State and Federal Resources

State and Federal Resources

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California Laws

Seth’s Law AB9
October 9, 2011

Pupil rights: bullying
Read Seth’s Law HERE

Why it is important: Seth’s Law creates accountability of school districts around their bullying policies and procedures. 

Seth’s Law is named after a middle school student who took his own life after years of anti-gay bullying that his school failed to address. 

“If school personnel witness an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, he or she shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.”

“Existing law provides that it is the policy of the state to afford all persons in public schools, regardless of their disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes, equal rights and opportunities in the educational institutions of the state, and that it is the purpose of existing law to prohibit acts that are contrary to that policy and to provide remedies therefor. Existing law requires the State Department of Education to develop a model handout, posted on appropriate department Internet Web sites, describing the rights and obligations set forth in these provisions and the policies addressing bias-related discrimination and harassment in schools. Existing law also requires the department to monitor adherence to these provisions and, as part of its regular monitoring and review of local educational agencies, to assess whether local educational agencies have adopted a policy that prohibits discrimination and harassment and a process for receiving and investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment, as specified.”

FAIR Act SB 48
July 14, 2011

Pupil instruction: prohibition of discriminatory content
Read the FAIR Act HERE

Why it is important: The FAIR Act requires fair representation of an expanded list of culturally and racially diverse groups within California curriculum. 


“51204.5 Instruction in social sciences shall include the early history of California and a study of the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and members of other ethnic and cultural groups, to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States of America, with particular emphasis on portraying the role of these groups in contemporary society.

This bill would revise the list of culturally and racially diverse groups to also include Pacific Islanders, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, and persons with disabilities.”

The legislation also provides a reminder to charter and alternative schools that they are also prohibited in engaging in discrimination per Section 235 of the Education Code.

United States Federal Laws

McKinney-Vento Act
Reauthorized December 2015
(Federal Law)

Homeless Assistance: The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act authorizes the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program and is the primary piece of federal legislation related to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Read the McKinney-Vento Act HERE
California State Resources HERE
Read Two-Page Summary HERE

Why it is important: Each school district is required to have a McKinney-Vento representative to work within their school community on issues and building resources for students experiencing homelessness.


The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) (42 U.S.C. § 11431-11435) is federal legislation that ensures the educational rights and protections of children and youths experiencing homelessness. It requires all local educational agencies (LEAs) to ensure that homeless students have access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschools, as provided to other children and youths. The McKinney-Vento Act defines LEAs as public school districts, direct-funded and locally funded charter schools, and county offices of education. The McKinney-Vento Act also authorizes the funding for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program.

Links to Related Resources

California Department of Education HERE

Resources related to IEPs HERE

California State Resources related to McKinney-Vento Act HERE

California Curriculum Framework and Instructional Material HERE 

Resources and CA Bills related to bullying in school HERE


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