BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:  March 29, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES


                                Susan Bonilla, Chair


          AB 1994  
          (Lopez) - As Amended March 28, 2016


          SUBJECT:  CalED Program


          SUMMARY:  This bill creates the CalED Program, which provides  
          support for California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to  
          Kids (CalWORKs) participants working to obtain a high school  
          diploma or equivalency certificate.  


          Specifically, this bill: 


          1)Makes Legislative findings and declarations regarding the  
            connection between education and self-sufficiency.


          2)Establishes the CalED Program, and requires participants to be  
            all of the following:


             a)   At least 19 years of age;


             b)   Not in possession of a high school diploma or its  
               equivalent;









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             c)   Attending school on a full-time basis, as specified; and


             d)   A participant in the welfare-to-work component of  
               CalWORKs, as specified.


          3)Establishes that participation in the CalED program is  
            optional and requires a participant to opt out in writing if  
            he or she declines to participate.


          4)Requires the county to notify potentially eligible CalWORKs  
            participants about the CalED Program, as specified.


          5)Requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) to develop a  
            form explaining the program, and the county to distribute this  
            form, as specified.


          6) Requires counties to provide education services, supportive  
            services, including child care and transportation, and other  
            services, as specified, in order to facilitate successful  
            participation in the CalED Program.


          7)Permits CalED Program participants to participate in specified  
            programs in order to obtain a high school equivalency  
            certificate.


          8)Reassigns a participant who fails to demonstrate that he or  
            she has made adequate progress in his or her educational  
            program, as specified, to another welfare-to-work activity. 


          9)Awards a CalED participant who successfully completes high  








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            school or a California high school equivalency examination a  
            one-time five-hundred-dollar ($500) supplement, as specified. 





          EXISTING LAW: 


          1)Establishes under federal law the Temporary Assistance for  
            Needy families (TANF) program to provide aid and  
            welfare-to-work services to eligible families and, in  
            California, provides that TANF funds for welfare-to-work  
            services are administered through the CalWORKs program.  (42  
            U.S.C. 601 et seq., WIC 11200 et seq.)


          2)Requires all individuals over 16 years of age, unless they are  
            otherwise exempt, to participate in welfare-to-work activities  
            as a condition of eligibility for CalWORKs.  (WIC 11320.3,  
            11322.6)


          3)Establishes a 48-month lifetime limit of CalWORKs benefits for  
            eligible adults, including 24 months during which a recipient  
            must meet federal work requirements in order to retain  
            eligibility.  (WIC 11454, 11322.85)


          4)Establishes the number of weekly hours of welfare-to-work  
            participation necessary to remain eligible for aid, including  
            requirements for an unemployed parent in a two-parent  
            assistance unit, as specified.  (WIC 11322.8)


          5)Establishes the Cal-Learn program to provide services to teen  
            parents and encourage them to obtain a high school diploma or  
            equivalency certificate.  (WIC 11331 et seq.) 








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          FISCAL EFFECT: Unknown.  


          COMMENTS:  


          CalWORKS:  The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to  
          Kids (CalWORKs) program provides monthly income assistance and  
          employment-related services aimed at moving children out of  
          poverty and helping families meet basic needs.  Federal funding  
          for CalWORKs comes from the Temporary Assistance for Needy  
          Families (TANF) block grant.  The average 2015-16 monthly cash  
          grant for a family of three on CalWORKs (one parent and two  
          children) is $506.55, and the maximum monthly grant amount for a  
          family of three, if the family has no other income and lives in  
          a high-cost county, is $704.  According to recent data from the  
          California Department of Social Services, over 497,000 families  
          rely on CalWORKs, including over one million children.  Nearly  
          60% of cases include children under 6 years old.


          Maximum grant amounts in high-cost counties of $704 per month  
          for a family of three with no other income means $23.46 per day,  
          per family, or $7.82 per family member, per day to meet basic  
          needs, including rent, clothing, utility bills, food, and  
          anything else a family needs to ensure children can be cared for  
          at home and safely remain with their families.  This grant  
          amount puts the annual household income at $8,448 per year, or  
          42% of poverty.  Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2016 show that  
          100% of poverty for a family of three is $20,160 per year.  


          Welfare-to-work:  Welfare-to-work activities within the CalWORKs  
          program include public or private sector subsidized or  
          unsubsidized employment; on-the-job training; community service;  
          secondary school, adult basic education and vocational education  
          and training when the education is needed for the recipient to  








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          become employed; specific mental health, substance abuse, or  
          domestic violence services if they are necessary to obtain or  
          retain employment; and a number of other activities necessary to  
          assist a recipient in obtaining unsubsidized employment.  

          Unless they are exempt, single parent adults must participate  
          for at least 30 hours per week in welfare-to-work activities,  
          whereas the minimum participation requirement for two-parent  
          families is 35 hours per week.  After receiving aid for up to a  
          maximum of 24 months, adults without an exemption must meet  
          federal work requirements, with more restrictive employment  
          settings and allowable employment activities.  If a CalWORKs  
          recipient who is not exempt from participation does not meet his  
          or her welfare-to-work requirements, the recipient is sanctioned  
          for noncompliance, and that recipient's portion of the family's  
          grant subtracted from the amount provided to the family to meet  
          basic needs.



          Cal-Learn:  Cal-Learn is a statewide program for pregnant and  
          parenting teens in the CalWORKs program.  It is designed to  
          encourage pregnant and parenting teens to graduate from high  
          school or its equivalent, become independent, and form healthy  
          families.  Cal-Learn consists of three coordinated services  
          aimed at helping teens become self-sufficient adults and  
          responsible parents:  intensive case management that assists  
          teen parents to obtain education, health and social services;  
          supportive services such as child care, transportation,  
          educational expenses, to enable pregnant/parenting teens to  
          attend school; and bonuses and sanctions to encourage school  
          attendance and good grades.  Bonuses include four $100 bonuses  
          per year earned based on report card results, and a one-time  
          $500 bonus for graduating or attaining an equivalent high school  
          diploma.  Sanctions are applied if satisfactory grades are not  
          maintained, and/or timely report cards are not submitted.   
          Participation in Cal-Learn is limited to and required for  
          pregnant/parenting teens who are receiving CalWORKs and who are  
          under the age of 19, live in the same household as their child,  








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          have not graduated from high school or its equivalent, and are  
          not in foster care.  CDSS estimates that 7,700 teens participate  
          in Cal-Learn each month.





          Suggested Amendments:


          1)In order to clarify that the intent of the CalED program is to  
            assist recipients in completing a high school equivalency  
            program, committee staff recommends the following amendments: 


            On page 3, line 19 of the bill: insert new subdivision (a)  
            detailing that participants must participate in specified  
            programs aimed at acquiring a high school equivalency  
            certificate.


          2)In order to clarify eligibility requirements for Cal ED  
            participants, committee staff recommends the following  
            amendments:


            On page 3 of the bill, strike lines 15 and 16.


            After line 17 on page 4 of the bill, insert:


                


            11344.    (a)A participant in the CalED Program must do all of  
          the following: (1) attend 









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          his or her educational program on a full-time basis, as normally  
          defined by the school in which the participant enrolls; (2)  
          maintain adequate progress; and (3) submit grades, if available,  
          to the county welfare department on a basis to be determined by  
          the county welfare department.

                


          


            After line 37 on page 4 of the bill, insert:
           
                 


                

           (c) For purposes of this section, adequate progress means  
          maintaining a grade point average of at least 1.0 on a scale  
          where A equals 4.0 points and F equals 0 points.

                



            


          RELATED LEGISLATION:


          AB 2058 (Mayes), 2016,  creates the CalWORKs Educational  
          Opportunity and Attainment Program and awards grant increases to  








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          CalWORKs recipients upon completion of education milestones, as  
          specified.  The bill will be heard in Assembly Human Services on  
          April 12, 2016.


          AB 2448 (Burke), 2016, changes CalWORKs requirements regarding  
          permissible welfare-to-work activities to facilitate a  
          recipient's completion of a high school equivalency program. The  
          bill will be heard in Assembly Human Services on March 29, 2016.  



          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA) 


          California Church IMPACT 


          California Federation of Teachers (CFT)


          Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations - sponsor


          County Welfare Directors Association of CA (CWDA)


          Courage Campaign


          Hunger Action LA








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          Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity 


          Sacramento Regional Coalition to End Homelessness (SRCEH) 


          St Mary's Center 


          St. Anthony Foundation


          Time for Change Foundation 


          United Methodist Women


          18 individuals 




          Opposition


          None on file.




          Analysis Prepared by:Kelsy C. Castillo / HUM. S. / (916)  
          319-2089












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