California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1025


Introduced by Assembly Member Thurmond

February 26, 2015


An act to add Section 124174.7 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to pupil health.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1025, as introduced, Thurmond. Pupil health: multitiered and integrated interventions pilot program.

Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary schools in this state, and provides for the establishment of school districts and other local educational agencies to operate these schools and provide instruction to pupils. Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction, among his or her other duties, to serve as the chief executive officer of the State Department of Education.

This bill would require the State Department of Education to establish a 3-year pilot program to encourage inclusive practices that integrate mental health, special education, and school climate interventions following a multitiered framework in 3 schools in 10 school districts, as specified. The bill would require the State Department of Education to select schools where at least 60% of the student body is eligible for a free or reduced-price meal program and whose applications provide an estimate for the amount of funding being requested for start up and evaluation and detail a model approach that targets the behavioral, emotional, and academic needs of pupils with multitiered and integrated mental health, special education, and school climate interventions. The bill, contingent on the enactment of an appropriation for this purpose, would require the department to provide startup and evaluation funding to each school participating in the pilot program, and would require the schools to provide certain information to the State Department of Education in accordance with a comprehensive evaluation plan developed by the State Department of Health Care Services and the State Department of Education to assess the impact of the pilot program and disseminate best practices. The bill would require the State Department of Education to submit a report to the Legislature evaluating the success of the pilot program at the end of the 3-year period.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that pupils
2from all backgrounds and circumstances in California deserve
3adequate behavioral and academic support to achieve their full
4potential. The Legislature further finds and declares all of the
5following:

6(1) Pupils in California face relational and environmental
7stressors that diminish their ability to achieve their full potential.
8Among these complex challenges may be poverty, frequent
9exposure to violence, placement in the foster care system, and
10other negative experiences that result in chronic stress and trauma.
11Nearly 700,000 pupils in California receive special education
12services, and nearly one-in-four youth are living in poverty. Nearly
1360,000 youth are currently placed in foster care, and as many as
1420 percent of youth are in need of mental health interventions.

15(2) Pupils with these stressors are frequently failed by the current
16policies and systems in place, as measured by indicators for
17academic outcomes, social inclusion, emotional development,
18mental health support, and general pupil well-being.

19(A) In California, more than 20 percent of special education
20pupils spend less than 40 percent of their day within their regular
21classroom, an indicator of inclusion, compared to 14 percent of
22special education pupils nationally and a federal target of less than
239 percent.

24(B) Only 59 percent of special education pupils graduated from
25high school within four years in the 2010-11 fiscal year compared
26to 76 percent of all pupils.

P3    1(C) Statewide, a recent study found only 58 percent of foster
2youth in grade 12 graduated compared to 85 percent of all youth,
3with nearly 14 percent of foster youth in grade 12 dropping out of
4school.

5(D) Far too often, youth with mental health challenges do not
6receive the services they need. For instance, one study found that
7nearly two-thirds of adolescents who experienced a major
8depressive disorder in the last year did not receive treatment.

9(E) Even by grade 3, low-income pupils perform substantially
10below their higher income peers in areas of social and emotional
11skill, social and emotional development, engagement in school,
12and physical well-being.

13(3) Current funding practices fail to adequately incentivize
14schools to invest in front-end preventative measures that would
15reduce overall cost of special education.

16(4) Delivery of comprehensive community-based support and
17resources requires a high level of collaboration among schools,
18school districts, and county mental health agencies.

19(5) Inclusive multitiered systems of behavioral and academic
20supports are essential to providing high-quality, cost-effective
21special education programs that benefit all pupils.

22(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that, upon demonstrated
23success of the pilot program established pursuant to Section
24124174.7 of the Health and Safety Code, the evaluated models can
25be adopted by a large number of schools to increase the efficient
26and effective utilization of available community resources in order
27to promote the success of all pupils.

28

SEC. 2.  

Section 124174.7 is added to the Health and Safety
29Code
, to read:

30

124174.7.  

(a) (1) The State Department of Education shall
31establish a three-year pilot program in accordance with this section
32to encourage inclusive practices that integrate mental health, special
33education, and school climate interventions following a multitiered
34framework.

35(2) For purposes of this section, “department” means the State
36Department of Education.

37(b) The department shall establish the pilot program in three
38schools in each of 10 school districts that apply to participate
39through the submission of detailed applications providing estimates
40for the amount of funding being requested for start up and
P4    1evaluation of the program and specifying their intended models.
2The department shall select schools where at least 60 percent of
3the student body is eligible for a free or reduced-price meal
4program and whose applications detail a model approach that
5targets the behavioral, emotional, and academic needs of pupils
6with multitiered and integrated mental health, special education,
7and school climate interventions. In addition to reflecting the
8school’s specific culture and needs, a school’s model shall include
9all of the following:

10(1) Formalized collaboration with local mental health agencies
11to provide school-based mental health services that are integrated
12within a multitiered system of support.

13(2) Leverage of school and community resources to offer
14comprehensive multitiered interventions on a sustainable basis.

15(3) An initial school climate assessment that includes
16 information from multiple stakeholders, including school staff,
17pupils, and families, that is used to inform the selection of strategies
18and interventions that reflect the culture and goals of the school.

19(4) A coordination of services team that considers referrals for
20services, oversees schoolwide efforts, and utilizes data-informed
21processes to identify struggling pupils who require early
22interventions.

23(5) Whole school strategies that address school climate and
24universal pupil well-being, such as positive behavioral interventions
25and supports or the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, as well
26as comprehensive professional development opportunities, that
27build the capacity of the entire school community to recognize and
28respond to the unique social-emotional, behavioral, and academic
29needs of pupils.

30(6) Targeted interventions for pupils with identified
31social-emotional, behavioral, and academic needs, such as
32therapeutic group interventions, functional behavioral analysis and
33plan development, and targeted skill groups.

34(7) Intensive services, such as wraparound, behavioral
35intervention, or one-on-one support, that can reduce the need for
36a pupil’s referral to special education or placement in more
37restrictive, isolated settings.

38(c) Contingent on the enactment of an appropriation in the
39annual Budget Act for the purpose of implementing this section,
40the department shall provide startup and evaluation funding to
P5    1each school participating in the pilot program in the following
2amounts:

3(1) Two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) in year one.

4(2) Two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) in year two.

5(3) One hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) in year three.

6(d) (1) The State Department of Health Care Services and the
7department shall develop a comprehensive evaluation plan to assess
8the impact of the pilot program and disseminate best practices.

9(2) Outcomes and indicators to be reported pursuant to this
10subdivision by schools participating in the pilot program shall
11include, but need not be limited to, those already being collected
12by schools, as well as designated measures of pupil well-being,
13academic achievement, and school engagement and attendance.

14(3) (A) The department, in compliance with Section 9795 of
15the Government Code, shall submit a report to the Legislature at
16the end of the three-year period evaluating the success of the
17program and making further recommendations. The department
18shall make the report available to the public, and shall post it on
19the department’s Internet Web site.

20(B) The requirement to submit a report to the Legislature
21imposed under subparagraph (A) is inoperative, pursuant to Section
2210231.5 of the Government Code, four years after the report is
23due.



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