Amended in Assembly May 4, 2015

Amended in Assembly March 26, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1014


Introduced by Assembly Member Thurmond

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(Coauthor: Assembly Member Bonta)

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February 26, 2015


An act to addbegin insert and repealend insert Section 48270begin delete toend deletebegin insert ofend insert the Education Code, relating to pupils, and making an appropriation therefor.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1014, as amended, Thurmond. Pupils: truancy: Our Children’s Success-The Early Intervention Attendancebegin insert Pilotend insert Grant Program.

Existing law requires a pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse 3 full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than a 30-minute period during the schoolday without a valid excuse on 3 occasions in one school year, or any combination thereof, to be classified as a truant. Existing law requires, upon a pupil’s initial classification as a truant, a school district to notify the pupil’s parent or guardian of specified information using the most cost-effective method possible.

This bill would make various findings and declarations regarding truancy. The bill would establishbegin delete Ourend deletebegin insert the Ourend insert Children’s Success-The Early Intervention Attendancebegin insert Pilotend insert Grant Program under the administration of the State Department of Education. The program would provide grants to applicant public schools seeking to resolve the attendance problems of pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive. The bill would provide that public schools maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 3, inclusive, could apply for grants under the program. The bill wouldbegin delete requireend deletebegin insert authorizeend insert the applications for grants submitted bybegin insert publicend insert schools to the department to reflect a plan including specified components.

The bill would require the department to give prioritybegin insert in awarding grants under this billend insert to applicantbegin insert publicend insert schools that havebegin delete prioritized pupil engagement in their local control and accountability plans. Theend deletebegin insert the highest truancy rates in urban areas, rural areas, and suburban areas, respectively. The bill would require the grants to be awarded for 3 years and to be used to address attendance problems of pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive, pursuant to the plans submitted by the applicant public school. The bill would require public schools receiving a grant to submit a report, containing specified data, to the department at the conclusion of the grant. The bill would require the department to submit a report, on or before January 1, 2021, to the respective appropriations committees and education committees of the Assembly and the Senate, and would require this report to include a recommendation on whether the grant program established under the bill should continue. These provisions would be repealed on January 1, 2022.end insert

begin insertTheend insert bill would appropriate an unspecified sum from an unspecified source to the department for purposes of implementing the bill.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: yes. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all begin deleteof the end deleteof
2the following:

3(a) Only 17 percent of chronically absent kindergartners and
4first graders in California read proficiently by grade 3 and pupils
5who do not read proficiently by grade 3 are four times more likely
6to drop out of school. Children who drop out of school cost the
7state more than $46 billion each year, including more than $1
8billion in juvenile crime costs alone.

9(b) Ninety percent of elementary school pupils with severe
10attendance problems, missing 36 or more days in the school year,
11are estimated to be from low-income families.

P3    1(c) In the 2013-14 school year, 250,000 elementary school
2pupils and 1 in 10 pupils from low-income families were
3chronically absent, missing 10 percent or more of the school year.

4(d) In the 2013-14 school year, African American elementary
5school pupils were the highest subgroup, including homeless pupils,
6to be truant and these pupils are chronically truant at four times
7the rate of all other pupils.

8(e) In the 2012-13 school year, one in five, or 744,085,
9elementary school pupils were truant, an increase of 1.2 percent
10from the 2011-12 school year.

11(f) In the 2010-11 school year, California schools lost $1.4
12billion in average daily attendance funding due to pupil absences
13and California school districts have lost over $3.5 billion between
14the 2010-11 and 2013-14 school years.

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SEC. 2.  

Section 48270 is added to the Education Code, to read:

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48270.  

(a) Our Children’s Success-The Early Intervention
17Attendancebegin insert Pilotend insert Grant Program is hereby established under the
18administration of the department. This grant program is established
19for the purpose of helping public schools resolve the attendance
20problems of pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive.
21This grant program shall be implemented upon the appropriation
22of sufficient funding under Section 3 of the act that added this
23section.

24(b) A public school maintaining kindergarten or any of grades
251 to 3, inclusive, seeking to participate in the grant program
26established by this section may apply to the department for a grant
27pursuant to this section. An application submitted by a public
28school to the department under this subdivisionbegin delete shallend deletebegin insert mayend insert reflect
29a plan that includes, but is not necessarily limited to, all of the
30following components:

31(1) Establishment of a training program for key school officials
32and attendance staff to identify pupils with chronic attendance
33problems upon their second occurrence of tardiness or absence in
34a school year, and the mailing of attendance letters to the pupil’s
35home in a timely manner.

36(2) Establishment of a phone call outreach program, including
37a minimum of two calls from a school official, not limited to a
38recording, to follow up on those pupils whose attendance problems
39continue during that school year after the attendance letters are
40mailed.

P4    1(3) Establishment of a parent advocate position or positions,
2designated for ongoingbegin delete follow-upend deletebegin insert followupend insert with the pupil and the
3parent throughout the school year to ensure the pupil’s continued
4consistent school attendance. The number of these parent advocate
5positions may vary according to the school’s needs, resources, and
6the parent advocate’s ability to manage the workload.

7(4) Establishment of an outreach worker position or positions
8whose primary job is assisting families with a child or children
9who have ongoing chronic attendance problems. The duties of an
10outreach worker include sending letters, making phone calls and
11home visits, and helping to connect the family to the appropriate
12local, state, or federal programs in order to resolve issues that are
13creating impediments to the child’s consistent attendance in school.
14The number of these outreach worker positions can vary according
15to the school’s needs, resources, and the outreach worker’s ability
16to manage the workload.

17(5) Determining that the applicant school’s plan is instituted,
18to the best of the school’s ability, before a pupil enters the school
19attendance review board process.

20(6) Establishment of a plan for teacherbegin delete follow-upend deletebegin insert followupend insert with
21pupils with chronic attendance problems to make up for lost
22instructional time.

23(7) Establishment of a plan to track pupil attendance and
24aggregate data on tardiness and attendance throughout the school
25year to determine whether improvement has been made.

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26(c) In evaluating applications for grants under this section, the
27department shall give priority to applicant schools that have
28prioritized pupil engagement in their local control and
29accountability plans adopted pursuant to Section 52060.

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30(d)

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31begin insert(end insertbegin insertc)end insert The grant program established by this section shall not be
32construed as a replacement of, or a substitution for, the school
33attendance review board process as described in this article.

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34(d) (1) The department shall award grants under this section
35based on the selection criteria in paragraph (2).

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36(2) The department shall give priority to applicant public
37schools with the highest truancy rates in each of the following
38areas:

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39 (A) Urban areas.

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40 (B) Rural areas.

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P5    1(C) Suburban areas.

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2(e) Grants under this section shall be awarded for three years,
3and shall be used to address the attendance problems of pupils in
4kindergarten and in grades 1 to 3, inclusive, pursuant to the plans
5submitted by the applicant public school under subdivision (b).

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6(f) A public school that receives a grant under this section shall
7submit a report to the department at the conclusion of the grant.
8This report shall specify how the grant funds were used and the
9strategies employed to address pupil attendance problems. The
10report shall also include pupil attendance data measured both
11before and after the implementation of the grant.

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12(g) On or before January 1, 2021, the department shall submit
13a report to the respective committees on appropriations and
14committees on education of the Assembly and the Senate. This
15report shall evaluate the strategies and the attendance data of the
16public schools that received funds from the grant program
17established under this section. The report shall include, but not
18necessarily be limited to, a recommendation on whether the grant
19program should continue.

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20(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022,
21and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
22is enacted before January 1, 2022, deletes or extends that date.

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23

SEC. 3.  

 The sum of ____ dollars ($____) is hereby
24appropriated to the State Department of Education for purposes
25of implementing Our Children’s Success-The Early Intervention
26Attendance Grant Program, as established in Section 48270 of the
27Education Code. It is the intent of the Legislature that the funds
28appropriated under this section be drawn from sources that may
29include, but are not necessarily limited to, the General Fund, the
30Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund established by Proposition
3147 on the November 2014 statewide general election ballot, federal
32and local government funds, and contributions from nonprofit
33organizations and other private entities.



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