BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ķ

                                                                  AB 709
                                                                  Page  1

          AB 709 (Brownley)
          As Amended  August 15, 2011
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |78-0 |(May 19, 2011)  |SENATE: |37-0 |(August 22,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2011)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    ED.  

           SUMMARY  :  Clarifies that children in foster care who change 
          schools have the right to be enrolled in their new school 
          immediately even if they are unable to produce medical records, 
          including, but not limited to, immunization records, at the time 
          of enrollment.  Specifically,  this bill  :  Adds a section to the 
          Health and Safety Code (HSC) to conform to Education Code 
          provisions requiring school districts to enroll a foster child 
          in school even if he or she is missing immunization records.  

           The Senate amendments  :

          1)Specify that the bill does not alter the obligation of the 
            governing authority to obtain immunization records or to 
            ensure the immunization of a foster child pursuant to existing 

          2)Revise a cross-reference to a section of the HSC.   

           EXISTING LAW  requires:

          1)Schools to immediately enroll a foster child even if he or she 
            has outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items to the 
            school of last attendance or if the child is unable to produce 
            records or clothing required for enrollment, including medical 
            or academic records, proof of residency, or school uniforms.  

          2)The governing authority of each school to require documentary 
            proof of each pupil's immunization status, and specifies that 
            the governing authority shall record the immunizations of each 
            new pupil in the pupil's permanent enrollment and scholarship 
            record on a form provided by the Department of Health Services 


                                                                  AB 709
                                                                  Page  2

          3)The immunization record of each new pupil admitted 
            conditionally to be reviewed periodically by the governing 
            authority to ensure that within the time periods designated by 
            regulation of the DHS he or she has been fully immunized 
            against all of the diseases specified, and immunizations 
            received subsequent to entry shall be added to the pupil's 
            immunization record.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill was substantially similar 
          to the version passed by the Senate.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  This bill is keyed non-fiscal by the Legislative 

           COMMENTS  :  This bill seeks to clarify and conform the Education 
          Code and the HSC relative to immunization records required for 
          enrollment in school as they relate to children and youth in 
          foster care.  

          Children and youth in foster care face many challenges to their 
          educational success.  Those challenges come from both the 
          circumstances that caused them to be in foster care -abuse 
          and/or neglect -and the realities of being in foster care.  One 
          of those realities is that, although efforts are made to provide 
          stable home and school environments for foster children and 
          youth, far too many of them experience numerous changes in where 
          they live, and unfortunately those changes at times necessitate 
          a change of schools.  In an effort to reduce the disruption of 
          changing schools, AB 490 (Steinberg), Chapter 862, Statutes of 
          2003, and AB 1933 (Brownley), Chapter 563, Statutes of 2010, 
          allow foster children and youth to remain in their original 
          school and school feeder pattern as long as it is in their best 
          interest to do so.  If it is in child's best interest to change 
          schools, current Education Code provisions require that foster 
          children and youth be immediately enrolled in their new school 
          even if they are unable to meet some of the enrollment 
          requirements imposed by a school district, including 
          immunization records. 

          However, provisions in the HSC stipulate that all school 
          districts shall require documentary proof of each pupil's 
          immunization status, and prohibit a school from allowing the 
          admission of any pupil who does not meet the requirements for 
          admission stipulated in the regulations.  It has been suggested 
          that the inconsistencies between the two different codes have 


                                                                  AB 709
                                                                  Page  3

          led to confusion in the field relative to the application of 
          these laws, and children in foster care continue to encounter 
          barriers to enrollment when their immunization records are 
          missing.  The Foster Youth Services 2010 report notes that the 
          incomplete or untimely transfer of health and education records 
          continues to present challenges for foster youth.  

          This bill will clarify within the Education Code that the 
          missing medical records that foster youth can enroll in school 
          without, include immunization records.  Additionally this bill 
          adds a section in the HSC that conforms to the Education Code 
          provisions specifying that if a child or youth in foster care is 
          missing her or her immunization records, the school district 
          shall allow the child to enroll in school.  This bill seeks to 
          reconcile the two codes and thus remove any unnecessary barriers 
          and delays children and youth in foster care encounter to enroll 
          in school.  

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Marisol Aviņa / ED. / (916) 319-2087 

                                                               FN: 0001935