With a new year comes new California laws impacting education. These laws encompass a wide range of issues such as special education, student health, and pupil safety. Below is a summary of five important new laws to look out for in the new year.
- AB 2072 – Mental Health Professionals and Natural Disasters
AB 2072 requires county offices of education, in consultation with the State Department of Education and other relevant state and local agencies, to coordinate agreements between school districts and charter schools within the county to develop a system for rapidly deploying qualified mental health professionals to areas of the county that have experienced a natural disaster or other traumatic event.
This law also requires county offices of education, in developing these agreements, to consider cost, criteria for a local educational agency (“LEAs”) to request the use of mental health professionals, and reimbursement between LEAs for travel expenses. This law must be complied with by November 1, 2024.
2. AB 58 and AB 758 – Pupil Suicide Prevention and Pupil Mental Health
AB 58 encourages LEAs to train all teachers on suicide awareness and prevention beginning in the 2024-2025 school year. This law also requires an LEA, on or before January 5, 2025, to review and update its policy on pupil suicide prevention, and revise its training materials, to incorporate best practices identified by the state Department of Education in the Department’s model policy.
AB 748 requires, on or before the start of the 2023-2024 school year, each school site in a school district, county office of education, or charter school serving any of grades 6 through 12, inclusive, to create a poster that identifies approaches and shares resources regarding pupil mental health. This poster must be prominently displayed in appropriate public areas accessible to and frequented by pupils at each school site.
3. AB 408 – Supports for Homeless Children and Youth
AB 408 requires LEAs to establish homeless education policies addressing the rights of homeless youth and the responsibilities of homeless liaisons. This bill also requires homeless liaisons to annually train LEA staff who work with homeless students and encourages the training of all other school employees.
4. AB 452 -Pupil Safety
This law requires a school district, county office of education, and charter school to annually inform parents and guardians of pupils at the beginning of the first semester or quarter of California’s child access prevention laws and laws relating to the safe storage of firearms.
5. AB 1016 – Special Education
This law adds “fetal alcohol spectrum disorder” into the definition of “other health impairment” for purposes of determining special education eligibility.
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