School and Children Legislative Roundup
The California State Legislature passed a number of bills that will support student health and wellness and ensure students are not unnecessarily excluded from school. School discipline is getting a major overall thanks to SB 419, which eliminates “Willful Defiance” as a reason for schools to suspend or expel students, therefore reducing the number of students that will be suspended and expelled. Restorative Justice Practices are an approach schools can use to improve school climate to address school discipline issues. SB 493 provides funding for school staff to receive training to support LGBTQ youth in schools. SB 265 eliminates fines for students that have unpaid bills for school meals which follows a national trend to address “shamining” associated with unpaid bills, ensuring students are able to receive important source of nutrition from school meals. In an effort to address low participation in the CalFresh program, the legislature passed AB 1377. This bill requires the CA Department of Education, Social Services, and Healthcare Services work together to increase Cal Fresh enrollment by using data collected from free and reduced price meals, Medi-Cal, and Electronic Benefits Transfer programs.