While COVID-19 dominated the focus of new rules and protocols during 2021, the California Legislature enacted several other new laws that school districts must be ready to put in place for 2022.
Senate Bill (SB) 24, signed into law on October 11, 2021, added section 6323.5 to the Family Code, which will allow courts, commencing January 1, 2023, to issue restraining orders prohibiting a party from accessing “records and information pertaining to the health care, education, daycare, recreational activities, or employment of a minor child of the parties.
On October 8, 2021, Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 101, which will require all local educational agencies (LEAs) including charter schools, serving high school students to provide a full-year course in ethnic studies to high school students by the 2025-26 school year.
The California Court of Appeal has held that school districts must exclude maintenance and operations costs from their calculations when determining the pro rata fees of a charter school that pays for its own maintenance and operations.
On October 8, 2021, the Governor signed Assembly Bills (AB) 559 and 824 into law. AB 559 provides a new process for identifying schools that county superintendents are required to inspect each year. AB 824 authorizes county boards of education and charter schools to appoint high school pupils as members of their governing boards in response to a student petition.
Three new bills signed by Governor Newsom impact student health including requiring the development of type 1 diabetes information to be made available to parents or guardians, making menstrual products more accessible in public school restrooms, and informing students on the best practices for returning to exercise and physical activity after displaying symptoms of or testing positive for COVID-1
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Brach v. Newsom (9th Cir. July 23, 2021, No. 20-56291) __ F.3d __, holding that the 14th Amendment rights of public school students and their parents were not violated when the State of California prohibited in-person learning in counties with high rates of COVID-19.
Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law the 2021-2022 Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 130 (Trailer Bill), imposing critical changes impacting charter schools and their authorizers. Notably, the Trailer Bill automatically extends the term of most charter petitions by two years.
The 2021-2022 Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill (Trailer Bill) includes significant short-term and long-term changes to independent study. (See Ed. Code, § 51745, et seq.) For the 2021-2022 school year only, school districts and county offices of education (COE) will be required to offer an independent study program to meet the educational needs of pupils.