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In This Moment (10/1): Governor Vetoes Education Bills

October 1, 2020 | Iish Ryaru

Wednesday, September 30 was the deadline for Governor Gavin Newsom to sign or veto bills for the second half of the 2019-20 Legislative Session.

Governor Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill (AB) 1835, authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), which specified supplemental and concentration funds be spent to increase or improve services for unduplicated pupils.

The Governor also vetoed AB 331, authored by Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), which would have added the completion of a semester-long course in ethnic studies as a state high school graduation requirement.

Also, the State Board of Education is accepting applications for the 2021-22 Student Board Member position up until 5:00 PM on October 8. We strongly encourage you to share this opportunity with Linked Learning students in your community.

If you have additional policy updates that would be valuable for the Linked Learning field, please share them with Iish@LinkedLearning.org.

Wednesday, September 30 at midnight was the constitutional deadline for Governor Newsom to sign or veto bills sent to him by the Legislature during the second half of the 2019-2020 Legislative Session. Below are key details associated with two bills that were vetoed late yesterday evening: AB 1835 authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and AB 331, authored by Assembly Member Jose Medina (D-Riverside).


AB 1835 Education finance: local control funding formula: supplemental and concentration grants

AB 1835 would have required Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to “identify unspent supplemental and concentration grant funds by annually reconciling and reporting to the State Department of Education” the estimated and actual spending of those funds.The bill also specified that supplemental and concentration grant dollars must be spent to increase or improve services for unduplicated pupils. Additionally, the bill would have required LEAs to report the amounts of unspent supplemental and concentration grant dollars in their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs).

The veto is somewhat surprising, since the bill moved through the legislative process without amendments and very few no votes. However, some school leaders expressed concern that the bill could limit an LEA’s fiscal flexibility during an economic downturn. While the Governor agreed with the intent of AB 1835, he cited flaws with the bill and indicated his administration has a simpler solution that he plans to include in his January budget proposal. In his veto message, the Governor stated:

“I deeply support the underlying goal of this bill – to ensure that unspent Local Control Funding Formula supplemental and concentration grant funds are expended on services for our most vulnerable students – and I applaud Dr. Weber for her continued leadership… There is a simpler solution that allows us to address the objectives of AB 1835 much sooner and with more transparency. Therefore, I am directing the Department of Finance to propose language as part of my budget in January… I look forward to working with Dr. Weber and the Legislature to implement this requirement in next year’s budget.”

AB 331 Pupil instruction: high school graduation requirements: ethnic studies.

The Governor also vetoed AB 331, which would have added a semester-long course in ethnic studies to the state high school graduation requirements.

The bill stalled in the final weeks of the 2019 Legislative Session amidst concerns over the K-12 model curriculum being developed by the Instructional Quality Commission.

The Governor cited similar concerns yesterday about mandating an ethnic studies course given issues that have been raised about the K-12 model curriculum for ethnic studies and praised the increasing number of districts in the state that are adopting ethnic studies. It’s clear the Governor plans to a keep close watch on the K-12 model curriculum for ethnic studies, saying:

“I am directing staff in my administration to work with State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to ensure that the draft ethnic studies model curriculum achieves balance, fairness, and is inclusive of all communities…”


Reminder: 2021-22 Student Board Member Applications Due October 8

As you may recall from our September 11 blog post, the State Board of Education (SBE) announced an opportunity for students interested in becoming more civically engaged in their communities and the state more broadly.

The SBE is now accepting applications for the 2021-22 Student Board Member position. Please note that applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 8, 2020.

For more information, please visit the CDE website or contact the SBE by email.

Please share this opportunity with Linked Learning students in your community and contact Iish@LinkedLearning.org if you need any additional support and guidance for student applications.