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AB-2534 Parks: environmental education: grant program. (2017-2018)

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Date Published: 07/03/2018 09:00 PM
AB2534:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 03, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 15, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2534


Introduced by Assembly Member Limón
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bloom, Carrillo, Eduardo Garcia, and Mark Stone)

February 14, 2018


An act to add Chapter 1.26 (commencing with Section 5090.75) to Division 5 of the Public Resources Code, relating to parks.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2534, as amended, Limón. Parks: environmental education: grant program.
Existing law requires the Division of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation of the Department of Parks and Recreation to develop and implement a grant and cooperative agreement program to support the planning, acquisition, development, maintenance, administration, operation, enforcement, restoration, and conservation of trails, trailheads, areas, and other facilities associated with the use of off-highway motor vehicles, and programs involving off-highway motor vehicle safety or education.
This bill would require the Director of Parks and Recreation, on or before May 1, 2019, to establish the Outdoor Equity Grants Program, to increase the ability of underserved and at-risk populations to participate in outdoor environmental educational experiences at state parks and other public lands where outdoor environmental education programs take place. The bill would require the director to, among other things, give priority for funding to outdoor environmental education programs that primarily provide outreach to and serve students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, foster youth, or pupils of limited English proficiency, as provided. The bill would authorize the director to accept private funds to support the program. The bill would establish the California Outdoor Equity Account in the State Parks and Recreation Fund and would require any private funds donated for the program and any funds appropriated by the Legislature for purposes of the program to be deposited into the account.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 1.26 (commencing with Section 5090.75) is added to Division 5 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
CHAPTER  1.26. Outdoor Equity Grants Program

5090.75.
 (a) On or before May 1, 2019, the director shall establish the Outdoor Equity Grants Program to increase the ability of underserved and at-risk populations to participate in outdoor environmental educational experiences at state parks and other public lands where outdoor environmental education programs take place. The program shall award grants to public organizations, including local governments and local education agencies, joint powers authorities, open-space authorities, regional open-space districts, other relevant public agencies, or nonprofit organizations, with a focus on funding transportation, logistical, and program operations and capacity costs associated with reaching historically underserved communities.
(b) In developing the program, the director shall do both of the following:
(1) Develop criteria, procedures, and accountability measures as may be necessary to implement the program.
(2) Administer the program to ensure that priority is given to underserved populations, including both urban and rural areas and low-income communities, where participation in outdoor environmental education and recreation programs has been limited.
(c) The director shall give priority for funding to outdoor environmental education programs that primarily provide outreach to and serve students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, foster youth, or pupils of limited English proficiency, as these terms are defined in Section 42238.01 of the Education Code, and have one or more of the following attributes:
(1) Have a curriculum that is aligned to the content standards for California public schools adopted by the State Board of Education, including, but not limited to, the Next Generation Science standards, or the California History-Social Science standards.
(2) Foster stewardship of the environment and include, when available, curriculum established pursuant to Part 4 (commencing with Section 71300) of Division 34.
(3) Integrate instruction in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
(d) The director may give additional consideration to programs that do any of the following:
(1) Maximize the number of participants that can be served.
(2) Demonstrate partnerships between public, private, and nonprofit entities.
(3) Contribute to healthy lifestyles, sound nutritional habits, and improved outdoor educational and recreational experiences.
(4) Include service learning and community outreach components for purposes of building partnerships between participants and local communities.
(e) To increase the availability and capacity of outdoor environmental education programs given priority pursuant to subdivision (c) in areas of the state that the department finds are underserved, the director may provide funding for professional learning, based on approved content standards, for the staff and volunteers of those programs.

(e)

(f) In implementing this program, the department’s Partnerships Office may partner with state conservancies, joint powers authorities, regional open-space districts, open-space authorities, county offices of education, local education agencies, other relevant public agencies, and nonprofit organizations in order department may work with relevant stakeholders to promote and implement the program in a manner that effectively reaches a wide geography throughout the state and ensures that regions in northern, central, and southern California, including both urban and rural areas, are adequately considered.

5090.76.
 (a) Except as authorized by the Legislature, the department shall not allocate for the purposes of the program any general fund moneys appropriated by the Legislature to the department in the annual Budget Act. Special fund moneys available for the purposes of this chapter and appropriated in the annual Budget Act may be used for purposes of this program.
(b) The director may accept private donations made for the support of the program. The director may solicit and accept private funding to help offset the costs of the program, including using funds made available pursuant to Section 521.
(c) All moneys received pursuant to this section or appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of this program shall be deposited in the California Outdoor Equity Account, which is hereby created within the State Parks and Recreation Fund.

5090.77.
 (a) The department shall gather information from applicants each award year for purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of outdoor environmental education programs in achieving the objectives of the grant program. Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the department shall annually summarize and report this information for the previous award year, commencing on or before January 1, 2020, to the appropriate budget and fiscal committees of the Legislature. The information in the annual report shall include the total number of children served, the total number and types of entities that received grant awards, appropriate recommendations to improve the grant program, partnerships formed, educational objectives achieved, the total number of applications received, and the total number of children who would have been served had all applicants for the award year received grant awards.
(b) A report pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

5090.78.
 The department shall adopt guidelines it determines as necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code does not apply to the adoption of guidelines pursuant to this section. The department shall develop a process for public comment and review of the guidelines that involves three public hearings in three different parts of the state prior to the adoption of those guidelines.