An online newsletter produced by EdSource
with support from The California Endowment 


April 27, 2015

Issue 31

Vaccination legislation heads to Judiciary Committee this week

Despite an outpouring of opposition from hundreds of parents who traveled to Sacramento to testify against the measure, a proposed state law seeking to ensure that more California school children are vaccinated is proceeding through the Legislature. Senate Bill 277, co-authored by state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, and state Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, is scheduled to be heard by the state Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Tuesday, April 28.

The bill, which would remove the personal belief exemption to school vaccination laws, passed the state Senate Education Committee on April 22. It previously passed the state Senate Health Committee.

A small percentage of California parents refuse to have their children vaccinated and opt-out by filling out a personal belief exemption form, which must be signed by a health care provider. About 2.5 percent of California kindergarteners had a personal belief exemption on file in fall 2014. Check the EdSource Today Vaccination App to look up vaccination rates at your school.

School vaccination requirements have long been considered an efficient and cost-effective method of protecting public health, dating back at least to 1827, when Boston became the first city to require that public school students be vaccinated against smallpox, according to a 2011 report on mandatory vaccinations from the U.S. Congressional Research Service.

Senate Bill 277 was introduced after a measles outbreak began in Disneyland in Anaheim last December and infected 134 people in the state, including 57 unvaccinated individuals. On April 17, the California Department of Public Health declared the measles outbreak over because two 21-day incubation periods (42 days) had passed without a new outbreak-related infection.

During debate on the bill, Pan, a pediatrician, stated that hundreds of people around the world die every day from measles. According to the World Health Organization, the global toll is 400 deaths from measles every day.

Equity and Harassment Protection
In a guidance package released on April 24, the U.S. Department of Education is reminding school districts that they must have a coordinator to oversee compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the civil rights legislation that prohibits gender discrimination in education programs and activities.

The federal guidance comes as a state bill designed to improve training in Title IX compliance is moving through the Legislature. Senate Bill 429, authored by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara,would address what the California Department of Education, the San Francisco office of the federal Office for Civil Rights and other groups have said is a critical need for training for school personnel.

Read more at EdSource Today.

Also: Finishing Last: Girls of Color and Sports Opportunities, a new report on Title IX from the National Women's Law Center and The Poverty & Race Research Action Council.
Special Education

Michael Ashline, left, with his son, Andrew, a student in special education classes in Orange. Credit: Jane Meredith Adams/ EdSource Today
Kindergartner Malik Evans, a nonverbal boy with autism, wouldn't sit still in his classroom at Mno Grant Elementary School in fall 2012, so his teacher repeatedly wound a rubber strap around his legs, looped it through his chair and tied him to his seat, according to the lawyer who filed a lawsuit against the Antioch Unified School District.

Read more at EdSource Today.

Every day in special education classrooms across the state, teachers and aides oversee students whose emotional and behavioral disabilities can trigger violent confrontations. In some cases, teachers and aides wrestle these students to the floor, pin them against classroom walls, and escort or drag them into seclusion rooms.

Read more at EdSource Today.
EdSource created easy-to-read downloadable cards for most of California's Special Education Local Plan Areas. The information on the cards is based on data collected from behavioral emergency reports between the 2005-06 and 2011-12 school years. Each card shows the name of the SELPA, the county it is in, and the trend of reported incidents per 100 students in that SELPA over time.

Read more at EdSource Today.

EdSource analyzed 696 reports from six SELPAs (Mid-Alameda, North Santa Cruz, Poway, Riverside, Tahoe-Alpine and Tri-Cities) to search for patterns in the data.
Through the analysis, EdSource was also able to glean insight on what events led to a behavioral emergency incident, and what kinds of emergency interventions school staff members used.

Read more at EdSource Today.

Read the full EdSource Today series, including:

A history of restraint and seclusion in California
Reports: Behavioral emergencies at schools
Types of restraints
School Climate and Discipline

California, home to the largest number of American Indians in the country, is for the third time considering legislation that would end the use of "Redskins" as a school team name or mascot.

Read more at EdSource Today.
A proposal hammered out by district staff, teachers and community groups would eliminate willful defiance as a reason to suspend grade 4-12 students in Oakland Unified.

Read more at EdSource Today.
Physical Education

Physical education advocates, including the authors of a 2013 report on physical education from the independent non-profit organization the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, have long called for physical education to be recognized as a core academic subject alongside mathematics, language arts, history and other subjects.

Such recognition would improve the quality and funding of physical education programs, advocates have said.

In the latest Senate version of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which is up for reauthorization, physical education is designated a core subject. Many revisions of the federal bill await as it moves through Congress.
Upcoming Webinar

SHAPE America, the Society of Health and Physical Educators, a national membership organization, is hosting a webinar about how to create and assess standards-based physical education instruction. The featured speaker is Terri Drain, a California physical education teacher in the Pleasanton Unified School District.

The presentation includes a 5-step model for analyzing the elements of a standard, determining evidence of learning, designing assessment tools and instructional activities and planning lessons. A sample lesson will be presented so participants can see how theory is put into practice.
Recent Editions of the EdHealth Newsletter

EdHealth Newsletter Issue 30: How healthy is your county?
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 29: Measles cases continue to rise in California
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 28: Autism advocacy group states vaccination link unfounded
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 27: Schools must prove they meet physical education requirement

Want to receive a free online subscription to EdHealth? Click on the button below.   
to EdHealth
Stay Connected