The California Legislature has been hard at work cranking out newly-proposed laws. As of the February 22, 2019 deadline for the introduction of new legislation for the first year of the current session, a total of 2,698 measures saw the light of day. Here’s how the bills break down:
|California Legislature "Scorecard" (as of 2/25/2019)|
|Bill Count by House of Origin|
|Bills by Prefix|
|Key to Abbreviations|
|AB Assembly Bill|
|ACA Assembly Constitutional Amendment|
|ACR Assembly Concurrent Resolution|
|AJR Assembly Joint Resolution|
|HR House Resolution|
|SB Senate Bill|
|SCA Senate Constitutional Amendment|
|SCR Senate Concurrent Resolution|
|SJR Senate Joint Resolution|
|SR Senate Resolution|
You can follow the progress of bills we’ve flagged as being of primary interest to California’s private school community by visiting (and bookmarking) the CAPSO Legislation Tracker webpage. Here, you’ll be able to learn about these key bills, find links to their full current texts, and monitor their progress as they make their way through legislative hearings and votes.
Chaptered Bills of Interest (2018)
Primary Watch List Bills
AB 1798 (Chu) Schoolbuses: passenger restraint systems.
Would require that, on or before July 1, 2035, all schoolbuses in use in California be equipped with a passenger restraint system, as defined. Because a violation of the bill’s requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
CAPSO Note: See the deadline date for a textbook example of what it means to “kick the can down the road.”
AB 1976 (Limón) Employment: lactation accommodation
Current law requires every employer to provide a reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee’s infant child and requires an employer to make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area for the employee to express milk in private. Current law makes a violation of these provisions subject to a civil penalty and makes the Labor Commissioner responsible for enforcement. This bill would instead require an employer to make reasonable efforts to provide an employee with use of a room or other location, other than a bathroom, for these purposes.
CAPSO Note: This bill’s provisions apply to private schools. The bill doesn’t clarify what constitutes “reasonable efforts” to provide an employee with a suitable location to express milk in private. The measure does, however, note that the provision of a temporary lactation location is permissible if the following requirements are met:
- The employer is unable to provide a permanent lactation location because of operational, financial, or space limitations.
- The temporary lactation location is private and free from intrusion while an employee expresses milk.
- The temporary lactation location is used only for lactation purposes while an employee expresses milk.
- The temporary lactation location otherwise meets the requirements of state law concerning lactation accommodation.
AB 2657 (Weber) Pupil discipline: restraint and seclusion.
Would authorize an educational provider, as defined, to use behavioral restraints, which includes physical and mechanical restraints, or seclusion, as defined, only to control behavior that poses a clear and present danger of serious physical harm to the pupil or others that cannot be immediately prevented by a response that is less restrictive, and if other specified conditions are met. The bill would prohibit an educational provider from using a behavioral restraint or seclusion in certain circumstances, including, but not limited to, using seclusion or a behavioral restraint for the purpose of coercion, discipline, convenience, or retaliation, and would prohibit the use of certain restraint and seclusion techniques.
CAPSO Note: This bill’s provisions apply mainly to nonpublic nonsectarian schools serving a special needs population. Our member organization, CAPSES, reports that they were able to obtain amendments to the measure that resolved its most objectionable elements.
SB 972 (Portantino) Pupil and student health: identification cards: suicide prevention hotline telephone number
Would require a public school, including a charter school, or a private school, that serves pupils in any of grades 7 to 12, inclusive, and that issues pupil identification cards to have printed on either side of the pupil identification cards the telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and would authorize those schools to have printed on either side of the pupil identification cards the Crisis Text Line and a local suicide prevention hotline telephone number.
CAPSO Note: The bill’s provisions don’t require middle and high schools (including private schools) to issue pupil identification cards, but if schools issue such cards, they must see that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline telephone number is printed on either the front or back of the cards.
SB 1109 (Bates) Controlled substances: Schedule II drugs: opioids
Current law requires a physician and surgeon to complete a mandatory continuing education course in the subjects of pain management and the treatment of terminally ill and dying patients. this bill would require, for physicians and surgeons licensed on or after January 1, 2019, the mandatory continuing education course to also include the subject of the risks of addiction associated with the use of Schedule II drugs.
CAPSO Note: The bill adds the following section to the California Education Code:
- (a) If a school district, charter school, or private school elects to offer an athletic program, the school district, charter school, or private school shall annually give the Opioid Factsheet for Patients published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to each athlete. The athlete and, if the athlete is 17 years of age or younger, the athlete’s parent or guardian shall sign a document acknowledging receipt of the Opioid Factsheet for Patients and return that document to the school district, charter school, or private school before the athlete initiates practice or competition. The Opioid Factsheet for Patients may be sent and returned through an electronic medium, including, but not limited to, fax or email.
The CDC’s Opioid Factsheet for Patients can be accessed at the link appearing below:
SB 1300 (Jackson) Unlawful employment practices: discrimination and harassment
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, apprenticeship training program, or any training program leading to employment, to engage in harassment of an employee or other specified person. FEHA also makes harassment of those persons by an employee, other than an agent or supervisor, unlawful if the entity, or its agents or supervisors, knows or should have known of this conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.This bill would specify that an employer may be responsible for the acts of nonemployees with respect to other harassment activity.
CAPSO Note: Section 12900 – 12996, inclusive, of the California Government Code is known as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, of FEHA. Section 12926(d) of the Government Code establishes a specific exemption from provisions of the FEHA for “a religious association or corporation not organized for private profit.” (For purposes of enforcing the FEHA, such entities are not deemed to be employers.) It is important to note that schools whose articles of incorportation identify them as non-profit public benefit corporations are not included in this exemption, even though they may be religious in nature. Religiously-oriented schools should, therefore, check their articles of incorporation to determine whether they are exempt from provisions of the FEHA.
The Liebert Cassidy Whitmore law firm has provided a useful summary of SB 1300’s provisions, here. As the article notes: “In practice, these changes to the FEHA will make it much easier for plaintiffs to file, litigate and win harassment and discrimination claims against California employers.” You are strongly encouraged to read the article, and schools should consult with qualified legal counsel so as to ascertain whether, and to what extent they may be subject to SB 1300’s various provisions, and what steps should be taken to minimize exposure to liability.
SB 1343 (Mitchell) Employers: sexual harassment training: requirements
Would require an employer who employs 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years thereafter, as specified. The bill would require the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to develop or obtain 1-hour and 2-hour online training courses on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, as specified, and to post the courses on the department’s Internet Web site. (Continued.)
CAPSO Note: (SB 1343): This bill’s provisions apply to any private school employing at least five employees. Additional information on the requirements established by SB 1343 is available in the aforementioned Liebert Cassidy Whitmore article, which can be accessed, here. Online training courses are to be provided by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Questions arising from participation in the online courses are not to be directed to the Department, but to an “…employer’s Human Resources Department or equally qualified professional.”
SB 1428 (McGuire) Minors: employment: work permits: exemption
Current law authorizes, among others, the superintendent of a school district, a county superintendent of schools, and the chief executive officer of a charter school to issue a work permit to a minor, subject to specified requirements and conditions. Current law provides requirements and conditions for work permits on the basis of the minor’s age, and relating to the type of work and the number of hours and periods of the year that a minor is authorized to work. This bill would prohibit the denial of a work permit on the basis of a pupil’s grades, grade point average, or school attendance if the pupil is applying for the work permit in order to participate in a government-administered employment and training program program that will occur during the regular summer recess or vacation of the school that the pupil attends.
CAPSO Note: The bill establishes the following section of the California Education Code:
- A work permit shall not be denied on the basis of a pupil’s grades, grade point average, or school attendance if the pupil is applying for the work permit in order to participate in a government-administered employment and training program that will occur during the regular summer recess or vacation of the school that the pupil attends.
That’s the entirety of the bill.
Secondary Watch List Bills
AB 1248 (Gloria) Pupils: right to wear
Would provide that a pupil may wear traditional tribal regalia or recognized objects of religious or cultural significance as an adornment, as defined, at school graduation ceremonies. The bill would also declare that nothing in its provisions shall be construed to limit a local educational agency’s discretion and authority to prohibit an item that is likely to cause a substantial disruption of, or material interference with, the ceremony.
AB 1858 (Calderon) Student financial aid: Financial Aid Shopping Sheet
Would add to the Donahoe Higher Education Act a provision that would require, by January 1, 2020, and permanently thereafter, each campus of the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges, and each independent institution of higher education to provide students with the Financial Aid Shopping Sheet as developed by the United States Department of Education to inform students or individuals who have been offered admission about financial aid award packages.
AB 1861 (Rodriguez) Pupil instruction: human trafficking
The California Healthy Youth Act requires school districts to ensure that all pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, receive comprehensive sexual health education and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention education, as specified. Under the act, this instruction includes, among other things, information about human trafficking, as specified. This bill would require the information about human trafficking to also include information on how social media and mobile device applications are used for human trafficking. By imposing additional duties on school districts, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
CAPSO Note: AB 1861’s provisions apply to public schools, only.
AB 1868 (Cunningham) Pupil instruction: sexual health education
Would explicitly authorize a school district to provide optional instruction, as part of comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education, regarding the potential risks and consequences of creating and sharing sexually suggestive or sexually explicit materials through cellular telephones, social networking Internet Web sites, computer networks, or other digital media.
CAPSO Note: AB 1868’s provisions apply to public schools, only.
AB 1974 (Gonzalez Fletcher) Pupils: collection of debt.
Would enact the Public School Fair Debt Collection Act. The act would provide that a pupil or former pupil, unless emancipated at the time the debt is incurred, can never owe or be billed for a debt owed to a public school or school district, county office of education, charter school, or state special school. The act would prohibit those educational entities from taking negative actions against a pupil or former pupil because of a debt owed to the educational entity, including, among other things, denying or withholding grades or transcripts, or denying or withholding a diploma.
CAPSO Note: The bill’s provisions, which apply to public schools only, permit such schools to collect outstanding fees from parents, and permits schools to withhold grades, transcripts, and diplomas for willful damage.
AB 2015 (Reyes) Pupil instruction: economics: completion of applications for student financial aid.
Would require, commencing with the 2020–21 school year, the governing board of a school district and the governing body of a charter school, as appropriate, to ensure that each of its pupils receives information on how to properly complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application, as appropriate, at least once before the pupil enters grade 12. The bill would provide that the manner in which information is provided pursuant to the bill would be at the discretion of the governing board of the school district or the governing body of the charter school, as appropriate.
CAPSO Note: AB 2015’s provisions do not apply to private schools. Private high schools might, however, regard furnishing students with the information referenced in the bill as a “best practice.”
AB 2022 (Chu) Pupil health: mental health professionals
Would require a school of a school district or county office of education and a charter school to notify pupils and parents or guardians of pupils no less than twice during the school year how to initiate access to available pupil mental health services on campus or in the community, or both, as provided. By imposing an additional requirement on schools of school districts and county offices of education and charter schools, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
CAPSO Note: AB 2022’s provisions do not apply to private schools.
AB 2239 (Garcia) Pupil instruction: foreign language course: A–G course certification
Would require the State Department of Education to encourage the governing board of each school district, and the governing body of each charter school, whose schools offer world language courses that are specifically designed for native speakers that are not approved as “A–G” courses, to support their respective schools in submitting those courses to the University of California for certification and addition to the schools’ “A–G” course list.
CAPSO Note: Whereas AB 2239’s provisions do not apply to private schools, there is nothing standing in the way of a private school that wishes to, similarly, submit various world language courses to the University of California for “A-G” course approval.
AB 2285 (O’Donnell) Teacher credentialing: out-of-state prepared teachers: clear credential.
Current law requires the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to issue a clear multiple subject, single subject, or education specialist teaching credential to an out-of-state applicant who satisfies specified requirements, including documenting, in a manner prescribed by the commission, that he or she has completed 150 clock hours of activities that contribute to his or her competence, performance, and effectiveness in the education profession, or that he or she has earned a master’s degree or higher in a field related to the credential, or the equivalent semester units, from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. This bill would eliminate that requirement as a condition for an out-of-state applicant to be issued a clear multiple subject, single subject, or education specialist teaching credential.
CAPSO Note: AB 2285 will make it somewhat easier for teachers in possession of credentials issued out-of-state to obtain credentials issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
AB 3043 (Berman) Pupil nutrition: breakfast and lunch programs
Would authorize a school district, county office of education, private nonprofit school, charter school, or residential child care institution, as defined, that participates in the federal School Breakfast Program, commencing with the 2019–20 school year, after submitting certain documentation to the State Department of Education for approval, to provide universal breakfast, to the maximum extent practicable. The bill would define “universal breakfast” to mean a nutritionally adequate breakfast that complies with, and qualifies for reimbursement under, the federal School Breakfast Program and that is provided to every pupil at no charge.
CAPSO Note: We are still in the process of seeking clarification of any opportunity this bill affords private schools. According to the author’s staff, the measure permits “Cafeteria Fund” proceeds to be used to provide a universal breakfast. The bill was sponsored by the California Department of Education.
SB 830 (Dodd) Pupil instruction: media literacy
Current law requires the adopted course of study for grades 1 to 6, inclusive, and for grades 7 to 12, inclusive, to offer courses in specified areas of study, including social sciences.This bill would require, on or before July 1, 2019, the State Department of Education to make available to school districts on its Internet Web site a list of resources and instructional materials on media literacy, as defined, including media literacy professional development programs for teachers.
SB 1036 (Wilk) Pupil records: directory information
Would prohibit the inclusion of directory information, as defined, and personal information, as defined, of a pupil or of the parent or guardian of a pupil in the minutes of a meeting of the governing body, as defined, of a local educational agency, as defined, if a pupil who is 18 years of age or older or a parent or guardian of a pupil has provided a written request to the secretary or clerk of the governing body to exclude his or her personal information or the name of his or her minor child, as specified. To the extent the bill would add to the duties of local educational agencies, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
CAPSO Note: SB 1036’s provisions do not apply to private schools.
SB 1041 (Leyva) Childhood lead poisoning prevention
Would make it a goal of the state that all children at risk of lead exposure receive blood lead screening tests, and would require the department to take action, and to require local agencies to take action, necessary to ensure these goals are met. By requiring local agencies to take action to meet these goals, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
CAPSO Note: SB 1041’s provisions do not apply to private schools.
What’s it About?
The CAPSO Legislation Tracker provides daily updates on pending legislation of interest to California’s private school community.