AB 2638 – Requires New Construction And Modernization Projects Submitted To DSA By A School District Or The Governing Board Of A Charter School, Within The Specific Time-Period, To Include Water Bottle Filling Stations

CATEGORY: Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education
DATE: Oct 28, 2022

Existing law requires a school district to provide access to free, fresh drinking ​water during meal times in school food service areas by July 1, 2011. Except, the​ governing board of a school district that adopts a resolution stating that it is unable to​ comply with this requirement and demonstrating the reasons why it is unable to comply ​due to fiscal constraints or health and safety concerns is not required to comply with the existing requirements.

AB 2638 requires new construction or modernization projects submitted to the Division of State Architect (DSA) by a school district or the governing board of a charter school to include water bottle filling stations. This requirement only applies to projects submitted to DSA three months after voters approve a statewide general obligation bond that provides for school facilities for kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, at a statewide election occurring on or after November 1, 2022.

The bill requires modernization projects to include a minimum of one water bottle filling station for each school undergoing modernization, and for new construction projects, a minimum of one water bottle filling station per 350 people at each school being constructed. The bill requires water bottle filling stations be placed in or near high traffic and common areas, including hallways, gymnasiums, school food service areas, outdoor recreation areas, and faculty lounges. The water bottle filling stations must dispense drinking water that meets primary drinking water standards and secondary drinking water standards.

This bill requires school districts and charter schools to allow pupils, teachers, and staff to bring and carry water bottles. The bill also requires school districts and charter schools to inform teachers, staff, parents, and pupils of their rights to have water bottles, encourage water consumption through promotional and educational activities and signage, and are encouraged to develop water bottle-carrying policies.

(AB 2638 adds Chapter 2, commencing with Section 38040, to Part 23 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Education Code.)

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