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Children of Live-in Workers Can Enroll in Schools Near Their Parents' Jobs

Children of live-in domestic workers will be able to enroll in schools in the districts in which their parents are employed at least three days a week, under a new law signed this week by California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown also signed a related measure that requires districts to adopt a policy for probing student residency before investigating any student—including the circumstances under which such investigations would be undertaken and the methods that would be used. That law also prohibits videotaping and photographing students in the process.

Both bills had received unanimous support in the legislature, according to the Associated Press. 

The first bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara, grew out of a case last year in the Orinda school district, in which the district expelled a 7-year-old, 2nd grade student whose mother worked as a live-in nanny at a home in the district.

The child's mother worked in Orinda five days a week, and the child lived in the home of her parent's employer, with her own bedroom and bathroom, according to the Contra Costa Times.  

The case caused outrage after the district hired a private investigator to ascertain whether the child lived in Orinda. The investigator concluded that the family lived elsewhere, and the district gave the family a Dec. 5 deadline to remove her from the elementary school she attended, the Contra Costa Times reported

The decision was later reversed.

Under the new bill, children of live-in workers, such as nannies and maids, will be able to enroll in schools in the districts in which their parents or guardians are employed at least three days a week.

Lara, the bill's sponsor, said parents would no longer have "to choose between spending quality time with their kids during the week or spending that time away from work."

"Senate Bill 200 is a victory for hard working Californians who are required to live part-or full-time with their employers to fulfill their duties," Lara said in a statement after the signing. "Now, some parents won't be put in the unfair position of having to choose between spending quality time with their kids during the work week or spending that time away at work. This new law will keep countless families together and give the kids of live-in workers a shot at the American Dream."

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