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Governor Signs LBUSD’s Bill on Instruction

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed into law Assembly Bill 2989 (Karnette), which will allow the Long Beach Unified School District – and other school districts throughout California – to require underperforming students to participate in supplemental instruction such as tutoring and summer school. "We’re delighted that the Governor has signed our bill, and we’re extremely grateful to Assembly woman Betty Karnette for carrying this legislation through," said Christopher J Steinhauser, Superintendent of Schools for the Long Beach Unified School District. "Now we can make certain that all students have every opportunity to meet academic standards. We believe that all students can learn, and this law will help us to put that belief into action." Steinhauser recently testified in favor of the legislation during a meeting of the Assembly Education Committee. The new law, which will take effect Jan. 1, will allow school districts to require student participation in additional instruction, or interventions, when they are not meeting standards in basic subjects. School districts will have the ability to require Saturday school, summer school, and extra instruction both before and after school. Long Beach Unified initiated the legislation to make sure all students have ample opportunities to meet federal and state academic standards and requirements, including passing the California High School Exit Exam. Of the approximately 90,000 students in LBUSD, about 10,000 are eligible for supplemental instruction programs geared toward raising their academic achievement. About 90 percent of these at-risk students currently choose to participate in supplemental instruction, or interventions. AB 2989 allows the school district to require all underperforming students to participate. The academic interventions made possible by this legislation will be implemented by the Long Beach Unified School District soon after the law takes effect in January 2007.