On a 5-2 party line vote, with two Republicans opposed, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to send AB 5, the bill rewriting the teacher evaluation law, to the full Senate for a vote next week.
The bill passed despite uncertainty over state funding for a more extensive and involved evaluation system than is currently required. AB 5’s author, Democratic Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes, was able to secure $60 million in one-time money to enable districts with low-performing schools to establish the new system. But the bill would leave it to the Legislature to figure out how to cover ongoing costs after the bill goes into effect on July 1, 2014. Gov. Jerry Brown hasn’t signaled whether he’s OK with adding at least $20 million in annual new education costs – the Department of Finance’s latest estimate of implementing the system.