Legal Update Memo No. 36-2020 – Budget Compromise Overview for 20-21 (K-12)

Download pdf: 36-2020 – Budget Compromise Changes for 20-21 (KAS)

As announced on Monday, June 22, 2020, the Governor and Legislature have reached a compromise on the State Budget for 2020. The full text of the K-12 Education Trailer Bill, AB 77, can be found at:

The Bill provides significant changes for the 20-21 academic year. Notable impacts are summarized below:

  1. Districts are prohibited from engaging in classified layoffs beginning July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, for employees with the classification of “nutrition, transportation, or custodial services.”
  2. Full LCFF funding for school districts, with 0% COLA. Funding will be deferred from June 2020 to July 2020, and from February, March, April and May 2021 to November, October, September and August of 2021, respectively.
  3. Instructional minutes and instructional days:
  • (a) Districts must meet instructional minutes requirements, but may meet through a combination of in-person and distance learning, provided such distance learning meets the requirements set forth below.
  • (b) Districts are “held harmless” for ADA losses. ADA calculation will be based on the adjusted 19-20 ADA.
  • (c) However, the requirement to have 180 instructional days has not been waived, but may be met through a combination of in-person and distance learning.
  1. Districts must open with some version of in-person learning, but may incorporate distance learning to meet instructional minutes requirements. Note, the Bill prohibits Districts from operating a “distance learning only” model for 20-21. Also, the Bill does not waive the requirements of Education Code Section 51749.5, which reduces apportionment if more than 10% of the District’s total enrollment is engaged in independent study. We expect follow-up legislation will address these two points.
  2. Distance learning must:
  • (a) Confirm or provide access for all pupils to connectivity and devices adequate to participate in the educational program and complete assigned work,
  • (b) Content aligned to grade level standards that is provided at a level of quality and intellectual challenge substantially equivalent to in-person instruction,
  • (c) Academic and other supports designed to address the needs of pupils who are not performing at grade level, or need support in other areas, such as English learners, pupils with exceptional needs, pupils in foster care or experiencing homelessness, and pupils requiring mental health supports,
  • (d) Special education, related services, and any other services required by a pupil’s individualized education program, with accommodations necessary to ensure that individualized education program can be executed in a distance learning environment,
  • (e) Designated and integrated instruction in English language development, including assessment of English language proficiency, support to access curriculum, the ability to reclassify as fully English proficient, and, as applicable, support for dual language learning, and
  • (f) Daily live interaction with certificated employees and peers for purposes of instruction, progress monitoring, and maintaining school connectedness. This interaction may take the form of internet or telephonic communication, or by other means permissible under public health orders. If daily live interaction is not feasible as part of regular instruction, the district shall develop, with parent and stakeholder input, an alternative plan for frequent live interaction that provides a comparable level of service and school connectedness.
  1. Districts are not required to adopt an LCAP plan for 20-21, but must adopt by September 30 a “learning continuity and attendance plan,” in consultation with stakeholders, based on a template provided by CDE.
  2. Education Code Section 44955.5, for summer certificated layoffs, is suspended except as to certificated administrators.[1]
  3. Requirement that schools provide a credentialed instructor for TK classes has been delayed until August 1, 2021.
  4. Schools that receive Title I funding for Migrant Education are not required to run a summer program if their facilities are closed due to COVID-19, for the 2020 calendar year, however such programs may be provided through distance learning, and if so, instructional time requirements are waived.
  5. Schools may have ratio and time requirements for ASES programs waived, and may receive prorated funding if schools run the program for more than three hours, up to six hours per day.
  6. $112,231,000 from the CARES Act funding is apportioned to reimburse schools for increased food service costs for programs run during any school closure in 19-20 and 20-21.
  7. Individualized Education Programs (“IEP”) must address how the program will be provided under emergency conditions in which instruction or services cannot be provided to the pupil either at school or in person for more than ten (10) days.

This is only a brief overview of some of the provisions of the Bill. Please contact our office with questions regarding the Bill, this Legal Update or any other legal matter.

The information in this Legal Update is provided as a summary of law and is not intended as legal advice.  Application of the law may vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances at issue.  We, therefore, recommend that you consult legal counsel to advise you on how the law applies to your specific situation. 

© 2020 School and College Legal Services of California 

All rights reserved.  However, SCLS grants permission to any current SCLS client to use, reproduce, and distribute this Legal Update in its entirety for the client’s own non-commercial purposes.

[1] For more information on summer certificated layoffs, please see Legal Update No. 31-2020, and both Addendums.