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Governor's COVID-19 STUDENT Vaccine Mandate

On October 1, Governor Newsom announced a new proposed mandate for students attending in-person instruction to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting the term following full FDA approval of the vaccine. 

 

We understand parents may be concerned about this proposed requirement and have several questions. We have questions as well and have not been given the opportunity to review a published health order with details. The most updated information on this proposed new requirement, may be found on the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) press release page. 

 

Murrieta Valley USD continues to be a strong supporter of parental rights to the fullest extent of the law. We continue to advocate for parent choice and providing parents the latitude to decide what is best for their child’s health.  That is and has been the position of the Board of Education and the DistrictAs a district, we are obligated to implement and follow state Health and Safety Code requirements, laws and regulations, and vaccination requirements under sections 120325 - 120380 of the California Health and Safety Code.

 

Our school board, district administrators, principals, teachers, and staff are not involved and do not have jurisdiction over public health matters nor do we have authority over the decision-making of the State of California Regular Rulemaking or Legislative Process. Those responsibilities are under the jurisdiction of our local State Representatives (listed below).

 

It is important to note: This proposed vaccine requirement MUST go through the State of California's Regular Rulemaking Process. CDPH has indicated this process may begin once the FDA provides full approval of the COVID-19 vaccinations for children and youth. At this point, the CDPH MUST initiate the rulemaking process and write regulations that address, analyze and outline the requirements. For example, the requirements and scope of any medical/personal exemptions to the proposed mandate must be written. Once the requirements are outlined, a full analysis occurs that includes a CA Department of Finance economic analysis, THEN a 45-day public comment period and potential public hearings.

 

After this process the mandate may be fine tuned and resubmitted OR finalized and sent to the Office of Administrative law for final approval. Click this link to view an infographic from the State of California, Legislative Analyst Office summarizing the Regular Rulemaking Process. To learn about the California legislative process, which outlines how ideas become laws, please visit the State of CA page linked in this text. 

 

If you would like to share your opinion about this proposed mandate or provide input on the rulemaking process associated with this new mandate, please direct those to the California Department of Public Health at 916-558-1784 or our local representatives listed below. To view other CA Legislators, please visit the following link: http://www.legislature.ca.gov

 

Senator Melissa Melendez 

25186 Hancock Ave, Suite 320

Murrieta, CA 92562

951-894-3530

*Also Vice Chair to the California Senate Health Committee (link to Health Commitee webpage)

 

Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto

41391 Kalmia Street, Suite 220

Murrieta, CA 92565

951-894-1232

 

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we have received regarding this proposed new vaccination requirement. Responses are based on a summary found in the Governor's Press Release and information gathered from educational associations in the State.

 

1. Is MVUSD currently mandating the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Response- No. The mandate for students to be vaccinated is not in effect. The mandate cannot go into effect until the vaccine has full FDA approval for specific age groups of students.

 

2. When does this requirement take effect?

Response- The vaccine must first have full FDA approval before the state begins the rulemaking or legislative process. Once it has full FDA approval, it is tentatively scheduled to go into effect at the start of the following semester. Current estimates anticipate the vaccine mandate to become effective July 1, 2022 for grades 7-12. 

 

3. Will there be exemptions?

Response– Yes. Requirements established by regulation, not legislation, must be subject to exemptions “for both medical reasons and personal beliefs.” (HSC section 120338).  This means, since the proposed mandate is established by an executive order, medical, religious, and personal belief exemptions will be accepted. Senate Bill 277 (SB) has a caveat that when a new vaccine is added to the list of the current requirements, there may be an exemption for personal beliefs. (underline links to text in SB 277)

 

4. Where can I download a COVID-19 vaccine exemption form and where do I submit it?

Response– Exemptions for student COVID-19 vaccines are not yet applicable and the state of CDPH must develop the requirements/parameters for exemptions. The Governor's office has announced exemptions may include medical and personal. When more information is known, the district will post exemption details and forms on our website.

 

5. Will MVUSD continue to provide learning options next year for families who do not want to vaccinate their students?

Response– Yes! We will continue to offer the following options.

  • Learn@ Home - Homeschool. This is a home-based study program for TK-8. Click here for more info.
  • Learn@Home - Virtual School (TK-5) This program follows a daily log-in schedule with teachers. Click here for more info.  
  • Learn @ Home Independent Study(6-8) Students are assigned a mentor/teacher and check-in periodically. Click here for more info.
  • 9-12 Independent Study through Murrieta Canyon Academy. Click here for more info.

6. Is this proposed mandate legal yet?

Response– No. This vaccine requirement has not been scheduled through the CDPH or Governor's Office for the regular or emergency rulemaking process nor has a bill been introduced to the legislature.