Thurmond’s Education Bills Pass Senate Committees

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School Employee Housing Bill Passes Senate Education Committee

Sacramento – Assembly Bill 45, authored by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) provides financial assistance to school districts seeking to develop rental housing for school employees. AB 45 passed the Senate Education Committee today with bipartisan support.

“This bill addresses the teacher shortage issue that continues to plague our state,” said Assemblymember Thurmond. “AB 45 provides proven solution that works to help recruit and retain teachers that will secure support for students.”

According to the Learning Policy Institute, 75% of California schools report a shortage of teachers. Teacher housing models have been used in school districts throughout the United States to address this shortage in rural areas in North Carolina and West Virginia, and in urban areas like Cupertino and Los Angeles. 

AB 45 provides a mechanism for school districts to offer affordable housing and improve student outcomes for our communities and kids.

This bill moves forward to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 45 is sponsored by the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers, and the State Building Trades Construction Council.  It has also received support from the California School Employees Association, San Francisco Unified School District, and California School Employees Association.

School-Based Mental Healthcare Bill Passes Senate Education Committee 

Pilot Program to Fund Behavioral Health Efforts on School Sites

AB 254 establishes a pilot program to expand student access to school-based behavioral health services to maximize participation in a federal reimbursement program. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee today.

“This bill ensures that the appropriate mental health services are in place at schools,” said Assemblymember Thurmond. “All students, regardless of economic circumstance, deserve an opportunity to pursue an education and get the treatment they need to stay healthy and remain active in schools, so that they can better academic outcomes.”

The bill requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in cooperation with the California Department of Education (CDE), to establish the Local Educational Agency (LEA) Behavioral Health Integration Pilot Program to provide grants to schools improve the delivery of direct behavioral health services to students. 

AB 254 has been passed to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

This bill has a wide range of support from the California Teachers Association, Children’s Defense Fund, United Way of California, California State PTA, California School-Based Health Alliance, California School Board Association, California School Nurses Organization, and is sponsored by NSAW.


Part-time Education Benefits Bill Passes Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee

Sacramento – AB 670, authored by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) provides equity to part-time playground employees who are currently excluded from the benefits of classified employees. AB 670 passed the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee today.

“Part-time playground employees work side by side with classified employees performing similar duties yet are treated unequally and denied basic rights without similar protections,” said Assemblymember Thurmond. “Part-time playground employees do similar work therefore they deserve similar benefits.”

Existing law prohibits part-time playground positions from being part of the classified service, when the employee is not otherwise employed in the same school district in a classified position.

Employees who work in these positions are referred to by varying titles, such as noon duty aides, yard aides, noontime assistants and playground aides. They are predominantly women who often work five days a week for two or three hours, and are often the lowest wage earners on campus. The duties they perform on school campuses are similar to the services provided by classified employees.

This bill removes the act exempting part-time playground positions from the classified service where the employee is not employed in a classified position.

AB 670 will be heard next in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill is sponsored by California School Employees Association (AFL-CIO), and supported by the California Federation of Teachers (AFl-CIO), California Labor Federation, and Laborers' International Union of North America (Local 777).

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond represents the 15th Assembly District, comprised of the cities of Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, Tara Hills, and a portion of Oakland.