SACRAMENTO, CA —The California State Assembly today approved unanimously a policy by Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) to allow children to attend school where their live-in working parents reside. SB 200 would update California’s school residency laws to ensure that live-in workers, such as nannies, caregivers, maids, and gardeners, whose children live at their place of employment are able to attend school in the district in which they work if they reside there for at least three days of the week.
“It is disgraceful that any child be subject to ridicule and discrimination because of how they look or where their parents work,” said Senator Lara. “Many workers like nannies, caregivers, and maids sacrifice time with their family to care for others and are often required to live part-time or full-time with their employers to fulfill the duties of their job. These are salt of the earth people who may not fit the traditional family model, but should not face undue hardship to keep their family together. It is critical that they have the option to keep their children with them during the work week and we are one signature away from making that option a reality.”
In November 2014, reports came out of a second grade child of a full-time nanny who was kicked out of her school after the district hired a private investigator. The investigator determined that despite the girl, named Vivian, living and residing in the district five days a week, where her mother worked, she was not a resident and they proceeded to kick her out of school.
Despite the district’s ability to grant the child residency due to her mother’s employment, the district initially refused to let the child continue attending school. The district’s decision put the family in a difficult situation, where the child would have to be separated from her mother or the mother would have to quit her job. After community outrage, the district reversed its decision, but required the employer to become a legal guardian of the child.
This is not an isolated problem. Across the state caregivers, nannies, and other workers whose jobs require them to stay overnight are faced with challenges over where their children can go to school. Districts across the state handle these issues differently.
For these workers, the nature of their employment effects far more than their commute. They should have the option to keep their family together and keep their children with them during the work week.