BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                       AB 580

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          580 (O'Donnell)

          As Amended  May 28, 2015

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                |Noes                  |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |Education       |6-0   |O'Donnell, Chávez,  |                      |
          |                |      |Kim, Santiago,      |                      |
          |                |      |Thurmond, Weber     |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |Appropriations  |15-0  |Gomez, Bigelow,     |                      |
          |                |      |Bonta, Calderon,    |                      |
          |                |      |Chang, Daly,        |                      |
          |                |      |Eggman, Gallagher,  |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,     |                      |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,     |                      |
          |                |      |Quirk, Rendon,      |                      |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood         |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |

          SUMMARY:  Requires the California Department of Education (CDE)  


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          and a county office of education to develop a model protocol for  
          the referral of students with mental health challenges.   
          Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Makes findings and declarations relative to the importance of  
            mental health to student success and the need for a model  
            referral protocol for addressing student mental health concerns.

          2)Requires the CDE and a designated county office of education  
            selected by the CDE which has experience in administering a  
            statewide student mental health initiative to, in consultation  
            with local educational agencies, current classroom teachers, and  
            current schoolsite classified staff, develop a model referral  
            protocol for addressing student mental health concerns.

          3)Requires that the protocol:

             a)   Address the referral of students for mental health  
               concerns by school staff and allows it, at the discretion of  
               the CDE and the designated county office of education,  
               include the continuum from prevention to identification to  
               referral for services.

             b)   Reflect a multi-tiered systems of support process.

             c)   Be adaptable to varied local service arrangements for  
               mental health services.

             d)   Reflect evidence-based and culturally appropriate  
               approaches to student mental health referral.


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             e)   Address the inclusion of parents and guardians in the  
               referral process.

             f)   Be written to ensure clarity and ease of use by  
               certificated and classified school site employees.

             g)   Reflect differentiated referral processes for students  
               with disabilities and other populations for whom the referral  
               process may be distinct.

             h)   Be consistent with the state level activities conducted by  
               the Department in the administration of federally funded  
               mental health programs.

          1)Encourages the CDE and the designated county office of education  
            to consult with the California Mental Health Services Authority,  
            representatives of county mental health programs, and the  
            Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup in the development of the  

          2)Requires the CDE to post the model referral protocol on its  
            website for use by local educational agencies and charter  

          3)Makes implementation of these requirements subject to funds  
            being appropriated for this purpose to either the CDE or the  
            designated county office of education in the annual Budget Act  
            or other legislation, or other state, federal, or private funds  
            being allocated for this purpose.

          4)Requires that the model referral protocol be completed and made  
            available within one year of the date funds are received to  


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            implement the act.

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Makes AB 114 (Budget Committee), Chapter 43, Statutes of 2011,  
            school districts the "responsible agency" for mental health  
            services for students with individualized education programs  

          2)Through initiative statute in 2004 (Proposition 63), establishes  
            the California Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) which provides  
            for local mental health services, including prevention and early  
            intervention, innovative projects, Full Service Partnerships,  
            peer support services, housing, and other mental health  
            treatment services. 

          3)Specifies, under federal law, that schools have the  
            responsibility for educationally related mental health services.  
             Requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to update the  
            Individualized Education Plan of each child that will experience  
            a change in services. 

          4)Requires, under federal law, the provision of a free,  
            appropriate public education to all disabled students in the  
            least restrictive environment.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, one-time costs in the range of $135,000 to $145,000 for  
          the CDE and a designated county office of education to jointly  
          develop a model referral protocol for addressing pupil mental  
          health concerns.


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          Need for this bill.  The author states, "An estimated at 20% of  
          children have mental health issues, and 80% of those are  
          undiagnosed and untreated.  Mental health challenges  
          disproportionately affect students who face stressors such as  
          violence, trauma, and poverty.  Research demonstrates that early  
          detection and treatment of mental illness improves students'  
          attendance, behavior, and academic achievement. 

          "While lack of attention to students' mental health has  
          significant effects on school achievement, research has shown that  
          teachers lack the information needed for supporting children's  
          mental health needs.  In surveys, teachers cite disruptive  
          behavior and their lack of information in mental health issues as  
          major barriers to instruction. 

          "With the last few years of training and capacity building done by  
          the California County Superintendents Educational Services  
          Association's Student Mental Health Initiative, the state is  
          ideally positioned to provide guidance to teachers and other  
          school site staff to provide this support.  AB 580 will equip  
          teachers and other school staff with the tools they need to  
          support the early identification of mental health problems among  
          their students, thereby improving academic and health outcomes." 

          Varied student mental health initiatives.  The state is engaged in  
          a number of initiatives aimed at improving support for student  
          mental health needs.  Among them are:

          Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup.  In 2012, the  
          Superintendent of Public Instruction and CalMHSA convened a  
          Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup (Workgroup) to develop  
          policy recommendations that promote early identification,  


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          referral, coordination, and access to quality mental health  
          services for students.  The Workgroup is comprised of teachers,  
          school counselors, school social workers, school psychologists,  
          school nurses, and school administrators, as well as state and  
          county mental health professionals.  

          The Workgroup has noted the connection between mental wellness and  
          academic achievement, attendance, and behavior.  It has also noted  
          that California's educators acknowledge their lack of preparedness  
          in addressing pupil mental health challenges as a major barrier to  
          instruction.  The Workgroup found that "most educators and staff  
          lack training to identify pupils who may be in need of support,  
          make referrals, and, as appropriate, to help pupils overcome or  
          manage mental health barriers and succeed in school."  They also  
          noted that mental health challenges disproportionately impact  
          students who face stressors such as violence, trauma, and poverty.  

          Regional K-12 Student Mental Health training through CCSESA.   
          Since 2011, CalMHSA has funded a Student Mental Health Initiative  
          through the California County Superintendents Educational Services  
          Association (CCSESA).  This project is designed to build capacity  
          and cross-system collaboration to develop and sustain school-based  
          mental health programs addressing prevention and early  
          identification strategies.

          One of the goals of this project is the training of school staff.   
          Since 2011 this project has used a train-the-trainer model to  
          provide educators with tools for the early identification and  
          prevention of mental health problems.  Two thousand trainings have  
          been conducted, with over 140,000 participants.  The estimated  
          total reach of this project is two million students, or one third  
          of the state's enrollment.  

          The major program topics were school climate and culture, bullying  


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          prevention, mental health and wellness, youth development.  
          Participants included school staff, students, parents, mental  
          health staff and providers, community organizations, and law  
          enforcement.  According to evaluation responses, these trainings  
          have significantly increased educators' awareness of mental health  
          issues and knowledge of referral processes. CCSESA estimates that  
          this program cost an average of $2.25 per student per year.  Since  
          2014 this project has declined significantly in size as a result  
          of decreased funding.

          CDE TETRIS project.  CalMHSA has also funded mental health  
          training through the CDE  Training Educators through Recognition  
          and Identification Strategies (TETRIS) Eliminating Barriers to  
          Learning (EBL) project.  This statewide K-12 Mental Health Program  
          promotes school and student wellness and academic achievement by  
          increasing capacity for all school and administrative staff to  
          identify students who are experiencing mental health issues early  
          on.  To accomplish this goal, the CDE subcontracted with the  
          Placer County Office of Education to deliver 11 TETRIS EBL  
          workshops annually through 2019.  The curriculum used for the  
          TETRIS EBL workshops is one developed by the United States  
          Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and  
          Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Kognito  
          Interactive Online Simulation Program is also used as an outside  
          source to help support school staff in initiating difficult  
          conversations with students around the subject of mental health  
          and suicidal ideation.

          SAMHSA "Now is the Time" pilot projects.  Following the school  
          shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut in December 2012,  
          President Obama established a grant program to increase students'  
          access to mental health services.  California received $9.7  
          million from the "Now is the Time Project Advancing Wellness and  
          Resilience in Education" (NITT AWARE) grant last fall.  According  
          to the CDE, the grant has two components.  Three local educational  
          agencies (LEAs), Garden Grove Unified School District, Santa Rosa  
          City Schools, and the San Diego County Office of Education, were  


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          selected to participate in the first component of the grant.  The  
          LEAs will establish a process for referring and connecting  
          children to mental health services.  If successful, the models  
          developed by these LEAs can be shared statewide.  The second  
          component utilizes a training program called Youth Mental Health  
          First Aid.  The training teaches school staff how to help youth  
          experiencing mental health or addictions challenges, or are in  

          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Tanya Lieberman / ED. / (916) 319-2087  FN: