BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1643
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 30, 2014

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                  AB 1643 (Buchanan) - As Amended:  April 22, 2014 

          Policy Committee:                              EducationVote:6-0

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

           SUMMARY  

          This bill requires, rather than allows, the establishment of  
          county SARBs and specifies that the primary purpose of county  
          SARBs shall be to develop guidelines, policies, or programs to  
          administer the county and local SARBs and adopt plans to promote  
          interagency and community cooperation to address pupil  
          attendance and behavioral problems, improve coordination of  
          services and prevent entry into the juvenile justice system.   
          Specifically, this bill:

          1)Specifies that a county SARB may accept referrals or requests  
            for hearing services from one or more school districts within  
            its jurisdiction and that nothing in the bill prohibits any  
            two or more counties from forming a SARB consortium or  
            partnership.

          2)Adds a representative of the county district attorney's office  
            and the public defender's office to the county SARBs, as  
            specified.  Specifies that the required composition of the  
            county SARBs shall be for the purpose of developing guidelines  
            and policies.  

          3)Specifies for the purposes of conducting hearings, the  
            chairperson of the county SARB is authorized to determine the  
            members needed at a hearing, based on the needs of the pupil,  
            in order to address attendance or behavioral problems.

          4)Requires a county superintendent of schools to convene a  
            meeting of the county SARB at the beginning of each school  
            year is for the purpose of developing guidelines and policies  
            and adopting plans.  Requires the county SARB to meet at least  
            three additional times each school year to assess the  








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            effectiveness of services and supports that its SARBs provide  
            to youth and their families. Authorizes a county SARB to meet  
            and conduct hearings as needed. 

          5)Requires county SARBs to provide oversight and ensure that  
            local SARBs comply with the policies and procedures  
            established by county SARBs.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Annual General Fund (GF)/P98 state mandated costs in the range  
            of $1.6 million to $3.5 million assuming all 58 county offices  
            of education establish a SARB and conduct a minimum of four  
            meetings per year.  As an example, the Ventura County Office  
            of Education conducted nine meetings last year at a cost of  
            approximately $120,000.  

            It is estimated that 30 to 50% of districts and counties have  
            established SARBs on a voluntary basis.  Because the bill now  
            requires the establishment of a SARB, LEAs can submit mandated  
            cost claims to the Commission on State Mandates for costs  
            associated with both new and existing SARBs.

          2)Ongoing administrative costs to CDE of $76,000 (GF) to provide  
            technical assistance and training to support counties in  
            establishing County SARBs. This support includes assisting a  
            county with the development of effective bylaws, rules and  
            regulations.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose. This bill is one of a package of five bills sponsored  
            by Attorney General (AG) Kamala Harris that deal with truancy.  
            Truancy and chronic absenteeism are early indicators of poor  
            educational outcomes, including dropping out of school.   
            According to the author, 
            requiring every county to establish a SARB will ensure that a  
            plan is adopted in every county to keep students in school.   
            Research shows that a focus on the underlying causes of  
            truancy is crucial to eliminating barriers that prevent a  
            child from attending school on a regular basis.  Early  
            intervention - addressing the problem in elementary school,  
            and before it becomes chronic - will help correct attendance  
            issues and ensure students graduate from high school.  SARBs  
            can help connect students and their families with important  








                                                                  AB 1643
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            community resources to help address challenges they face. 

           2)SARB background  . Existing law authorizes the formation of  
            SARBs, either by a county office of education, a school  
            district, or two or more districts.  Statute also provides for  
            a state SARB to oversee and assist county and local SARBs and  
            to provide statewide policy coordination regarding serious  
            attendance, behavior issues and dropout prevention. 

           3)Related legislation:  The AG's package of bills comprises:

             a)   AB 1672 (Holden), requires School Attendance Review  
               Boards (SARBs) to report annually on referral rates to  
               county offices of education and expands these reports to  
               include information on student enrollment, absence and  
               truancy rates, district attorney referrals and SARB  
               intervention outcomes. This bill is pending in this  
               committee.

             b)   AB 1866 (Bochanegra) adds new data elements to the pupil  
               attendance data that the California Department of Education  
               (CDE) is required to collect and report through the  
               California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System  
               (CALPADS).   

             c)   AB 2141 (Hall), requires that when a parent or student  
               is referred to a district attorney's office or any other  
               agency engaged in prosecution or charges are considered to  
               enforce state school attendance laws, the prosecuting  
               agency must provide a report on the outcome of the  
               referral.  This bill is pending in this committee.

             d)   SB 1107 (Monning), requires the Attorney General to  
               issue an annual report on elementary school truancy and  
               chronic absenteeism.  This bill is pending in the Senate.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Misty Feusahrens / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081