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AB-768 School safety: aquatic and pool safety program: model policy.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 03/11/2021 09:00 PM
AB768:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 11, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 768


Introduced by Assembly Member Holden

February 16, 2021


An act to repeal and add Article 16 (commencing with Section 51879.7) of Chapter 5 of Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, relating to school safety.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 768, as amended, Holden. School safety: aquatic and pool safety program: model policy.
Existing law requires the Division of Boating and Waterways, in cooperation with the State Department of Education and other appropriate entities involved with water safety, to develop an aquatic safety program to be made available for use at an appropriate grade level in public elementary schools at no expense to the schools. Existing law requires the division to notify schools and school districts of the availability of the aquatic safety program once it is developed.
This bill would repeal those provisions and related legislative findings. The bill would require, on or before June 1, 2022, the division and the State Department of Public Health, in cooperation with the State Department of Education and other specified entities, to develop an aquatic and pool safety program to be made available for use at local educational agencies, defined as school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools that serve pupils in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, as a model policy at no expense to the local educational agencies. The bill would require the model policy, among other things, to be age appropriate, to address the needs of groups at a higher risk of drowning, and to include specified training materials.
The bill would require the State Department of Education to notify local educational agencies of the availability of the aquatic and pool safety program model policy once it is developed and to establish a deadline for local educational agencies to adopt an aquatic and pool safety program that is based on the model policy. The bill would require the governing board or body of a local educational agency to review, at minimum every 4th year, its aquatic and pool safety program and, if necessary, update the program. By imposing additional requirements on school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would require the State Department of Education, by January 1, 2023, to submit a report to the Legislature identifying the number of local educational agencies that have adopted an aquatic and pool safety 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) According to 2018 data from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood drowning is on the rise again and is the leading cause of injury death for children in the United States 1 to 4 years of age, inclusive, second for children 5 to 9 years of age, inclusive, and fourth for children 10 to 14 years of age, inclusive.
(b) Black and Latino children die of drowning at rates of at least five times that of their White peers, while 64 percent of Black children and 45 percent of Latino children cannot swim well or at all.
(c) Boys represent 80 percent of drowning victims.
(d) Most childhood drownings occur in June and July, immediately following the end of the school year.
(e) California perennially records the third most fatal and nonfatal childhood drowning victims in the United States.
(f) As children and teens spend a significant amount of their young lives in school, local educational agencies and school staff can help parents and caregivers and their children access nationally recognized water safety resources with potentially lifesaving consequences.
(g) According to research by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, a model aquatic and pool safety program can significantly reduce youth drowning.

SEC. 2.

 Article 16 (commencing with Section 51879.7) of Chapter 5 of Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Article 16 (commencing with Section 51879.7) is added to Chapter 5 of Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  16. Aquatic and Pool Safety

51879.7.
 For purposes of this article, “local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school that serves pupils in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive.

51879.8.
 (a) On or before June 1, 2022, the Division of Boating and Waterways and the State Department of Public Health, in cooperation with the department and other appropriate agencies, industries, and nonprofit organizations involved with water and child safety, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Safe Kids Worldwide, shall develop an aquatic and pool safety program that shall be made available for use at local educational agencies as a model policy at no expense to the local educational agencies. The model policy shall include, but not be limited to, an audiovisual instructional aid and parental involvement materials. The department shall act as liaison between the local educational agencies and the industries and nonprofit organizations involved with water and child safety.
(b) The model policy shall be age appropriate and shall address the needs of groups at a higher risk of drowning, including, but not limited to, both of the following:
(1) Youth 14 years of age and under.
(2) Economically disadvantaged youth.
(c) (1) The model policy shall include training materials that include age-appropriate water safety fundamentals, at the schoolsite and within the larger community, and provisions for when and how to refer youth and their families to those services.
(2) Training materials may include programs that can be completed through self-review.
(d) The model policy shall address training on water safety for teachers of pupils in all grade levels.
(e) The model policy shall be written to ensure that a school employee acts only within the authorization and scope of the employee’s credential or license. This article does not authorize or encourage a school employee to serve as an aquatics professional or water safety expert.

51879.9.
 (a) The department shall notify local educational agencies of the availability of the aquatic and pool safety program model policy once it is developed pursuant to Section 51879.8.
(b) The department shall establish a deadline for local educational agencies to adopt an aquatic and pool safety program that is based on the model policy.
(c) A local educational agency shall deliver and discuss the aquatic and pool safety program materials in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of young pupils.
(d) (1) The governing board or body of a local educational agency shall review, at minimum every fourth year, its aquatic and pool safety program and, if necessary, update the program.
(2) Paragraph (1) does not prevent the governing board or body of a local educational agency from updating its aquatic and pool safety program more frequently than every fourth year.
(e) (1) The department shall submit, by January 1, 2023, a report to the Legislature in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code identifying the number of local educational agencies that have adopted an aquatic and pool safety program.
(2) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under paragraph (1) is inoperative on January 1, 2027, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.

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.