The bill, AB 2405, would allow parents three paid days off a year, or 24 hours.
“Being involved in your child’s education shouldn’t be limited by your family’s income, and it shouldn’t come down to a choice between meeting with a teacher or volunteering in the classroom, versus paying the bills," Gatto said in a news release Thursday.
"You shouldn’t have to be a cast member of the ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ to be involved in your child’s education," he said.
The release cites a 2013 EdSource survey in which 24 percent of parents with incomes of $30,000 or less described themselves as "very involved" in their children's education.
The bill would update California's existing Family-School and Partnership Act.
Passed in 1995, the act currently allows parents, grandparents and guardians to take up to 40 hours of unpaid time off for school activities and related emergencies. The time off is protected.
AB 2405 would require 24 or those hours be paid time off.
"Too many parents are prevented from participating in their children's education due to economic barriers," Gatto said. "Parents shouldn't have to choose between paying the bills and being involved in their child's education."
According to Gatto's spokesman, the legislation should be referred to a committee hearing next month, followed by a vote on it by the Assembly.
It will go to the state Senate if it passes.
CNN Money reported that, according to the spokesman, small businesses with 25 employees or less would not be required to follow this law, if passed.