BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó






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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                       AB 1014|
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                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  AB 1014
          Author:   Thurmond (D)
          Amended:  9/1/15 in Senate
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE:  7-1, 7/8/15
           AYES:  Liu, Block, Hancock, Leyva, Monning, Pan, Vidak
           NOES:  Runner
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Mendoza

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:  5-2, 8/27/15
           AYES: Lara, Beall, Hill, Leyva, Mendoza
           NOES: Bates, Nielsen

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  56-24, 6/3/15 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Pupils:  truancy:  Our Childrens SuccessThe Early  
                     Intervention Attendance Pilot Grant Program


          SOURCE:    Attorney General
          
          DIGEST:  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.

          ANALYSIS: 

          Existing law:

          1)Makes, under the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act which was  
            approved by voters as Proposition 47 in November 2014,  








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            significant changes to the state's criminal justice system.  

          2)Reduces the penalties for certain non-violent, non-serious  
            drug and property crimes, and requires that the resulting  
            state savings be spent on mental health and substance use  
            services; truancy and dropout prevention; and victim services.  


          3)Requires that 25 percent of the Safe Neighborhoods School Fund  
            be allocated to the California Department of Education (CDE)  
            to administer a grant program to reduce truancy, high school  
            dropout, and student victimization rates.  

          This bill:

          1)Makes various findings and declarations regarding the truancy  
            of students and its effects.


          2)Establishes Our Children's Success - The Early Intervention  
            Attendance Pilot Grant Program under the administration of the  
            CDE.


          3)Provides that the program shall not be implemented unless  
            there is an appropriation in the annual budget act or another  
            statute and that funding shall not be from savings identified  
            pursuant to Proposition 47-the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools  
            Act of 2015.


          4)Provides that a public school, school district or county  
            office of education (COE) maintaining any of grades  
            kindergarten through grade 3 seeking to participate in the  
            grant program may apply to the CDE for a grant.  Requires an  
            application submitted by a public school, school district or  
            COE to reflect a plan that may include, but is not necessarily  
            limited to, all of the following:


             a)   Establishment of a training program for key school  
               officials and attendance staff to identify pupils with  
               chronic attendance problems upon their second occurrence of  
               tardiness or absence in a school year, and the mailing of  







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               attendance letters to the pupil's home in a timely manner.


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


             c)   Establishment of a parent advocate position or  
               positions, designated for ongoing follow-up with the pupil  
               and the parent throughout the school year to ensure the  
               pupil's continued consistent school attendance.  The number  
               of these parent advocate positions may vary according to  
               the applicant's needs, resources, and the parent advocate's  
               ability to manage the workload.


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


             e)   Determination that the applicant's plan is instituted,  
               to the best of the applicant's ability, before a pupil  
               enters the school attendance review board (SARB) process.


             f)   Establishment of a plan for teacher follow-up with  
               pupils with chronic attendance problems to make up for lost  
               instructional time.


             g)   Establishment of a plan to track both longitudinal,  
               pupil level and pupil attendance and aggregate data on  







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               tardiness and attendance throughout the school year to  
               determine whether improvement has been made.


             h)   Establishment of a plan to assess trends in attendance  
               and chronic absence rates among pupils who are English  
               learners, eligible for a free or reduced-price meal, or are  
               foster youth, and target resources towards those groups of  
               pupils who are most at risk for ongoing attendance  
               problems.


             i)   Submission of deidentified, aggregate data on chronic  
               absence and attendance rates to the Bureau of Children's  
               Justice within the Department of Justice for inclusion in  
               the report "In School + On Track" prepared by the Office of  
               the Attorney General.  Defines "deidentified" as  
               information that cannot be used to identify an individual  
               student.


          5)Requires an applicant to include an estimate for the amount of  
            the grant needed in the application and provide 20 percent  
            matching funds for any amount requested, as specified.


          6)Specifies that the program established by this section shall  
            not be construed as a replacement of or a substitution for the  
            SARB.


          7)Requires the CDE to give priority for awarding grants to those  
            applicants who demonstrate financial need for the grant and  
            with the highest truancy or chronically low attendance rates  
            in each of the following areas:


             a)   Urban areas.


             b)   Rural areas.


             c)   Suburban areas.







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          8)Specifies the following regarding the grants:


             a)   The grants shall be awarded for three years and be used  
               to address the attendance problems of pupils in  
               kindergarten and in grades 1 to 3, inclusive, pursuant to  
               the plans submitted by the applicant.


             b)   Each grant shall be for no more than $500,000.


             c)   Requires the CDE to provide no less than 10 grants and  
               award no more than $5 million in grants.


          9)Requires an applicant that receives a grant to submit a report  
            to the CDE at the conclusion of the grant.  Requires the  
            report to specify how the grant funds were used and the  
            strategies employed to address pupil attendance problems.   
            Requires the report to include pupil attendance data measured  
            both before and after the implementation of the grant.


          10)Requires the CDE to, on or before January 1, 2021, submit a  
            report to the respective Appropriations Committees and  
            Education Committees of the Assembly and the Senate.  Requires  
            the report to evaluate the strategies and the attendance data  
            of the applicants that received funds from the grant program  
            established by this bill.  Requires the report to include, but  
            not necessarily be limited to, a recommendation on whether the  
            grant program should continue.


          11)Sunsets and repeals on January 1, 2022, unless a later  
            enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2022,  
            deletes or extends that date.  


          Comments









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          Need for the bill.  According to the author's office, this bill  
          attempts to improve student attendance while generating needed  
          revenue for schools, and creating brighter, long term outcomes  
          for California's youth.  This bill is modeled after an  
          attendance program established by the Berkeley Unified School  
          District (BUSD), which spent $100,000 in the first year and saw  
          an increase of $500,000 in average daily attendance the  
          following year.  The author indicates that "the school district  
          successfully brought the students back into the classroom, while  
          at the same time helping their families address the challenges  
          that lead to the students' attendance problems.  Attendance  
          levels at BUSD have remained high due to the school district's  
          focus on holistic solutions to the complex set of problems that  
          cause children to miss school regularly.  Schools and school  
          districts across the country are demonstrating the value of  
          addressing student attendance prior to the point of delinquency.  
           Early intervention and a broad set of tools is the best way to  
          get children back into the classroom consistently."  

          Truancy in schools.  California's compulsory education law  
          requires all students between the ages of six and 18 to attend  
          school full-time and their parents and legal guardians to be  
          responsible for ensuring that children attend school.  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.  Parents or legal guardians are notified when their  
          children have been classified as a truant and are reminded of  
          their obligation to compel the attendance of pupils at school.   
          Upon a pupil's third truancy in a school year and following a  
          district's conscientious effort to hold a conference with the  
          parent or legal guardian of the pupil and the pupil, a pupil is  
          classified as a habitual truant and may be referred to a SARB or  
          to the local probation officer.  Upon a fourth truancy, students  
          and/or their parents or legal guardians may be fined.  In  
          2012-13, the CDE reported a truancy rate of 29.28%, with 1.9  
          million students out of a total enrollment of 6.2 million  
          considered truants.  

          According to the CDE, students who are chronically absent in  
          lower grades are much less likely to be proficient readers and  
          have higher levels of suspensions.  Chronic absence in the sixth  
          grade is the most predictive indicator that a student will not  
          graduate from high school.  








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          Proposition 47.  The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released  
          a report on the Implementation of Proposition 47 in February  
          2015.  In the report, the LAO indicates that while the state  
          savings that will result from Proposition 47 is subject to  
          significant uncertainty, annual savings will likely range from  
          $100 million to $200 million beginning in 2016-17.  The LAO also  
          notes that although Proposition 47 states that these savings  
          shall be deposited into a new state fund, the new Safe  
          Neighborhood and Schools Fund (SNSF), and be allocated for grant  
          programs administered by specific departments, the Legislature  
          has the opportunity to provide direction on how the funds are  
          spent.  Specifically, the Legislature could weigh in on 1) how  
          the individual departments should distribute the funds and 2)  
          how much state oversight to provide to ensure that the funds are  
          being spent effectively.  

          Proposition 47 requires that 25 percent of the SNSF be allocated  
          to the CDE to administer a grant program to reduce truancy, high  
          school dropouts, and student victimization rates.  The LAO  
          estimates that the amount available for this grant program will  
          likely total between $25 million and $50 million annually  
          beginning in 2016-17.  The LAO recommended in its report that  
          the Legislature allocate the grants for truancy, high school  
          dropout prevention, and student victimization rates to school  
          districts that have notably high concentrations of English  
          learners, low-income, or foster youth, as these students are at  
          higher risk for these concerning outcomes. 

          Attorney General's office report.  In 2013, the Attorney  
          General's (AG's) office released a report titled "In School and  
          On Track" on truancy of elementary school kids.  Calling it a  
          crisis, the AG argues that truancy at the elementary level has  
          negative impacts on the students, who are more likely to drop  
          out of high school; on public safety, when students become more  
          likely to become involved with gangs, substance abuse, and  
          incarceration; on school districts, who lose attendance dollars;  
          and on the economy, due to lost economic productivity and  
          revenues.
          
          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, this bill  
          results in the following:







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           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.  (Proposition 98)

           The California Department of Education 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)


          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/28/15)


          Attorney General (source)
          Alameda County Office of Education
          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
          California Alliance of Child and Family Services
          California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies
          California Dental Association
          California State PTA
          Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families
          Children Now
          Ettie Lee Youth and Family Services
          Fight Crime
          Junior Leagues of California
          Lincoln Child Center
          Los Angeles Unified School District
          National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter
          Seneca Family of Agencies


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/28/15)


          None received

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  56-24, 6/3/15
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta, Brown, Burke,  
            Calderon, Campos, Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper,  
            Dababneh, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Cristina Garcia,  
            Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray,  







                                                                    AB 1014  
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            Roger Hernández, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Linder,  
            Lopez, Low, Maienschein, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Nazarian,  
            O'Donnell, Perea, Quirk, Rendon, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez,  
            Salas, Santiago, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Weber, Williams,  
            Wood, Atkins
          NOES:  Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Brough, Chang, Dahle, Beth  
            Gaines, Gallagher, Grove, Hadley, Harper, Jones, Kim, Lackey,  
            Mathis, Mayes, Melendez, Obernolte, Olsen, Patterson,  
            Steinorth, Wagner, Waldron, Wilk

          Prepared by:Lenin Del Castillo / ED. / (916) 651-4105
          9/1/15 20:25:17


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