SB 1111 and AB 2276, both bills vital for the proper education of at-risk students in the State of California

On September 29th and September 30th, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law both SB 1111 and AB 2276, respectively. 


Background on SB 1111


SB 1111 helps ensure that students being temporarily placed in county community schools have a successful transfer to and from those schools. In California, county community schools were designed to be short-term placements to help the most at-risk students get back on a positive educational track. These types of schools presently serve over 16, 000 students throughout the state.


When a student transfers to a county community school the school should met several important criteria such as being geographically accessible to the student and being able meet the student’s educational needs, including special education and English Language Learner needs. The expected results should include positive educational outcomes, keeping lengthy placements at a minimum and preventing students from being enrolled improperly. SB 1111 would codify these expectations and clarify how students can transfer back to regular school, among other things. 


Background on AB 2276 


AB 2276 clarifies existing law to help ensure that juvenile justice-involved youth have a successful educational transition when they return to their local schools. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice found that more than two-thirds of youth in custody have ambitions of higher education, and research clearly indicates that school engagement reduces recidivism. However, California is recently doing very little to effectively transition youth from juvenile court schools to local district schools. 


For example, juvenile court schools have the highest dropout rate of all schools in the state. In a recent report to the Legislature, the California Department of Education found that of the 60,097 juvenile detention youth served by Neglected or Delinquent programs, only 21% were enrolled in their local school within 30 days after leaving the facility. AB 2276 would ensure the successful transition of justice-involved youth by clarifying procedures and strengthening existing protections such as the timely and efficient transfer of records, immediate enrollment, and transfer of credits. 


Both bills will make a huge difference in the education of at-risk students in the State of California. We thank Governor Brown for his leadership on these issues.