BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:             AB 1014           
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          |Author:    |Thurmond                                             |
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          |Version:   |June 23, 2016                            Hearing     |
          |           |Date:    June 29, 2016                               |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|Lynn Lorber                                          |
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          Subject:  Education finance: Safe Neighborhoods and Schools  
          Fund: Learning Communities for School Success Program 


          NOTE:  This bill has been amended to replace its contents and  
          this is the first time the bill is being heard in its current  
          form.

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill establishes the Learning Communities for School  
          Success Program, which requires the California Department of  
          Education (CDE) to administer grants for local educational  
          agencies to implement programs and services that further the  
          purpose of Proposition 47 to improve outcomes for students by  
          reducing truancy and supporting students who are at risk of  
          dropping out of school or are victims of crime.

            BACKGROUND
          
          Existing law:

             1)   Establishes the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,  
               pursuant to Proposition 47, which reduces the penalties for  
               specified drug and property crimes.  Savings resulting from  
               reduced inmate population are required to be used for  
               mental health and substance use services, truancy and  
               dropout prevention, and victim services.  (Government Code  
                7599, et seq.)








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             2)   Requires school districts and county offices of  
               education to adopt and annually update a local control and  
               accountability plan, which must include a description of  
               annual goals to meet eight state priorities for all  
               students and for all numerically significant subgroups,  
               including ethnic subgroups, socioeconomically disadvantaged  
               students, English learners, students with disabilities, and  
               foster youth.  (Education Code  52060 and  52066)

            ANALYSIS
          
          This bill requires the California Department of Education to  
          administer grants for local educational agencies to implement  
          programs and services that further the purpose of Proposition 47  
          to improve outcomes for students by reducing truancy and  
          supporting students who are at risk of dropping out of school or  
          are victims of crime.  Specifically, this bill:

          1)   Establishes the Learning Communities for School Success  
               Program to implement the K-12 education portion of the Safe  
               Neighborhoods and Schools Act (Proposition 47).

          2)   Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to  
               administer a grant program and coordinate assistance to  
               local educational agencies (LEAs) in identifying and  
               implementing evidence-based, non-punitive programs and  
               practices that are aligned with the goals for students  
               contained in each LEA's local control and accountability  
               plan (LCAP).  

          Application

          3)   Requires a LEA that chooses to apply for funding to submit  
               an application to the CDE, in a format and by a date  
               determined by the CDE.  This bill requires the application  
               to include, at a minimum, all of the following:

               a)        Information about the student and school needs  
                    within the LEA.

               b)        The activities the LEA will undertake with the  
                    grant funding.

               c)        How the activities support the LEA's goals for  








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                    students contained in its LCAP.

               d)        How the LEA will measure outcomes associated with  
                    the proposed activities and metrics reported in the  
                    LEA's LCAP.

          4)   Requires the CDE to issue application guidelines that  
               include, at a minimum, information on the outcome metrics  
               the CDE will use to evaluate the program. This bill  
               requires CDE, when determining outcome metrics, to consider  
               metrics currently being collected and used by existing  
               federal, state, or local programs. This bill requires the  
               CDE, consistent with the objective of the Safe  
               Neighborhoods and Schools Act to reduce crime, including  
               truancy and dropout prevention, to consider using metrics  
               for student truancy and school dropout, among others.

          5)   Requires CDE to consult with stakeholders, including but  
               not limited to, representatives of LEAs, teachers and other  
               school personnel, parents, advocacy organizations with  
               experience working with target vulnerable populations, and  
               parent- and youth-serving community-based organizations.  
               This bill states legislative intent that stakeholders  
               provide input to the CDE on the design of the application  
               and review process, including the size of the grant awards,  
               but not in determining who will be awarded grants.

          Grant awards

          6)   Requires the CDE to determine eligibility for grants and  
               the distribution of grant funding based on all of the  
               following factors:

               a)        Student and school needs the LEA will address  
                    with the grant funds.

               b)        Number of students to be served with the grant  
                    funds.

               c)        Number, size, and type of participating schools  
                    within the local educational agencies (LEA).

               d)        Any challenges the LEA experiences in building  
                    capacity for fulfilling the purposes of this bill.








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               e)        The unique characteristics of small school  
                    districts, given their challenges with economies of  
                    scale and access to services in rural locations.

          7)   Requires the California Department of Education (CDE),  
               before the initial application deadline, to conduct  
               targeted outreach to LEAs that are likely to be given  
               priority for funding and offer the LEAs technical  
               assistance as they develop their grant applications.  This  
               bill authorizes the CDE to provide technical assistance  
               with application development, which may include assistance  
               from external entities the CDE may contract with to provide  
               training and technical assistance.

          8)   Provides that an application is to be for three years of  
               funding and authorizes the CDE to establish requirements  
               for grantees to meet at the end of the first and second  
               years of funding in order to receive funding for the  
               remaining grant period.

          Use of grant funds

          9)   Requires a LEA that receives a grant to use the grant funds  
               for planning, implementation, and evaluation of activities  
               in support of evidence-based, non-punitive programs and  
               practices to keep the state's most vulnerable students in  
               school, consistent with the LEA's goals for the student  
               engagement and school climate state priorities identified  
               in its local control and accountability plan (LCAP).  This  
               bill authorizes these activities to include but not be  
               limited to, all of the following:

               a)        Establishing a community school, as defined.

               b)        Implementing activities or programs to improve  
                    attendance and reduce chronic absenteeism, including  
                    but not limited to, early warning systems or early  
                    intervention programs.

               c)        Implementing restorative practices, restorative  
                    justice models, or other programs to improve retention  
                    rates, reduce suspensions and other school removals,  
                    and reduce the referral of students to law enforcement  








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                    agencies.

               d)        Implementing activities that advance  
                    social-emotional learning, positive behavior  
                    interventions and supports, culturally responsive  
                    practices, and trauma-informed strategies.

               e)        Establishing partnerships with community-based  
                    organizations or other relevant entities to support  
                    the implementation of evidence-based, non-punitive  
                    approaches to further the goals of the program.

          Priority for funding

          10)  Authorizes the California Department of Education (CDE), in  
               selecting grant recipients, to give priority to a local  
               educational agencies (LEA) that meets any of the following  
               criteria:

               a)        Has a high rate of chronic absenteeism,  
                    out-of-school suspension, or school dropout for the  
                    general student population or for a numerically  
                    significant student subgroup, as identified in the  
                    local control and accountability plan (LCAP).  This  
                    bill defines "high rate" as a rate that exceeds the  
                    state average.

               b)        Is located in a community with a high crime rate.

               c)        Has a significant representation of foster youth  
                    among its student enrollment.

          Other requirements

          11)  Requires a LEA that receives a grant to comply with the  
               following:

               a)        Provide a local contribution of matching  
                    expenditures equal to at least 20% of the total grant  
                    award.  This bill authorizes the local contribution to  
                    be from cash expenditures or in-kind contributions,  
                    and encourages a LEA to exceed the 20% match  
                    requirement to enable the LEA to sustain the  
                    activities or programs beyond the three-year grant  








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                    period.

               b)        Use the grant funds to supplement and not  
                    supplant existing resources the LEA currently  
                    allocates for purposes specified in this bill.

               c)        Not use grant funds to pay for law enforcement  
                    activities, including personnel or equipment.

          Training and technical assistance

          12)  Requires CDE to establish a structure to deliver training  
               and technical assistance to grantees using regional  
               workshops and technical assistance providers that have  
               expertise on student engagement, school climate, truancy  
               reduction, and supporting students who are at risk of  
               dropping out of school or who are victims of crime.  This  
               bill authorizes CDE to contract with those providers to  
               assist the grantees as well as to serve as a resource for  
               other LEAs that may use their own funding sources to engage  
               in this community of practice.




          Evaluation and report

          13)  Requires a LEA that receives grant funding to evaluate and  
               report to the governing board of the school district, the  
               county board of education, or its chartering authority, and  
               the CDE the results of the activities it undertakes with  
               the grant funds.  This bill requires CDE to compile  
               information from grantee reports as part of an overall  
               evaluation of the grant program implementation, assess the  
               benefits of participation in the program, and identify the  
               student and school outcomes associated with the strategies  
               and programs implemented by grantees. This bill requires  
               CDE to submit an interim report of preliminary evaluation  
               findings to the Legislature by January 31, 2019, and a  
               final evaluation report to the Legislature by January 31,  
               2020.

          Miscellaneous









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          14)  Authorizes 5% of the funds to be used for the  
               administrative costs of implementing this bill, including  
               but not limited to, administering grant awards,  
               coordinating the training and technical assistance  
               structure, and completing the evaluation.

          15)  Establishes the following definitions:

               a)        "Community school" means a public school that  
                    participates in a community-based effort to coordinate  
                    and integrate educational, developmental, family,  
                    health, and other comprehensive services through  
                    community-based organizations and public and private  
                    partnerships with one or more community partners for  
                    the delivery of community services that may be  
                    provided at a school site to students, families, and  
                    community members.

               b)        "Local educational agency" means a school  
                    district, county office of education, or charter  
                    school.

          16)  Prohibits the provisions of this bill from becoming  
               operative unless funds are appropriated in the annual  
               Budget Act or another statute to the Safe Neighborhoods and  
               Schools Fund in accordance with the Safe Neighborhoods and  
               Schools Act for the purposes specified in this bill.

          17)  Provides that this bill is contingent upon the passage of  
               SB 527 (see comment #2).

          STAFF COMMENTS
          
          1)   Need for the bill.  In November 2014, voters approved  
               Proposition 47, establishing the Safe Neighborhoods and  
               Schools Act.  The Proposition reduced penalties for  
               specified non-violent drug and property crimes, resulting  
               in a reduced prison population and thereby reduced state  
               costs.  The Proposition requires the Department of Finance  
               to, on or before July 31st of each fiscal year, beginning  
               with July 31, 2016, to calculate the savings derived by the  
               Proposition during the preceding fiscal year.  The savings  
               are required to be allocated for specified purposes,  
               including 25% to the California Department of Education to  








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               administer a grant program to public agencies aimed at  
               improving outcomes for public school students in  
               kindergarten through grade 12 by reducing truancy and  
               supporting students who are at risk of dropping out of  
               school or are victims of crime.  Proposition 47 provided no  
               guidance for the structure or details of the grant program.  
                This bill provides those details.

          2)   Package deal.  This bill is the result of an agreement on a  
               framework between both Houses of the Legislature, in  
               collaboration with the California Department of Education,  
               Department of Justice, Department of Finance, and  
               stakeholders.  This bill implements the framework, along  
               with SB 527 (Liu), which is identical to this bill.  While  
               this Committee does not typically pass two bills on the  
               same topic, these bills represent an agreement between both  
               Houses and enactment of both bills is contingent upon the  
               passage of both bills.

          3)   Fiscal impact.  The 2016 Budget Act includes $9.9 million  
               of estimated Proposition 47 savings, with an additional $18  
               million in one-time Proposition 98 funds provided for this  
               purpose.  

          4)   Related legislation.  SB 527 (Liu, 2016) is nearly  
               identical to this bill.  SB 527 is pending in the Assembly  
               Appropriations Committee.

            SUPPORT
          
          Riverside County Superintendent of Schools

            OPPOSITION
           
           None on the current version of the bill.

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