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AB-989 Educational equity: sex equity in education: federal Title IX complaints.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/26/2019 09:00 PM
AB989:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 989


Introduced by Assembly Member Gonzalez

February 21, 2019


An act relating to child abuse. to amend Section 221.61 of, and to add Sections 221.62 and 221.63 to, the Education Code, relating to educational equity.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 989, as amended, Gonzalez. Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act: public school ombudsperson. Educational equity: sex equity in education: federal Title IX complaints.
Existing federal law, known as Title IX, prohibits a person, on the basis of sex, from being excluded from participation in, being denied the benefits of, or being subject to discrimination under, any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Existing state law, the Sex Equity in Education Act, states the policy of the state that elementary and secondary school classes and courses, including nonacademic and elective classes and courses, be conducted without regard to the sex of the pupil enrolled in these classes or courses. The act requires public schools, private schools that receive federal funds and are subject to the requirements of Title IX, school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to post in a prominent and conspicuous location on their internet websites specified information relating to Title IX.
This bill would require, on or before July 1, 2020, school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to establish a toll-free telephone reporting hotline monitored by the designated Title IX coordinator for the purpose of filing complaints of harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex. The bill would include the reporting hotline telephone number in the information that public schools, school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools are required to post on their internet websites. The bill would also require a public school to forward and report any complaint it receives alleging a Title IX violation to the Title IX coordinator for the school district or county office of education for recordkeeping. By imposing additional duties on public schools, school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

The Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act requires a mandated reporter, as defined, to make a report to a specified agency whenever the mandated reporter, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, has knowledge of or observes a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would, among other things, establish a public school ombudsperson at each county office of education and school district for purposes of providing guidance on and compliance with the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 221.61 of the Education Code is amended to read:

221.61.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2017, public Public schools, private schools that receive federal funds and are subject to the requirements of Title IX, school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools shall post in a prominent and conspicuous location on their Internet Web sites internet websites all of the following:
(1) The name and contact information of the Title IX coordinator for that public school, private school, school district, county office of education, or charter school, which shall include the Title IX coordinator’s phone number and email address.
(2) For public schools, school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, the phone number of the relevant toll-free reporting hotline established pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 221.62.

(2)

(3) The rights of a pupil and the public and the responsibilities of the public school, private school, school district, county office of education, or charter school under Title IX, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, Internet Web links hyperlinks to information about those rights and responsibilities located on the Internet Web sites internet websites of the department’s Office for Equal Opportunity and the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, and the list of rights specified in Section 221.8.

(3)

(4) A description of how to file a complaint under Title IX, which shall include all of the following:
(A) An explanation of the statute of limitations within which a complaint must be filed after an alleged incident of discrimination has occurred, and how a complaint may be filed beyond the statute of limitations.
(B) An explanation of how the complaint will be investigated and how the complainant may further pursue the complaint, including, but not limited to, Internet Web links hyperlinks to this information on the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights’ Internet Web site. internet website.
(C) An Internet Web link A hyperlink to the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights complaints form, and the contact information for the office, which shall include the phone number and email address for the office.
(b) On or before April 1, 2017, and annually thereafter, 1 of each year, the Superintendent shall send a letter through electronic means to all public schools, private schools that receive federal funds and are subject to the requirements of Title IX, school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools informing them of the requirement applicable requirements specified in subdivision (a) and of their responsibilities under Title IX.
(c) A public school that does not maintain an Internet Web site internet website may comply with subdivision (a) by posting the information specified in paragraphs (1) to (3), (4), inclusive, of subdivision (a) on the Internet Web site internet website of its school district or county office of education.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a school or local educational agency to establish an Internet Web site internet website if the school or local educational agency does not already maintain one.

SEC. 2.

 Section 221.62 is added to the Education Code, to read:

221.62.
 (a) On or before July 1, 2020, a school district, county office of education, or charter school shall establish a toll-free telephone reporting hotline for the purpose of filing complaints of harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex.
(b) A reporting hotline established pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be monitored by the designated Title IX coordinator for that school district, county office of education, or charter school.
(c) The Title IX coordinator for a school district, county office of education, or charter school that receives a complaint submitted to the reporting hotline established pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be responsible for all of the following, to the extent permitted by existing law:
(1) Maintaining a record of complaints submitted to the reporting hotline.
(2) Referring complaints to the responsible investigating entity.
(3) Explaining to a complainant how the complaint will be investigated.
(4) Explaining to a complainant which entity will be responsible for investigating the complaint.
(5) Explaining to a complainant their rights under Title IX, rights specified in Section 221.8, and any other relevant rights afforded under existing law.
(6) Informing a complainant of the progress of the investigation.

SEC. 3.

 Section 221.63 is added to the Education Code, to read:

221.63.
 When public school staff receive a complaint alleging a Title IX violation, the public school staff shall forward and report the complaint to the Title IX coordinator for the school district or county office of education for recordkeeping.

SEC. 4.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would do both of the following:

(a)Provide added protections for public school children by establishing a public school ombudsperson at each county office of education and school district for purposes of providing guidance on and compliance with the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11164) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code).

(b)Require county offices of education and school districts to develop and provide a centralized toll-free telephone number and internet website for individuals to submit child abuse and neglect reports directly to the public school ombudsperson at the county office of education or school district.