Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1974 Pupils: collection of debt.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.
 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Public School Fair Debt Collection Act.

SEC. 2.

 Section 49014 is added to the Education Code, to read:

49014.
 (a) A pupil or former pupil, unless emancipated at the time the debt is incurred, shall not owe or be billed for a debt owed to a public school or school district.
(b) A public school or school district shall not, because of a debt owed to the public school or school district, take negative action against a pupil or former pupil, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Denying or withholding grades or transcripts.
(2) Denying or withholding a diploma.
(3) Limiting or barring participation in an extracurricular activity, club, or sport.
(4) Limiting or excluding from participation in an educational activity or field trip.
(c) A public school or school district shall provide a receipt to the parent or guardian of a pupil or former pupil for each payment made to the public school or school district for any amount owed by the parent or guardian on behalf of the pupil or former pupil.
(d) Except as provided in subdivision (g), a debt collector, as defined in Section 803 of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1692a), shall not report a debt owed by a parent or guardian to a credit reporting agency if the debt collector is contracted with a public school or school district for the purpose of pursuing the repayment of a debt owed by a parent or guardian of a pupil or former pupil.
(e) A public school or school district shall not sell debt owed by a parent or guardian of a pupil or former pupil.
(f) Any waiver by a parent, guardian, pupil, or former pupil of the provisions of this section is contrary to public policy and shall be unenforceable and void.
(g) (1) This section shall not apply to debt owed as a result of vandalism or to cover the replacement cost of public school or school district books, supplies, or property loaned to a pupil that the pupil fails to return or that are willfully cut, defaced, or otherwise injured. A public school or school district may request alternative, nonmonetary forms of compensation to settle debt described in this paragraph.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply if the pupil is a current or former homeless child or youth or a current or former foster youth.
(h) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Foster youth” has the same meaning as in Section 42238.01.
(2) “Homeless child or youth” has the same meaning as “homeless children and youths” in Section 11434a(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code.
(3) “Public school” includes the state special schools, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 48927, charter schools, schools operated by a county office of education, and schools within a school district.
(4) “School district” means a school district or county office of education.
SEC. 3.
 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.