BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  1





          Date of Hearing:  April 29, 2015


                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION


                              Patrick O'Donnell, Chair


          AB 1025  
          (Thurmond) - As Amended April 6, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Pupil health:  multitiered and integrated  
          interventions pilot program


          SUMMARY:  Requires the California Department of Education (CDE)  
          to establish additional pilot programs to encourage inclusive  
          practices that integrate mental health, special education, and  
          school climate interventions following a multitiered framework.   
          Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Requires the CDE to develop and implement federal Substance  
            Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration "Now is The  
            Time" funded pilot projects in accordance with the provisions  
            of this bill.  


          2)Specifies that to the extent that funds are appropriated in  
            the annual Budget Act, the CDE shall establish the pilot  
            program in three additional schools in each of five additional  
            school districts that apply to participate through the  
            submission of detailed applications providing estimates for  
            the amount of funding being requested for startup and  
            evaluation of the program and specifying their intended  
            models.  Requires the CDE to select schools where at least 60%  
            of the student body is eligible for a free or reduced-price  








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  2





            meal program and whose applications 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. 


          3)Specifies that in addition to reflecting the school's specific  
            culture and needs, a school's model shall include all of the  
            following:


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


             b)   Leverage of school and community resources to offer  
               comprehensive multitiered interventions on a sustainable  
               basis.


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


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


             e)   Whole school strategies that address school climate and  
               universal pupil well-being, such as positive behavioral  
               interventions and supports or the Olweus Bullying  
               Prevention Program, as well as comprehensive professional  
               development opportunities, that build the capacity of the  








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  3





               entire school community to recognize and respond to the  
               unique social-emotional, behavioral, and academic needs of  
               pupils.


             f)   Targeted interventions for pupils with identified  
               social-emotional, behavioral, and academic needs, such as  
               therapeutic group interventions, functional behavioral  
               analysis and plan development, and targeted skill groups.


             g)   Intensive services, such as wraparound, behavioral  
               intervention, or one-on-one support, that can reduce the  
               need for a pupil's referral to special education or  
               placement in more restrictive, isolated settings.


             h)   Specific strategies and practices that ensure parent  
               engagement with the school, and provide parents with access  
               to resources that support their children's educational  
               success.


          4)Specifies that contingent on the enactment of an appropriation  
            in the annual Budget Act for the purpose of implementing this  
            bill, the CDE shall provide startup and evaluation funding to  
            each school participating in the pilot program in the  
            following amounts:



             a)   $250,000 in year one;



             b)   $200,000 in year two; and, 











                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  4





             c)   $150,000 in year three.



          5)Requires the State Department of Health Care Services, the  
            Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability  
            Commission, and the CDE to develop a comprehensive evaluation  
            plan to assess the impact of the pilot program and disseminate  
            best practices.



             a)   Specifies that outcomes and indicators to be reported  
               pursuant to this bill by schools participating in the pilot  
               program shall include, but need not be limited to, those  
               already being collected by schools, as well as designated  
               measures of pupil well-being, academic achievement, and  
               school engagement and attendance.
          6)Requires the CDE to submit a report to the Legislature at the  
            end of the three-year period evaluating the success of the  
            program and making further recommendations.  Requires the CDE  
            to make the report available to the public, and to post it on  
            the CDE's Internet Web site.


          7)Specifies that the requirement to submit a report to the  
            Legislature is inoperative four years after the report is due,  
            consistent with Government Code requirements.





          8)Requires the Mental Health Services Oversight and  
            Accountability Commission to revise its guidelines and  
            regulations for Prevention and Early Intervention Programs of  
            the Mental Health Services Act, pursuant to Section 5840 of  
            the Welfare and Institutions Code, to require that these  
            prevention and early intervention programs in K-12 schools are  








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  5





            designed to support the implementation or expansion of model  
            programs in accordance with the criteria set forth in this  
            bill.
          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Expresses the intent of the Legislature that certificated  
            personnel serving in the public schools have a responsible  
            understanding of the nature and range of physical, mental and  
            emotional disabilities of children and youth and of the major  
            implications of such disabilities.  County superintendents of  
            schools are encouraged, in cooperation with school districts,  
            community college districts and colleges and universities, to  
            sponsor workshops or similar activities for certificated  
            personnel to provide opportunities to gain or increase these  
            understandings.  (Education Code (EC) Section 1263)



          2)Specifies, under federal law, that schools have the  
            responsibility for educationally related mental health  
            services.  Requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to  
            update the Individualized Education Plan of each child that  
            will experience a change in services.




          3)Requires, under federal law, the provision of a free,  
            appropriate public education to all disabled students in the  
            least restrictive environment, which:




             a)   Is provided at public expense, under public supervision  
               and direction, and without charge;










                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  6






             b)   Meets the standards of the state education agency;




             c)   Includes an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or  
               secondary school in the state; and,




             d)   Is provided in conformity with the Individual Education  
               Program established for the child.




          4)Establishes the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), enacted by  
            voters in 2004 as Proposition 63, to provide funds to counties  
            to expand services, develop innovative programs, and  
            integrated service plans for mentally ill children, adults,  
            and seniors through a 1% income tax on personal income above  
            $1 million.



          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  Purpose of the bill.  The author states, "Nearly one  
          in four youth are living in poverty, almost 60,000 youth are  
          currently placed in foster care and it is estimated that 20  
          percent of youth are in need of mental health intervention.  Too  
          often, students in disadvantaged communities face relational and  
          environmental stressors that, when left unaddressed, hinder  
          their ability to achieve their full potential.  Compounded  
          traumatic stressors including poverty and exposure to violence  
          have been found to negatively affect student academic  








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  7





          achievement, learning and emotional development, and result in  
          disproportionately high referral rates to special education  
          services. Risk factors that are known to negatively impact the  
          social emotional wellbeing and academic achievement of students  
          are widespread.

          "Unfortunately, the needs of students facing such challenges  
          often go unrecognized or are misunderstood. Unaddressed student  
          needs frequently result in more profound behavioral and academic  
          challenges that can necessitate costly, restrictive  
          interventions including entering into the juvenile justice  
          system. The fragmentation of our education and mental health  
          systems only makes the situation worse.  The school setting  
          presents an important opportunity to identify and respond to the  
          comprehensive needs of youth, reducing barriers to access as  
          well as the stigma that is often associated with seeking help.   
          Working in partnership with mental health providers, the school  
          community can be empowered with the skills and resources to  
          promote the wellbeing and achievement of all students."
           
          Mental health services in schools. According to the CDE, mental  
          health services in schools include a broad range of services,  
          settings, and strategies. Psychological and mental health  
          services in schools apply learning theory for individuals and  
          groups to improve instruction and coordinate and evaluate plans  
          to meet unique individual needs for learning or behavior  
          problems. School psychologists also use research to design  
          prevention and intervention programs, and provide crisis  
          intervention, suicide prevention, and other mental health  
          strategies as part of a student support services team. Mental  
          health services that are provided in schools may include  
          academic counseling, brief interventions to address behavior  
          problems, and assessments or referrals to other systems.  
          However, most of the mental health services provided by schools  
          are within the context of special education and meeting the  
          requirements specified in a student's individualized education  
          program.  Other efforts include the following:










                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  8





          1)Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup.  In 2012, the  
            Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) and MHSA convened a  
            Student Mental Health Policy Workgroup to develop policy  
            recommendations that promote early identification, referral,  
            coordination, and access to quality mental health services for  
            students. The Workgroup is comprised of teachers, school  
            counselors, school social workers, school psychologists,  
            school nurses, and school administrators, as well as state and  
            county mental health professionals.  This year the Workgroup  
            issued a recommendation calling for increased training of  
            school personnel in order to promote the earlier  
            identification and intervention to meet the needs of  
            California's students.


          2)Regional K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative.  Since 2011,  
            the MHSA has funded a Student Mental Health Initiative through  
            the California County Superintendents Educational Services  
            Association.  This project is designed to build capacity and  
            cross-system collaboration to develop and sustain school-based  
            mental health programs addressing prevention and early  
            identification strategies.


            This project has used a train-the-trainer model to provide  
            educators with tools for the early identification and  
            prevention of mental health problems.  Two thousand trainings  
            have been conducted, with over 140,000 participants.  The  
            estimated total reach of this project is two million students,  
            or one third of the state's school enrollment.  The major  
            program topics were school climate and culture, bullying  
            prevention, mental health and wellness, and youth development.  
            Participants included school staff, students, parents, mental  
            health staff and providers, community organizations, and law  
            enforcement.  According to evaluation responses, these  
            trainings have significantly increased educators' awareness of  
            mental health issues and knowledge of referral processes.  
            Since 2014 this project has decreased significantly in size as  
            a result of lower levels of funding.








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  9










          What does this bill do?  This bill, to the extent funds are  
          provided in the Budget Act, establishes a pilot program to  
          encourage practices that integrate mental health, special  
          education, and school climate interventions using a multitiered  
          framework.  The bill requires the CDE to select three schools  
          enrolling at least 60% of students eligible for free and  
          reduced-price meals in five school districts - that have not  
          been selected for participation in a federal pilot project - for  
          participation in the pilot. Applications submitted by schools  
          must detail how it will target the behavioral, emotional, and  
          academic needs of pupils with multitiered and integrated mental  
          health, special education, and school climate interventions.   
          The bill requires a school's plan to include the following:


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


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


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


             4)   A coordination of services team that considers referrals  
               for services, oversees schoolwide efforts, and utilizes  








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  10





               data-informed processes to identify struggling pupils who  
               require early interventions.


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


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


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


             8)   Specific strategies and practices that ensure parent  
               engagement with the school, and provide parents with access  
               to resources that support their children's educational  
               success


          Multitiered interventions.  This bill requires the pilot to use  
          a multitiered approach.  Over the last several years, schools  
          have adopted less punitive disciplinary policies and implemented  
          school-wide intervention-type proposals in an attempt to keep  
          students in school.  For example, schools throughout the state  
          have implemented the Schoolwide Positive Behavior Intervention  
          and Support program (SW-PBIS).  SW-PBIS has roots in the  








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  11





          Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1997, used to identify  
          specific learning disabilities.  The US Department of Education  
          encourages SW-PBIS strategies and has an Internet Web site with  
          resources to provide technical assistance to school districts.   
          SW-PBIS is a form of multitiered system of support (MTSS).  As  
          indicative in the name, the strategies are based on a tiered  
          system. At the first tier, belief systems and practices are  
          implemented schoolwide.  Students at risk of developing  
          emotional or behavioral problems requiring a higher level of  
          intervention may be referred to more focused attention, such as  
          those in small group settings, in tier 2.  At the highest level  
          of intervention, tier 3, students may receive individualized  
          attention, such as referral to counseling.        


          Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) "Now is the  
          Time" pilot projects.  Following the school shooting at Sandy  
          Hook Elementary in Connecticut in December 2012 where 26  
          students and school staff were killed by a former student with  
          mental health issues, President Obama established a grant  
          program to increase students' access to mental health  
          treatments.  California received $9.7 million from the "Now is  
          the Time Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education"  
          grant last fall.  According to the CDE, the grant has two  
          components.  Three LEAs, Garden Grove Unified School District,  
          Santa Rosa City Schools, and the San Diego County Office of  
          Education, were selected to participate in the first component  
          of the grant.  The LEAs will establish a process for referring  
          and connecting children to mental health services.  If  
          successful, the models developed by these LEAs can be shared  
          statewide.  The second component utilizes a training program  
          called Youth Mental Health First Aid.  The training teaches  
          school staff how to help youth experiencing mental health or  
          addictions challenges or are in crisis.  


          This bill directs the CDE to develop and implement the federal  
          "Now is the Time" grant in accordance with the provisions in  
          this bill.  According to the CDE, the use of the federal grant  








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  12





          funds is heavily directed by SAMHSA for mental health services  
          referrals and training.  While the purposes in the federal grant  
          appear to be consistent with the pilot established by this bill,  
          this bill goes beyond the parameters of the federal grant.   
          Additionally, implementation of the federal grant has already  
          begun, while this bill will not take effect until January 1,  
          2016, if enacted.  Staff recommends striking this requirement.  


          MHSA.  Proposition 63 was passed by voters in November 2004.   
          The MHSA imposes a 1% income tax on personal income in excess of  
          $1 million and provides funding for programs to address mental  
          health needs, including Prevention and Early Intervention.  The  
          MHSA established the Mental Health Services Oversight and  
          Accountability Commission, comprised of 15 members, including  
          the SPI and a school district superintendent, to oversee the  
          implementation of the MHSA.  This bill requires the Commission  
          to revise its guidelines and regulations to require Proposition  
          63 funds for prevention and early intervention programs to be  
          designed to support the implementation or expansion of model  
          programs in accordance with the criteria established by this  
          bill.  The Committee may wish to consider whether it is  
          appropriate for this bill to require the Commission to change  
          its already-established guidelines and funding parameters.    


          Sunset.  The bill requires the CDE to submit a report to the  
          Legislature at the end of the three-year period.  However, the  
          bill does not specify the term of the pilot.  Staff recommends  
          an amendment specifying the term of the project at three years  
          and adding a sunset date of January 1, 2020.    


          New categorical program.  This bill establishes a new  
          categorical program.  With the establishment of the Local  
          Control Funding Formula (LCFF), nearly all categorical programs  
          were eliminated and the funds previously dedicated for the  
          programs were incorporated into the LCFF.  The Committee may  
          wish to consider whether the strategies proposed by this bill  








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  13





          can be incorporated in a school district's Local Control and  
          Accountability Plan (LCAP).  LCFF can be used for any purpose in  
          accordance with the LCAP, which is developed locally to meet the  
          needs of each district.  


          Related legislation.  AB 580 (O'Donnell), also scheduled for the  
          April 29th, 2015 hearing, requires each school to provide annual  
          training to teachers and classified staff on the early  
          identification of student mental health problems, including  
          protocols for referrals.  


          AB 1133 (Achadjian), pending in the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, establishes a four-year pilot program, the  
          School-Based Early Mental Health Intervention and Prevention  
          Services Support Program, to provide outreach, free regional  
          training, and technical assistance for local educational  
          agencies in providing mental health services at schoolsites.


          Prior related legislation.  SB 596 (Yee), introduced in 2013,  
          passed the Senate on a 34-0 vote.  The bill was held in the  
          Assembly.  


          AB 1178 (Bocanegra), held in the Assembly Appropriations  
                                                          Committee suspense file in 2014, would have established the  
          California Promise Neighborhood Initiative to provide funding to  
          schools that have formalized partnerships with local agencies  
          and community organizations to provide a network of services to  
          improve the health, safety, education, and economic development  
          of a defined area.  


          AB 1367 (Mansoor), introduced in 2013, among other things, would  
          have expanded existing outreach about recognition of early signs  
          of potentially severe and disabling mental illness to include  
          school districts and county offices of education and charter  








                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  14





          schools, including funding to provide training to identify  
          students with mental health issues that may result in a threat  
          to themselves or others in order to provide for timely  
          intervention.



          SB 561 (Fuller), introduced in 2013, would have required a  
          student who has been expelled to undergo a mental health  
          evaluation conducted by a licensed clinical psychologist prior  
          to enrolling in a county community school, community day school  
          or juvenile court school.  
          AB 174 (Bonta), vetoed by the Governor in 2013, would have  
          required the Department of Public Health to establish a pilot  
          program in Alameda County, to the extent that funding is made  
          available, to provide grants to eligible applicants for  
          activities and services that directly address the mental health  
          and related needs of students impacted by trauma. 


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies (sponsor)


          Alliance for Boys and Men of Color - Health Work Group


          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees


          California Alliance of Child and Family Services









                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  15






          California Pan-Ethnic Health Network


          California Psychological Association


          California State PTA


          Mental Health America of California


          National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter


          Pacific Clinics


          Steinberg Institute




          Opposition


          California Right to Life Committee, Inc.




          Analysis Prepared by:Sophia Kwong Kim / ED. / (916) 319-2087














                                                                    AB 1025


                                                                    Page  16