Several new laws have recently been introduced that affect California schools. Choose a bill below to learn more about the most current legislation.
Senate Bill 277 (Immunizations and personal belief exemptions)
Effective July 2016, SB 277 will eliminate personal and religious exemptions from immunization requirements for children in child care and public and private schools. Personal belief exemptions submitted before January 1, 2016 will remain valid until the student reaches kindergarten or 7th grade. SB 277 removes immunization requirements for:
Students in the above categories will still need to provide immunization records to their schools before entry. Schools still need to report to the CDPH the immunization status of all students at the existing checkpoints of child care, kindergarten and 7th grade. The law also allows medical and personal beliefs exemptions from any new immunization requirement initiated by CDPH for school and child care attendance.
The text of SB 277 and additional information is available at:
Senate Bill 1266 (Epinephrine auto-injectors)
SB 1266 amends Education Code 49414 and is now in effect. This law requires a county office of education, school district, or charter school to provide emergency epinephrine auto-injectors to school nurses and trained personnel who have volunteered, so that the auto-injectors may be administered to persons suffering, or reasonably believed to be suffering from an anaphylactic (potentially life-threatening allergic) reaction.
The bill requires that a notice is issued to staff to request volunteers at least once a year. The request form must let staff know that as a volunteer, they will be trained to administer epinephrine auto-injectors, and it must include a description of the training they will receive. The county office of education, school district, or charter school is also required to indemnify and defend each employee who volunteers under the statute from any and all civil liability.
The credentialed school nurse can ensure that the proper procedures, protocols and trainings are established and maintained. Superintendents will need to review minimum standards of training every 5 years. The epinephrine auto-injectors require a prescription from a physician, which will be arranged by each county office of education, school district or charter school.
The text of SB 1266 is available at the California Legislative Information website.
Assembly Bill 329 (Sexual Health Education)
On October 1, 2015, Governor Brown signed the California Healthy Youth Act (AB 329), which will become effective January 1, 2016. This bill requires that all pupils in grades 7 to 12 receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education from instructors trained in the appropriate courses. Pupils shall receive this instruction at least once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high school.
There is a long list of requirements of what must be included in the instruction. Some changes may be new to junior high and middle schools, including the requirement to provide accurate information about the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods.
The text of AB 329 is available at the California Legislative Information website.
Assembly Bill 1667 (Tuberculosis (TB) testing of school employees)
AB 1667 is now in effect and amends Education Code 49406, including sections of the Health and Safety Code. This law replaces the requirement for universal Tuberculosis (TB) testing of school employees with universal risk assessment.
A questionnaire is administered by a health professional as outlined in the bill, and if no TB risk factors are identified, a Certificate of Completion is issued to the employee. If TB risk factors are identified, the person must submit to a TB examination (approved intradermal test) to determine that the person is free of infectious Tuberculosis.
The TB risk assessment will be completed every 4 years, as described above. If the TB test is positive, the person will be referred for a chest x-ray to rule out infectious Tuberculosis.
The text of AB 1667 and additional information is available at:
Assembly Bill 2706 (Health care coverage information)
AB 2706 requires schools to provide health coverage information in their enrollment packets at the beginning of the school year. Currently, there are templates for factsheets about health care coverage options and enrollment assistance available at the ALL IN For Health website.
Additional information for school leaders is available at the ALL IN For Health website.
Tulare County Office of Education
Tim A. Hire, County Superintendent of Schools
P.O. Box 5091
Visalia, CA 93278-5091