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Addis Introduces Education Accessibility Bills

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Addis (D-Morro Bay) introduced a set of bills aimed at lowering barriers to education for students with disabilities in early learning and TK-12 education.

"As Chair of the Select Committee on Serving Students with Disabilities, I am committed to making California's education system effective, equitable, and affirming for each and every student," said Addis. "AB 2173 and AB 2206 open doors and create commonsense solutions to problems in special education."

AB 2173, the Reducing Stigma in Education Act, replaces the term "emotional disturbance" with "emotional disability" as it relates to California's usage of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The current "emotional disturbance" label inappropriately classifies children who have a non-intellectual, sensory, or physical disability. AB 2173 is sponsored by the Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPA).

"The time has come to move away from this kind of outdated terminology that serves to further isolate and stigmatize students already working through serious social and emotional challenges," said Elizabeth Engelken, Chair of SELPA Administrators of California.

AB 2206, the Childcare Accessibility Act, removes a key barrier that prevents childcare providers from enrolling children with disabilities into their programs. Current state regulations have been interpreted to require a revised fire clearance for each new child with a disability, creating unnecessary barriers to childcare for these children and their families. AB 2206 removes this regulatory barrier while maintaining safety standards for children and childcare providers.

AB 2206 is co-sponsored by the Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey County Superintendents.

"It is imperative that we address the unique needs of all children, regardless of their abilities," said Deneen Guss, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools. "Assemblymember Addis's proposed legislation, AB 2206, is a crucial step towards expanding the array of childcare choices available to families with children facing unique challenges."

AB 2173 and AB 2206 now await their first policy committee hearings.

Dawn Addis was elected to the California State Assembly in 2022 to represent the coastal 30th Assembly District, which includes large portions of San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties and the south-eastern area of Santa Cruz County.

CONTACT: Julie Cravotto, (916) 319-2030