BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1994


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          Date of Hearing:  May 4, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          AB  
          1994 (Lopez) - As Amended April 6, 2016


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          Yes


          SUMMARY:


          This bill creates the CalED Program to assist California Work  
          Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) recipients in  
          obtaining high school diplomas or equivalency certificates.  
          Participants must be at least 19 years old, participating in  
          welfare-to-work activities, and not have a high school diploma  
          or its equivalent.  Specifically, this bill:









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          1)Requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) to develop a  
            form explaining the program, and the county to distribute this  
            form, and requires the county to notify potentially eligible  
            CalWORKs participants about the CalED Program.


          2) 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.


          3)Awards a CalED participant who successfully completes high  
            school or a California high school equivalency examination a  
            one-time five-hundred-dollar ($500) aid supplement.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)Significant costs of approximately $900,000 ($100,000 GF) in  
            FY 2016-17, and approximately $1.7 million ($200,000, GF) in  
            FY 2017-18 and ongoing. This assumes 5,500 adults will  
            participate in either adult basic education or secondary  
            education in FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18, and approximately five  
            percent will receive a high school diploma or GED on average  
            each month (based on similar information for the Cal-Learn  
            program).


          2)Unknown, but likely significant costs to DSS for automation  
            changes necessary to implement the program.


          3)Unknown, potentially reimbursable mandate costs to counties to  
            provide forms, arrange for the required education and  
            supportive services, and to monitor recipients' progress.









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          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose.  According to the author, "Sixty-five percent of  
            CalWORKs recipient do not have a high school diploma or GED.   
            This bill is intended to decrease that number and truly aid  
            our neediest families by supplying them with not only a  
            one-time incentive but another opportunity to be  
            self-sufficient and compete in a competitive job market."



          2)CalWORKs. The CalWORKs program provides monthly income  
            assistance and employment-related services using federal,  
            state and county funds. A recipient of CalWORKs is required to  
            participate in welfare-to-work activities as a condition of  
            eligibility for aid.  Certain participants can engage in adult  
            basic education in satisfaction of these work requirements.   
            This bill allows qualified CalWORKs recipients to participate  
            in the CalED program in pursuit of a high school diploma or  
            GED.
          


          3)Cal-Learn.  Cal-Learn is a statewide program for pregnant and  
            parenting teens in the CalWORKs program, designed to encourage  
            pregnant and parenting teens to graduate from high school or  
            attain an equivalency diploma.  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, have not graduated from high school  
            or its equivalent, and are not in foster care. DSS estimates  
            that 7,700 teens participate in Cal-Learn each month.








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          4)Related Legislation.


             a)   AB 2058 (Mayes), 2016, creates the CalWORKs Educational  
               Opportunity and Attainment Program and awards grant  
               increases to CalWORKs recipients upon completion of  
               education milestones, as specified.  The bill is pending in  
               this Committee.


             b)   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. This bill is in the Senate awaiting  
               referral.


          


          Analysis Prepared by:Jennifer Swenson / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081