SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL/KGET) — The new year means new rules for California education systems across the state.
Starting in 2022, middle and high schools that offer at least one course in health education must also start incorporating mental health into those courses.
Pushed amid concerns of a youth mental health crisis in the pandemic, lawmakers hope the curriculum will help students identify the signs and symptoms of mental illness and empower them to ask for help.
Another new state law allows mental and behavioral health to be considered reasons for excused absences for children between 6 and 18 years old.
A separate law requires community colleges this upcoming school year to offer ethnic studies courses at each of its campuses. The courses will be a requirement starting in the 2024-2025 school year.
The new year also starts the clock for high schools across California to provide ethnic studies starting in the 2025-2026 academic year and make it a graduation requirement for high school students graduating in 2029-2030.
Another new law requires all California public schools to stock free menstrual products for students in sixth grade and up. That rule also applies to California State University schools and all community college districts.