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AB-8 Pupil health: mental health professionals.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/16/2019 09:00 PM
AB8:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 16, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 04, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 8


Introduced by Assembly Members Chu and Eduardo Garcia
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Carrillo, Cristina Garcia, Rodriguez, and Blanca Rubio)
(Coauthors: Senators Beall, Portantino, and Wilk)

December 03, 2018


An act to add Section 49429.5 to the Education Code, relating to pupil health.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 8, as amended, Chu. Pupil health: mental health professionals.

Existing

(1) Existing law requires the governing board of a school district to give diligent care to the health and physical development of pupils and authorizes the governing board of a school district to employ properly certified persons for the work. Existing law requires a school of a school district or county office of education and a charter school to notify pupils and parents or guardians of pupils no less than twice during the school year on how to initiate access to available pupil mental health services on campus or in the community, or both, as provided. Existing law requires, subject to sufficient funds being provided, the State Department of Education, in consultation with the State Department of Health Care Services and appropriate stakeholders, to, on or before July 1, 2020, develop guidelines for the use of telehealth technology in public schools, including charter schools, to provide mental health and behavioral health services to pupils on school campuses.
This bill would require, on or before December 31, 2022, 2024, a school of a school district or county office of education and a charter school to have at least one mental health professional, as defined, for every 400 600 pupils generally accessible to pupils on campus during school hours. The bill would require, on or before December 31, 2022, 2024, a school of a school district or county office of education and a charter school with fewer than 400 600 pupils to have at least one mental health professional generally accessible to pupils on campus during school hours, to employ at least one mental health professional to serve multiple schools, or to enter into a memorandum of understanding with a county agency or community-based organization for at least one mental health professional employed by the agency or organization to provide services to pupils. The bill would encourage a school subject to the bill’s provisions with pupils who are eligible to receive Medi-Cal benefits to seek reimbursement for costs of implementing the bill’s provisions through the Local Educational Agency Medi-Cal Billing Option and the School-Based Medi-Cal Administrative Activities program, provisions, as specified. By imposing additional requirements on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), an initiative statute enacted by the voters as Proposition 63 at the November 2, 2004, statewide general election, establishes the continuously appropriated Mental Health Services Fund to fund various county mental health programs, such as prevention and early intervention programs. Existing law authorizes the act to be amended by a 2/3 vote of the Legislature if the amendments are consistent with, and further the intent of, the act.
This bill would amend the act to require a county to provide ongoing prevention and early intervention funds under MHSA to a school district, county office of education, or charter school, within the county, for purposes of funding positions and services to fulfill the bill’s requirements. The bill would declare that this amendment is consistent with, and furthers the purposes of, the act.

The

(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In 2014, an estimated 22.5 million Americans 12 years of age or older reported needing treatment for a substance use disorder, and 11.8 million adults reported needing mental health treatment.
(b) Mental health disorders and substance use disorders share some underlying causes, including changes in brain composition, genetic vulnerabilities, and early exposure to stress or trauma.
(c) Fifty-seven percent of Californian children have experienced trauma.
(d) Research shows that people with mental health issues are at a higher risk of a substance use disorder.
(e) Early intervention and prevention of mental health and substance use disorders are critical to Californians’ behavioral and physical health.
(f) Three hundred thousand Californian children 4 to 11 years of age, inclusive, have mental health needs, but over 70 percent never receive treatment.
(g) For youth in poverty or with non-English-speaking parents, over 80 percent never receive treatment for their mental health needs.
(h) Both mental health issues and substance use disorders in pupils can lead to absenteeism, suspensions, and dropping out of school at an early age.
(i) Schools have been identified as the optimal place to provide mental health services and improve access to mental health services for pupils, especially pupils of color and pupils in historically underserved communities.
(j) Reflecting on incidents of violence on school campuses, national educator and school professional organizations recommend in published best practices for creating safe and successful schools improving access to school-based mental health supports by ensuring adequate staffing levels of school-employed mental health professionals.
(k) The State of California ranks last or near last in the country for pupil access to mental health care at school. Currently, California has one school nurse for every 2,240 pupils, ranking 39th in the country, and one school counselor for every 792 pupils, ranking last in the country. Additionally, the state has only one school psychologist for every 1,265 pupils and one school social worker for every 12,870 pupils.

SEC. 2.

 Section 49429.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:

49429.5.
 (a) On or before December 31, 2022, 2024, a school of a school district or county office of education and a charter school shall have at least one mental health professional for every 400 600 pupils generally accessible to pupils on campus during school hours. On or before December 31, 2022, 2024, a school of a school district or county office of education and a charter school with fewer than 400 600 pupils shall do one of the following:
(1) Have at least one mental health professional generally accessible to pupils on campus during school hours.
(2) Employ at least one mental health professional to provide services to pupils at multiple schools.
(3) Enter into a memorandum of understanding with a county agency or community-based organization for at least one mental health professional employed by the agency or organization to provide services to pupils.
(b) The role of a mental health professional required pursuant to this section shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Providing individual and small group counseling supports to individual pupils and pupil groups to address social-emotional and mental health concerns.
(2) Facilitating collaboration and coordination between school and community providers to support pupils and their families by assisting families in identifying and accessing additional mental health services within the community as needed.
(3) Promoting school climate and culture through evidence-informed strategies and programs by collaborating with school staff to develop best practices for behavioral health management and classroom climate.
(4) Providing professional development to staff in diverse areas, including, but not limited to, behavior management strategies, mental health support training, trauma-informed practices, and professional self-care.
(c) A mental health professional required pursuant to this section who does not hold a services credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services as described in Section 44266 or a services credential with a specialization in health for a school nurse as described in Section 44267.5 shall work with pupils only under the supervision of an individual who holds a services credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services as described in Section 44266 or a services credential with a specialization in administrative services as described in Section 44270.2.
(d) A school of a school district or county office of education and a charter school may employ community mental health workers, cultural brokers, or peer providers to supplement the services provided by mental health professionals if they have a current certificate of clearance from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and are supervised in their school-based activities by an individual who holds a services credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services as described in Section 44266 or a services credential with a specialization in administrative services as described in Section 44270.2.
(e) (1) At least one of the mental health professionals a school of a school district or county office of education or a charter school is required to have pursuant to subdivision (a) shall hold a services credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services as described in Section 44266 that authorizes the individual to perform school counseling, school psychology, or school social work.
(2) On and after January 1, 2029, all mental health professionals providing services pursuant to this section shall, notwithstanding any other provision of this section, hold a services credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services as described in Section 44266 that authorizes the individual to perform school counseling, school psychology, or school social work.

(e)

(f) A school of a school district or county office of education and a charter school with pupils who are eligible to receive Medi-Cal benefits is encouraged to do both all of the following:
(1) Seek reimbursement, to the extent applicable, through the Local Educational Agency Medi-Cal Billing Option for services provided pursuant to this section.
(2) Seek reimbursement, to the extent applicable, through the School-Based Medi-Cal Administrative Activities program for administrative costs related to providing services pursuant to this section.
(3) Seek reimbursement, to the extent applicable, through the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Program.
(g) A county shall provide ongoing funding from prevention and early intervention funds under the Mental Health Services Act, enacted by the voters at the November 2, 2004, statewide general election as Proposition 63, to a school district, county office of education, or charter school, within the county, for purposes of funding positions and services to fulfill the requirements of this section.

(f)

(h) (1) This section does not alter the scope of practice for any mental health professional in a manner that is not authorized pursuant to existing law.
(2) This section does not authorize the delivery of mental health services in a setting or in a manner that is not authorized pursuant to existing law.

(g)

(i) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Community mental health worker” or “cultural broker” means a frontline public health worker with behavioral health training who works for pay or as a volunteer in association with the local health care systems and usually shares ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, or life experiences with the pupils served. A community mental health worker sometimes offers interpretation and translation services and culturally appropriate health education and information, assists pupils and family members in receiving the care they need, and gives, to the extent permitted by law, informal counseling and guidance.
(2) “Mental health professional” includes any of the following:
(A) An individual who holds a services credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services as described in Section 44266 that authorizes the individual to perform school counseling, school psychology, or school social work.
(B) An individual who holds a services credential with a specialization in health for a school nurse as described in Section 44267.5.
(C) A professional licensed by the State of California to provide mental health services, including, but not limited to, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, educational psychologists, social workers, child and adolescent psychiatrists, and clinical counselors.
(D) An associate clinical social worker as described in Section 4996.18 of the Business and Professions Code.

(D)

(E) A marriage and family therapist intern as described in subdivision (b) of Section 4980.03 of the Business and Professions Code.

(E)

(F) A marriage and family therapist trainee as described in subdivision (c) of Section 4980.03 of the Business and Professions Code.

(F)

(G) A clinical counselor intern as described in subdivision (f) of Section 4999.12 of the Business and Professions Code.

(G)

(H) A clinical counselor trainee as described in subdivision (g) of Section 4999.12 of the Business and Professions Code.
(3) “Peer provider” means a person who draws on lived experience with mental illness or a substance use disorder and recovery, bolstered by specialized training, to deliver valuable support services in a mental health setting. Peer providers may include people who have lived experience as clients, family members, or caretakers of individuals living with mental illness. Peer providers offer culturally competent services that promote engagement, socialization, recovery, self-sufficiency, self-advocacy, development of natural supports, identification of strengths, and maintenance of skills learned in other support services. Services provided by peer providers include, but are not limited to, support, coaching, facilitation, or education that is individualized to the pupil.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

SEC. 4.

 The Legislature finds and declares that this act is consistent with, and furthers the intent of, the Mental Health Services Act within the meaning of Section 18 of the Mental Health Services Act.