New laws pertaining to California public schools are scheduled to take effect in 2020, and will be implemented across the state.
Beginning in the 2020 school year, public schools in the state are prohibited from suspending students who willfully defy teachers and administrators. The law applies to students in the first grade through to the students in fifth grade.
However, the law is scheduled to temporarily extend to the students in grade six through to grade eight, spanning from the year 2021 to 2025.
Supporters of the new law have expressed that the suspensions based on willful defiance have always been disproportionately applied, and that they greatly affected more students of color.
This was not the only law set into motion. The second law provided a mandatory change to the schools’ start times.
The law, which is scheduled to be phased in over the next three years, stipulates that high schools can begin classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Middle schoolers are set to start classes no earlier than 8 a.m.
However, state legislative analysts have expressed that implementing these measures could be costly, and that some schools may have to spend millions to comply with the controversial measures.
Another law was designed to the limiting and banning of smartphone use. This new law, also scheduled to be implemented in 2020, states that school boards will be granted power to ban devices. However, various exceptions have been provided, including emergencies and other special situations, e.g. medical reasons.
Supporters of this law maintain that that use of smartphones has been linked to lower performances in schools, and that it interferes with the schools’ educational mission.