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California moves to curtail expelling children from preschool — yes, preschool

November 9, 2017
Lee Romney

After successfully reducing expulsions in its K-12 schools, California is now moving to restrict the practice with even younger children — at the preschool level.

To that end, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation last month that bars state-subsidized preschool programs from expelling kids unless an exhaustive process aimed at supporting the child and family is followed first.

Children can be expelled from preschool as a result of any number of aggressive behaviors that could jeopardize the safety of other students, such as biting, kicking and shoving, or even from verbal classroom disruptions such as screaming.

But the new law, Assembly Bill 752, authored by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), requires preschools to undertake a series of interventions and referrals before expelling a child. The law only applies to state-subsidized preschools.

If the interventions — among them evaluating the child’s social emotional development and crafting a behavior plan — don’t resolve concerns, the preschool must help identify an alternative placement for the child.