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AB 2735 Frequently Asked Questions

English Learner Participation in the Standard Instructional Program.

This page provides responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Assembly Bill 2735 which adds Section 60811.8 to the California Education Code (EC). EC Section 60811.8 prohibits denial, to English learners, of equal participation in the standard instructional program of schools.

These FAQs are intended to assist local educational agencies (LEAs) in the implementation of AB 2735 (O’Donnell et al.), Chapter 304, Statutes of 2018. For the purpose of these FAQs, an LEA is a school district, a county office of education, a charter school, or a state special school for the blind and the deaf. This collection is not intended to be a complete list of all possible questions or scenarios.

Does this law apply to middle and high school students only?

Yes. This law applies only to middle or high school students classified as English learners.

When must LEAs begin implementation of the law?

AB 2735 is effective commencing with the 2019–20 school year, which begins July 1, 2019.

What is the "standard instructional program" of a school?

The standard instructional program is, at minimum, core curriculum courses in the areas of reading/language arts, mathematics, science, and history/social science, courses required to meet state and local graduation requirements, and courses required for middle school grade promotion. (EC Section 60811.8 [a][1]; EC Section 33126[b][6][B][i]) External link opens in new window or tab..

Are LEAs required to provide access to courses outside the standard instructional program, such as honors and Advanced Placement (AP) to English learner students?

Yes. Pupils may not be denied access, on the sole basis of their classification as an English learner, to enrollment in courses that are not part of a school’s standard instructional program that either meet the subject matter requirements for purposes of recognition for college admission based on a model set of academic standards pursuant to EC Section 66205.5 External link opens in new window or tab. or are advanced courses, such as honors or AP courses.

Are English learner students required to have access to a full course load that is part of the standard instructional program?

Yes. An English learner student may not be denied enrollment in a full course load of the standard instructional program.

If an English learner student is enrolled in a full course load of the standard instructional program, do they still receive Designated English Language Development (ELD)?

Yes, an English learner receives ELD as part of the core curriculum. (Castañeda v. Pickard 648 U.S F.2d 989, [1981]) External link opens in new window or tab..

Are there any exceptions to the requirements of EC 60811.8?

Middle or high school EL students who have recently arrived in the United States, as defined in Section 1111(b)(3)(A) of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), may be denied enrollment in a standard instructional program provided their course of study is designed to remedy any academic deficits incurred during participation and that the course of study is reasonably calculated to enable the pupil to attain parity of participation in the standard instructional program. This exception also extends to a middle or high school student who is classified as an English learner and who is participating in a program designed to meet the academic and transitional needs of newly arrived immigrant students. This exception shall not be construed to prohibit, restrict, or discourage the enrollment of a student in the standard instructional program providing grade level core curriculum.

Are LEAs required to create supplemental courses in languages other than English within the standard instructional program?

No. Nothing in this statute [EC 60811.8] shall be construed to require a school to create supplemental courses in languages other than English.

Questions:   Language Policy and Leadership Office | 916-319-0845
Last Reviewed: Friday, October 23, 2020
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