SB 1479-Authorizes The State Department Of Public Heath To Provide Support Services To School Districts, County Offices Of Education, And Charter Schools With Respect To COVID-19 Testing Programs And Requires A School District, County Office Of Education, And Charter School To Create And Post A COVID-19 Testing Plan On Its Website

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

The bill requires the State Department of Public Health (Department) coordinate specified school districts, county office of education, and charter school COVID-19 testing programs currently federally funded or organized under the California COVID-19 Task Force.

The bill authorizes the Department to provide supportive services, including technical assistance, vendor support, guidance, monitoring, and testing education, related to testing programs for teachers, staff, and pupils to help schools reopen and keep schools operating safely for in-person learning. The bill encourages the Department to expand its contagious, infectious, or communicable disease testing guidance and other public health mitigation efforts to include prekindergarten and childcare centers.

SB 1479 also requires a local educational agency (LEA) after consulting with its local health department, to create a COVID-19 testing plan, or adopt the State Department of Public Health’s framework that is consistent with guidance from the Department. The bill defines LEA to mean school district, county office of education, or charter school.

The bill requires that each LEA publish the testing plan on its internet website. The bill authorizes LEAs to designate one staff member to report information on its COVID-19 testing program to the Department. The bill requires that all COVID-19 testing data be in a format that facilitates a simple process by which parents and LEAs may report data to the department or a local health department.

The bill also requires that the department determine which COVID-19 tests are appropriate for the testing program.

The bill makes the implementation of these provisions contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature, and repeals these provisions on January 1, 2026.

(SB 1479 adds and repeals Article 9 (commencing with Section 32096) of Chapter 1 of Part 19 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code.)

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