Posts Tagged ‘fiscal responsibility’


CA: Know the Code

California School Immunization RecordFamilies nationwide have been focused on tightening their belts, with the rising gas prices, rampant inflation has hit the family budget hard. It’s no wonder the State of California has financial troubles and this time we can’t blame the legislators.This time the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the State of California Department of Education — once again, we find them wasting taxpayer dollars.

AB 354 was passed by the California Assembly and was approved by then Governor Schwarzenegger on September 29, 2010. The provisions spelled out in the bill become effective on July 1, 2011. The bill makes several significant changes in the law.

Existing law prohibits the governing authority of a school or other institution from unconditionally admitting any person as a pupil of any private or public elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or development center, unless prior to his or her first admission to that institution he or she has been fully immunized against various diseases, including hepatitis B, pertussis (whooping cough), and varicella (chickenpox), and any other disease deemed appropriate by the State Department of Public Health, taking into consideration the recommendations of specified entities. This bill would add to these entities the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Basically, this just means the American Academy of Family Physicians has been elevated to a God-like status. They were added to the group of medical professionals in the U.S., who have a voice in how the rest of the population is tortured (just checking to see if you are following this). No big deal really.

There are a couple of issues I have with this piece of legislation but first I’d like to get right to the point.

Today, I received notification of an alert that went out to HSLDA members and a select number of subscribers to Private and Home Educators of California, which was then emailed to California State-wide homeschooling organizations, encouraging parents to comply with requirements that are not required under California law. You can read the alert here: NEW Required Documentation for All Students.

The new law does not require you to use any certain form. Yet their letter says…

The current “PM 286B  form (1/02)” does not have a space to document the Tdap   immunization. In order to document the compliance status of the student to the Tdap  booster requirement on the PM 286B, the California Department of Public Health has created a sticker, form PM 286 S, which is to be completed and placed on the upper left corner of the front of the existing PM 286B “Blue Card”, which should already be in the student’s file.

Instead of simply editing the current form, which is already online (PM 286B) available for anyone to download, someone at the California Department of Education and/or the California Department of Health got the bright idea to print off millions of stickers and mail them, using the U.S. Postal Service to households throughout California. This is a huge cost to taxpayers and huge waste of taxpayer dollars. I hope the new Governor gets a handle on things soon — from the looks of things employees are still wasting our money.

This is huge, we are talking about printing and mailing stickers to be attached to EVERY single file for EVERY single school aged child in the state of California and HSLDA isn’t giving private home educators good legal advice. The law does not spell out any such form that must be used. It simply required a record to be kept on file. Read the legislation for yourself, it’s written in pretty straight-forward language, the state even provides handy definitions and references.

I simply can’t understand why HSLDA would recommend that private school administrators (home educators) contact the Department of Health. Part of the problem with that is this bill also gives more teeth to the law, which should worry you. Look at this provision:

Incentives to public health authorities to design innovative and creative programs that will promote and achieve full and timely immunization of children.

Specific “incentives” are not spelled out. It could mean anything.

Commencing July 1, 2011, notwithstanding subdivision (b), full immunization against hepatitis B shall not be a condition by which the governing authority admits or advances any pupil to the 7th grade level of any private or public elementary or secondary school.

This bothers me…

Hepatitis B virus is carried in and transmitted by the blood and body fluids of an infected person. People can spread hepatitis B virus without even knowing they have it. The first stage of it may lead to loss of desire to eat, feeling tired, pains in muscles, joints, or stomach, diarrhea or vomiting, yellow skin or eyes and death. You can recover from this illness (90-95% do), but still spread it through the above mentioned. [Learn more…]

AB 354 (2010) is a huge power grab. Check out this next provision.

The department may specify the immunizing agents which may be utilized and the manner in which immunizations are administered.

That statement gave me cause for pause. This appears to give a great deal of power to those that administer immunizations. But wait, it gets even better.

The department may adopt emergency regulations to implement subdivisions (c) and (d) including, but not limited to, requirements for documentation and immunization status reports, in accordance with the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). The initial adoption of emergency regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and considered by the Office of Administrative Law as necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare. Emergency regulations adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days.

I assume this means if an outbreak of whooping cough takes place, the powers that be can quarantine your children and/or your entire family for up to 6-months, but the emergency powers haven’t been spelled out here.

I have plenty more to say on this topic but I’m waiting until I get a little sleep and I have more details come in. I would love to hear what you think on this topic.

California homeschoolers have been told for years to “Know the Code” and follow the law — it’s still that simple. This bill has some teeth in it and asking homeschoolers to go above and beyond that which is required by law is simply bad advice, in my opinion. These are simply that: my own thoughts on this topic – I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.


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