Commonsense Kids' Rights in California

Senate Bill 18 (SB 18) outlines a comprehensive framework that governs the rights of all children to move California toward a truly child-centered system. By Kids Action Team
Commonsense Kids' Rights in California

Last week, as the students of the Discovery Tree School early childhood center played and learned only a few steps away, I joined California State Senator Richard Pan at a press conference to announce the introduction of Senate Bill 18: The Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California.

Their presence was a reminder of why Common Sense Kids Action works to make kids California's top priority and why we are sponsoring Dr. Pan's legislation: Every child has the right to live in a just, safe, healthy, and supportive society.

California has the sixth-largest economy in the world, but our children have the fourth-worst standard of economic well-being in the country. Three-quarters of our children don't receive important health screenings. One in four doesn’t have enough to eat every day. That's unacceptable. We are failing our children, and this legislation will create an action plan toward the kind of child-centered approach that truly supports all families and children.

SB 18 builds off the findings of the Right Start Commission's report, Rebuilding the California Dream, that we released earlier this year. The Right Start Commission's call for a comprehensive, child-centered approach is built into SB 18 and will be the foundation of the statewide conversation the press conference began.

To move us toward a truly child-centered system, SB 18 outlines a comprehensive framework that governs the rights of all children in California. The bill outlines the research-based essential needs of all of California's children and establishes standards relating to the health, safety, well-being, early childhood and educational opportunities, and familial supports necessary for all children to succeed.

Central to the success of SB 18 will be collaboration with parents and children's advocates. Beverly Kumar, one of our Kids Campaign parent organizers, joined First 5 California deputy director Erin Gabel, Sacramento City Unified School District board member Jay Hansen, and me in making statements about the need for the bill.

Moving forward, Common Sense Kids Action will be working with Dr. Pan to host conversations with parents and community members across the state. Input from those conversations will be used to add important details to the framework of SB 18 that help shape this important vision for California's children. As dates are released, we invite you to participate and share your thoughts and experiences offline at one of our Common Sense Parent Meetups and online using the hashtag #CommonSenseKidsRights.

Please join us in defining a Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California and support SB 18 to say, once and for all, that kids are California's top priority.

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Comments (2)

Adult written by Wylmina H.

Common Sense is already moving away from this Senate Bill (SB18) because it doesn't actually give any additional funds from the CA state budget to underprivileged children. It is merely a feel good thumbs up to a senate bill that failed to be funded first. Common Sense, our non-profit, that spends millions in compensation to its employees should have known better and now needs to be responsible for stopping this bill or contributing millions to the underprivileged children it said it wanted to help, instead of paying millions to the grownups employed by Common Sense.
Adult written by Grace M

SB 18 is very alarming to me. You say it will provide increased opportunity for health screening and other benefits. Yet there is nothing that prevents these options already, unless you are trying to bypass parental consent, of which I am wholly against. It is not the role of the State to give rights to minors, that is why they have parents. The parents know the child better than anyone, and they are the best equipped to support the best interests of the child. If the Bill's aim is to provide protection for the child, there are already laws in place for that. This Bill is completely unnecessary and simply adds additional burden to an already overburdened State. Please consider rescinding your support for this Machiavellian Bill.


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