as amended, O'Donnell.
begin deleteSchool employees: in-service training: early identification of pupil mental health issues. end delete
Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary schools in this state. Existing law provides for the establishment of local educational agencies to operate public elementary and secondary schools and provide instruction to pupils. Existing law requires local educational agencies to actively and systematically seek out all individuals with exceptional needs, from birth to 21 years of age, inclusive, who reside in a school district or are under the jurisdiction of a special education local plan area or a county office of education.end delete
This bill would state the Legislature’s findings and declarations regarding pupil mental health issues. The bill would require school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools to provide in-service training every school year to certified employees that provide instruction to pupils in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and to classified staff who have regular personal contact with pupils, on the early identification of pupil mental health issues, as specified. The bill would authorize those entities to provide the required training in an online format outside of a regularly scheduled staff meeting. The bill would provide that the Legislature encourages these entities to provide the required training as part of a larger initiative aimed at improving mental health outcomes for pupils, and to use existing funds from other state and federal sources, as appropriate, to provide the required training. By imposing additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.end delete
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.end delete
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.end delete
Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program:
begin deleteyes end delete.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Chapter 3.3 (commencing with Section 44700)
34is added to Part 25 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Education Code,
(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
6(1) In 2012, the Superintendent convened the Student Mental
7Health Policy Workgroup, a collaboration between the department
8and the California Mental Health Services Authority, to develop
9policy recommendations that promote early identification, referral,
10coordination, and access to quality mental health services for
11pupils. The Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup is comprised
12of teachers, school counselors, school social workers, school
13psychologists, school nurses, and school administrators, as well
14as state and county mental health professionals.
15(2) The Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup has issued a
16 recommendation calling for increased training of school personnel,
17in order to promote earlier identification and intervention to meet
18the needs of California’s pupils.
19(3) The Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup has found
21(A) Research points to a strong connection between mental
22wellness and academic achievement.
23(B) Research demonstrates that early detection and treatment
24of mental illness improves attendance, behavior, and academic
26(C) The percentage of children with mental health issues is
27estimated at 20 percent, with 80 percent of those undiagnosed and
28untreated. The lack of attention to their mental health has
29significant effects on school achievement and life outcomes.
30(D) Mental health challenges disproportionately impact pupils
31who face stressors such as violence, trauma, and poverty.
32(E) Mental health training for educators and other adults working
33with pupils can help identify mental health issues early, allowing
34pupils the opportunity to grow and thrive by receiving the support
35they need to overcome barriers to their education.
36(F) California’s educators report their lack of preparedness in
37addressing pupil mental health challenges as a major barrier to
38instruction. Most educators and staff lack training to identify pupils
39who may be in need of support, make referrals, and, as appropriate,
P7 1to help pupils overcome or manage mental health barriers and
2succeed in school.
3(G) Statewide action is needed to expand training throughout
4California so that all school staff can help address the significant
5mental health needs of pupils.
6(H) While some parts of the state have benefited from mental
7health training on a small scale, limited budgets have restricted
8the reach of training that is critically needed in all districts.
9(I) Federal grant funds are now available for pilot programs in
10school districts and county offices of education to help disseminate
11mental health training throughout the state.
12(J) The department has been authorized to administer the federal
13“Now is the Time” AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience
14in Education) State Agency Program grant.
15(K) This program will build and expand statewide awareness
16of mental health issues among pupils by supporting training for
17school personnel and other adults who interact with pupils to
18identify possible mental health issues and connect pupils to
20(b) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature that California
21educators become knowledgeable about early identification of
22pupil mental health issues, including protocols for pupil referral
23for additional support.
(a) (1) Within the first six weeks of every school year,
25as part of a regularly scheduled staff meeting or meetings, each
26school district, county office of education, and charter school shall
27provide in-service training to certificated employees that provide
28instruction to pupils in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12,
29inclusive, and to classified staff who have regular personal contact
30with pupils, on the early identification of pupil mental health issues,
31including referral protocols. For classified staff, the training may
32occur at a time other than a staff meeting, but in all cases shall
33occur during regular work hours.
34(2) The training required pursuant to paragraph (1) may instead
35be provided in an online format outside of a regularly scheduled
37(b) The Legislature encourages school districts, county offices
38of education, and charter schools to provide the training described
39in subdivision (a) as part of a larger initiative aimed at improving
40mental health outcomes for pupils.
P8 1(c) The Legislature encourages the use of existing funds from
2other state and federal sources, as appropriate, to meet the
3requirement of subdivision (a).
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as doing
5either of the following:
6(a) Requiring school personnel to identify, assess, diagnose, or
7treat pupil mental health issues.
8(b) Authorizing or encouraging school personnel to act outside
9of the authority granted by their credential or license.
If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
11this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
12local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
13pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
144 of Title 2 of the Government Code.