2 Bills Take Next Step in Legislature — Send a Message of Support for AB 420 and AB 549
Thanks to your support and the voices of students throughout the state, AB 420 and AB 549 passed the first hurdle through the Assembly Education Committee! AB 420 would fix problems with California’s “willful defiance” code and AB 549 would address school safety plans and the important role of counselors in student success. This was a critical first step to urging California to take action to improve school climate and safety.
We need your support again.
Now AB 420 and AB 549 face votes in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Please take a moment to send a letter to Assembly Appropriations Committee Chair Mike Gatto urging him to pass AB 420 and AB 549.
Even if you sent a letter of support for the bills to the Assembly Education Committee, we need you to take this step today.
Please also call Assemblymember Gatto and tell him why you support AB 420 and AB 549.
Why we need AB 420:
- AB 420 will keep our students in school, in class, and learning, which fulfills the state’s constitutional requirement to provide an education to all children. The bill would not permit elementary students to be suspended for “willful defiance,” subdivision (k) of Section 48900 of the Education Code. It would remove the ability to expel any student for “willful defiance.”
- Suspending pupils wastes money and has substantial economic and social costs for the state in lost wages, increased incarceration and violence, and lost capital. Suspended or expelled students are 5 times more likely to drop out of school. Children who drop out cost the state $46 billion a year, including $12 billion in crime costs alone. Students who graduate from high school are more likely to be wage earners and pay taxes and less likely to become dependent on public assistance or become involved in the criminal justice system.
Why we need AB 549:
- AB 549 is about maximizing resources by directing already existing funds towards increasing counselors and research-based programs, like school-wide positive behavior interventions and support and restorative/transformative justice, to improve school climate and school safety.
- True violence prevention requires increasing the number of adults on school campus that are trained to support and respond effectively to student behaviors. Please tell Assemblymember Gatto that AB 549 is cost effective because it encourages schools to hire counselors, mental health professionals and intervention workers as a proven strategy to improve school safety.