September 25, 2009 (Sacramento)--Assembly Bill 66, authored by Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) has passed the Legislature unanimously and is now on the Governor’s desk.
The bill changes the way schools issue student work permits, giving control over the process to local educators who can best to protect students’ grades,” said Assemblyman Anderson.
The current system requires all students to apply for work permits through the local public school. The intention behind this requirement is good: protect students’ safety on the job and the GPA in the classroom.
However, like countless other well-intended ideas that have come out of Sacramento, there is a serious flaw with the current system, Anderson believes. Many home school, private school and charter school students are unfairly denied work permits, or worse, are required to follow a work schedule that conflicts with their school schedule, a press release issued by Anderson’s office stated.
Not all schools follow the same calendar, so sending a homeschool or charter school student to get a work permit from a staffer at public school can result in the very problems the system was supposed to prevent: students missing work or school.
“The current system is a perfect example of what happens when Sacramento takes away local control,” said Anderson. “Rather than protecting our children’s education, the State damages it.”
AB 66 fixes this flaw by creating a flexible, locally-controlled system for issuing work permits. It gives every school the authority to issue permits to their own students.
“This bill protects the welfare of students and ensures those educators that know the students best are making these important decisions – plus it removes an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy in the education system,” said Rob Shield, President of the Grossmont Union High School District Board of Trustees.
AB 66 also links the hours a student may work to the school hours of the individual student. Businesses will appreciate this provision as it prevents the mistakes that have interfered with students’ ability to work during vacations.
While harmony amongst Sacramento political players is rare, AB 66 received the support of both the California Teachers Association and advocates for families who home school; groups that regularly find themselves on opposites sides of issues.
“Our state’s education system has major problems,” says Assemblyman Anderson. “There is no silver-bullet that will make our schools great again. But when we can get consensus on a bill that increases local control, that’s a step in the right direction.”
AB 66 passed both houses of the legislature unanimously and now sits on the Governor’s desk.