The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color Bulletin: CA State Policy Updates

State Policy Updates

As a service to practitioners, advocates and system partners, we will periodically share information about proposed legislation with relevance to the health and success of boys and men of color.  The summaries below are of  bills addressing  the priorities of the California State assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color: education, employment and wealth, health, safety and juvenile justice, and youth development.  In addition to the name of the legislator that is championing the legislation, each of summaries provides details of the purpose of the bill and the sponsoring organization.  For more information, or if you would like to provide support, please contact the sponsor directly.

School Push Out Issues

This legislative session, a number of community advocates and civil rights organizations are moving a package of bills that would reverse the alarming rate of school push out among boys and young men of color.

  • SB 1235 (Steinberg) — Strengthens existing law to require, rather than encourage, schools to take steps to address high rates of suspension. Requires schools with high rates of suspension to implement evidence-based, school-wide behavioral strategies aimed at reducing behaviors that lead to suspension. Applies initially to schools that suspend 25 percent or more of their total students or of any numerically significant racial or ethnic subgroup, and eventually to schools that suspend 15 percent or more of students. Requires the State Superintendent, using data already collected by the state, to publish an annual list of schools with high suspension rates.
  • AB 1729 (Ammiano) — Strengthens existing law that requires that suspensions may be imposed only after “other means of correction” have failed to bring about proper conduct. Expands the list of examples of other means of correction and requires documentation othat other means  have been pursued before a student may be suspended for discretionary offenses.
  • AB 1909 (Ammiano) — Requires school districts to provide notification to a county child welfare designee and the court-appointed attorneys for the foster youth when a foster youth is pending expulsion or subject to a manifestation determination Individualized Education Program.
  • AB 2242 (Dickinson) — Amends current law to provide that the act of disruption of school activities or otherwise willfully defying the valid authority of supervisors, teachers, administrators, school officials may subject a student to an in-school suspension in a supervised suspension classroom, but not to an off-campus suspension, extended suspension, or expulsion.
  • AB 2145 (Alejo & Dickinson) — Requires that expulsion and suspension data already collected by the state be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, special education status, English learner status, socioeconomic status, and gender and cross-tabulated by gender and race.
  • AB 2300 (Swanson) — Prohibits school districts from disclosing to a post-secondary educational institution discipline data for minor offenses when a student has completed community service hours.
  • AB 2537 (M. Perez) — Authorizes, rather than mandates, a principal or superintendent to immediately suspend and make a recommendation for expulsion for certain acts where federal law does not mandate expulsion. Authorizes, rather than mandates, a principal to notify the appropriate law enforcement agencies of certain offenses.
  • AB 2616 (Carter) — Truancy—removes the schools requirement from labeling a student as truant for specified reasons, and ensures that a district notifies parents if the schools choses to label a student a truant.
  • SB 1088 (Price) —The bill clarifies existing law by prohibiting a school from denying enrollment or readmissions to a student on the basis that the youth has had contact with the juvenile justice system and ensures that expelled students are given more than one opportunity to demonstrate that they have completed their rehabilitation plans, so that they can be readmitted to a regular school.  Passed out of the Senate Education Committee on March 28 with an 8-0 vote.

All of these bills, except for AB 2537 and AB 2616 which will be heard on April 18th, have passed their first policy committee and are headed to appropriations committee in the house of origin.  Organizations are encouraged to continue tracking and consider supporting those bills that would further your organizational goals.

The partnership that is leading this effort draws on the legal expertise of Public Counsel, the ACLU, CRLA Inc. and coalitions that work throughout California, including PICO, the Youth Justice Coalition, Californians for Justice, Fight Crime Invest in Kids, and others.  For more information about this package of school push out bills please contact Laura Faer, Education Rights Director for Public Counsel at: lfaer@publiccounsel.org

In recognition of the urgency to reverse a trend that would negatively impact our communities and the state’s future economic competitiveness, we have chosen to put a special emphasis on these proposals to fix school discipline policies. In forthcoming update we will feature a broader range of bills.

Meanwhile, you will find summaries of handful of bills Alliance partners are moving that would also serve to improve educational, health, and economic outcomes.

  • AB 1072 (Fuentes)–Establishes the California Promise Neighborhood Initiative—in the Office of Economic Development. It requires the office to establish 40 promise neighborhoods throughout the state to maximize collective efforts within a community to improve the health, safety, education and economic development of each neighborhood. The bill also gives cities, counties, schools, and school districts located in a promise neighborhood priority in consideration for certain programs, grants, and funding.

For more information on AB 1072 please contact Jose Atilio Hernandez at jherandez@ideatecal.com on behalf of Youth Policy Institute and PolicyLink.

  • AB 1831 (Dickson and Swanson)—Hiring Practices—would expand California’s “ban the box” policy for state public employees to city and county workers across the state. The bill delays a criminal background check requirement in the hiring process, which would reduce unnecessary barriers to employment for the one in four adult Californians who have an arrest or conviction record.  Cities and counties—Alameda County, Oakland, San Francisco City and County, and Richmond—have passed resolutions in favor of AB 1831. About 80 groups have submitted letters of support so far including labor, interfaith, reentry, and civil rights groups. Chief of Police Davis (East Palo Alto), Chief of Police Magnus (Richmond), and Chief of Probation Still (San Francisco), understanding that stable employment reduces recidivism, have also provided their support.

AB 1831 will be heard in Assembly Local Government Committee as early as May 2nd.  For more information on please contact Maurice Emsellem at memsellem@nelp.org and www.nelp.org.

14 Responses to “The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color Bulletin: CA State Policy Updates”

  1. avatar

    Good students conduct themselves with maturity, they are kind and helpful to everyone in the classroom. They resist the urge to be distract by other students in classroom and these types of students always successful in their life.

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