Digital News Report – Senator Bob Huff (R – Diamond Bar) announced today that his measure to clearly establish and define a “heritage school” passed off the Senate Floor with unanimous support.
Senate Bill 1116 will also create an affidavit submission requirement for these schools; one that is modeled after that which is required of private schools.
Heritage schools are privately financed, culture-based educational entities, many of which have been in operation for decades. They meet after regular school hours, on the weekends and during the summer, outside of the public school structure.
“Heritage schools play an integral role in our communities, as they are a major source of language and heritage instruction at the K-12 level,” commented Senator Huff. “They help prepare students for courses in advanced language and literature at colleges and universities at no taxpayer expense, and some public schools even grant credit to students for classes taken at these heritage schools. These schools provide a very beneficial service, particularly with less funding available for public education.”
Absent legislation, these schools will be closed. Since heritage schools are not defined in state code as educational entities, the Department of Social Services (DSS) sometimes designates heritage schools as childcare centers, and forces them to close.
“In the Legislature, grand endeavors often take more than one two-year legislative session cycle,” Senator Huff said. “For three years, I have sought to educate state lawmakers about the need to legally define heritage schools. I consider this a major victory.”
SB 1116 now moves to the Assembly.