BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                      HR 28


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          Date of Hearing:  April 6, 2016


                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION


                              Patrick O'Donnell, Chair


          HR 28  
          (Dababneh) - As Introduced July 15, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Humane education


          SUMMARY:  Encourages the Superintendent of Public Instruction  
          (SPI) to ensure the incorporation of humane education in the  
          core curriculum, and resolves that compliance with existing law  
          regarding humane education should include educating students on  
          principles of kindness and respect for animals.  Specifically,  
          this resolution:  


          1)Resolves that compliance with existing law regarding humane  
            education should include educating students on the principles  
            of kindness and respect for animals and observance of laws,  
            regulations, and policies pertaining to the humane treatment  
            of animals, including wildlife and its environment.



          2)Resolves that actions such as implementing statewide or  
            districtwide "humane education days" and involving nonprofit  
            organizations in humane education activities with local  
            faculty and school administrators be considered for inclusion  
            in compliance efforts.










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          3)Resolves that the SPI be encouraged to ensure the  
            incorporation of humane education in the core curriculum.



          4)Resolves that the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies  
            of the resolution to the State Senate, the SPI, the State  
            Board of Education (SBE), the California Department of  
            Education (CDE), and the author for appropriate distribution.



          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Requires each teacher to endeavor to impress upon the minds of  
            the students, among other things, kindness toward domestic  
            pets and the humane treatment of living creatures.



          2)Requires that, when adopting instructional materials,  
            governing boards of local educational agencies (LEAs) require  
            those materials, as they deem necessary and proper, to  
            encourage thrift, fire prevention, and the humane treatment of  
            animals and people.



          3)Requires any student with a moral objection to dissecting or  
            otherwise harming or destroying animals to notify his or her  
            teacher of this objection, and permits the teacher and student  
            to develop and agree upon an alternative educational project.   
            States that a student may not be discriminated against based  
            upon his or her decision to exercise this right.  











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          4)Requires that animals on the premises of a public elementary  
            or high school be housed and cared for in a humane and safe  
            manner, and prohibits the injuring or experimental medication  
            or drugging of animals at public elementary and high schools.



          FISCAL EFFECT:  This resolution has been keyed non-fiscal by the  
          Office of Legislative Counsel.


          COMMENTS:  


          Need for the resolution.  The author states: "This resolution  
          will put the state of California on record that compliance with  
          Education Code provisions should include educating students on  
          the principles of kindness and respect for animals and  
          observance of laws, regulations, and policies pertaining to the  
          humane treatment of animals, including wildlife and its  
          environment. It calls on the Superintendent of Public  
          Instruction, the State Board of Education, and the California  
          Department of Education to ensure compliance with the Education  
          Code relative to humane education in California's public school  
          system."

          Humane education.  According to the SPCA of Los Angeles, the  
          primary goals of humane education are to decrease both animal  
          cruelty and interpersonal violence. Numerous organizations offer  
          free curriculum materials which may be used by schools and  
          individuals to teach about topics ranging from the prevention of  
          animal cruelty, to animal safety, to careers with animals, among  
          others.  Proponents of humane education note the  
          well-established association between animal cruelty and  
          interpersonal violence in adulthood.

          Humane education in state curriculum.  This resolution  
          encourages the SPI to ensure the incorporation of humane  
          education in the core curriculum. This incorporation could be  








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          achieved through the inclusion of humane education concepts in  
          state content standards, frameworks, and adopted instructional  
          materials.  It does not appear that humane education is included  
          in state content standards or frameworks for the core subjects  
          of English language arts or mathematics.





          To ensure that state-adopted instructional materials are in  
          compliance with state law regarding humane education (see  
          Existing Law above), the CDE and LEAs use a document titled  
          "Standards for Evaluating Instructional Materials for Social  
          Content," adopted by the SBE in 2013.  This document guides  
          evaluators in ensuring compliance with various requirements for  
          curriculum in statute and SBE policy as they review  
          instructional materials for state and local adoption.   
          Reflecting existing law regarding humane education in  
          instructional materials, this document states:  "Humane  
          treatment of people and animals should be encouraged through  
          illustrations and text."

          CDE compliance monitoring.  This resolution states that the CDE  
          should monitor for specified humane education activities through  
          its compliance monitoring system.  The CDE monitors LEAs for  
          compliance with state and federal law through on-site and online  
          reviews.  LEAs may be selected for monitoring every two years,  
          and 120 new LEAs are monitored per year.  The CDE reports that  
          several factors are considered when identifying LEAs for review,  
          including compliance history, academic achievement, program  
          size, and fiscal status.  Some are also chosen on a random  
          basis.  The CDE uses program instrument documents to guide  
          monitors and LEAs in determining whether a district is in  
          compliance with the law.  

          Prior legislation.  SB 811 (O'Connell) of the 2001-02 Session,  
          would have required that the promotion of compassion and respect  
          for both humans and animals be considered in the next cycle in  








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          which the science, and history/social science curricula  
          frameworks and the accompanying instructional materials are  
          adopted.  This measure was held in the Assembly and not heard in  
          this Committee.
          










































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          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          Social Compassion in Legislation (sponsor)


          Association of Professional Humane Educators


          Beagle Freedom Project


          City of West Hollywood


          Humane Society of the United States


          In Defense of Animals


          Public Interest Coalition


          RedRover


          Stanislaus Animal Services Agency


          Over 300 individuals










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          Opposition


          Butte County Kennel Club Board of Directors


          California Right to Life Committee, Inc.




          Analysis Prepared by:Tanya Lieberman / ED. / (916) 319-2087