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SB-532 Pupil instruction: high school coursework and graduation requirements: exemptions.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/08/2021 09:00 PM
SB532:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 24, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 09, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 532


Introduced by Senator Caballero
(Coauthor: Senator Wilk)

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 51225.1 of the Education Code, relating to pupil instruction.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 532, as amended, Caballero. Pupil instruction: high school coursework and graduation requirements: exemptions.
(1) Existing law requires a local educational agency, as defined, to exempt a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, or a pupil who is a migratory child who transfers between schools any time after the completion of the pupil’s 2nd year of high school, or a pupil participating in an English language proficiency program for newly arrived immigrant pupils and who is in their 3rd or 4th year of high school, from all coursework and other requirements adopted by the governing body of the local educational agency that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements necessary to receive a diploma of graduation from high school, 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 4th year of high school.
This bill, among other things, would require the local educational agency to inform a pupil in foster care or a pupil who is a homeless child or youth youth, and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, of the pupil’s right to remain in the pupil’s school of origin pursuant to federal law if the local educational agency determines the pupil is reasonably able to complete the local educational agency’s graduation requirements within the pupil’s 5th year of high school. For a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, or a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in an English language proficiency program for newly arrived immigrant pupils the bill would require the local educational agency to provide an option for the pupil to remain in school for a 5th year to complete the statewide course requirements in order to graduate from high school if the local educational agency determines that the pupil is reasonably able to complete these requirements, but is not reasonably able to complete the local graduation requirements, within the pupil’s 5th year of high school.
If the pupil does not qualify for an exemption in the year in which the pupil transfers between schools, the bill would require the local educational agency to reevaluate the pupil’s eligibility for the exemption, as specified. The bill would apply these provisions to, among others, pupils described above who are enrolled in an adult education program, regardless of the pupil’s age, as specified. specified, and certain additional pupils in foster care.
By requiring local educational agencies to perform additional duties in complying with the exemption requirements, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) 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.

 Section 51225.1 of the Education Code is amended to read:

51225.1.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a local educational agency, as defined in subdivision (s), shall exempt a pupil in foster care, as defined in Section 51225.2, subdivision (s), a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, as defined in Section 11434a(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code, a former juvenile court school pupil, as defined in Section 51225.2, a pupil who is a child of a military family, as defined in Section 49701, or a pupil who is a migratory child, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 54441, who transfers between schools any time after the completion of the pupil’s second year of high school, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program, as defined in Section 51225.2, and who is in their third or fourth year of high school, from all coursework and other requirements adopted by the governing body that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements specified in Section 51225.3, 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.
(b) If the local educational agency determines that the pupil in foster care, the pupil who is a homeless child or youth, the former juvenile court school pupil, the pupil who is a child of a military family, the pupil who is a migratory child, or the pupil participating in a newcomer program is reasonably able to complete the local educational agency’s graduation requirements within the pupil’s fifth year of high school, the local educational agency shall do all of the following:
(1) Inform the pupil of the pupil’s option to remain in school for a fifth year to complete the local educational agency’s graduation requirements.
(2) Inform the pupil, and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, about how remaining in school for a fifth year to complete the local educational agency’s graduation requirements will affect the pupil’s ability to gain admission to a postsecondary educational institution.
(3) Provide information to the pupil about transfer opportunities available through the California Community Colleges.
(4) Permit the pupil to stay in school for a fifth year to complete the local educational agency’s graduation requirements upon agreement with the pupil, if the pupil is 18 years of age or older, or, if the pupil is under 18 years of age, upon agreement with the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil.
(5) Inform the For a pupil in foster care or the a pupil who is a homeless child or youth youth, inform the pupil, and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, of the pupil’s option to remain in the pupil’s school of origin, pursuant to Section 6311(g)(1)(E) of Title 20 of the United States Code or Section 11432(g)(3) of Title 42 of the United States Code. Section 48852.7 for a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, or Section 48853.5 for a pupil in foster care.
(c) To determine whether a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, or a pupil who is a migratory child is in the third or fourth year of high school, the number of credits the pupil has earned to the date of transfer, the length of the pupil’s school enrollment, or, for pupils with significant gaps in school attendance, the pupil’s age as compared to the average age of pupils in the third or fourth year of high school, may be used, whichever will qualify the pupil for the exemption. In the case of a pupil participating in a newcomer program, enrollment in grade 11 or 12 may be used to determine whether the pupil is in the pupil’s third or fourth year of high school.
(d) (1) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a pupil in foster care who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section transfers into a school, the local educational agency shall notify the pupil, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, and the pupil’s social worker or probation officer of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.
(B) If the local educational agency fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after the termination of the court’s jurisdiction over the pupil, if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.
(2) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a pupil who is a homeless child or youth who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section transfers into a school, the local educational agency shall notify the pupil, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, and the local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code, of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.
(B) If the local educational agency fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after the pupil is no longer a homeless child or youth, if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.
(3) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a former juvenile court school pupil who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section transfers into a school, the local educational agency shall notify the pupil, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, and the pupil’s social worker or probation officer of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.
(B) If the local educational agency fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after termination of the court’s jurisdiction over the pupil, if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.
(4) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a pupil who is a child of a military family who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section transfers into a school, the local educational agency shall notify the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.
(B) If the local educational agency fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after the pupil no longer meets the definition of “children of military families” under Section 49701, if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.
(5) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a pupil who is a migratory child who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section transfers into a school, the local educational agency shall notify the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.
(B) If the local educational agency fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after the pupil no longer meets the definition of “migratory child” if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.
(6) (A) Within 30 calendar days of the date that a pupil participating in a newcomer program who may qualify for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section commences participation in a newcomer program at a school, the local educational agency shall notify the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for an exemption.
(B) If the local educational agency fails to provide timely notice pursuant to subparagraph (A), the pupil described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section once notified, even if that notification occurs after the pupil no longer meets the definition of a “pupil participating in a newcomer program” if the pupil otherwise qualifies for the exemption pursuant to this section.
(e) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section and completes the statewide coursework requirements specified in Section 51225.3 before the end of the pupil’s fourth year of high school and that pupil would otherwise be entitled to remain in attendance at the school, a school, including a charter school, or school district shall not require or request that the pupil graduate before the end of the pupil’s fourth year of high school.
(f) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the local educational agency shall notify the pupil and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil how any of the requirements that are waived will affect the pupil’s ability to gain admission to a postsecondary educational institution and shall provide information about transfer opportunities available through the California Community Colleges.
(g) A pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program who is eligible for the exemption from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section and would otherwise be entitled to remain in attendance at the school shall not be required to accept the exemption or be denied enrollment in, or the ability to complete, courses for which the pupil is otherwise eligible, including courses necessary to attend an institution of higher education, regardless of whether those courses are required for statewide graduation requirements.
(h) (1) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program is not exempted from local graduation requirements or has previously declined the exemption pursuant to this section, a local educational agency shall exempt the pupil at any time if an exemption is requested by the pupil and the pupil qualifies for the exemption.
(2) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, or a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program who was eligible for an exemption pursuant to this section, was not properly notified of the availability of the exemption pursuant to subdivision (d), or declined the exemption, a local educational agency nonetheless shall exempt the pupil at any time if an exemption is requested by the pupil or the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, and the pupil at one time qualified for the exemption, even if the pupil is no longer homeless or the court’s jurisdiction over the pupil has terminated.
(i) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, a local educational agency shall not revoke the exemption.
(j) (1) If a pupil in foster care is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the termination of the court’s jurisdiction over the pupil while the pupil is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school, including a charter school, or school district.
(2) If a pupil who is a homeless child or youth is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the pupil is no longer a homeless child or youth while the pupil is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school, including a charter school, or school district.
(3) If a former juvenile court school pupil is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the termination of the court’s jurisdiction over the pupil while the pupil is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school, including a charter school, or school district.
(4) If a pupil who is a child of a military family is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the pupil no longer meets the definition of “children of military families” under Section 49701 while the pupil is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school, including a charter school, or school district.
(5) If a pupil who is a migratory child is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the pupil no longer meets the definition of “migratory child” while the pupil is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school, including a charter school, or school district.
(6) If a pupil participating in a newcomer program is exempted from local graduation requirements pursuant to this section, the exemption shall continue to apply after the pupil no longer meets the definition of a “pupil participating in a newcomer program” while the pupil is enrolled in school or if the pupil transfers to another school, including a charter school, or school district.
(k) A local educational agency shall not require or request a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, or a pupil who is a migratory child to transfer schools in order to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.
(l) (1) A pupil in foster care, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, the pupil’s social worker, or the pupil’s probation officer shall not request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.
(2) A pupil who is a homeless child or youth, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, or the local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youth designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code, shall not request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.
(3) A former juvenile court school pupil, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, the pupil’s social worker, or the pupil’s probation officer shall not request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.
(4) A pupil who is a child of a military family, or the pupil’s parent or guardian, shall not request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.
(5) A pupil who is a migratory child, or the pupil’s parent or guardian, shall not request a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption pursuant to this section.
(m) (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 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.
(3) If a local educational agency finds merit in a complaint, or the Superintendent finds merit in an appeal, the local educational agency shall provide a remedy to the affected pupil.
(4) Information regarding the requirements of this section shall be included in the annual notification distributed to, among others, pupils, parents or guardians of pupils, employees, and other interested parties pursuant to Section 4622 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
(n) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, or a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program who transfers between schools any time after the completion of the pupil’s second year of high school, is not reasonably able to complete the local educational agency’s graduation requirements within the pupil’s fifth year of high school, but is reasonably able to complete the statewide coursework requirements specified in Section 51225.3 within the pupil’s fifth year of high school, the local educational agency shall provide the pupil the option to remain in school for a fifth year to complete the statewide coursework requirements.
(o) (1) If a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, or a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program is not eligible for an exemption pursuant to this section in the year in which the pupil transfers between schools, schools because 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, a local educational agency nonetheless shall reevaluate eligibility within the first 30 calendar days of the following academic year, to determine if the pupil continues to be 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.
(2) If the pupil is not 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, the local educational agency shall offer to exempt the pupil from all coursework and other requirements adopted by the governing body of the local educational agency that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements specified in Section 51225.3 and provide notification of the availability of the exemption pursuant to subdivision (d).
(p) (1) This section shall apply to a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, or a pupil who is a migratory child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program who is enrolled in an adult education program, regardless of the pupil’s age.
(2) This section shall apply to a pupil who is enrolled in an adult education program who, while enrolled in high school, was a pupil in foster care, a pupil who is a homeless child or youth, a former juvenile court school pupil, a pupil who is a child of a military family, or a pupil who is a migratory child. child, or a pupil participating in a newcomer program.
(q) For a pupil who is an unaccompanied youth as defined in Section 11434a(6) of Title 42 of the United States Code, the “person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil” is the unaccompanied youth.
(r) Each local educational agency shall report to the department annually on the number of pupils that graduate who, for the prior school year, graduated with an exemption from the local educational agency’s graduation requirements that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements. This data shall be reported for pupils graduating in the fourth year and fifth year cohorts, and shall be disaggregated by cohort, pupil category. category, race, and disability status. The department shall make this data publicly available on an annual basis aligned with other reporting timelines for the California dashboard graduation data. For purposes of this subdivision, “pupil category” means the categories of pupils identified in subdivision (a).
(s) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Governing body” means the governing board of a school district or the governing body of a charter school, as applicable.
(2) “Local educational agency” means a school district or charter school.
(3) “Pupil in foster care” has the same meaning as defined in Section 51225.2, except that “pupil in foster care” also includes “foster youth” as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 42238.01.
(4) “Unaccompanied youth” means an unaccompanied youth between 12 to 24 years of age, inclusive, who is experiencing homelessness, as defined in subsection (2) of Section 725 of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11434a(2)).

SEC. 2.

 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.