BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 1014 (Thurmond) - Education finance: Safe Neighborhoods and  
          Schools Fund: Learning Communities for School Success Program
          
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          |Version: June 23, 2016          |Policy Vote: ED. 7 - 1, ED. 9 - |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 1, 2016    |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          
          Bill  
          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 (LEAs) to implement programs and services consistent  
          with 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.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           The implementation of this bill is contingent upon funds  
            appropriated in the budget act or another statute.  The Budget  
            Act of 2016 includes a total of $27.9 million for this  
            purpose.  Specifically, the budget includes $9.4 million of  
            estimated Proposition 47 savings, with an additional $18  







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            million in one-time Proposition 98 to be spent over three  
            years, and $493,000 General Fund for CDE state operations.

           The CDE anticipates costs of almost $720,000 in the first year  
            for start-up and program administration costs, including  
            contracting with consultants to provide technical assistance,  
            conducting stakeholder meetings and program monitoring, and  
            funding for CDE support staff.  This translates to an  
            additional need of $227,000 over the amount provided in the  
            budget act.  Second year costs (2017-18) are anticipated to be  
            $763,000.  


          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 for a grant  
          program to reduce truancy, high school dropout, and student  
          victimization rates.  Proposition 47 requires the Department of  
          Finance, beginning with July 31, 2016, to calculate the savings  
          derived by the Proposition in the preceding fiscal year.


          Proposed Law:  
            This bill establishes the Learning Communities for School  
          Success Program for the purpose of implementing the K-12  
          education portion of the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, as  
          approved as Proposition 47 by the voters.  The CDE is required  
          to administer the program providing three-year grants and  
          coordinate assistance to LEAs to support them in identifying and  
          implementing evidence-based, non-punitive programs that are  
          aligned with the goals for students contained in each LEA's  
          local control and accountability plan.  
          The main components of the program include:


           CDE is required to conduct outreach and technical assistance  
            before the initial application deadline to LEAs that are  
            likely to be given priority to help them with their grant  








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            applications.


           CDE is required to consult with stakeholders, with the intent  
            that stakeholders provide input on the design of the  
            application and review process.


           LEAs are required to use grant funds for planning,  
            implementation, and evaluation of activities for  
            evidence-based, non-punitive programs and practices to keep  
            vulnerable youth in school.


           LEAs may use grant funds for the following purposes: to  
            establish a community school, as specified; for activities  
            that improve attendance and reduce chronic absenteeism;  
            restorative practices to improve retention rates, reduce  
            suspensions and other school removals, and reduce the referral  
            of students to law enforcement agencies; for activities that  
            advance social-emotional learning; and to establish  
            partnerships with community-based organizations.


           Priority for grant funds is required to be given to LEAs with  
            high rates of chronic absenteeism, out-of-school suspension,  
            or school dropouts, or located in a community with a high  
            crime rate.


           Grantees must provide a 20 percent local match and are  
            prohibited from spending funds on law enforcement activities.


           The CDE is required to establish a structure to deliver  
            training and technical assistance to grantees using regional  
            workshops and technical assistance providers that have subject  
            matter expertise.


           Grantees are required to evaluate and report to their  
            respective governing board and the CDE the results of the  
            activities implemented.  The CDE is required to compile the  
            information as part of an overall evaluation of the grant  








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            program implementation and submit an interim report of  
            preliminary evaluation findings to the Legislature by January  
            31, 2019 and a final evaluation by January 31, 2020.


           The CDE is allowed up to five percent of Proposition 47  
            savings for administrative costs, including administering  
            grant awards, coordinating training and technical assistance,  
            and completing the evaluation.  




          Related  
          Legislation:  SB 527 (Liu, 2016) is identical to this bill and  
          is pending in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


          Staff  
          Comments:  This bill provides a plan to spend the education  
          share of savings in accordance with the provisions of  
          Proposition 47.  It is the result of an agreement on a framework  
          between both houses of the Legislature, in collaboration with  
          the CDE, Department of Justice, Department of Finance, and  
          stakeholders.  This bill implements the framework, along with SB  
          527 (Liu), which is identical to this bill.  Enactment of both  
          bills is contingent upon the passage of both bills.


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