designate Campus Law Enforcement And Student Liaisons, Amends Live Audio Transmission Of Postsecondary Institution Meetings, And School Employee Reemployment

November 14, 2012 | Bulletin No. 1012489.2

KMTG will be issuing a series of updates on new legislation signed by Governor Brown.  All laws become effective January 1, 2013, unless otherwise stated.

Student Liaisons for Campus Law Enforcement Agencies—AB 1955

Current law prohibits the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, or the governing board of a community college district from making or enforcing a rule that subjects a student to disciplinary action solely based on conduct that is protected by the United States or California Constitutions.

AB 1955 adds sections 66303 to the Education Code to provide that for the purpose of promoting peaceful campus demonstrations, the Trustees of the California State University must require each campus in the system to designate an individual to serve as a liaison between campus law enforcement agencies and students who are exercising their Constitutional rights of free speech.  The Regents of the University of California are requested to do the same. 

Labor History Month—AB 2269

The first week of April is currently deemed to be Labor History Week and school districts are encouraged to commemorate that week with appropriate educational activities.  AB 2269 amends Education Code section 51009 to deem the entire month of May as Labor History Month. 

Testing Accommodations for the Law School Admission Test—AB 2122

Current law imposes various requirements on a test agency or sponsor regarding the administration of standardized tests for purposes of postsecondary education.  A test sponsor that intentionally violates these provisions is liable for a civil penalty of up to $750 per violation.

AB 2122 adds Section 99161.5 to the Education Code to address accommodations for the Law School Admission Test (“LSAT”).  The sponsor of the LSAT is required to provide testing accommodations to a test subject with a disability who makes a timely request for accommodations.  Section 99161.5 will require the sponsor of the LSAT to make public the process for determining whether to grant an accommodation.  The decision about whether or not to approve an accommodation request must be conveyed to the person who requested the accommodation within a reasonable amount of time.  If the test sponsor does not approve a request, it must state in writing the reasons for the denial.

The LSAT sponsor must establish a timely appeals process for a test subject who is denied an accommodation request and must clearly post on the LSAT website information regarding refund policies for individuals whose requests for accommodations are denied.  If a test subject has received formal test accommodations from a postsecondary institution, the LSAT sponsor must give considerable weight to documentation of past modifications, accommodations, or services or aids received by the test subject when determining whether to grant an accommodation.  The sponsor may not notify a test score recipient that the score was obtained by a test subject who received an accommodation.  The sponsor may also not withhold any information that would lead a test score recipient to deduce that the score was earned by a test subject who received an accommodation. 

Live Audio and Video Transmission of Postsecondary Meetings—AB 1723

Current law requests that the Regents of the University of California and requires that the Trustees of the California State University, the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, the California Postsecondary Education Commission (which is set to close its doors November 18, 2012), and the Student Aid Commission, and any auxiliary organization specified by statute, must provide live audio transmission of all of their meetings which are open to the public.  That transmission must be accessible to as large of a segment of the public as possible through the use of over-the-air, cable, satellite, or other type of transmission through a television.

AB 1723 amends Education Code section 66020.5 and removes the California Postsecondary Education Commission from the list entities who must provide transmission of their meetings.  The remaining entities are permitted to continue to use cable/television and webcast technologies to transmit their meetings.  If a meeting is conducted from more than one location, such as through teleconference, a live video transmission must be provided from at least one of the locations and a live audio transmission must be provided from all locations.

Public notice must be provided before a meeting that contains the location or locations from which the live video transmission will be provided.  The entity must archive and post the video and audio transmission of the meeting on its website within 48 hours of its initial transmission and store it for at least 12 months. 

Section 66020.5 is not violated if a technical failure prevents an entity from making, archiving, or posting an audio or video transmission as long as the entity exercised due diligence in making a transmission available.      

 

School Employee Reemployment—AB 2307

Current law provides that an employee who is laid off due to lack of funds or lack of work in a school district or community college district that has adopted the merit system will be eligible for reemployment for a period of 39 months.  AB 2307 amends sections 45295 and 88117 of the Education Code to require that if a person is reemployed in a new position but fails to complete the probationary period for the new position, “he or she shall be returned to the reemployment list for the remainder of the 39-month period.”  The remaining time period must be calculated as the time remaining in the 39-month period as of the date the person was reemployed. 

What This Means To You

Board policies and administrative regulations should be reviewed to ensure compliance with the newest changes in the law.  Administration and staff should be updated as to any changes so that the appropriate policies are consistently followed.  KMTG attorneys are available to assist in review and revision of Board policies and regulations.

Questions

If you have any questions concerning the content of this Legal Alert, please contact the following from our office, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.

Christian M. Keiner or Meghan Covert Russell | 916.321.4500