New law limits “fake” classes


Photo by: Sarah Wortman

Christie Hubbard helps with office filing during sixth period. Student office aids will no longer exist as a class starting next year.

New state legislation will prohibit schools from enrolling their students in classes without “educational content” for more than one week in any semester, unless the student meets special requirements.

Assembly Bill 1012, passed unanimously by the assembly floor, will take effect beginning in the 2016-2017 school year and will affect all California school districts that include grades nine through twelve. The bill aims to discontinue classes like student aid and work experience classes, which Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, author of the law and a member of the California State Assembly, considers to be illegitimate courses.

“They are fake classes that rob our children of learning time and the opportunity for a real education. There’s no point, no purpose, and certainly no benefit to our students or our community,” said Jones-Sawyer in his op-ed for the Sacramento Bee newspaper. “Every year that goes by means more students are denied the chance to qualify for college. This must end now.”

The Oxnard Union High School District (OUHSD) will also be required to comply with this new law; however, according to OUHSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Dr. Thomas McCoy, the district does not plan on making very many changes to its member schools’ class lineups. The only changes the district is currently planning are those to teacher and office aides.

No other classes are expected to change because they already follow the curriculum and provide the “educational content” required to remain intact. “So for about 99 percent of the students, everything will be status quo. For other school districts, they may have to make a lot of changes, but we won’t have to make many,” said McCoy.

Rumors on campus assert that the new law requires every student to take at least six classes, but they are false, and dismissal will still be available for seniors. “Dismissal will still be allowed. If you are a senior, you will be allowed to have one in the fall and two in the spring,” said McCoy.

Students have voiced their opinion ever since they learned of the new state law and the possible changes that could be coming along with it. “I’m lucky that I am graduating and won’t be affected by it. It’s good that there won’t be many changes because people who worked hard and took summer classes and zero period don’t have to have their hard work just go to waste,” said senior Kevin Hubbard. “Another thing is that if teacher and office aides might be taken away, it will give more work to the teachers and office staff.”

Others agree with the decision of the state assembly. “I can understand that people are upset that they took extra classes to make their senior year easier. But I think these changes will help people be more ready and have more extracurricular activities that will help make their college applications look better,” said junior Paul Greer.

School districts across California are now starting to make the necessary changes for their schools to make sure all classes on campus meet the requirements outlined in Assembly Bill 1012. OUHSD has not yet announced the changes they will be making.