Senator Portantino Introduces School District Financial & Academic Accountability Legislation

Thursday, February 20 2020

Sacramento, California – Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D–La Cañada Flintridge) has introduced SB 1214 which will help student access the “A-G” courses that they need for acceptance into the University of California and the California State University systems. Despite requiring these courses for admittance to our state’s prestigious higher education system, many schools in the state do not offer sufficient course for all students.


In particular, there are too many inner city and rural districts serving underrepresented minority students with inadequate course offerings.  This deficiency drastically infringes on the ability of all students to earn the prerequisites to qualify for UC and CSU admittance.


“If we are going to mandate that high school students take certain classes for access to our universities, it is incumbent on the state to make sure adequate class options are provided.  This inequity disproportionately affects students in lower socioeconomic situations and cannot continue. I’m happy to be working with Edvoice on this prudent academic accountability approach,” commented Senator Portantino.


SB 1214 encourages schools to make these courses available by providing flexibility for funding under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) contingent upon the school meeting “A-G” course goals, and utilizes common accounting codes to provide better transparency in the use of extra funding received by districts to support disadvantaged students and English learners. Local stakeholders, including parents and teachers, should easily be able to see how the extra money from Sacramento is being used to help these students.


SB 1214 will also help students and schools accurately tie Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) to meet the needs of all students.   SB 1214 makes it a priority of LCAP to tie “A-G” availability to ensure students are not left behind. A child’s ability to go to college should not be determined by whether their high school is able to meet their needs.


“Basic equity of opportunity means all schools offer the opportunity in the first place. Working toward academic success in a high poverty neighborhood school is tough enough. It’s nothing more than a hollow promise to tell a young person you can go to college if you work hard when the school never offers all the “A-G” classes or labs you need to be admitted to college.  SB 1214 makes it clear all high schools should meet student demand for “A-G” classes,” said Bill Lucia, President of EdVoice.


California families strive for a piece of the California Dream and circumstances outside of their control should not determine access to higher education.  SB 1214 seeks to ensure that students take the appropriate classes necessary to level the playing field.