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    Bill Letting LBUSD Require Supplemental Instruction For Its Seriously Underperforming Students Clears Assembly, Heads To CA Senate

    (May 11, 2006) -- A bill that would authorize the LB Unified School District to require its seriously underperforming students to participate in supplemental instruction (such as tutoring, summer school and the like) passed the full Assembly this morning (April 11) on an overwhelming "yes" vote [unofficial clerk's tally 70-1, not official until printed in Assembly Journal]. It now heads to the CA Senate.

    AB 2989, sought by LBUSD and authored by Assemblywoman Betty Karnette (D., LB), is specifically written to empower LBUSD to require students who've been retained or are at risk for retention to participate in supplemental instructional programs.

    Under current law, school districts offer programs of direct, systematic, and intensive supplemental instruction to pupils in grades 1 to 9 who've been recommended for retention or who have been retained...and LBUSD says (quoted in a legislative analysis) that a little over one in ten of its students "are eligible for, and are offered, supplemental instruction" and roughly nine of ten of those students take part. If passed by the Senate and not vetoed by the Governor, this bill would make LBUSD's supplemental programs an offer that roughly 10% of LBUSD's current underperforming students can no longer refuse.

    Reacting to Assembly passage today, LBUSD Superintendent Chris Steinhauser said in a statement emailed to

    "We're very pleased that the Assembly has supported our Board of Education's initiative to hold all students to high standards. This bill would require students to participate in additional instruction, or interventions, when they are not meeting standards in basic subjects. Required Saturday school, summer school and extra class periods will be options available to the school district as we make certain that all students get the help they need to succeed. We look forward to the Senate's approval of the bill so that we can implement it next school year."

    A legislative analysis of the bill indicates that according to LBUSD:

    Approximately 10,000 of the 96,300 Long Beach Unified School District students are eligible for, and are offered, supplemental instruction and approximately 90% of the students currently participate in the district's programs. LBUSD's goal is that all students, including the remaining 10% who are eligible to participate in these programs be required to participate in order to ensure the greatest opportunity for student success."

    As first reported in late April by last month, AB 2989 cleared the Assembly Education Committee after Superintendent Steinhauser testified in Sacramento personally in support of the bill.

    As described in a Legislative Counsel's digest, the bill would "authorize the Long Beach Unified School District to require pupils, who are identified pursuant to a policy adopted by the governing board of the school district at a regularly scheduled board meeting, to participate in [specified] supplemental instruction programs..."

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