Today's Law As Amended

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AB-875 Pupil support services: COVID-19 Support Services and Resiliency for Children Program.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California is facing an unprecedented economic and public health crisis as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
(b) Public health officials and scientists agree that children and families living in poverty, as well as communities of color, experience disproportionate barriers to health during times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic or wildfires. These communities are currently experiencing greater hardships and higher death rates due to many historic inequities, lack of accessible health care, poverty, and comorbidities.
(c) The pandemic requires an immediate response that will direct children and families to a multitude of services, including health and mental health services, educational supports, social services, and trauma-informed care with an increased urgency. Children and families need a system in place that can help guide them through the ever-changing and complex systems of services that they need now more than ever to meet their basic needs.
(d) The COVID-19 pandemic has also seen schools and community organizations become overwhelmed with decisionmaking fatigue. Their unique positions within communities mean they are well positioned to deploy community workers to coordinate services effectively and efficiently to mitigate learning loss. However, as resources continue to be depleted and logistical planning becomes more difficult, this will result in greater uncertainty of how communities will be impacted in the long term.
(e) For too long, childhood trauma and toxic stress, along with the accompanying long-term negative impacts on academic achievement and health, have frequently been identified by already burdened teachers and administrators as significant barriers to children’s educational success. Before the pandemic, one in three children had at least one adverse childhood experience. Now, this number will only grow. This unforeseen crisis has the potential to overwhelm our education system and educators. Families, pupils, and teachers need information and increased access to trauma-informed mental health services, whether in person or virtually via telehealth.
(f) California’s education system has seen substantial policy shifts over the past decade with major implications and opportunities for the state’s 6,200,000 pupils. COVID-19 forced the state’s education system to undergo perhaps its greatest statewide transformation by converting to a distance learning environment virtually overnight and for the remainder of the 2019–20 school year.
(g) The challenges facing families and children at the state and local levels in accessing supports across child-serving sectors, and the consequences of failure, are intergenerational and may irreparably worsen as the state responds to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
(h) Coordinated services at the local level, when funded and evaluated by the state previously, showed that the physical, mental, and emotional health of pupils and their families improved and pupils’ academic success improved greatly.
(i) The current COVID-19 crisis requires an immediate response that will guide families to school, community, and state resources that will remain in place long after the peak of the crisis is reached. It is imperative that the state invest in a data-driven approach to ensure that not only is the state investing in what we know works best for communities, but that the state is also including trauma-informed care and innovative ways to leverage federal, state, and local funding to support a whole-child and whole-community approach.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 8780) is added to Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, to read:

CHAPTER  4.5. COVID-19 Support Services and Resiliency for Children Act
Article  1. General Provisions
 This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the COVID-19 Support Services and Resiliency for Children Act.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Children’s Coordinated Services Emergency Response Team” or “team” means the team established pursuant to Section 8785.
(b) “Community center” means a place, structure, or facility under the jurisdiction of the governing body of a federal, state, or local agency used for community services.
(c) “Consortium” means two or more local educational agencies, or one or more local educational agencies and one or more cooperating agencies.
(d) “Cooperating agency” means a federal, state, or local agency or public or private nonprofit entity that agrees to offer support services at a schoolsite, an agreed-upon community center, or virtually through a program implemented under this chapter.
(e) “COVID-19 Support Services and Resiliency for Children Program” or “program” means the program established by this chapter.
(f) “Lead agency” means the department.
(g) “Local educational agency” means a school district or county office of education.
(h) “Private partner” means a private business or foundation that provides financial assistance or otherwise assists a support services program operating under this chapter.
(i) “Qualifying entity” means an entity that is any of the following:
(1) A local educational agency in which 50 percent or more of the enrolled pupils are unduplicated pupils.
(2) A local educational agency that has higher than average dropout rates.
(3) A local educational agency that has higher than average rates of child homelessness, foster youth, or justice-involved youth.
(4) A school that is not within a local educational agency that satisfies the criteria in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) and that demonstrates other factors that warrant the school’s consideration, including, but not limited to, fulfilling an exceptional need or providing service to a particular target population. No more than 10 percent of the schools that participate in the program shall be schools that qualify under this paragraph.
(5) A local educational agency or consortium on behalf of one or more schools that are qualifying entities within the local educational agency or consortium.
(j) (1) “Support services” means services that will enhance local responses to COVID-19 to ensure the physical, behavioral, mental, social, emotional, and intellectual development of children and their families is preserved during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
(2) “Support services” includes case-managed health, mental health, social, and academic support services benefiting children and their families, and may include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Health care, including all of the following:
(i) COVID-19 testing and related care.
(ii) Immunizations.
(iii) Vision and hearing testing and services.
(iv) Dental services.
(v) Physical examinations and diagnostic and referral services.
(vi) Prenatal care.
(B) Telehealth-provided mental health services, including all of the following:
(i) Primary prevention.
(ii) Crisis intervention.
(iii) Assessments and referrals.
(C) Trauma-informed mental health care, adapted to COVID-19 response delivery, such as via telehealth, including substance abuse prevention, early intervention, and treatment services, including all of the following:
(i) Training for teachers and school personnel in the detection of mental health problems, the impact of adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care and education, and building resiliency and helping pupils and families heal.
(ii) Outreach, risk assessment, and education for pupils and families.
(iii) Youth-focused substance use disorder prevention and treatment programs that are culturally and gender competent, trauma informed, and evidence based.
(D) Family support and parenting education, including child abuse prevention and parenting programs, such as home visits or, when in-person home visits are not possible, virtually conducted home visits.
(E) Academic support services, including tutoring, mentoring, employment, and community service internships, and inservice training for teachers and administrators.
(F) Counseling, including family counseling and suicide prevention.
(G) Services and counseling for children who experience violence, toxic stress, or adverse childhood experiences in their communities.
(H) Nutrition services to reduce increased food insecurity due to COVID-19.
(I) Youth development services, including tutoring, mentoring, career development, and job placement.
(J) Case management services.
(K) Provision of onsite or virtual Medi-Cal eligibility workers, as allowed via telehealth pursuant to Section 1135 of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1320b-5).
(L) Assisted enrollment into affordable public or private broadband, to the extent that it is available, and deployment of free or low-cost in-home computing devices.
(k) (1) “Technical assistance” means a structure to deliver training and technical assistance to grantees using regional collaboratives and state, regional, and local technical assistance providers that have expertise in pupil and family engagement, school-community collaboration of service delivery and financing, the coordination and integration of support services, and multi-indicator data collection and evaluation.
(2) “Technical assistance” includes, but is not limited to, establishing interagency collaboration, providing information dissemination and referrals, including information about appropriate program models, conducting site visits, ensuring grantees are able to learn from each other, and convening workshops to assist in the implementation of a program developed pursuant to this chapter.
(l) “Unduplicated pupil” has the same meaning as defined in Section 42238.02.
Article  2. COVID-19 Support Services and Resiliency for Children Program
 In order to encourage the integration of children’s services at the local level and promote community resiliency, it is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to promote interagency coordination and collaboration among local agencies, local educational agencies, and community partners that are responsible for providing support services to children and their families. Therefore, upon funds being made available for this purpose as provided in Section 8795, the lead agency and the State Department of Health Care Services shall establish the Children’s Coordinated Services Emergency Response Team, as follows:
(a) The membership of the team shall include all of the following:
(1) The Superintendent, or the Superintendent’s designee.
(2) The Director of Health Care Services, or the designee of the Director of Health Care Services.
(3) The Director of Social Services, or the designee of the Director of Social Services.
(4) The chairperson of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, or the chairperson’s designee.
(5) The Surgeon General, or the Surgeon General’s designee.
(6) A representative of a community-based organization with expertise in coordinated and integrated services and supports.
(b) Duties of the council shall include all of the following:
(1) Developing, promoting, and implementing policy supporting the COVID-19 Support Services and Resiliency for Children Program.
(2) Assisting the lead agency in reviewing grant applications submitted to the lead agency and providing the lead agency with recommendations for awarding grants pursuant to Section 8786.
(3) Soliciting input regarding program policy and direction from individuals and entities with experience in the integration of children’s services.
(4) Assisting the lead agency in fulfilling its responsibilities under this chapter.
(5) Providing recommendations to the Governor, the Legislature in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, and the lead agency regarding the COVID-19 Support Services and Resiliency for Children Program.
(6) At the request of the Superintendent, assisting a qualifying entity in planning and coordinating its COVID-19 response, including assisting with local technical assistance and developing local agency collaboration.
 The Superintendent shall award grants to qualifying entities to pay the costs of planning and operating programs that provide support services to pupils and their families at or near the school at which the pupil is enrolled, as follows:
(a) Grants shall be awarded by the Superintendent based upon the recommendations of the team.
(b) The Superintendent shall issue requests for applications for awarding the grants as soon as reasonably possible after receiving funding as described in Section 8795. The requests for applications shall specify maximum dollar amounts for which each type of grant may be awarded. The Superintendent shall award the grants as follows:
(1) Grants may be awarded to qualifying entities that have demonstrated need and readiness to begin operation of a COVID-19 coordinated response program or to expand existing support services programs. Grants shall supplement, not supplant, existing services and funds.
(2) Grants shall be awarded for no more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) each. Priority for these funds shall be given to supports and services that help mitigate learning loss such as technological equipment for distance learning or services that help mitigate the mental health consequences associated with school closures and learning loss.
(c) All grants awarded under this chapter shall be matched by the participating qualifying entity or its cooperating agencies with one dollar ($1) for each two dollars ($2) awarded. The match shall be contributed in cash or as services or resources of comparable value. It is the intent of the Legislature that participants seek and use private funds or resources for this purpose. The Superintendent may waive the match requirement.
(d) The Superintendent shall award grants to qualifying entities in northern, central, and southern California, and in urban, suburban, and rural areas. To the extent possible, the grants shall be awarded for programs disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, to the extent possible, 80 percent of the grants shall be awarded to schools serving kindergarten and grades 1 to 6, inclusive, and 20 percent to schools serving grades 7 to 12, inclusive.
(e) A qualifying entity is eligible for a grant under this chapter if it demonstrates in its program plan that it satisfies all of the following:
(1) Will give priority for services provided under this chapter to pupils and nonpupil siblings under five years of age, from low-income families, and that have an urgent need of services due to the impact of the COVID-19 Crisis.
(2) Has established the local agency collaboration process described in Section 8790, including a mechanism for sharing governance with cooperating agencies and entities, and for integrating or redirecting existing resources and other school support services.
(3) Has submitted or is submitting an application to the State Department of Health Care Service for certification as a Medi-Cal provider pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(4) Has used or is seeking to use a waiver or flexibility related to COVID-19 under Section 1135 of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1320b-5) to receive maximum reimbursements for COVID-19-related health expenditures. This paragraph is contingent on the continuance of the waiver or flexibility by the federal government.
(5) Involves parents or guardians and teachers in the process of identifying the service needs of pupils and nonpupil siblings under five years of age and in the planning for and provision of support services.
(6) Involves representatives from the local public health department and the Medi-Cal managed care plan in the county.
(f) A qualifying entity shall contract with other entities, including county agencies, family resource centers, and private nonprofit community-based organizations or private partners, to provide comprehensive, local-level COVID-19 response services to pupils and their families.
(g) A qualifying entity seeking a grant under this chapter shall submit an application to the Superintendent at a time and in a manner, and with any appropriate information, as the Superintendent may reasonably require. Each grant application submitted shall include all of the following:
(1) A description and documentation of how the participating community has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and is in need of the COVID-19 Support Services and Resiliency for Children Program.
(2) A description of the proposed programs, including four or more support services expected to be provided at the schoolsite at a site near, or adjacent to, the school, virtually or through a community-based organization.
(3) A description of the existing resources to be used or redirected, the priorities for development of the program, and the agencies responsible for the implementation of the program. The program plan shall include both of the following:
(A) Provisions for data collection and recordkeeping, including records of the population served, the components of the service, the results of the service, and costs, including all of the following:
(i) Direct costs.
(ii) Indirect costs.
(iii) Costs to other agencies.
(iv) Cost savings.
(B) A system for providing case management services, including procedures for implementation, identification of the target population, anticipated outcomes, and a list of existing services, resources, and programs that will be used as components of the program.
(4) In the case of a consortium, a list of its members.
(5) The grant application shall also document any procedures that have been, or will be, taken to designate the qualifying entity as a Medi-Cal provider pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(6) A description of the proposed plan for family involvement in the program.
(7) A description of the population anticipated to be served.
(8) A plan describing how service coordination and delivery will comply with social distancing guidelines and, to the extent possible, will emphasize virtual settings for that compliance.
(9) A plan describing how the proposed program will be implemented after the grant funding expires or how the program will inform planning for future public health, natural disaster, or wildfire events.
(h) Grants awarded pursuant to this chapter may be used for salaries of staff responsible for developing or implementing the program plan and administrative support staff, equipment and supplies, training, and insurance.
(i) (1) No more than 10 percent of the funding made available for purposes of this chapter as described in Section 8795 may be used by the Superintendent for state-level administration of this chapter, including evaluation and technical assistance.
(2) Of the amount made available for purposes of this chapter as described in Section 8795 for state-level administration, up to 75 percent may be used for the purpose of outreach and technical assistance to local educational agencies. The remainder shall be used for state-level program administration.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that additional local planning and coordinating efforts are necessary among local educational agencies, county governments, community organizations, and nonprofit organizations for all of the following reasons:
(1) To avoid the duplication of efforts among agencies that administer the grants pursuant to this chapter.
(2) To develop linkages between several local educational agencies, individual county agencies, statewide organizations, or nonprofit organizations.
(3) To disseminate training and technical assistance materials developed by the lead agency and other involved organizations.
(4) To plan for, and ensure, the continued ability of qualifying entities to provide support services with a grant pursuant to this chapter, including planning and supporting the funding of those services beyond the grant period through means such as Medi-Cal, the Mental Health Services Act, an initiative measure enacted by voter approval of Proposition 63 at the November 2, 2004, statewide general election, and the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, an initiative measure enacted by voter approval of Proposition 64 at the November 8, 2016, statewide general election, to the extent allowable.
(5) To plan for, and ensure, the expansion of support services provided with a grant through creative refinancing options and the provision of comprehensive, integrated school-linked services to sites that do not receive a grant.
(b) In awarding grants under this chapter, the lead agency shall give priority to qualifying entities that possess one or more of the following:
(1) An established capacity for leadership in the community and an ability to engage in local problem solving and to creatively approach the restructuring of service delivery methods.
(2) A demonstrated ability to work with and among service delivery agencies and systems, including county mental health, health, probation, and social service systems, including nontraditional partners involved in COVID-19 pandemic response such as community organizations, fire stations, and regional and city parks and recreation departments.
(3) The capacity to support county and regional planning and coordination efforts to be more responsive to the needs of children and their families in providing support services.
(4) Knowledge of the most effective strategies for refinancing grants and for integrating services between and among agencies.
(c) A qualifying entity shall collaborate with local service delivery agencies and existing collaborative councils in implementing a grant received pursuant to this chapter.
Article  3. Local Agency Collaboration
 (a) A qualifying entity applying for a grant under this chapter shall establish procedures to ensure ongoing consultation and collaboration with local agencies for the purposes set forth in subdivision (c). The consultation and collaboration process shall involve, at a minimum, parents or guardians and teachers of pupils at schools that are qualifying entities and representatives of each member agency or private partner that will provide, or is anticipated to provide, services pursuant to this chapter.
(b) If the qualifying entity is located within a county that has established an interagency children’s services coordinating council pursuant to Chapter 12.8 (commencing with Section 18986) of Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, all of the following shall apply:
(1) A COVID-19 Support Services and Resiliency for Children Program proposal submitted under this chapter first shall be approved by the council.
(2) The implementation of a program developed pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to the regular review of the council.
(3) The qualifying entity may engage in the activities authorized pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 18986.20) of Chapter 12.8 of Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code if the council first approves those activities.
(4) The council or its members may be designated to fulfill the responsibilities of the consultation and collaboration process required by this section.
(c) Responsibilities of individuals designated for consultation and collaboration by the qualifying entity shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Participating in the development of the program during the planning stages.
(2) Participating with the qualifying entity in the design and operation of the program.
(3) Facilitating communication between the qualifying entity and state, local, and community-based organizations providing support services to children.
(4) Making recommendations to appropriate organizations regarding ways to improve delivery of support services to children in the most cost-effective manner.
Article  4. Fiscal Provisions
 (a) This chapter shall be implemented only to the extent that funds are appropriated for this purpose in the annual Budget Act or another statute, or are made available for this purpose from federal sources. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Superintendent, in consultation with the Secretary for Education, seek and use any federal funds that may be made available for purposes of this chapter.
(b) All moneys appropriated by the Legislature to the Superintendent for purposes of this chapter shall be allocated by the Superintendent to qualifying entities that have been selected to participate in the grant program.
(c) To the extent permitted by federal law, funding made available to a qualifying entity shall be subject to all of the following conditions:
(1) The program is open to children without regard to a child’s religious beliefs or any other factor related to religion.
(2) Religious instruction is not included in the program.
(3) The space in which the program is operated is not used in any manner to foster religion during the time used for operation of the program.