New laws to impact California schools in next few years

California Connection
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Around a dozen new laws taking effect in 2020 will impact schools across the state.

Starting next school year, it will be illegal for public schools in California to suspend students in first through fifth grade for willfully defying teachers or administrators. Then, from 2021 through 2025, it will be temporarily extended to kids in grades six through eight.

Supporters say suspensions for willful defiance are disproportionately used against students of color.

Another new law involves a mandatory change to school start times. High schools can start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. and no sooner than 8 a.m. for middle schoolers.

The law is set to be phased in over the next three years.

The controversial measure could be costly. State legislative analysts have said some schools may end up spending millions to accommodate the adjustment.

Limiting and banning smartphone use is at the center of another law affecting schools in 2020. School boards will have the power to ban devices, with the exception of emergencies or other special situations, such as medical reasons.

Supporters say smartphone use is linked to lower student performance and interferes with the educational mission of schools.

 

Ashley Zavala filed this report.

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