Amended in Senate September 1, 2015

Amended in Assembly June 1, 2015

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

(Coauthor: Assembly Member Bonta)

February 26, 2015


An act to add and repeal Section 48270 of the Education Code, relating tobegin delete pupils, and making an appropriation therefor. end deletebegin insert pupils.end insert

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1014, as amended, Thurmond. Pupils: truancy: Our Children’s Success-The Early Intervention Attendance Pilot 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 establish the Our Children’s Success-The Early Intervention Attendance Pilot Grant Program under the administration of the State Department of Education. The program would provide grants to applicant public schools, school districts, and county offices of education seeking to resolve the attendance problems of pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive. The bill would provide that the above entities maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 3, inclusive, could apply for grants under the program. The bill would authorize the applications for grants submitted by the above entities to the department to reflect a plan including specified components.

The bill would require the department to give priority in awarding grants to those applicants who demonstrate financial need for the grant and that have 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. The bill would provide that each grant awarded be for no more than $500,000 and would require the applicant to provide a 20% match. The bill would require an applicant 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 should continue.begin insert end insertbegin insert The bill would provide that the above provisions shall not be implemented unless there is an appropriation in the annual Budget Act or another statute, as provided.end insert These provisions would be repealed on January 1, 2022.

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

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Vote: majority. Appropriation: begin deleteyes end deletebegin insertnoend insert. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

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

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

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
P3    1state more than $46 billion each year, including more than $1
2billion in juvenile crime costs alone.

3(b) Ninety percent of elementary school pupils with severe
4attendance problems, missing 36 or more days in the school year,
5are estimated to be from low-income families.

6(c) In the 2013-14 school year, 250,000 elementary school
7pupils andbegin delete oneend deletebegin insert 1end insert in 10 pupils from low-income families were
8chronically absent, missing 10 percent or more of the school year.

9(d) In the 2013-14 school year, African American elementary
10school pupils were the highest subgroup, including homeless pupils,
11to be truant and these pupils are chronically truant at four times
12the rate of all other pupils.

13(e) In the 2012-13 school year, one in five, or 744,085,
14elementary school pupils were truant, an increase of 1.2 percent
15from the 2011-12 school year.

16(f) In the 2010-11 school year, California schools lost $1.4
17billion in average daily attendance funding due to pupil absences
18and California school districts have lost over $3.5 billion between
19the 2010-11 and 2013-14 school years.

20

SEC. 2.  

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

21

48270.  

(a) Our Children’s Success-The Early Intervention
22Attendance Pilot Grant Program is hereby established under the
23administration of the department. This grant program is established
24for the purpose of helping public schools resolve the attendance
25problems of pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3, inclusive.
26begin deleteThis grant program shall be implemented upon the appropriation
27of sufficient funding under Section 3 of the act that added this
28section.end delete

29(b) A public school, school district, or county office of education
30maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 3, inclusive, seeking
31to participate in the grant program established by this section may
32apply to the department for a grant pursuant to this section. An
33application submitted by a public school, school district, or county
34office of education to the department under this subdivision may
35reflect a plan that includes, but is not necessarily limited to, all of
36the following components:

37(1) Establishment of a training program for key school officials
38and attendance staff to identify pupils with chronic attendance
39problems upon their second occurrence of tardiness or absence in
P4    1a school year, and the mailing of attendance letters to the pupil’s
2home in a timely manner.

3(2) Establishment of a phone call outreach program, including
4a minimum of two calls from a school official, not limited to a
5recording, to follow up on those pupils whose attendance problems
6continue during that school year after the attendance letters are
7mailed.

8(3) Establishment of a parent advocate position or positions,
9designated for ongoing followup with the pupil and the parent
10throughout the school year to ensure the pupil’s continued
11consistent school attendance. The number of these parent advocate
12positions may vary according to the school’s needs, resources, and
13the parent advocate’s ability to manage the workload.

14(4) Establishment of an outreach worker position or positions
15whose primary job is assisting families with a child or children
16who have ongoing chronic attendance problems. The duties of an
17outreach worker include sending letters, making phone calls and
18home visits, and helping to connect the family to the appropriate
19local, state, or federal programs in order to resolve issues that are
20creating impediments to the child’s consistent attendance in school.
21The number of these outreach worker positions can vary according
22to the applicant’s needs, resources, and the outreach worker’s
23ability to manage the workload.

24(5) Determining that the applicant’s plan is instituted, to the
25best of the applicant’s ability, before a pupil enters the school
26attendance review board process.

27(6) Establishment of a plan for teacher followup with pupils
28with chronic attendance problems to make up for lost instructional
29time.

30(7) Establishment of a plan to track both longitudinal, pupil
31level pupil attendance and aggregate data on tardiness and
32attendance throughout the school year to determine whether
33improvement has been made.

34(8) Establishment of a plan to assess trends in attendance and
35chronic absence rates among pupils who are English learners,
36eligible for a free or reduced-price meal, or are foster youth, as
37those terms are defined in Section 42238.01, and target resources
38towards those groups of pupils who are most at risk for ongoing
39attendance problems.

P5    1(9) (A) Submission of deidentified, aggregate data on chronic
2absence and attendance rates to the Bureau of Children’s Justice
3within the Department of Justice for inclusion in the report “In
4School + On Track” prepared by the Office of the Attorney
5General.

6(B) For purposes of this paragraph, “deidentified” means
7information that cannot be used to identify an individual pupil.

8(c) The applicant shall include an estimate for the amount of
9the grant needed in the application and shall be required to provide
1020 percent matching funds for any amount requested to encourage
11applicants to apply for less than the maximum grant amount
12specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f).

13(d) The grant program established by this section shall not be
14construed as a replacement of, or a substitution for, the school
15attendance review board process as described in this article.

16(e) (1) The department shall award grants under this section
17based on the selection criteria in paragraph (2).

18(2) The department shall give priority to those applicants who
19demonstrate financial need for the grant and with the highest
20truancy rates in each of the following areas:

21 (A) Urban areas.

22 (B) Rural areas.

23(C) Suburban areas.

24(f) (1) Grants under this section shall be awarded for three
25years, and shall be used to address the attendance problems of
26pupils in kindergarten and in grades 1 to 3, inclusive, pursuant to
27the plans submitted by the applicant under subdivision (b).

28(2) Each grant awarded pursuant to this section shall be for no
29more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000).

30(3) The department shall provide no less than 10 grants.

31(4) The department shall award no more than five million dollars
32($5,000,000) in total grant moneys.

33(g) An applicant that receives a grant under this section shall
34submit a report to the department at the conclusion of the grant.
35This report shall specify how the grant funds were used and the
36strategies employed to address pupil attendance problems. The
37report shall also include pupil attendance data measured both before
38and after the implementation of the grant.

39(h) On or before January 1, 2021, the department shall submit
40a report to the respective committees on appropriations and
P6    1committees on education of the Assembly and the Senate. This
2report shall evaluate the strategies and the attendance data of the
3applicants that received funds from the grant program established
4under this section. The report shall include, but not necessarily be
5limited to, a recommendation on whether the grant program should
6continue.

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7(i) This section shall not be implemented unless there is an
8appropriation in the annual Budget Act or another statute for these
9purposes. Notwithstanding any other law, funding for this program
10shall not be from savings identified pursuant to the Safe
11Neighborhoods and Schools Act, approved as Proposition 47 by
12the voters at the November 4, 2014, statewide general election.

end insert
begin delete

13(i)

end delete

14begin insert(j)end insert This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022,
15and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that
16is enacted before January 1, 2022, deletes or extends that date.

begin delete
17

SEC. 3.  

 The sum of ____ dollars ($____) is hereby
18appropriated to the State Department of Education for purposes
19of implementing Our Children’s Success-The Early Intervention
20Attendance Grant Program, as established in Section 48270 of the
21Education Code. It is the intent of the Legislature that the funds
22appropriated under this section be drawn from sources that may
23include, but are not necessarily limited to, the General Fund, the
24Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund established by Proposition
2547 on the November 2014 statewide general election ballot, federal
26and local government funds, and contributions from nonprofit
27organizations and other private entities.

end delete


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