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Superintendent Beutner, Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer and State Senator Bradford Celebrate Passage of AB413 (12-16-19)  

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Shannon Haber, 213-241-6766                                       December 16, 2019


LOS ANGELES — Today, Superintendent Austin Beutner joined state and county leaders in celebrating the Legislature’s passage of Assembly Bill 413, which redesignates “at-risk youth” as “at-promise youth” in California’s education and penal laws.

“‘At-risk’ presumes a certain path, ‘at-promise’ reinforces what we know – that every child has the ability to succeed in school and in life,” Superintendent Beutner said during a news conference at Thomas A. Edison Middle School. “It’s up to us to make sure they have all the support they need to do so.”

AB413 was co-sponsored by Assemblyman Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr., who chairs the Public Safety Committee and the Select Committee on Ending the School to Prison Pipeline. The legislation is designed to change the outcomes of vulnerable youth by promoting a more positive approach.

“I was proud to see our sponsors, supporters, families, and students come together at Edison Middle School today to celebrate the signing of AB 413,” Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer said. “Recognizing our young people as ‘at-promise’ is very personal to me. This event, and this bill, are about celebrating our students and ensuring that everyone recognizes the inherent promise they all possess. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Sacramento to invest in our children during this next legislative year. 

The legislation was co-sponsored by state Sen. Steven Bradford, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, and the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE).


“As former Chairs of the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color and as African American males growing up during the civil rights movement, Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer and I are far too familiar with the impact labels and identity have on life trajectories,” Senator Bradford said. “I thank my colleague for his leadership on this simple, yet critically important change in the law, which will help us all recognize the potential of our youth as opposed to the barriers and challenges they face. Perception matters, and our students are more than their current situation.”

“None of us should refer to children – any children, regardless of where they are born or where they grow up – in any type of deficit language,” LACOE Superintendent Dr. Debra Duardo said. “We are here as educators and community members to uplift our children, to uplift their spirits and not to squelch them. Words matter.”