Portantino’s Education Package Moves Forward in the Senate Four Important Bills Pass Education Committee

Wednesday, April 10 2019

Sacramento, California–Today, SB 217, SB 428, SB 568, and SB 729 all passed the Senate Education Committee, the of the bills are authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D–La Cañada Flintridge).  SB 217 is jointly authored with Senator Richard Roth and SB 428 is jointly authored with Senator Richard Pan.


“I am so glad these important education bills are moving forward in the legislature. It is important to help students across California in every segment and demographic. These bills seek to help students with special needs in early education, establish housing for homeless college students, increase K-12 funding and equip teachers with the tools to aid students with mental health challenges.  It was a good day for public education in California and we need to keep the momentum going,” commented Senator Portantino.


SB 217 requires school districts and charter schools to admit a child to a transitional kindergarten program if the child is an individual with exceptional needs. This bill established the Special Education Early Intervention Grant Program, which appropriates $4,000 per child with an IEP and who are enrolled in a transitional kindergarten, a California state preschool program, a federal Head Start program or any other early education preschool program. Joint author Senator Roth, chair of Budget sub-1 on Education Finance.


SB 568 addresses the mounting crisis of homelessness among college students by establishing housing resources and requiring campuses that receive state funding to implement a program to maximize the financial aid received by homeless students. Colleges and universities receiving funding would be required to collaborate with a local homeless service agency to implement a college-focused rapid rehousing program, facilitate access by students to available local housing resources, and ensure that homeless students are receiving all available financial aid.  It provides campuses resources to accomplish its mission.


SB 729 increases the base funding level for K-12 school districts by proposing to raise the Local Control Funding Formula Base by 5.16%.  SB 729 seeks to achieve a $1 billion dollar increase for K-12 districts through the cost of living adjustment. 


SB 428 requires applicants for new and renewed teaching credentials to complete a course in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA.) YMHFA is a comprehensive training specifically designed to equip educators, family members, and caregivers with the skills and knowledge to identify, understand, and respond to the signs or risk factors of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies are sponsoring SB 428.  It is jointly authored with Dr. Richard Pan.  Dr. Pan is a practicing pediatrician and Chair of the Senates Heath Committee.


“Mental health, IEPs, housing and resources are all tied together and I am very grateful to the committee for passing all four of these bills this morning,” concluded Senator Portantino