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Assemblymember Kalra Introduces AB 2441 to Reduce Harmful Police Referrals in K-12 Schools

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San José) introduced AB 2441 to decrease law enforcement involvement in student behavioral issues at school, ensure California law is closer aligned with federal law, and provide educators the flexibility they need to respond appropriately to student behavior.


“For too long, excessive policing of children in our public schools has fueled the school-to-prison pipeline. Rather than exacerbating academic disparities, we can promote alternative approaches to addressing student misbehavior and foster a safer learning environment,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “AB 2441 will empower educators to determine when law enforcement intervention is necessary, a practical and evidence-based solution to ensure that students can learn and grow in a supportive and safe classroom.”


Under current law, educators are required to contact law enforcement for a wide range of situations involving student behavior. This blanket requirement often leads to unnecessary calls to law enforcement, particularly for children or youth with behavioral issues at school. Even if educators do not believe a referral to law enforcement is necessary given the circumstances, they must comply with this reporting requirement or risk a $1000 fine.


Studies have consistently found that any student interaction with law enforcement decreases their likelihood of completing high school while increasing the chance of having contact with the criminal legal system. Further, studies demonstrate the presence of school police has no impact on student crime rates and instead correlates with increased student misconduct.


“We commend Assemblymember Kalra’s continued work to keep students in school and empower school staff with more options when responding to students,” says Allegra Cira Fischer, Senior Policy Attorney at Disability Rights California. “Students with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline. While students with disabilities make up 11 percent of students, they constitute 26 percent of student arrests. For Black and Latinx boys with disabilities, these outcomes are even worse. When AB 2441 becomes law, school staff who know their students best will be able to determine the appropriate intervention based on the individual needs of students with disabilities.”


“AB 2441 is the critical first step in the process of decriminalizing schools and shifting away from policies that disproportionately and negatively impact Black students,” says Carl Pinkston, Operational Director at Black Parallel School Board. "We are excited to co-sponsor AB 2441 and support 21st Century Multicultural Learning Communities—where students, teachers, and their communities engage collaboratively in a supportive learning environment that is grounded in the value of their contribution to themselves and society.”


AB 2441 is coauthored by Senator Bradford (D-Gardena).


Co-sponsors of AB 2441 include Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, American Civil Liberties Union-California, Black Organizing Project, Black Parallel School Board, Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, Disability Rights California, Dolores Huerta Foundation, Public Counsel, and Social Justice Learning Institute.




Assemblymember Ash Kalra represents California’s 25th Assembly District, which encompasses the majority of San José, including downtown and open space areas in southeast Santa Clara County. He was first elected in 2016, becoming the first Indian American to serve in the California Legislature in state history, and was re-elected to his fourth term in 2022. Assemblymember Kalra is the Chair of the Committee on Judiciary and also serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Local Government, and Natural Resources committees.