New laws for California’s schools and youth

by Legislation Commission

Many new laws were passed in 2023 that affect the lives of California’s children, youth, and families. Here are just some of them that were supported by California State PTA:

Recess guaranteed.  Schools must provide at least 30 minutes of free-play recess on regular school days that cannot be restricted by staff.  (SB 291 – Newman)

Worker rights for high schoolers.  Information must be provided to students on labor rights before they receive a work permit. (AB 800 – Ortega)

Info for families.  Schools must post their Local Control and Accountability Plan on the California School Dashboard to make it easier to find online.  (SB 609 Caballero)

Teach climate science.  Science courses in grades 1-12 must include the causes and effects of climate change and methods to mitigate and adapt to climate change. (AB 285 – Rivas)

Cleaner transport.  New school buses must be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. (AB 579 – Ting)

Drug prevention and response.  Schools must have a protocol for responding to a student’s opioid overdose.  (SB 10 – Cortese)

School safety plans for all.  Plans must include disaster procedures and adaptations for pupils with disabilities.  (SB 323 – Portantino)

Equitable student discipline.  Suspension or expulsion of a student in grades 6 through 12 based on willful defiance is prohibited.  (SB 274 – Skinner)

No more book bans.  Public school students must be provided with accurate and inclusive instructional materials in social sciences; censorship and discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, or any other protected characteristics is prohibited.  (AB 1078 – Jackson)

Want to learn more?  See Carol Kocivar’s Ed100 blog discussing several more of California’s new laws.