Vaccine Bill Opponents: We’ll Pull Our Kids out of School

Parents opposed to a California legislative effort to revoke their ability to exempt their children from some vaccinations plan to bring their children to a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Education Committee–and promise to yank those kids out of school if the measure passes into law.

The Democrat-sponsored Senate Bill 277 was proposed in response to a measles outbreak whose spread began at Disneyland last December. If passed, SB 277 would remove parents’ ability to sign a waiver that currently allows them to exempt their children from one or more school required vaccinations.

State records show just 2.54%, or 13,592, of California kindergarteners have personal belief waivers on file, a voluntary 0.61% drop from the previous school year. A much greater percentage of kindergarteners, 6.9%, were enrolled as under-vaccinated “Conditional Entrants,” whose parents have expressed the intent to vaccinate their children during the year.

The financial pain inflicted by parents removing their children from schools remains unsure. Funding for most public schools, at least $6,000 per student, is tied to enrollment, though higher-property value areas may rely less on that funding, reports the San Jose Mercury News. In January, a study of Northern California revealed the highest rates of under-vaccination among five communities comprised primarily of graduate-level educated or lower-income residents.

In related news, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s anti-vaccine campaign, which included a recent visit to Sacramento to oppose SB 277, ran into trouble after he connected autism to the Holocaust. He has since apologized, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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