BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
                              Senator Carol Liu, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:             AB 1025             
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          |Author:    |Thurmond                                             |
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          |Version:   |June 2, 2015                                Hearing  |
          |           |Date:         July 8, 2015                           |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:       |Yes           |
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          |Consultant:|Lynn Lorber                                          |
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          Subject:  Pupil health:  multitiered and integrated  
          interventions pilot program

          NOTE:   This bill has been referred to the Committee on  
          Education and the Committee on Health.  A "do pass" motion  
          should include referral to the Committee on Health.

            SUMMARY
          
          This bill requires the California Department of Education to  
          establish a three-year pilot program in school districts to  
          encourage inclusive practices that integrate mental health,  
          special education, and school climate interventions following a  
          multi-tiered framework.

            BACKGROUND
          
          The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act provides  
          that students with exceptional needs identified as having  
          "emotional disturbance" may be eligible to receive mental health  
          services.  Mental health services are considered "related  
          services" and include counseling, psychological services, parent  
          counseling and training, and residential placement, among  
          others.  (United States Code, Title 20,  1400, et seq. and Code  
          of Federation Regulations, Title 34,  300.34)  

          AB 114 (Committee on Budget, Chapter 43, Statutes of 2011)  
          shifted responsibility for mental health services for students  
          from counties to local educational agencies (LEAs).  Any and all  
          services identified in a student's individualized education  







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          program (IEP) must be provided, whether directly by LEA  
          employees or through contract with outside providers such as  
          county mental health agencies.  LEAs are required to ensure  
          services are provided to students regardless of who provides or  
          pays for those services.  (Education Code  56139)

          AB 104 (Committee on Budget, Ch. 13, 2015) among other things,  
          appropriates $10 million to the Superintendent of Public  
          Instruction to provide technical assistance and develop  
          statewide resources to assist local educational agencies to  
          establish and align systems of learning and behavioral supports.  
           

          Multi-tiered interventions

          Many schools voluntarily follow models of tiered interventions  
          to address student needs prior to imposing discipline or making  
          referrals to special education.  Models include Schoolwide  
          Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, Response to  
          Intervention and Positive Environments, Network of Trainers.   
          Typically, the base tier is a schoolwide approach involving  
          instruction, school climate, etc.  The middle tier is targeted  
          to students who did not respond to the schoolwide efforts and  
          involved more intense interventions such as tutoring.  The top  
          tier focuses on a smaller group of students who continue to need  
          support and may include very intense and frequent services such  
          as counseling.

          The Student Success Team, formerly Student Study Team, is a  
          positive schoolwide early identification and intervention  
          process.  Working as a team, the student, parent, teacher and  
          school administrator identify the student's strengths and assets  
          upon which an improvement plan can be designed.  As a regular  
          school process, the team intervenes with school and community  
          support and an improvement plan that all team members agree to  
          follow.  Follow-up meetings are planned to provide a continuous  
          casework management strategy to ensure the needs of students are  
          met.

          Positive behavior interventions and supports
          
          Existing law:

       1)Encourages schools, as comprehensive school safety plans are  








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            reviewed and updated, to include in school safety plans clear  
            guidelines for the roles and responsibilities of mental health  
            professionals, community intervention professionals, school  
            counselors, school resource officers, and police officers on  
            school campus, if the school district uses these people.  The  
            guidelines may include primary strategies to create and  
            maintain a positive school climate, promote school safety, and  
            increase pupil achievement, and prioritize mental health and  
            intervention services, restorative and transformative justice  
            programs, and positive behavior interventions and support.   
            (Education Code  32282.1)

       2)Provides that corrective action other than out-of-school  
            suspension includes study teams, guidance teams, resource  
            panel teams, or other intervention-related teams that assess  
            the behavior, and develop and implement individualized plans  
            to address the behavior in partnership with the pupil and his  
            or her parents.  
            (EC  48900.5)

       3)Requires that the individualized education team for each student  
            with exceptional needs consider the use of positive behavioral  
            interventions and supports for students whose behavior impedes  
            his or her learning.  (EC  56341.1)

            ANALYSIS
          
          This bill requires the California Department of Education (CDE)  
          to establish a three-year pilot program in school districts to  
          encourage inclusive practices that integrate mental health,  
          special education, and school climate interventions following a  
          multi-tiered framework.  Specifically, this bill:

       1)Requires the CDE to establish a three-year pilot program in three  
            schools in each of five school districts that submit  
            applications providing estimates for the amount of funding  
            being requested for startup and evaluation of the program and  
            specifying their intended models.

       2)Requires the CDE to establish the pilot program as part of the  
            plan to provide technical assistance and disseminate statewide  
            resources that encourage and assist local educational agencies  
            in establishing and aligning schoolwide, data-driven systems  
            of learning and behavioral supports.








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       3)Prohibits the selection of participating schools from including  
            those that received a federal Substance Abuse and Mental  
            Health Services Administration's "Now is The Time" grant.

       4)Requires the California Department of Education (CDE) to select  
            schools that meet both of the following criteria:

               a)        At least 60% of the student body is eligible for  
               free and reduced-price meals.

               b)        The application details a model approach that  
               targets the behavioral, emotional, and academic needs of  
               students with multi-tiered and integrated mental health,  
               special education, and school climate interventions.  

       5)Requires an applicant school's model to 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 multi-tiered system of  
               support.

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

               c)        An initial school climate assessment that  
               includes information from multiple stakeholders, including  
               school staff, students, 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  
               uses data-informed processes to identify struggling  
               students who require early interventions.

               e)        Whole school strategies that address school  
               climate and universal student 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  








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

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

               g)        Intensive services, such as wraparound,  
               behavioral intervention, or one-on-one support, that can  
               reduce the need for a student'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.

       6)Requires the California Department of Education (CDE), in  
            accordance with an appropriation in the Budget Act or another  
            statute, to provide startup and evaluation funds to each  
            participating school in the following amounts:

            a)   $250,000 in year one.

            b)   $200,000 in year two.

            c)   $150,000 in year three.

       7)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.

       8)Requires outcomes and indicators to be reported by participating  
            schools to include those already being collected by schools,  
            as well as designated measures of student well-being, academic  
            achievement, and school engagement and attendance.  

       9)Requires the CDE to submit a report to the Legislature at the end  








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            of the three-year period evaluating the success of the program  
            and making further recommendations.  This bill requires the  
            CDE to make the report available to the public and to post it  
            on CDE's website.

       10)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 to require the prevention and early  
            intervention programs in K-12 schools to be designed to  
            support the implementation or expansion of model programs in  
            accordance with the criteria set forth in this bill.

       11)Sunsets the provisions of this bill on January 1, 2020.  

          STAFF COMMENTS
          
       1)Need for the bill.  According to the author, "Too often, students  
            in disadvantaged communities face relational and environmental  
            stressors that when left unaddressed, hinder their ability to  
            achieve their full potential.  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."

       2)Author's amendments.  The author wishes to amend this bill as  
            follows:

          a)   Requires the designated county office of education  
               (pursuant to recently enacted Budget language, contained in  
               AB 104; see Comment #3) to establish the pilot program,  
               rather than requiring the California Department of  
               Education (CDE) to establish the pilot program.

          b)   Reduce the number of pilot programs, from three to two,  
               schools in each of the five school districts that apply to  
               participate.  








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          c)   Delete the criteria that applicant schools have a student  
               body where at least 60% of students are eligible for free  
               and reduced-price meals.

          d)   Requires applications to provide evidence of a plan to  
               serve students using a combination of school funds and  
               mental health funds.

          e)   Modifies the required components of an applicant school's  
               model approach to:

            i)     Delete reference to formalized collaboration with local  
                 mental health agencies.

            ii)    Add reference to partnerships with the county and  
                 demonstrations of access to adequate funding to serve  
                 Medi-Cal eligible students who are not receiving special  
                 education or related services.

          f)   Delete the requirement that 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.
          
       3)Consistent with the Budget?  AB 104 (Committee on Budget, Ch. 13,  
            2015) among other things, appropriates $10 million to the  
            Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to provide  
            technical assistance and develop statewide resources to assist  
            local educational agencies to establish and align systems of  
            learning and behavioral supports.  AB 104 requires the SPI to  
            designate a county office of education to:

          a)   Identify existing, and develop new, resources and  
               professional development activities relative to  
               multi-tiered, evidence-based, data-driven systems of  
               support in academics and behavior.

          b)   Collect and disseminate best practices.

          c)   Develop train-the-trainer models and online training  
               modules.









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          d)   Offer regional conferences and workshops.

          e)   Provide technical assistance.

          f)   Develop a network of educators to provide coaching and  
               training.

          g)   Provide stipends for school personnel to attend training.

          h)   Develop evaluation tools to measure the effectiveness of  
               strategies.

          i)   Provide competitive startup grants.

          j)   Provide demonstration grants.

            The language in AB 104 appears to largely reflect  
            recommendations of the Special Education Task Force and  
            components of SB 463 (Hancock, 2015) and this bill.  

            The author believes this bill is consistent with AB 104 and  
            provides additional specificity for the use of the $10 million  
            appropriated in the Budget, via AB 104.  The Special Education  
            Local Plan Area (SELPA) Administrators, who are opposed to  
            this bill, believe the language in AB 104 is based upon the  
            recommendations of the Special Education Task Force and that  
            this bill is inconsistent with AB 104.  Opponents note the  
            language in AB 104 and the Task Force recommendations have a  
            statewide impact and are broader in scope than the pilot  
            program proposed by this bill (covers many types of  
            multi-tiered systems, in addition to positive behavioral  
            interventions and supports).  The author believes that this  
            bill supports AB 104 and the Task Force's recommendations, and  
            maintains that initially focusing on pilot programs and  
            evaluating their success is the most effective way to  
            demonstrate how to best blend mental health and education  
            systems, as well as to provide best practices for scaling  
            statewide.

            As proposed to be amended, this bill establishes pilot  
            programs in a total of 10 schools.  This bill establishes  
            grant amounts that total $600,000 per school over a three-year  
            period.  This bill proposes to utilize $6 million of the $10  
            million that was allocated in the Budget pursuant to AB 104.








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            This Committee was not involved in the development of the  
            language and associated appropriation in AB 104, and therefore  
            does not have sufficient information to understand whether the  
            intent of the language in AB 104 is to adhere to a statewide  
            approach or whether there were intentions to follow-up with  
            legislation providing additional specificity for the program.

       4)Regulations.  This bill requires the Mental Health Services  
            Oversight and Accountability Commission (established by the  
            Mental Health Services Act, Proposition 63) to revise its  
            guidelines and regulations for Prevention and Early  
            Intervention Programs of the Mental Health Services Act to  
            require the prevention and early intervention programs in K-12  
            schools to be designed to support the implementation or  
            expansion of model programs in accordance with the criteria  
            set forth in this bill.  This would result in a change in  
            funding structures that would enable local educational  
            agencies to receive funding for the Early and Periodic  
            Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment services (see AB 1018,  
            Cooper, 2015).

       5)Which school districts are eligible?  This bill establishes  
            criteria that must be met by an applicant school district,  
            such as having a partnership with local mental health  
            agencies, and requires the establishment of a three-year pilot  
            program in three schools in each of five school districts that  
            submit applications.  It is not clear how many school  
            districts will meet all the criteria for eligibility for  
            funding; there are at 
            least two existing pilot projects (Bay Area and San  
            Bernardino) that appear to currently meet the requirements  
            established by this bill.
            
       6)Existing resources.  The California Department of Education's  
            (CDE) website includes an implementation and technical  
            assistance guide for response to intervention, and information  
            on multi-tiered systems of support.   
             http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/pn/im/documents/memo-ilsb-plsd-oct13it 
            em02.doc   The Positive Environments, Network of Trainers is a  
            positive behavior initiative that disseminates through its  
            website information and resources regarding the use of  
            proactive positive strategies.   http://www.pent.ca.gov/  .  









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       7)Fiscal impact.  As proposed to be amended, this bill establishes  
            pilot programs in a total of 10 schools, and grant amounts  
            that total $600,000 per school over a three-year period.  This  
            bill proposes to utilize $6 million of the $10 million that  
            was allocated pursuant to AB 104.  (Committee on Budget, Ch.  
            13, 2015)

       According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, this bill, as  
            is currently in print, would impose unknown General Fund  
            administrative costs to CDE, likely in excess of $400,000.   
            Administrative workload associated with this new program  
            include application development, administering grant awards,  
            coordinating with the Department of Health Care Services to  
            develop a comprehensive evaluation plan to assess the benefits  
            of the program, disseminating best practices, data collection  
            and reporting requirements. 

       8)Related and prior legislation.

       RELATED LEGISLATION

       SB 463 (Hancock, 2015) requires the CDE, to the extent that funding  
            is available in the Budget Act of 2015, to designate a county  
            office of education to be the fiduciary agent for the Safe and  
            Supportive Schools Train the Trainer Program.  SB 463 is  
            pending in the Assembly Education Committee.

       AB 1133 (Achadjian, 2015) requires the State Public Health Officer  
            to establish a four-year pilot program to, among other things,  
            provide free regional training and technical assistance in  
            support services that include intervention and prevention  
            services, use of trained staff to meet with students on a  
            short-term weekly basis in a one-on-one setting, the potential  
            for support services to help fulfill state priorities  
            described by the local control funding formula and local goals  
            described by local control and accountability plans, and state  
            resources available to support student mental health and  
            positive learning environments.  AB 1133 was held in the  
            Assembly Appropriations Committee.

            AB 580 (O'Donnell, 2015) requires the CDE to develop model  
            referral protocols for voluntary use by schools to address the  
            appropriate and timely referral by school staff of students  
            with mental health concerns.  AB 580 is pending in the Senate  








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            Appropriations Committee.

            AB 1018 (Cooper, 2015) requires the CDE and the Department of  
            Health Care Services to convene a task force to examine the  
            delivery of mental health services through the Early and  
            Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment services.  AB  
            1018 is pending in the Senate Health Committee.

            SB 527 (Liu, 2015) establishes the Safe Neighborhoods and  
            Schools Fund Grant Program, using Proposition 47 funds to  
            reward school districts that have demonstrated a commitment  
            to, and developed a comprehensive plan for, utilizing  
            research-based strategies to increase attendance rates, to  
            reduce school removals of all types and referrals to police,  
            to address trauma, mental health needs and other social and  
            emotional factors that impact pupil outcomes, to address and  
                                                                                     to remedy school push-out and dropout rates, coordinate pupil  
            support programs with community and other public agencies at  
            schoolsites and across the school district, and create a  
            strong and supportive school culture that identifies and  
            addresses the needs of pupils, including victims of crime,  
            abuse, and neglect.  SB 527 is scheduled to be heard by this  
            Committee on July 15.

            PRIOR LEGISLATION

            SB 1396 (Hancock, 2014) required the California Department of  
            Education (CDE), to the extent one-time funding is available  
            in the 2014-15 Budget Act, to designate funds to a county  
            office of education to establish professional development  
            activities to support the development and expansion of  
            multi-tiered intervention and support programs, including but  
            not limited to, schoolwide positive behavior intervention and  
            support.  SB 1396 was held on the Assembly Appropriations  
            Committee's suspense file.

            SB 596 (Yee, 2014) required the CDE to establish a three-year  
            pilot program to encourage inclusive practices that integrate  
            mental health, special education, and school climate  
            interventions following a multi-tiered framework.  SB 596 was  
            held in the Assembly.

            SUPPORT
          








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          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
          Association of California School Administrators
          Association of Regional Center Agencies
          California Alliance of Child and Family Services
          California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies
          California State PTA
          Children Now
          Common Sense Kids Action
          Disability Rights California
          Mental Health America of California
          National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter

            OPPOSITION
           
           California Right to Life Committee
          Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Administrators of  
          California

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