BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 517


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          Date of Hearing:  April 29, 2015


                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION


                              Patrick O'Donnell, Chair


          AB 517  
          (Gallagher) - As Amended  April 22, 2015


          Note:  This bill was heard by this Committee on April 8th and  
          failed by a vote of 1-5.  Reconsideration was granted.  This  
          bill has since been amended and is being heard in its amended  
          form.


          SUBJECT:  The California Comprehensive Sexual Health and  
          HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act:  outside consultants:   
          parental consent


          SUMMARY:  Requires that parents be able to review sexual health  
          education materials presented by outside consultants and guest  
          speakers, that parents have ample time to do so, that parents be  
          able to make copies of any non-copyrighted materials, and  
          requires that parents be notified of any relevant credentials of  
          outside consultants or guest speakers.  Specifically, this bill:  
           


          1)Requires parents and guardians be notified that during their  
            inspection of any audio/visual materials that have been or  
            will be presented in comprehensive sexual health education or  
            HIV/AIDS prevention education by an outside consultant or  
            guest speaker, they make copies of any non-copyrighted  
            materials.   








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          2)Requires that, if sexual health education or HIV/AIDS  
            prevention education is taught using outside consultants or  
            guest speakers at assemblies, parents and guardians must be  
            provided notice of any relevant credentials of the consultants  
            or speakers.


          3)Requires that parents and guardians be provided, upon request,  
            ample time to allowed to inspect any written or audiovisual  
            materials used in comprehensive sexual health education and  
            HIV/AIDS prevention education, and that they be given adequate  
            time to do so.  


          4)Requires that parents be permitted, while inspecting  
            materials, to make copies of any non-copyrighted written  
            materials used in comprehensive sexual health education and  
            HIV/AIDS prevention education, at their child's school.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Permits school districts to provide comprehensive sexual  
            health education, and places a number of requirements on  
            districts choosing to provide that instruction.  



          2)Requires school districts to provide HIV/AIDS prevention  
            education, and specifies what is to be included in that  
            instruction.



          3)States that a parent or guardian of a student has the right to  
            excuse their child from all or part of comprehensive sexual  








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            health education, HIV/AIDS prevention education, and related  
            assessments.



          4)Requires that school districts, at the beginning of each  
            school year, notify parents about instruction in comprehensive  
            sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education, as  
            well as research on student health behaviors which is planned  
            for the coming year. The notice must:



             a)   Advise the parent or guardian that written and  
               audiovisual educational materials used in comprehensive  
               sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education  
               are available for inspection.



             b)   Advise the parent or guardian whether the comprehensive  
               sexual health education or HIV/AIDS prevention education  
               will be taught by school district personnel or by outside  
               consultants. 



             c)   Provide information on outside consultants and guest  
               speakers, including the date of the instruction, the name  
               of the organization or affiliation of each guest speaker.



             d)   Advise the parent or guardian that the parent or  
               guardian may request in writing that his or her child not  
               receive comprehensive sexual health education or HIV/AIDS  
               prevention education.










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          1)Permits, for students in grades 7-12, the administration of  
            anonymous, voluntary, and confidential research and evaluation  
            tools to measure students' health behaviors and risks.   
            Requires that these tools be used only if a parent or guardian  
            is notified in writing that this tool is to be administered  
            and they are given the opportunity to review them and to  
            request in writing that his or her child not participate.



          2)Requires that students not be subject to disciplinary action,  
            academic penalty, or other sanctions if the students' parents  
            do not provide permission for students to attend this  
            instruction or participate in tests, questionnaires, or  
            surveys on student health behaviors and risks.



          3)Requires that, while comprehensive this instruction is being  
            held or these tools are being administered, an alternative  
            educational activity be made available to students whose  
            parents or guardians have requested that they not participate.



          FISCAL EFFECT:  Legislative Counsel has keyed this bill as a  
          state mandated local program.


          COMMENTS:  


          Need for the bill.  On April 8th the Committee heard this bill  
          and it failed passage.  At that time the bill proposed to  
          require active parental consent ("opt in") for sexual health  
          presentations by outside consultants and guest speakers at  
          assemblies.  This bill has been substantially amended since  
          then.








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          This bill now requires that parents be able to review materials  
          by outside consultants and guest speakers, that parents have  
          ample time to do so, that parents be able to make copies of  
          non-copyrighted materials, and that they are be informed of any  
          relevant credentials of the consultants and speakers.  The  
          author's office states, "This ensures that schools can use  
          outside consultants to provide this crucial instruction, and  
          allows parents to be part of their children's educational  
          process if they so choose. 





          Outside consultants and guest speakers must follow requirements  
          as teachers.  Current law (Education Code Sec. 51933) requires  
          outside consultants to abide by the same instructional  
          requirements as teachers.  Among many requirements, this  
          instruction must be age appropriate, medically accurate and  
          objective, teach respect for committed relationships and  
          marriage, encourage students to speak with their parents or  
          guardians about human sexuality, be appropriate and accessible  
          for use with students with disabilities, and be appropriate for  
          students of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and ethnic  
          and cultural backgrounds.


          What are the qualifications of outside consultants and speakers?  
          Current law is silent with respect to the qualifications of  
          outside consultants and speakers.  AB 329 (Weber), which was  
          approved by the Committee on April 22nd, requires that outside  
          consultants and speakers "have expertise in comprehensive sexual  
          health education and HIV prevention education and have knowledge  
          of the most recent medically accurate research on the relevant  
          topics covered in their instruction."  










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          This bill requires that parents be provided information about an  
          instructor's relevant credentials. The purposes of that section  
          and this bill are aligned, in that both seek to ensure that the  
          content delivered to students is delivered by appropriately  
          trained presenters.  To focus this bill on the issue of  
          appropriate training of presenters, and consistent with the  
          Committee's prior action, staff recommends that the bill be  
          amended to instead require that, as part of the notice provided  
          to parents about outside consultants and speakers, information  
          be provided on the consultants' "training in comprehensive  
          sexual health education and HIV and AIDs prevention education."   
              


          Related legislation this session:  AB 329 (Webber) of this  
          Session would consolidate and revise the requirements for  
          comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention  
          education, and would expressly prohibit active parental consent  
          ("opt-in") policies for HIV prevention education and  
          comprehensive sexual health education.  


           Prior legislation.  AB 2086 (Huff) of the 2007-08 Session would  
          have required that parents be notified and be able to excuse  
          their children from discussions of sexual orientation which  
          occur outside of comprehensive sexual health education.  That  
          bill died in this Committee.


          AB 2891 (La Malfa) of the 2005-06 Session, would have required  
          parental permission before students could participate in tests,  
          questionnaires, surveys, or examinations containing any  
          questions regarding gender, or sexual orientation.  That bill  
          died in this Committee.


          REGISTERED SUPPORT /  
          OPPOSITION:









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          Support


          None on file




          Opposition


          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:Tanya Lieberman / ED. / (916) 319-2087