News Room

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Assembly Bill 48 Will Provide Funds to Ensure Schools are Safe and Updated

(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) has introduced Assembly Bill 48 to place a K-12 and community colleges school facilities bond on both the 2020 and 2022 ballots.

“The state has a responsibility to ensure that students are housed in safe facilities that meet educational needs.  AB 48 will continue the state’s partnership with local school and community college districts by providing state matching funds for construction,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. “As a teacher, I know firsthand that the conditions of our schools affect student health, performance and motivation.” 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Times Editorial Board’s opposition to Assembly Bill 1951, which would allow school districts to swap the state proficiency exams for 11th graders for the SAT or ACT test instead, is misguided. This bill, currently awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, is an opportunity for California to give greater control to local school districts and for students of all backgrounds to have a better chance at succeeding on the SAT, an exam already used by many colleges to help determine readiness for admissions.

Earlier this month, the editorial board opposed legislation that would have forced school districts to delay start times until after 8:30 a.m. In that instance, the board felt that local control trumped Sacramento’s wish to dictate the “minutiae” of school operations. Brown wisely concurred by vetoing that legislation.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Assembly Bill 235 will provide workforce training and job opportunities throughout the state.

(SACRAMENTO) – Governor Jerry Brown has signed Assembly Bill 235 by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach), which establishes a pathway for approving new state apprenticeship programs and establishes preapprenticeship programs.

“AB 235 will greatly expand apprenticeship programs throughout the state and in all industries.  State apprenticeship programs lead to well-paying permanent jobs and provide businesses with a skilled workforce,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell. “This bill will result in new job opportunities and meet industry needs.  I thank the Governor and the State Building and Construction Trades Council for working with me on this very important bill.” 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Assembly Bill 3205 Requires Renovation of Schools to Include Locks That Lock from the Inside

(SACRAMENTO) – Assembly Bill 3205 by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach), which requires older classrooms to have locks that can be locked from the inside, has been signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

“This bill will protect students and teachers in the event of an immediate threat on a school campus,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. “As a middle and high school teacher for many years, I have participated in many school lockdowns, and I know firsthand that our classrooms need doors that lock from the inside.  The shootings that took place in Florida and Texas schools earlier this year were tragic.  This bill will save lives.  I thank the Governor for signing AB 3205 into law.” 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

For too many California families, the college application process is expensive and hard to navigate. Fortunately, there’s a solution that would propel more students to be eligible for college admissions.

Giving local school districts the power to choose how students are tested in grade 11 would improve access to college for students of every zip code, ability, and language proficiency level.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Among the torrent of legislation California lawmakers approved this week are bills mandating school safety plans and classroom door locks and a bill allowing school personnel to file a gun violence restraining order. They are now awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature — or veto.

None are high-profile items like the bills calling for armed officers in every school and a vast increase in the number of mental health practitioners in schools, which were proposed after the February massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The armed officer bill died in the Assembly and the Legislature passed a drastically scaled-back version of the mental health bill.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

AB 1951 allows school districts to give 11th grade students a college entrance exam instead of state-required assessment

(SACRAMENTO) – Assembly Bill 1951, by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) to provide access to college admissions tests such as the SAT or ACT during the school day, passed the Legislature overwhelmingly and is on the way to the Governor’s desk.

AB 1951, The Pathways to College Act, would allow school districts to offer college admissions exams in lieu of the state-required 11th grade assessment. “AB 1951 is about opening the door to higher education for all California students,” Assemblymember O’Donnell said. “I urge the Governor to consider the strong support for the bill from students, school board members, superintendents and teachers and give school districts local control in offering a test that will increase the college going rate.”