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Textbook Weight in California

Summary of the State Board of Education action.

Assembly Bill 2532 (Chapter 1096, Statutes of 2002) required the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt maximum weight standards for elementary and secondary school textbooks by July 1, 2004. This legislation specifically required the SBE to take into consideration the health risks to students when devising these new standards.

Following the SBE's initial examination of this issue at its July 2003 meeting, a "working group" of stakeholders, members of the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission (Curriculum Commission), and California Department of Education (CDE) staff was convened to review background information and discuss options. Then, in November 2003, the Executive Committee of the Curriculum Commission discussed the issue, and, in January 2004, the full Curriculum Commission received a presentation from MeadWestvaco on the implications of using lighter basis weight papers in textbooks. Finally, in April 2004, the Curriculum Commission reviewed a revised version of the textbook weight report that incorporated recommendations developed by the CDE and sent final recommendations forward to the SBE. These recommendations were considered and approved at the SBE's May 2004 meeting.

The SBE approved Title 5 regulations to implement the above requirements at its July 2007 meeting. The SBE added Section 9517.2, "Textbook Weight Standards". The new regulations can be found at
Textbook Weight Standards: Adoption of Proposed Title 5 Regulations, Section 9517.2. (DOC). []

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