Independent study laws poised for makeover

In summary

The state legislature proposed changes to the independent study laws that had been disrupting school reopenings across California. Educators say the revisions will help but don’t go far enough.

State lawmakers are scrambling to craft a better solution for COVID-quarantined students — after schools and parents complained that recent changes to independent study laws were leaving them in the lurch.

“Independent study has been a nightmare this year,” said Terri Rufert, superintendent at Sundale Union Elementary School District in Tulare. “This seems to help us a little bit.”

The changes, proposed in the wake of a CalMatters report about problems applying independent study rules during quarantines, would relax those rules for students in short-term quarantine, and ensure that school districts can earn funding for students taking independent study while isolating at home.