Bill Text


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-516 Pupil attendance: excused absences: cultural ceremonies or events.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 09/15/2021 09:00 PM
AB516:v96#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 15, 2021
Passed  IN  Senate  September 10, 2021
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 10, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  September 03, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  June 22, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 516


Introduced by Assembly Member Megan Dahle

February 10, 2021


An act to amend Section 48205 of the Education Code, relating to pupil attendance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 516, Megan Dahle. Pupil attendance: excused absences: cultural ceremonies or events.
Existing law, notwithstanding the requirement that each person between 6 and 18 years of age who is not otherwise exempted is subject to compulsory full-time education, requires a pupil to be excused from school for specified types of absences, including, among others, if the absence was due to the pupil’s illness.
This bill would include as another type of required excused absence an absence that is for the purpose of participating in a cultural ceremony or event. The bill would define “cultural” for these purposes to mean relating to the habits, practices, beliefs, and traditions of a certain group of people. To the extent this bill would impose additional duties on local educational entities, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 48205 of the Education Code proposed by SB 14 to be operative only if this bill and SB 14 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.
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 48205 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48205.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:
(1) Due to the pupil’s illness.
(2) Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.
(3) For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic services rendered.
(4) For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of the pupil’s immediate family, so long as the absence is not more than one day if the service is conducted in California and not more than three days if the service is conducted outside California.
(5) For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by law.
(6) Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent, including absences to care for a sick child for which the school shall not require a note from a doctor.
(7) For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of the pupil’s religion, attendance at religious retreats, attendance at an employment conference, or attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization when the pupil’s absence is requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board of the school district.
(8) For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.
(9) For the purpose of spending time with a member of the pupil’s immediate family who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in Section 49701, and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from, deployment to a combat zone or combat support position. Absences granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be granted for a period of time to be determined at the discretion of the superintendent of the school district.
(10) For the purpose of attending the pupil’s naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen.
(11) For the purpose of participating in a cultural ceremony or event.
(12) Authorized at the discretion of a school administrator, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 48260.
(b) A pupil absent from school under this section shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit therefor. The teacher of the class from which a pupil is absent shall determine which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.
(c) For purposes of this section, attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.
(d) Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be absences in computing average daily attendance and shall not generate state apportionment payments.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Cultural” means relating to the habits, practices, beliefs, and traditions of a certain group of people.
(2) “Immediate family” means the parent or guardian, brother or sister, grandparent, or any other relative living in the household of the pupil.

SEC. 1.5.

 Section 48205 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48205.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 48200, a pupil shall be excused from school when the absence is:
(1) Due to the pupil’s illness, including an absence for the benefit of the pupil’s mental or behavioral health. The state board shall update its illness verification regulations, as necessary, to account for including a pupil’s absence for the benefit of the pupil’s mental or behavioral health within the scope of this paragraph.
(2) Due to quarantine under the direction of a county or city health officer.
(3) For the purpose of having medical, dental, optometrical, or chiropractic services rendered.
(4) For the purpose of attending the funeral services of a member of the pupil’s immediate family, so long as the absence is not more than one day if the service is conducted in California and not more than three days if the service is conducted outside California.
(5) For the purpose of jury duty in the manner provided for by law.
(6) Due to the illness or medical appointment during school hours of a child of whom the pupil is the custodial parent, including absences to care for a sick child, for which the school shall not require a note from a doctor.
(7) For justifiable personal reasons, including, but not limited to, an appearance in court, attendance at a funeral service, observance of a holiday or ceremony of the pupil’s religion, attendance at a religious retreat, attendance at an employment conference, or attendance at an educational conference on the legislative or judicial process offered by a nonprofit organization, when the pupil’s absence is requested in writing by the parent or guardian and approved by the principal or a designated representative pursuant to uniform standards established by the governing board of the school district.
(8) For the purpose of serving as a member of a precinct board for an election pursuant to Section 12302 of the Elections Code.
(9) For the purpose of spending time with a member of the pupil’s immediate family who is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined in Section 49701, and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or has immediately returned from, deployment to a combat zone or combat support position. Absences granted pursuant to this paragraph shall be granted for a period of time to be determined at the discretion of the superintendent of the school district.
(10) For the purpose of attending the pupil’s naturalization ceremony to become a United States citizen.
(11) For the purpose of participating in a cultural ceremony or event.
(12) Authorized at the discretion of a school administrator, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 48260.
(b) A pupil absent from school under this section shall be allowed to complete all assignments and tests missed during the absence that can be reasonably provided and, upon satisfactory completion within a reasonable period of time, shall be given full credit therefor. The teacher of the class from which a pupil is absent shall determine which tests and assignments shall be reasonably equivalent to, but not necessarily identical to, the tests and assignments that the pupil missed during the absence.
(c) For purposes of this section, attendance at religious retreats shall not exceed four hours per semester.
(d) Absences pursuant to this section are deemed to be absences in computing average daily attendance and shall not generate state apportionment payments.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Cultural” means relating to the habits, practices, beliefs, and traditions of a certain group of people.
(2) “Immediate family” means the parent or guardian, brother or sister, grandparent, or any other relative living in the household of the pupil.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 48205 of the Education Code proposed by this bill and Senate Bill 14. That section of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2022, (2) each bill amends Section 48205 of the Education Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 14, in which case Section 48205 of the Education Code, as amended by Senate Bill 14, shall remain operative only until the operative date of this bill, at which time Section 1.5 of this bill shall become operative, and Section 1 of this bill shall not become operative.

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.