California public schools can’t suspend students for disobeying teachers, new law says

California

SACRAMENTO (KRON) — New laws taking effect in 2020 will impact schools across California.

Starting next school year, it will be illegal for public schools in the state to suspend students in first through fifth grade for willfully defying teachers or administrators.

Then, from 2021 through 2025, it will be temporarily extended to kids in grades six through eight.

Supporters say suspensions for willful defiance are disproportionately used against students of color.

Another new law — a mandatory change to school start times.

The law is set to be phased in over the next three years. High schools can start no earlier than 8:30 a.m., and no sooner than 8 a.m. for middle schoolers.

The controversial measure could be costly, state legislative analysts have said some schools may end up spending millions to accommodate the adjustment.

Limiting and banning smartphone use is at the center of another law affecting schools in 2020.

School boards will have the power to ban devices with the exception of emergencies or other special situations, such as medical reasons.

Supporters say smart phone use is linked to lower student performance and interferes with the educational mission of schools.

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