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AB-752 Child care: expulsion.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/15/2017 09:00 PM
AB752:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 752


Introduced by Assembly Member Rubio

February 15, 2017


An act to add Section 8207 to the Education Code, and to add Section 1596.893c to the Health and Safety Code, relating to child care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 752, as introduced, Rubio. Child care: expulsion.
Existing law, the Child Care and Development Services Act, requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer child care and development programs that offer a full range of services for eligible children from infancy to 13 years of age. The act requires families to meet certain requirements in various areas to be eligible for federal and state subsidized child development services. The act authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to enter into and execute local contractual agreements with any public or private entity or agency for the delivery of child care and development services.
This bill would prohibit a contracting agency from expelling or unenrolling a child because of a child’s behavior unless the contracting agency has explored and documented all possible steps to maintain the child’s safe participation in the program and determines, in consultation with the parents or legal guardians of the child, the child’s teacher, and, if applicable, the local agency responsible for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and that the child’s continued enrollment would present a continued serious safety threat to the child or other enrolled children. The bill would require, if a child is expelled or unenrolled, the contracting agency to facilitate the child’s transition to a more appropriate placement. The bill would require the State Department of Education to develop criteria to ensure that children are not expelled or unenrolled from a program due to challenging behaviors without a documented process and with due consideration of the requirement to facilitate transition to a more appropriate placement.
Existing law provides for the licensure, by the State Department of Social Services, of facilities that provide day care for children, including day care centers and family day care homes. Existing law authorizes the department to impose civil penalties for certain violations of the licensing requirements and their corresponding regulations. Existing law requires each licensed child day care facility to post various documents and provide various notices to parents in response to certain citations. Existing law provides that failure to comply with these requirements result in an immediate civil penalty.
This bill would prohibit the department from penalizing a licensed child day care facility providing services through the California State Preschool Program or other child care and development services for failure to expel or unenroll a child, or for failure to provide specialized or extraordinary supervision in response to serious challenging behavior, when the documented process described above has not yet been completed. The bill would also suspend, in certain circumstances, the requirements that the facility post various documents and provide various notices to parents in response to certain citations, and suspend imposition of civil penalties for failure to comply with those requirements, while the licensee is exercising its right to appeal the citation.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) In both California and the United States, children in preschool are expelled at three times the rate as children in kindergarten through 12th grade.
(2) Given the well-established evidence on the benefits for young children attending a high-quality preschool program — particularly for closing the achievement gap between low-income students and their middle and high income peers — it is deeply concerning that expulsions occur at such a high rate, affecting children and their families at a crucial time in their development.
(3) A joint statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and over 30 national early childhood organizations states that while young children thrive in the context of stable and supportive relationships with adults, the expulsion of a child from preschool threatens the development of those positive relationships, disrupts the learning process, and instigates a negative cycle that increases inequality and denies the child and family access to much needed supports.
(4) The United States Department of Health and Human Services has recently adopted updated guidelines on expulsion for Head Start programs. Aiming to impose a prohibition on expulsion, the guidelines lay out a rigorous process for addressing persistent and serious challenging behaviors.
(5) Currently, there are no similar guidelines or regulations on expulsion for the California State Preschool Program or other child care and development services.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to significantly reduce the expulsion or unenrollment of children due to challenging behaviors from the California State Preschool Program and other child care and development programs.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8207 is added to the Education Code, to read:

8207.
 (a) A contracting agency shall not expel or unenroll a child because of a child’s behavior except as authorized by subdivision (c).
(b) (1) If a child exhibits persistent and serious challenging behaviors, the contracting agency shall explore and document all possible steps to maintain the child’s safe participation in the program.
(2) (A) If the child has an individualized family service plan or individualized education program, the contracting agency shall consult with the agency responsible for the individualized family service plan or individualized education program to ensure the child receives the needed support services.
(B) If the child does not have an individualized family service plan or individualized education program, the contracting agency shall collaborate, with the consent of the child’s parents or legal guardians, with the local agency responsible for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to determine the child’s eligibility for services.
(c) If a contracting agency has explored and documented all possible steps to maintain the child’s safe participation in the program and determines, in consultation with the parents or legal guardians of the child, the child’s teacher, and, if applicable, the local agency responsible for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, that the child’s continued enrollment would present a continued serious safety threat to the child or other enrolled children, it shall facilitate the child’s transition to a more appropriate placement.
(d) The State Department of Education shall develop criteria to ensure that children are not expelled or unenrolled from a program due to challenging behaviors without a documented process, as described in subdivision (b), and with due consideration of the requirement to facilitate transition to a more appropriate placement, as described in subdivision (c).

SEC. 3.

 Section 1596.893c is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1596.893c.
 (a) A licensed child day care facility providing services through the California State Preschool Program or other child care and development services shall not be penalized by the department for failure to expel or unenroll a child, or for failure to provide specialized or extraordinary supervision in response to serious, challenging behavior, when the process described in Section 8207 of the Education Code has not yet been completed.
(b) (1) If the department finds a violation that presents an immediate risk to the health, safety, or personal rights of children in care, or a violation that has the potential of becoming an immediate risk to the health, safety, or personal rights of the children in care, as those terms are used in subdivision (a) of Section 1596.893b, and the licensee exercises its right to appeal the department’s decision as specified in Sections 1596.99 and 1597.58, the requirements detailed in Section 1596.8595 shall not apply until the department has decided to uphold, amend, or dismiss the finding of deficiency.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), civil penalties imposed by the department for an original violation shall continue to apply.