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News Update

Governor gives California students a seat at the table

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation last week that will give student representatives seats on the new state Advisory Commission on Special Education, as well on an advisory board for each school district’s Local Control and Accountability Plan. He also signed Senate Bill 955, which will give middle and high school students one excused absence to take part in civic activities like candidate forums and town halls.

“California is putting our values into action by providing meaningful avenues for students to participate in local decision-making,” Newsom said. “Thanks to these new laws, students across California will now be more empowered to actively participate in decisions that impact their educational outcomes and communities.”

Only 37% of eligible Californians age 18 to 29 voted in the 2016 presidential election, according to data from Tufts University. This number increased to 54% in 2020.

“As the future of our state will be largely guided by young people still in school today, it is vital that we get California students more civically involved in government and their community,” state Sen. Connie Leyva, who authored the bill, said in a statement.  “SB 955 prioritizes student opportunities for civic learning and engagement and will help them gain a better understanding of how their involvement can help to change and improve the world around them.  I thank the Governor for signing SB 955 and look forward to our future leaders stepping up in the years and decades ahead so we can continue to move California in a positive direction.”