BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:             AB 517              
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          |Author:    |Gallagher                                            |
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          |Version:   |May 6, 2015                                Hearing   |
          |           |Date:   June 17, 2015                                |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|Lynn Lorber                                          |
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          Subject:  The California Comprehensive Sexual Health and  
                 HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act:  educational materials

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill requires school districts to provide time for parents  
          to inspect educational materials used in sexual health education  
          and HIV/AIDS prevention education, authorizes parents to make  
          copies at the school of written materials, and requires existing  
          parental notification to include information about the expertise  
          of any guest speaker or outside consultant in sexual health  
          education and HIV/AIDS prevention education.

            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law:

          1)Requires school districts to ensure that all students in  
            grades 7-12 receive HIV/AIDS prevention education, as  
            specified, from instructors trained in the appropriate  
            courses.  Each student must receive this instruction at least  
            once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high  
            school.  (Education Code  51934)

          2)Authorizes school districts to provide comprehensive sexual  
            health education, as specified, consisting of age-appropriate  
            instruction, in any grade, using instructors trained in the  
            appropriate courses.  (EC  51933)

          3)Requires HIV/AIDS prevention education and comprehensive  







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            sexual health education, whether taught by school personnel or  
            outside consultants, to satisfy all of the following criteria:

             a)   Instruction and materials must be age appropriate.  

             b)   All factual information presented must be medically  
               accurate and objective.

             c)   Instruction must be made available on an equal basis to  
               a student who is an English learner.

             d)   Instruction and materials must be appropriate for use  
               with students of all races genders, sexual orientations,  
               ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and students with  
               disabilities.

             e)   Instruction and materials must be accessible to students  
               with disabilities, including the provision of a modified  
               curriculum, materials and instruction in alternative  
               formats and auxiliary aids.

             f)   Instruction and materials must encourage a student to  
               communicate with his or her parents about human sexuality.  
               (EC  51933 and  51934)

          1)Requires comprehensive sexual health education to meet, in  
            addition to the criteria listed above:

             a)   Instruction and materials must reach respect for  
               marriage and committed relationships.

             b)   Beginning in grade 7, instruction and materials must:

            i)     Teach that abstinence is the only certain way to  
                 prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

            ii)    Provide information about sexually transmitted  
                 diseases.

            iii)   Provide information about the effectiveness and safety  
                 of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods.

            iv)    Provide students with skills for making and  
                 implementing responsible decisions about sexuality.








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            v)     Provide students with information on the law on  
                 surrendering physical custody of a minor child who is 72  
                 hours or younger.  (EC  51933)

          1)Requires school districts to cooperatively plan and conduct  
            in-service training for all school district personnel that  
            provide HIV/AIDS prevention education.  Existing law  
            authorizes districts to expend this training to cover  
            comprehensive sexual health education in order for school  
            district personnel who provide sexual health education.  (EC   
            51935)

          2)Authorizes school districts to contract with outside  
            consultants with expertise in comprehensive sexual health  
            education or HIV/AIDS prevention education, or both, to  
            deliver the instruction or to provide training for school  
            district personnel.  
            (EC  51936)

          3)States Legislative intent to encourage students to communicate  
            with their parents about human sexuality and HIV/AIDS and to  
            respect the rights of parents to supervise their children's  
            education on these subjects.  (EC  51937)

          4)Provides that parents have the right to excuse their child  
            from all or part of comprehensive sexual health education,  
            HIV/AIDS prevention education, and assessment related to that  
            education.  (EC  51938)  

          5)Requires school districts to notify the parent of each  
            student, at the beginning of the school year or at the  
            student's enrollment, about instruction in sexual health and  
            HIV/AIDS prevention and research on student health behaviors  
            and risks planned for the coming year.  The notice must do all  
            of the following:

          a)   Advise the parent that written and audiovisual educational  
               materials are available for inspection.

          b)   Advise the parent whether the education will be taught by  
               school district personnel or by outside consultants.  If an  
               outside consultant or guest speaker is used, the notice  
               must also include the date of the instruction, the name of  








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               the organization or affiliation of each guest speaker, and  
               information stating the right of the parent to request a  
               copy of specific related sections of law. 

          c)   Include information explaining the parent's right to  
               request a copy of specific related sections of law.

          d)   Advise the parent that the parent may request in writing  
               that his or her child not receive comprehensive sexual  
               health education or HIV/AIDS prevention education.  (EC   
               51938)  

            ANALYSIS
          
          This bill requires school districts to provide time for parents  
          to inspect educational materials used in sexual health education  
          and HIV/AIDS prevention education, authorizes parents to make  
          copies of written materials at the school, and requires existing  
          parental notification to include information about the expertise  
          of any guest speaker or outside consultant in sexual health  
          education and HIV/AIDS prevention education.  Specifically, this  
          bill:

       1)Requires school districts to provide a parent or guardian, upon  
            request, ample time to inspect any written or audiovisual  
            educational material used in comprehensive sexual health  
            education and HIV/AIDS prevention education.  

       2)Authorizes a parent or guardian to, make copies of any written  
            educational material that is not copyrighted that has been or  
            will be presented by an outside consultant or guest speaker.  
            The copies may be made at the school during the time the  
            parent is inspecting the material. 

       3)Adds to the existing annual notification to parents that during  
            inspection of educational materials by a parent, the parent  
            may go to the school and make copies of any written  
            educational material that is not copyrighted that has been or  
            will be presented by an outside consultant or guest speaker.

       4)Adds to the existing annual notification to parents information  
            about the date of instruction, the name of the organization or  
            affiliation relative to an outside consultant (already  
            required for each guest speaker), and adds information about  








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            the training in comprehensive sexual health education and  
            HIV/AIDS prevention education of each outside consultant and  
            guest speaker.



          STAFF COMMENTS
          
       1)Need for the bill.  According to the author, "This bill empowers  
            parents in two ways to help them become more informed and able  
            to participate in this important discussion with their  
            children."

       2)Expansion.  This bill expands the existing right of parents or  
            guardians to inspect educational materials related to  
            comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention  
            education to require schools to allow parents or guardians to  
            make copies of written materials, at the expense of the  
            school.  This bill expands existing parental notification  
            requirements to include additional information.  

       3)Fiscal impact.  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
            Committee, this bill would impose unknown Proposition  
            98/General Fund state mandated reimbursable costs, likely in  
            the low tens of thousands, to provide copies of materials to  
            parents upon request.  There are 9,919 schools in California  
            that would be subject to the requirements of this bill.   
            Actual costs will depend on nature of claims submitted by  
            school districts.  The Commission on State Mandates determined  
            existing law related to comprehensive sexual education  
            instruction constituted a reimbursable mandate.  The state has  
            also included this mandate in the K-12 Mandate Block Grant.   
            If the Commission on State Mandates determines these  
            requirements impose a higher level of service, this could  
            pressure the Legislature to increase funding under the K-12  
            Mandate Block Grant. 

       4)Related and prior legislation.

       RELATED LEGISLATION

       AB 329 (Weber, 2015) among other things, modifies the authority for  
            schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education to  
            require such instruction.  AB 329 is pending referral in the  








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            Senate.

       PRIOR LEGISLATION

       AB 1348 (Mansoor, 2011) would have, among other things, prohibited  
            a student from receiving comprehensive sexual health education  
            or HIV/AIDS prevention education without the prior written  
            consent of the parent.  AB 1348 was never heard.

            SUPPORT
          
          California Catholic Conference
          California Right to Life Committee

            OPPOSITION
           
           None received.

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