BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Alan Lowenthal, Chair
                            2011-2012 Regular Session
                                         

          BILL NO:       AB 709
          AUTHOR:        Brownley
          AMENDED:       April 6, 2011
          FISCAL COMM:   No             HEARING DATE: June 22, 2011
          URGENCY:       No             CONSULTANT:Lynn Lorber

           SUBJECT  :  School enrollment: immunization records for foster 
          youth.
          
           SUMMARY
           
          This bill clarifies that foster youth must be immediately 
          enrolled in a school even if the pupil is unable to produce 
          his or her immunization records prior to enrollment.  

           BACKGROUND
           
          Current law:

          1)   Requires a school to immediately enroll a foster child 
               even if the foster child has outstanding fees, fines, 
               textbooks, or other items or moneys due to the school 
               last attended or is unable to produce records or 
               clothing normally required for enrollment, such as 
               previous academic records, medical records, and proof of 
               residency, other documentation, or school uniforms.  
               (Education Code  48853.5)

          2)   Prohibits the governing authority of a school from 
               unconditionally admitting any pupil of any private or 
               public elementary or secondary school, child care 
               center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care 
               home, or development center, unless prior to  admission 
               he or she has been fully immunized against the following 
               diseases:

               a)        Diphtheria.
               b)        Haemophilus influenzae type b.









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               c)        Measles.
               d)        Mumps.
               e)        Pertussis (whooping cough).
               f)        Poliomyelitis.
               g)        Rubella.
               h)        Tetanus.
               i)        Hepatitis B.
               j)        Varicella (chickenpox).
               aa)       Any other disease deemed appropriate by the 
                    Department of Health Services.
               bb)       Beginning July 1, 2011, for pupils in grades 
                    7-12, pertussis including all boosters.  (Health & 
                    Safety Code  120335)

          3)   Exempts from immunization requirements pupils whose 
               parent or guardian files with the governing authority of 
               a school a letter or affidavit stating that the 
               immunization is contrary to his or her beliefs.  A pupil 
               may also be exempt if the parent or guardian provides a 
               written statement from a licensed physician to the 
               effect that the physical condition of the child is such, 
               or medical circumstances relating to the child are such, 
               that immunization is not considered safe.  (H&SC  
               120365)

           ANALYSIS
           
           This bill  clarifies that foster youth must be immediately 
          enrolled in a school even if the pupil is unable to produce 
          his or her immunization records prior to enrollment.  
          Specifically, this bill:

          1)   Specifically includes "records or other proof of 
               immunization history" as medical records in relation to 
               the immediate enrollment of foster youth.

          2)   Makes a conforming change to the Health and Safety Code 
               to clearly require schools to admit foster youth whose 
               immunization records are unavailable or are missing.

          3)   States legislative intent that foster youth be 










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               immediately enrolled in and allowed to attend school 
               even if he or she is unable to produce records normally 
               required for school enrollment.

           STAFF COMMENTS
           
           Need for the bill  .  The Health and Safety Code and the 
          related regulations allow for an exemption from the 
          requirement that a pupil be fully immunized prior to 
          enrollment in school for a pupil whose parent submits an 
          affidavit stating that the immunizations are contrary to the 
          pupil's beliefs or for a pupil whose parent submits a 
          statement from a physician indicating that a particular 
          immunization is not considered safe for the child.  However, 
          the regulations do not mention the existing allowable 
          exemption for pupils in foster care whose records are missing 
          or cannot be produced, as stipulated in the Education Code.  
          The inconsistencies between the two different Codes appear to 
          be leading to confusion in the field relative to the 
          application of these laws, and foster youth continue to 
          encounter barriers to enrollment when their immunization 
          records are missing.  This bill seeks to reconcile the two 
          Codes and thus remove any unnecessary barriers and delays 
          foster youth may encounter enrolling in school.  

           SUPPORT
           
          Advancement Project
          California CASA Association
          California Communities United Institute
          California State Association of Counties
          County Welfare Directors Association
          Kern County Superintendent of Schools
          Los Angeles County Office of Education
          National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter
          National Center for Youth Law
          Paramount Unified School District
          Public Counsel

           OPPOSITION











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           None on file.