Senate Bill 577, authored by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), was not heard in the Assembly Higher Education Committee (Committee) this week as scheduled, thereby making it a two-year bill. However, Committee Chair, Assembly Member Jose Medina (D-Riverside), has shown interest in working with Senator Dodd, committee members and community stakeholders to address the challenges rural and disadvantaged communities face in meeting teacher workforce needs.
A two-year bill is introduced in the first half of a two-year session, but fails to meet deadlines to clear both houses before interim recess in mid-September. By holding the bill, the Committee affords the author time to hold in-depth discussions with opposition groups and concerned legislators to find a compromise that will be acceptable to all stakeholders. Additionally, the Committee Chair has committed to convening an informational hearing to discuss the highly concerning statewide teacher shortage during the interim.
RCRC will continue to work with the author’s office and opposition to find solutions to the teacher shortages impacting RCRC member counties. RCRC’s letter of support for SB 577 can be accessed here.