BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 580


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          GOVERNOR'S VETO


          AB  
          580 (O'Donnell)


          As Enrolled  September 8, 2015


          2/3 vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  |77-0  |(June 2, 2015) |SENATE: |39-0  |(September 1,    |
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |80-0  |(September 3,  |        |      |                 |
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          Original Committee Reference:  ED.


          SUMMARY:  Requires the California Department of Education (CDE)  
          to develop model referral protocols for voluntary use by schools  
          to address the appropriate and timely referral by school staff  
          of students with mental health concerns.








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          The Senate amendments: 


          1)Delete the requirement that the protocols be jointly developed  
            by a county office of education.


          2)State that the protocols are to be written to ensure that  
            school employees act only within the authorization or scope of  
            their credential or license.


          3)Add to the parties with whom the CDE is required to consult in  
            developing the protocols.


          4)Clarify that multiple protocols are required.


          EXISTING LAW:  


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


          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  








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            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 Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, cost pressure to provide funding for development of  
          model referral protocols, for which the CDE anticipates  
          requiring five partial positions and about $136,000 General  
          Fund.  This bill could also result in local cost pressures to  
          implement the protocols once developed.


          COMMENTS:  


          Need for the 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. 


          "Numerous state initiatives are raising awareness of the need  
          for appropriate and timely attention to student mental health  
          concerns, but no models exist for use by school personnel when  
          mental health referral questions arise.  AB 580 will make  
          available a vital, evidence-based tool for supporting students  
          with mental health concerns.  The state is ideally positioned to  
          provide this guidance to school staff, so that they may better  
          support the both the health and academic achievement of their  








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          students."


          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,  
          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.  


          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.  


          Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration "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  








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          District, Santa Rosa City Schools, and the San Diego County  
          Office of Education, were 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 crisis. 


          GOVERNOR'S VETO MESSAGE:


          This bill requires the California Department of Education to  
          develop model referral protocols to address the appropriate and  
          timely referral by school staff of students with mental health  
          concerns.


          California does not currently have specific model referral  
          protocols for addressing student mental health as outlined by  
          this bill.  However, the California Department of Education  
          recently received a grant from the federal Department of Health  
          and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services  
          Administration to identify and address critical student and  
          family mental health needs.


          It's premature to impose an additional and overly prescriptive  
          requirement until the current efforts are completed and we can  
          strategically target resources to best address student mental  
          health.




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








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