BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 275
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 15, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                      AB 275 (Alejo) - As Amended:  May 8, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Education  
          Vote:7-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill makes the following changes to the federal Migrant  
          Education Program (MEP):  

          1)Requires the state MEP plan to be revised as necessary by the  
            Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI), in consultation  
            with the State Parent Advisory Council (SPAC).  

          2)Adds new requirements to the MEP plan, including involving  
            parents in the review of data; an analysis of data on  
            migratory children collected through the state's data system;  
            and an evaluation and monitoring component, as specified.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Reallocation of federal MEP funds, likely between $500,000 to  
            low millions, to meet the requirements of this bill, including  
            requiring specified data to be collected and establishing  
            specified evaluation and monitoring procedures.  To the extent  
            these requirements require the use of local assistance funds,  
            MEP regions may have less funding available to provide direct  
            services to migratory children.  Likewise, these requirements  
            will likely lead to additional SDE costs, which may affect its  
            ability to continue funding statewide service contracts at the  
            same level.  

          2)The 2012-13 Budget Act appropriated $135 million (federal  
            funds) for the MEP as follows: 


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            |     Local      |     State      |  State level activities  |
            |   Assistance   | Administration |                          |
            |----------------+----------------+--------------------------|
            |$114.6 million  |$1.3 million    |$18.6 million             |
            |                |                |                          |
            |Allocated to 26 |Allocated to    |Used by SDE to execute    |
            |MEP regions,    |SDE, which      |the following statewide   |
            |which           |represents one  |service contracts         |
            |represents 85%  |percent of      |(represents 14% of total  |
            |of total funds  |total funds.    |funds):                   |
            |(as required    |                |                          |
            |under federal   |                |$7.1 million for         |
            |law).           |                | Mini-Corp (services for  |
            |                |                | undergraduate students). |
            |                |                |                          |
            |                |                |$6 million for Migrant   |
            |                |                | Education School         |
            |                |                | Readiness Program.       |
            |                |                |$5.5 million for other   |
            |                |                | statewide programs,      |
            |                |                | including, to            |
            |                |                | identification and       |
            |                |                | recruitment, data        |
            |                |                | collection, summer       |
            |                |                | institutes, and SPAC.    |
            |                |                |                          |
             ------------------------------------------------------------ 

           1)Federal Sequestration  .  Federal sequestration is the reduction  
            of federal government spending by a minimum of $1.2 trillion  
            in automatic cuts to be divided among defense and domestic  
            programs.  It is unclear at this time if federal MEP funds  
            will be reduced due to this requirement.  If MEP funds are  
            reduced, California will experience a reduction in its state  
            grant allocation, which will affect local assistance and state  
            level activities.  

           SUMMARY CONTINUED  

          1)Requires the SPI to develop a monitoring instrument and  
            procedures that provide for the annual monitoring of each  
            local education agency (LEA) and region receiving federal  
            migrant funds, as specified.  Further requires the SPI to  
            periodically sponsor or conduct local training for the  
            education of regional operating agency personnel assigned to  








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            the evaluation of MEPs.  

          2)Requires the SPI to submit to the State Board of Education  
            (SBE), the Legislature, and the governor, a triennial  
            performance report of MEPs.  Further requires the SPI to  
            develop a process to ensure migratory children enrolled in  
            juvenile court schools and other alternative education  
            programs receive eligible services.  

          3)Requires MEP regions to collect and report to SDE individual  
            and aggregate data on migratory pupils, including on issues  
            related to course enrollment, pupil discipline,  
            dropout/retention, and graduation rates.  

          4)Requires a regional plan to include a written evaluation plan  
            describing how the operating agency will measure annual pupil  
            progress and the overall success of its program.  

          5)Requires an LEA and region receiving federal MEP funds, as a  
            condition of funding renewal, to conduct an evaluation of its  
            program's overall effectiveness in the prior year, as  
            specified.   

          COMMENTS  

          1)Background  .  The federal MEP, authorized by the federal No  
            Child Left Behind Act of 2001, provides supplemental education  
            services to address the educational needs of highly mobile  
            children whose family members are employed doing seasonal  
            agricultural work.   Children are eligible to participate in  
            the MEP if they or their parents or guardians are migrant  
            workers in the agricultural, dairy, lumber, or fishing  
            industries, and their family has moved for the purpose of  
            finding temporary or seasonal employment during the past three  
            years. Migrant students are eligible for program services from  
            age three until they attain a high school diploma or its  
            equivalent or turn 21. Migrant students who are under age 21  
            but have not yet completed high school and/or do not attend a  
            traditional school are referred to as "out-of-school youth."   
            According to the State Department of Education (SDE), 136,467  
            migratory children received services under the MEP in 2011-12.  
             This is a 15% decrease (20,673 children) from 2010-12.  

           2)Purpose  .  In February 2013, the State Auditor (SA) released a  
            report entitled: Despite Some Improvements, Oversight of the  








                                                                  AB 275
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            Migrant Education Program Remains Inadequate.  The SA  
            determined SDE was implementing improper oversight or  
            providing little guidance to the regions.  "Instead, it has  
            relied largely on the judgment of regional administrators and  
            its individual program staff when making decisions about  
            allowable expenses and financial codes used to categorize  
            these expenses. This lack of formal guidance has created  
            inconsistencies and controversy regarding allowable expenses  
            as well as wide variation in how the migrant program regions  
            classify expenses."

            The SA further stated: "Because of a lack of trust, [SDE] also  
            has had difficulty making productive use of a state parent  
            council whose purpose is to advise and assist the migrant  
            program. Partly because of its past inaction and lack of  
            communication, [SDE] now faces numerous grant conditions and  
            reporting requirements imposed by the federal agency  
            overseeing the migrant program."

            This bill attempts to address the SA's finding and  
            recommendations.            

           3)SA's recommendations and SDE's response  .  The audit report  
            provided specific recommendations to SDE about improving  
            fiscal oversight, monitoring, and data collection in the MEP.   
            Specifically, the SA suggests SDE review accounting and  
            expense reporting procedures, ensure evaluations are  
            completed, and review current data procedures with the  
            suggestion to collect more accurate/appropriate data.  

            Even before the SA completed its report, SDE began to  
            implement modifications in its administration and oversight of  
            the MEP.  Specifically, it has developed a Bureau of State  
            Audit Implementation Plan to address the report's  
            recommendations, including developing more clear criteria for  
            allowable program expenditures, establishing long-term plan  
            for meeting evaluation requirements, and updating its migrant  
            data system to collect additional quality data.  

           4)Existing law  establishes the federal MEP and requires the  
            State Board of Education (SBE) to establish a master plan for  
            services to migrant children.  Statute requires the master  
            plan to detail the types of instructional, health, and  
            supportive services, including child care and transportation,  
            provided to migrant children.  In order to implement the  








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            master plan, MEP services are delivered through a regional  
            system and each region is required to submit a plan to the SPI  
            for approval.  Currently, there are 23 MEP regions in the  
            state.  Of this number, 14 are county offices of education and  
            nine are school districts (act as a region).      

            Current law also requires the SPI to establish the SPAC to  
            participate in the planning, operation, and evaluation of the  
            MEP.  The SPAC is required to meet a minimum of six times a  
            year to provide input on issues related to the program.  The  
            SPI is also required to sponsor an annual spring SMPC  
            conference with the requirement that a report be submitted to  
            the Legislature, SBE, the SPI, and the governor regarding the  
            status of the program.

            This bill proposes to increase the minimum number of yearly  
            SPAC meetings from six to nine.      
           
          5)Previous legislation  .  AB 331 (Romero), Chapter 274, Statutes  
            of 2010, expanded the scope of a status report the migrant  
            SPAC is required to submit to specified parties, and changed  
            the timeline for the submission of the report.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Kimberly Rodriguez / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081