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ACR-102 Opportunity Youth Reengagement Month. (2017-2018)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 102
CHAPTER 141

Relative to Opportunity Youth Reengagement Month.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 07, 2017. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


ACR 102, Eduardo Garcia. Opportunity Youth Reengagement Month.
This measure would recognize the month of August 2017 as Opportunity Youth Reengagement Month, and state the intent of the Legislature to encourage the expansion of schools authorized to specifically reengage “opportunity youth” 16 to 24 years of age by developing recommendations for a statewide student reengagement strategy and identifying the cost of the strategy compared to the cost of inaction; authorizing systems for accountability to students, parents, and families through transparency, active engagement, and outreach strategies; and highlighting, promoting, and uplifting evidence-based practices for successful student reengagement efforts that maintain multiple measures for evaluation of student success.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, California’s reported dropout rate was 11.6 percent in 2014, and there are approximately 700,000 youths in California who are not in school or are not working; and
WHEREAS, Civic Enterprises and other organizations have recognized the overwhelming economic, social, and personal barriers to young people who are out of work and not in school, defining “opportunity youth” as youth ages 16 to 24 who are not engaged in either work or school at any meaningful level; and
WHEREAS, Youth and young adults of color disproportionately make up nearly 74 percent of “opportunity youth” in California, and GradNation reports that the United States cannot achieve its national graduation goals without increasing California’s graduation rate for Latino and African American pupils; and
WHEREAS, The Economic Value of Opportunity Youth study has shown that the total taxpayer burden for each “opportunity youth,” reflecting earnings, productivity spillovers, and taxes; crime; health costs; and welfare and social supports, in 2012 dollars, is equivalent to $235,680 as a current lump sum, and the total social lump sum burden is $704,020 per youth. That study recognized that the burden is even greater for African American and Latino youth; and
WHEREAS, Our education and workforce systems in California lack the necessary resources to adequately prepare Latinos, African Americans, and other people of color for our current and future workforce needs, which is contributing to a persistent skills gap across the state; and
WHEREAS, Closing wide and persistent gaps in educational attainment will be key to building a strong workforce that is prepared for the jobs of the future, and to ensuring that workers of color can succeed in the knowledge-driven economy; and
WHEREAS, The skills gap faced by “opportunity youth” limits their employment opportunities to substandard wages, poor-quality jobs, and a greater likelihood to be unemployed or to be the first to be displaced when the economy is tight, and they often face incarceration as adults; and
WHEREAS, Drexel University found that high school dropouts earn 14 percent less than high school graduates, 23 percent less than those earning a postsecondary credential, and 36 percent less than those earning an associate degree; and
WHEREAS, Research by WestEd demonstrates that reenrolling dropouts and providing additional time for reengaged dropouts to earn a diploma can significantly increase graduation rates; and
WHEREAS, Research by the Alliance for Excellent Education concludes that if only one-half of the dropouts from a single year were to earn a diploma, the economic benefits to California would include an additional $1.4 billion in earnings annually for these pupils and an annual increase in state and local tax revenues of $167 million; and
WHEREAS, Successful dropout recovery schools in California utilize evidence-based alternative strategies and accountability metrics, including accelerated learning pedagogies, competency-based instruction, inclusion of noncognitive indicators, and alternative graduation rate cohorts; and
WHEREAS, Successful programs include high-quality career pathways to overcome the skills gap faced by “opportunity youth” and partnerships to provide a full complement of services along with fully accredited high schools and colleges; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby declares the month of August as Opportunity Youth Reengagement Month, in honor of the schools and staff who work to reengage pupils who have previously dropped out of school, and in honor of the pupils who overcome significant challenges and systemic barriers to reengage in high school and become transformed learners in preparation for postsecondary success; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature intends to encourage the expansion of schools authorized to specifically reengage “opportunity youth” 16 to 24 years of age by developing recommendations for a statewide student reengagement strategy and identifying the cost of the strategy compared to the cost of inaction; authorizing systems for accountability to students, parents, and families through transparency, active engagement, and outreach strategies; and highlighting, promoting, and uplifting evidence-based practices for successful student reengagement efforts that maintain multiple measures for evaluation of student success; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.