By Jane Meredith Adams
A slew of new laws affecting students’ physical, emotional and behavioral well-being will change how schools operate this year, in ways large and small. The laws regulate basic needs grants for truant students, pesticide use and expulsions for “willfully defiant” behavior, among other issues.
As of Jan. 1:
CalWORKS benefits restored for truants
Families that receive CalWORKS basic needs grants will no longer have their grants reduced if their child is truant.
While all parents of children who fail to attend school regularly are subject to fines and even jail time, families who receive CalWORKS assistance from the state had been additionally penalized for truancy by a reduction in grant funds. Assembly Bill 2382, written by Assemblyman Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, eliminates the “double truancy penalty” on low-income children and families. Families will no longer have to send their child’s attendance data to county CalWORKS offices.