California Senate Bill 277
Updated July 21, 2015
This information will constantly be updated as we receive further information and input as to the way the law is being implemented.
Please understand that we are publishing our best understanding, but others may interpret the law differently. We cannot guarantee that your PSP or ISP will understand it the same way we do here at HSC. Please check directly with them.
For students who go to school, there will be no exemptions after July 1, 2016, except that students with IEPs cannot be denied services that are in their IEP and students who have a personal beliefs exemption already in their K-12 school records prior to January 1, 2016, will not be subject to the new immunization law unless and until they are entering 7th grade.
- Some people are reading Subdivision (g) Section (3) to say that students will no longer be grandfathered in if they change schools. We do not interpret it that way.
- This is the part that some people interpret to mean that the grandfathering in of the PBE is void if the child changes schools:
(3) Except as provided in this subdivision, on and after July 1, 2016, the governing authority shall not unconditionally admit to any of those institutions specified in this subdivision for the first time, or admit or advance any pupil to 7th grade level, unless the pupil has been immunized for his or her age as required by this section.
Note that this Subdivision (g) Section (3) says "Except as provided in this subdivision...". Subdivision (g) Section (1) provides for grandfathering in until the next grade span. So Section (1) overrides (3).
The California Department of Public Health has issued a statement saying that students in independent study programs are exempt only if there is no classroom-based instruction. http://www.shotsforschool.org/laws/sb277faq/
We believe the law is ambiguous as to what constitutes classroom-based instruction. There is a legal definition of "classroom-based instruction" that is used for apportioning funds to charter school independent study programs and we feel that should be the definition that is applied in this law (since there is no other legal definition). Based on that definition, classroom-based instruction occurs only when students are REQUIRED to spend at least 80 percent of their instructional time in a class on a school site and being taught by the school's credentialed teachers. If the child's instruction does not meet these requirements it is considered nonclassroom-based instruction.
Students enrolled in Independent Study Programs (public/charter) are also exempt from immunization requirements if they are not receiving classroom-based instruction meaning, as explained above, they are not required to receive more than 80 percent of their instruction onsite in a classroom being taught by the school's teachers.
Education Code Title 2 Division 4 Part 26.8
Chapter 3: Charter School Operation
(e) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and as a condition of apportionment, “classroom-based instruction” in a charterschool, for the purposes of this part, occurs only when charter school pupils are engaged in educational activities required of those pupils and are under the immediate supervision and control of an employee of the charter school who possesses a valid teaching certification in accordance with subdivision (l) of Section 47605. For purposes of calculating average daily attendance for classroom-based instruction apportionments, at least 80 percent of the instructional time offered by the charter school shall be at the schoolsite, and the charter school shall require the attendance of all pupils for whom a classroom-based apportionment is claimed at the schoolsite for at least 80 percent of the minimum instructional time required to be offered pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 47612.5.
(2) For the purposes of this part, “nonclassroom instruction” or “nonclassroom-based instruction” means instruction that does not meet the requirements specified in paragraph (1). The State Board of Education may adopt regulations pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) specifying other conditions or limitations on what constitutes nonclassroom-based instruction, as it deems appropriate and consistent with this part.
(3) For purposes of this part, a schoolsite is a facility that is used principally for classroom instruction.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, neither the State Board of Education, nor the Superintendent may waive the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).
The California Department of Public Health has also stated that all schools, public and private, must collect vaccination information from all students, including those in home-based private schools and nonclassroom-based independent study programs. http://www.shotsforschool.org/laws/sb277faq/
HSC sees no basis for this requirement in the health code or education code and will be making further inquiries into this. In the meantime, your PSP or ISP may follow the health department statement and ask for your vaccination records even though your child is not, in fact, required to be vaccinated. You will have to choose whether or not to comply. For those establishing your own private school, the question is really whether or not you are required to keep vaccination records in your child's file even though your child is exempt from vaccination requirements. Again, you will have to choose whether or not to comply.