Code Section

Education Code - EDC

TITLE 2. ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION [33000 - 64100]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )
  

DIVISION 4. INSTRUCTION AND SERVICES [46000 - 65001]

  ( Division 4 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )
  

PART 26. ATTENDANCE FOR COMPUTING APPORTIONMENTS [46000 - 46610]

  ( Part 26 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )
  

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions [46000 - 46015]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )
  

ARTICLE 2. Absences [46010 - 46015]
  ( Article 2 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )

  
46015.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that pregnant and parenting pupils are entitled to accommodations that provide them with the opportunity to succeed academically while protecting their health and the health of their children. The Legislature hereby establishes the following accommodations as rights of pregnant and parenting pupils:

(1) A pregnant or parenting pupil is entitled to eight weeks of parental leave, which the pupil may take before the birth of the pupil’s infant if there is a medical necessity and after childbirth during the school year in which the birth takes place, inclusive of any mandatory summer instruction, in order to protect the health of the pupil who gives or expects to give birth and the infant, and to allow the pregnant or parenting pupil to care for and bond with the infant. It is the intent of the Legislature that the pupil, if the pupil is 18 years of age or older, or, if the pupil is under 18 years of age, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, notify the school of the pupil’s intent to exercise this right. Failure to notify the school shall not abridge the rights established by this paragraph or any other right established by this subdivision.

(2) A pregnant or parenting pupil who does not wish to take all or part of the parental leave to which they are entitled pursuant to paragraph (1) shall not be required to do so.

(3) A pregnant or parenting pupil is entitled to receive more than eight weeks of parental leave pursuant to paragraph (1) if deemed medically necessary by the pupil’s physician.

(4) When a pupil takes parental leave pursuant to paragraph (1), the supervisor of attendance shall ensure that absences from the pupil’s regular school program are excused until the pupil is able to return to the regular school program or an alternative education program.

(5) During parental leave taken pursuant to paragraph (1), a local educational agency shall not require a pregnant or parenting pupil to complete academic work or other school requirements.

(6) A pregnant or parenting pupil may return to the school and the course of study in which he or she was enrolled before taking parental leave pursuant to paragraph (1).

(7) Upon return to school after taking parental leave pursuant to paragraph (1), a pregnant or parenting pupil is entitled to opportunities to make up work missed during his or her leave, including, but not limited to, makeup work plans and reenrollment in courses.

(8) Notwithstanding any other law, a pregnant or parenting pupil may remain enrolled for a fifth year of instruction in the school in which the pupil was previously enrolled when it is necessary in order for the pupil to be able to complete state and any local graduation requirements, unless the local educational agency makes a finding that the pupil is reasonably able to complete the local educational agency’s graduation requirements in time to graduate from high school by the end of the pupil’s fourth year of high school.

(9) A pupil who chooses not to return to the school in which he or she was enrolled before taking parental leave pursuant to paragraph (1) is entitled to alternative education options offered by the local educational agency.

(10) In accordance with subdivision (d) of Section 221.51, a pregnant or parenting pupil who participates in an alternative education program shall be given educational programs, activities, and courses equal to those he or she would have been in if participating in the regular education program.

(11) A pupil shall not incur an academic penalty as a result of his or her use of the accommodations specified in this subdivision.

(b) (1) A complaint of noncompliance with the requirements of this section may be filed with the local educational agency under the Uniform Complaint Procedures set forth in Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(2) A local educational agency shall respond to a complaint filed pursuant to paragraph (1) in accordance with Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

(3) A complainant not satisfied with the decision of a local educational agency may appeal the decision to the department pursuant to Chapter 5.1 (commencing with Section 4600) of Division 1 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations and shall receive a written decision regarding the appeal within 60 days of the department’s receipt of the appeal.

(4) If a local educational agency finds merit in a complaint, or if the department finds merit in an appeal, the local educational agency shall provide a remedy to the affected pupil.

(c) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply, unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) “Local educational agency” means a school district, a county office of education, a school operated by a school district or a county office of education, a charter school, the California Schools for the Deaf, or the California School for the Blind.

(2) “Pregnant or parenting pupil” means a pupil who gives or expects to give birth or a parenting pupil who has not given birth and who identifies as the parent of the infant.

(3) “Pupil” means a pupil enrolled in a local educational agency.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 942, Sec. 4. (AB 2289) Effective January 1, 2019.)