AB 1994, as introduced, Lopez. CalED Program.
Existing law requires each county to provide cash assistance and other social services to needy families through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program using federal, state, and county funds. Under existing law, a recipient of CalWORKs is required to participate in welfare-to-work activities for a specified number of hours each week as a condition of eligibility for aid. Existing law authorizes certain welfare-to-work participants to engage in adult basic education in satisfaction of these work requirements.
Existing law establishes the Cal-Learn Program, under which a recipient of CalWORKs aid who is under 19 years of age and who does not have a high school diploma or its equivalent is required to participate in the program as a student attending school on a full-time basis. Existing law provides for a supplement to, or a reduction in, a Cal-Learn participant’s aid grant based on his or her performance in school.
This bill would create the CalED Program for the purpose of assisting CalWORKs recipients who are at least 19 years of age to obtain high school diplomas or equivalency certificates. The bill would provide a $100 aid supplement if a CalED participant maintains satisfactory progress in school, as defined, and a $500 aid supplement if the participant successfully completes high school or a high school equivalency examination. The bill would provide that participation in the program is optional and would authorize recipients of CalWORKs to opt out in writing. The bill would require the department to develop a comprehensive form that explains the benefits of the program and would require the county, at the time it conducts a welfare-to-work appraisal, to provide the form to the recipient. The bill would also require counties to arrange for the provision of education and supportive services that an individual needs to successfully participate in the CalED Program. By imposing these duties on counties, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Article 3.7 (commencing with Section 11340) is
2added to Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and
3Institutions Code, to read:
(a) This article shall be known, and may be cited, as
8the CalED Program.
9(b) The Legislature finds and declares that the connection
10between education and long-term welfare dependency has been
11well documented by social science research. Average time on aid
12for parents without a high school diploma or its equivalent is
13significantly longer than for parents who have completed high
14school or an equivalent program.
15(c) The Legislature finds that CalWORKs recipients have unique
16education, vocational, training, health, and other social service
P3 1needs that are not specifically provided for as part of the
2welfare-to-work activities. Research shows that successful
3programs that help CalWORKs recipients achieve self-sufficiency
4increase the earning capacity of those individuals.
A recipient of aid under this chapter is eligible to
6participate in the CalED Program if all of the following
7requirements are met:
8(a) The person is at least 19 years of age.
9(b) The person does not have a high school diploma or its
11(c) The person is attending school on a full-time basis, as
12normally defined by the school in which the participant enrolls.
(a) Participation in the CalED Program is optional. If
14a person declines to participate, he or she shall opt out in writing.
15(b) At the time the county conducts an appraisal pursuant to
16Section 11325.2, the county shall inform each person who does
17not have a high school diploma or its equivalent that he or she may
18participate in the CalED Program or may opt out in writing, and
19shall give the person the form described in subdivision (c).
20(c) The State Department of Social Services shall develop a
21comprehensive form that explains the benefits of the program,
22including the bonuses that are available pursuant to Section 11344,
23in order to empower the person to make an informed decision.
Counties shall arrange for the provision of education
25and supportive services that a person needs to successfully
26participate in the CalED Program. The county shall identify the
27need of each person for, and the method of providing, the following
29(a) Supportive services, including child care and transportation,
30as specified in Section 11323.2. Supportive services shall be limited
31to those that are necessary to enable the person to attend school
33(b) Any other services necessary for the person to successfully
34participate in the CalED Program, which may include, but not be
35limited to, mental health services and substance abuse treatment.
(a) A participant in the CalED Program who maintains
37satisfactory progress in school shall, not more than four times in
38a calendar year, receive a one hundred dollar ($100) supplement
39to the amount of aid paid pursuant to Section 11450. The
40supplement shall be paid to the assistance unit of which the
P4 1participant is a member in the month following submission of the
2report card, if received by the county no later than the 11th calendar
3day of the month, or in the second month following submission
4of the report card, if received by the county after the 11th calendar
5day of the month.
6(b) A participant who fails to demonstrate that he or she has
7made adequate progress in school, either by failing to provide the
8report card or based on the grades on the report card, shall be
9assigned to another welfare-to-work activity.
10(c) A participant who successfully completes high school or a
11California high school equivalency examination shall receive a
12five hundred dollar ($500) supplement. An assistance unit shall
13not receive a one hundred dollar ($100) supplement when a five
14hundred dollar ($500) supplement for the same report card or
15progress report is paid. The five hundred dollar ($500) supplement
16shall be paid to the participant in the month following submission
17of the record of completion, if received by the county no later than
18the 11th calendar day of the month, or in the second month
19following submission of the record of completion, if received by
20the county after the 11th calendar day of the month.
21(d) (1) For purposes of this section, in schools that provide
22periodic report cards with letter grades, “satisfactory progress”
23means maintaining a grade point average of at least 2.0 on a scale
24where A equals 4.0 points and F equals 0 points, and adequate
25progress means maintaining a grade point average of at least 1.0
26on the same scale.
27(2) For the purposes of this section, in schools or other
28educational programs that do not provide letter grades indicating
29student performance, satisfactory progress or inadequate progress
30shall be determined by the school’s regular assessment of periodic
If the Commission on State Mandates determines that
33this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to
34local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
35pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
364 of Title 2 of the Government Code.