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Assemblymember Mia Bonta’s adequate staff-to-student ratio bill ensures safe working and learning environment

Post Staff Reporting, Alameda Post

Assemblymember Mia Bonta’s Classified Employee Staffing Ratio Workgroup bill, AB 1273, was signed into law last week. The new law establishes a workgroup to propose guidelines on proper staffing for classified school employees. This bill will help to ensure that local educational agencies are adequately staffed to provide students with the services and resources they need to thrive.

Current law is silent on what factors local education agencies should consider in establishing staff-to-student ratios. AB 1273 will ensure all school community members have a safe working and learning environment.

“Thank you to Governor Newsom for signing this bill and recognizing the importance of ensuring adequate staffing to keep our schools safe and clean,” said Jeff Freitas, President of the California Federation of Teachers, sponsor of the bill. “Whether we face environmental challenges due to pandemics or climate change, schools must ensure there is someone to call if there is an emergency, ensure students reach the school safely with bus drivers or crossing guards, have food served in a timely manner, and make sure that rooms and playgrounds are clean and safe for all students and staff.”

Freitas also thanked Assemblymember Bonta for authoring the bill.

“Inadequate staffing ratios can have a very detrimental effect on the success of students,” the Assemblymember noted. “This can range from disorderly food distributions that impact healthy eating options in cafeterias to temporarily shuttered classrooms due to cleanliness issues and more. AB 1273 will provide guidance to schools in developing optical staffing ratios, and in turn, help students reach their full potential.”

AB 1273 goes into effect July 1, 2024.