AB 570 Provides Guidance for Voluntary Enrollment

October 2013
Number 66

Governor Brown recently signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 570, which expands the parameters of continuation education in California. Continuation education is a high school diploma program designed to meet the needs of students ages 16 through 18, who have not graduated from high school, and are at risk of not graduating from high school. Students enrolled in continuation schools are often credit deficient or need a flexible school schedule due to employment, family obligations, or other circumstances. Prior to the passage of AB 570, students with permission from the designee of the superintendent could voluntarily transfer to a continuation school to receive special attention, such as individual instruction, or could be involuntarily transferred for disciplinary reasons.

AB 570 adds section 48432.3 to the Education Code, which permits the voluntary enrollment of high school students in continuation schools only after a finding that the placement will promote the student’s educational interests. Further, for those districts that permit voluntary transfers to a continuation school, the statute imposes an obligation to establish and adopt policies and procedures to ensure that there are clear criteria to determine which students may voluntarily transfer to a continuation school. The criteria cannot be arbitrarily applied, but must be applied consistently throughout the district. The policies and procedures must ensure the following:

  • That voluntary placement is not used as an alternative to expulsion unless alternative means of correction have been attempted per Education Codesection 48900.5;
  • No specific group of students, including a group based on race, ethnicity, language status, or special needs, is disproportionately enrolled in continuation schools within the school district;
  • A copy of the policies and procedures regarding voluntary transfer to a continuation school is provided to students whose voluntary transfer to a continuation school is under consideration, as well as to their parent;
  • The transfer is voluntary and the student has a right to return to his or her previous school;
  • Upon request from a parent and before the student is transferred, the parent may meet with a counselor, principal, or administrator from the transferor school and the continuation school to determine whether transferring the student is the student’s best option; and
  • To the extent possible, the voluntary transfer to a continuation school should occur within the first four weeks of each semester.

For further information regarding AB 570, or for assistance with establishing and adopting policies and procedures relating to the voluntary transfer of high school students to continuation schools, please feel free to contact one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or download our Client News Brief App.

Edward Sklar
Partner
Walnut Creek Office
esklar@lozanosmith.com

Ileana Butu
Associate
Sacramento Office
ibutu@lozanosmith.com

©2013 Lozano Smith

As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.

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