BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1683
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 21, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Felipe Fuentes, Chair

                 AB 1683 (Torres) - As Introduced:  January 26, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              Education  
          Vote:8-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill makes the following changes related to county office  
          of education (COE) programs: 

          1)Requires a three or four year-old child of a parent who is in  
            foster care (within the previous six months) to have priority  
            in enrolling in the state preschool program, as specified.  

          2)Clarifies COEs are eligible for federal funding pursuant to  
            state and federal law.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          GF/98 reallocation costs, likely between $900,000 and $4.5  
          million, for three and four-year-old children of a parent in  
          foster care to have priority in enrolling in the state preschool  
          program.  This assumes between one and five percent of foster  
          children have a three or four year-old-child.  As of October  
          2009, there are 66,000 foster children in California.  Of this  
          number, 16,347 are between the ages of 15 and 20.  This measure  
          would move the children of foster care parents to the top of  
          eligibility lists at the expense of other three and four year  
          old children eligible for state preschool.      

          The 2009 Budget Act provided a total of $438.9 million GF/98 to  
          serve 117,000 children in the state preschool program.  Of this  
          amount, $373.4 million are on-going GF/98 funds and $65.5  
          million are one-time GF/98 funds.       

           COMMENTS  









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           1)Background  .  COEs provide a variety of educational programs  
            and services, including direct services to at-risk pupils  
            (i.e., foster care children, juvenile court schools, community  
            day schools).  COEs also provide services to school districts  
            in the areas of business, administrative, and curriculum and  
            they are directly responsible for the financial oversight of  
            districts. There are 58 COEs.  The services provided are  
            affected by the size and type of districts within the county,  
            the geographical location and size of the county, and the  
            special needs of students that are not met by the districts. 

            The state provides both part-day and full-day preschool  
            programs. The part-day state preschool programs provide  
            comprehensive developmental programs for three to  
            five-year-old children from low-income families (75% of the  
            state median income). The programs emphasize parent education  
            and encourage parent involvement. Also, the programs provide  
            meals or snacks to children, referrals to health and social  
            services for families, and staff development opportunities to  
            employees.  

            Current law provides priority for state preschool programs to  
            neglected and abused children who are recipients of child  
            protective services, who are at risk of being neglected,  
            abused, or exploited upon written referral from a legal,  
            medical, or social service agency.  This bill proposes to  
            provide priority for eligibility in state preschool programs  
            to a three or four year-old child of a parent who is in foster  
            care within the previous six months.  

            Many COEs contend they have been excluded from state and  
            federal funding opportunities.  The most recent example they  
            site is the Middle and High School Supplement Counseling  
            Program which provided for additional counselors.  COEs argue  
            that the majority of pupils they serve are at-risk students  
            and would benefit from the counseling program.  This bill  
            clarifies that COEs are eligible for federal funding, as  
            specified.  

           2)Previous legislation  . 

             a)   AB 339 (Torres) clarified that COEs are eligible for  
               federal funding.  This bill was vetoed in August 2009, with  
               the following message: 









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               "This bill would redefine 'school districts' to include  
               school districts, county offices of education, and other  
               agencies deemed eligible pursuant to state and federal law,  
               for the purpose of allocating federal education funds.  
               However, in its current form, I am concerned that the bill  
               may have unintended consequences for charter schools and/or  
               other educational agencies currently eligible for these  
               federal funds."

             b)   AB 769 (Torres) required a three or four-year-old child  
               of a parent who is in foster care (within the previous six  
               months) to have priority in enrolling in the state  
               preschool program, as specified.  This bill was vetoed in  
               October 2009, with the following message:    


               "This bill results in significant Proposition 98 General  
               Fund costs pressures. Absent additional funding to support  
               this policy shift, enacting this measure would result in  
               denying access to state funded preschool programs to other  
               low income families who are currently on waiting lists for  
               subsidized care. Moreover, children of those under the  
               jurisdiction of the juvenile court system already may  
               access child care on a priority basis under current law, to  
               the extent that they are at risk of abuse or neglect."  









           Analysis Prepared by  :    Kimberly Rodriguez / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081