Legal Update Memo No. 34-2019 – AB 1127 – LEAs Must Allow Intradistrict Transfer for Bullying (K-12)

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On October 12, 2019, the Governor approved Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1127, which effective January 1, 2020, requires a Local Educational Agency (“LEA”) to grant a victim of an act of bullying the right to an intradistrict transfer to a different school in the LEA.[1]  If the requested school is at maximum capacity, then the LEA shall accept an intradistrict transfer request to a different school within the LEA.[2]

Interdistrict Attendance Permit Implications

If the school district of residence has only one school offering the grade level of the victim of an act of bullying and therefore there is no option for an intradistrict transfer, the victim of an act of bullying may apply for an interdistrict transfer to another school district and the school district of residence shall not prohibit the transfer if the school district of proposed enrollment approves the application for transfer.[3]  Once the school district of proposed enrollment accepts a student who is a victim of an act of bullying, the school district of proposed enrollment shall continue to accept other students who are victims of an act of bullying until the receiving school district is at capacity.[4]

The receiving school district must ensure the students selected for admission through an interdistrict attendance permit are selected through an unbiased process that prohibits an inquiry into or evaluation or consideration of whether or not a pupil should be enrolled based on academic or athletic performance, physical condition, proficiency in English, family income, or any of the individual characteristics set forth in Section 220, including, but not limited to, race or ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and immigration status.[5]

Duty to Provide Transportation

Upon request of the parent or guardian on behalf of a pupil eligible for transfer as a victim of an act of bullying, a school district of enrollment shall provide transportation assistance to a pupil who is eligible for free or reduced-price meals.[6]

A school district of enrollment may provide transportation assistance to any pupil who transfers to another LEA as a victim of an act of bullying.[7]

It is the intent of the Legislature that the amount of transportation assistance provided to a pupil not exceed the supplemental grant received, if any, for the pupil pursuant to § 42238.02(e).[8]

Victim of an Act of Bullying Defined

A “victim of an act of bullying” is defined as a pupil who has been determined to have been a victim of bullying by an investigation pursuant to the complaint process described in Section 234.1 [Uniform Complaint Procedures] and the bullying was committed by any pupil in the school district of residence, and the parent of the pupil has filed a written complaint regarding the bullying with the school, school district personnel, or a local law enforcement agency.[9]

An act of bullying that is subject to the Uniform Complaint Procedures is bullying based on the actual or perceived characteristics in Education Code § 220 [disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or immigration status].

Considerations for LEAs

We advise that LEAs review their policies to ensure compliance with this new law.  We also advise LEAs to carefully consider accepting a student who is the victim of an act of bullying due to the additional requirements imposed by AB 1127.

For your convenience, a copy of AB 1127 is included with this Legal Update.

Please contact our office with questions regarding this Legal Update or any other matter.

Legal Update written by Carl D. Corbin, General Counsel.

The information in this Legal Update is provided as a summary of law and is not intended as legal advice.  Application of the law may vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances at issue.  We, therefore, recommend that you consult legal counsel to advise you on how the law applies to your specific situation.

 © 2019 School and College Legal Services of California

 All rights reserved.  However, SCLS grants permission to any current SCLS client to use, reproduce, and distribute this Legal Update in its entirety for the client’s own non-commercial purposes.

[1] AB 1127 amends Education Code § 46600.  All subsequent references are to the Education Code.

[2] § 46600(d)(2).

[3] Id.

[4] § 46600(d)(3).

[5] Id.

[6] § 46600(d)(5)(A).

[7] § 46600(d)(5)(B).

[8] § 46600(d)(5)(C).  Also, the supplemental grant reference in § 42238.02(e) provides in part: “The Superintendent shall compute a supplemental grant add-on equal to 20 percent of the base grants… “

[9] § 46600(d)(4)(B).