BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 1014 (Thurmond) - Pupils: truancy: Our Children's Success-The  
          Early Intervention Attendance Pilot Grant Program.
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          |Version: June 1, 2015           |Policy Vote: ED. 7 - 1          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.

          Summary:  This bill establishes the Our Children's Success - The  
          Early Intervention Attendance Pilot Grant Program for the  
          purpose of helping public schools resolve attendance problems of  
          pupils in kindergarten or grades 1 to 3.  

           Cost pressure of up to $5 million to provide grant awards to  
            schools, school districts, and county offices of education.   
            Potential cost pressure to provide ongoing funding to support  
            continuation of the grant program.  (Unknown, potential  
            Proposition 98 and/or special funds)
           The California Department of Education (CDE) indicates the  
            need for four positions and about $379,000 to create and staff  
            the application review and implementation process of this  
            grant program according to the specified grant award  
            priorities.  (General Fund)


          AB 1014 (Thurmond)                                     Page 1 of  

          Background:  The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act was approved by voters  
          as Proposition 47 in November 2014 and makes significant changes  
          to the state's criminal justice system.  It reduces the  
          penalties for certain non-violent, non-serious drug and property  
          crimes, and requires that the resulting state savings be spent  
          on 1) mental health and substance use services; 2) truancy and  
          dropout prevention; and 3) victim services.  Further,  
          Proposition 47 requires that 25 percent of the Safe  
          Neighborhoods School Fund be allocated to the CDE to administer  
          a grant program to reduce truancy, high school dropout, and  
          student victimization rates.  In its February 2015 report, the  
          Legislative Analyst's Office estimates that the amount available  
          for this grant program will likely total between $25 million and  
          $50 million annually beginning in 2016-17.     

          A student who is absent from school without a valid excuse for  
          more than 30 minutes on three days in a school year is  
          considered a truant.  

          Proposed Law:  
            This bill establishes the Our Children's Success - The Early  
          Intervention Attendance Pilot Grant Program (grant program) to  
          help schools resolve the attendance problems in kindergarten and  
          grades 1 to 3.  Implementation of this grant program is  
          contingent upon an appropriation of an unspecified amount  
          included in this bill, in which the fund source may be General  
          Fund, Proposition 47 funding, federal, local, or private funds.
          A public school, school district, or county office of education  
          may apply to the CDE for a grant and submit a plan that includes  
          specified components.  Some of the components include:  
          establishment of a staff training program to identify students  
          with chronic attendance problems upon their second occurrence of  
          tardiness or absence in the school year; establishment of a  
          phone call outreach program to follow up on students with  
          attendance problems; establishment of a parent advocate position  
          or positions to provide ongoing follow up; track absence and  
          attendance data over time and by certain demographics and  
          submission of data to the Department of Justice.

          Applicants are required to include an estimate for a grant  


          AB 1014 (Thurmond)                                     Page 2 of  
          amount needed and are required to provide 20 percent in matching  
          funds.  Grants of up to $500,000 are provided for three years.   
          The CDE is required to provide no less than ten grants and up to  
          $5 million in total grant funding.

          The CDE is required to submit a report by January 1, 2021  
          evaluating the strategies and attendance data supplied by  
          successful applicants and recommendations on whether the program  
          should continue.  This grant program becomes inoperative on  
          January 1, 2022.

          Legislation:  SB 527 (Liu, 2015) establishes various  
          requirements for the grant program authorized by the Safe  
          Neighborhoods and School Act (Proposition 47) for truancy and  
          dropout prevention.  SB 527 failed passage in this committee.

          Comments:  Ultimately the cost of this bill is unknown as  
          funding has not been identified to support this grant program.   
          It is also unknown the amount of applications that the CDE will  
          receive.  However, there is potential for a significant number  
          of applications as individual schools may apply.  There were  
          about 6,000 schools in the state with kindergarten and grades  
          one to three in 2013-14.  

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