Legislative Updates

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 (SB277) 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:

  • Home-based private schools
  • Students enrolled in an independent study program who do not receive classroom-based instruction
  • Access to special education and related services specified in an individualized education program

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 (SB1266) 
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 (AB329)   
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 (AB1667) 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:

Senate Bill 276 (SB276)

Beginning January 1, 2021 all new medical exemptions for school and child care entry must be issued through CAIR-ME. Medical exemptions can ONLY be issued by MDs (Medical Doctor) or DOs (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine) licensed in California and must meet applicable Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) criteria.

Senate Bill 714 (SB714)

Starting January 1, 2021, all NEW medical exemptions for school and child care MUST be issued through CAIR-ME. Parents can create an account in CAIR-ME and apply for an exemption. MOre information can be located ont he CAIR Medical Exemption website.

Assembly Bill 367 
(AB367) Menstrual Equity Act of 2021 

Beginning the 2022/23 academic school year, public schools with students in grades 6th-12th are required to keep restrooms stocked with free supplies of menstrual products. Menstrual products are to be made available in all women's restrooms and all-gender restrooms, as well as in at least one men's restroom.

Senate Bill 224 (SB224) Student Mental Health Education Implementation

Beginning January of 2024 each school district, county office of education, state special school, and charter school, that offers one or more courses in health education to middle or high school students, to include in mental health instruction as part of the curriculum.