Today's Law As Amended


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AB-2704 Special education programs: Family Empowerment Centers on Disability.(2017-2018)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 56400 of the Education Code is amended to read:

56400.
 It is the intent of the Legislature, through enactment of this chapter, to the extent feasible, to do all of the following:
(a) Ensure that children and young adults with disabilities are provided a free and appropriate public education in accordance with  the least restrictive environment possible in accordance with their needs and capabilities and  applicable federal and state law and regulations.
(b) Ensure that children and young adults with disabilities receive the necessary educational support and services they need to complete their education.
(c) Offer parents and guardians  of children and young adults with disabilities access to accurate information, specialized training, and peer-to-peer support in their communities.
(d) Ensure that parents, guardians,  parents  and families of children and young adults with disabilities are full participants in their child’s education, school reform, and comprehensive systems change efforts.
(e) Build upon existing local and regional service delivery systems to improve, expand, and offer coordinated technical assistance to the network of existing resources available for parents, guardians,  parents  and families of children and young adults with disabilities.

SEC. 2.

 Section 56402 of the Education Code is amended to read:

56402.
 (a) The State Department of Education  department  shall award grants to establish Family Empowerment Centers on Disability in each of the 32 regions in the state established under the Early Start Family Resource Centers. In the first year of operation, the State Department of Education  department  shall award these grants no later than February 15, 2002. In subsequent years, to the extent funding is available, the State Department of Education  department  shall award these grants no later than February 15 of that year.
(b) (1) On and after January 1, 2019, in awarding grants to Family Empowerment Centers on Disability, the department shall give priority to applicants in the regions in the state established under the Early Start Family Resource Centers that do not have a Family Empowerment Center on Disability.
(2) The Superintendent shall determine additional criteria on the basis of which to give priority pursuant to paragraph (1) no later than February 15, 2020, and the department shall give priority in that manner once it is determined by the Superintendent.
(b) (c)  Once funding is secured, and annually until all centers are established, the State Department of Education  department  shall submit a report to the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature documenting progress in establishing the centers.
(c) (d)  The department shall develop the grant application, with advice from stakeholders, including parents, guardians,  parents  and family members of children with disabilities, as well as adults with disabilities and representatives of community agencies serving children and adults with disabilities.
(d) (e)  The sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) shall be made available to the department, from the funds appropriated for the purposes of this chapter, for the purpose of securing an outside contractor to develop a request for proposal, disseminate the proposal, empanel readers to evaluate the proposals, and cover other costs related to this process.

SEC. 3.

 Section 56406 of the Education Code is amended to read:

56406.
 (a) The State Department of Education  department  shall issue requests for proposals, select grantees, and award grants pursuant to this chapter by not later than February 15, 2002. Grants  chapter. Until the start of the fiscal year after a Family Empowerment Center on Disability has been established in each of the 32 regions established under the Early Start Family Resource Centers, grants  awarded to Family Empowerment Centers on Disability by the State Department of Education  department  shall be based upon a formula that does both of  the following:
(1) Establishes a minimum base rate of one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) for each center to provide the basic services pursuant to this chapter and serve parents and guardians  of children and young adults from age  three years  to age 18 years,  18 years of age,  inclusive, and to those  young adults from age  19 years  to age  22 years of age, inclusive,  who had an individualized education plan prior to  program before  their 18th birthday.
(2) Establishes an allocation mechanism that is determined according to school enrollment of the region served.
(b) Commencing with the start of the fiscal year after a Family Empowerment Center on Disability has been established in each of the 32 regions established under the Early Start Family Resource Centers, grants awarded to Family Empowerment Centers on Disability by the department shall be based upon a formula that does both of the following:
(1) Establishes a minimum base rate of two hundred twenty-three thousand dollars ($223,000) for each center to provide the basic services pursuant to this chapter and serve parents of children and young adults three to 18 years of age, inclusive, and to young adults 19 to 22 years of age, inclusive, who had an individualized education program before their 18th birthday.
(2) Establishes an allocation mechanism that is determined according to school enrollment of the region served.
(c) Commencing with the 2020–21 fiscal year, the funding that is determined based on school enrollment of the region served shall be annually increased using the cost-of-living adjustment specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 42238.02.
(b) (d)  Each grant applicant shall demonstrate all of the following:
(1) That the need for training and information for underserved parents and guardians  of children and young adults with disabilities in the area to be served will be effectively met.
(2) That services will be delivered in a manner that accomplishes all of the following:
(A) All families have access to services regardless of cultural, linguistic, geographical, socioeconomic, or other similar barriers.
(B) Services are provided in accordance with families’ linguistic and cultural preferences and needs.
(C) Services are coordinated with the existing family support organizations within the region.
(D) Promotes positive parent and professional collaboration with local educational agencies, special education local plan areas, and other community agencies.

SEC. 4.

 Section 56408 of the Education Code is amended to read:

56408.
 (a)  As a condition of receipt of funds, each Family Empowerment Center on Disability that receives assistance under this chapter and serves the parents and guardians  of children and young adults from age  three years  to age 18 years,  18 years of age,  inclusive, and those  young adults from age  19 years  to age 22 years,  22 years of age, inclusive,  who had an individualized education plan prior to  program before  their 18th birthday shall do all of the following:
(a) (1)  Provide training and information that meets the training and information needs of parents and guardians  of children and young adults with disabilities living in the area served by the center, particularly those families and individuals who have been underserved . underserved. 
(b) (2)  Work with community-based organizations  organizations, including community advisory committees established pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 56190) of Chapter 2,  and state and local agencies serving children with disabilities.
(c) (3)  Train and support parents and guardians  of children and young adults with disabilities to do the following:
(1) (A)  Better understand the nature of their children’s disabilities and their children’s educational and developmental needs. needs, including the benefits of inclusion in a least restrictive educational environment. 
(2) (B)  Communicate effectively with personnel responsible for providing special education, early intervention, and related services.
(3) (C)  Participate in decisionmaking processes and the development of individualized education programs.
(4) (D)  Obtain appropriate information regarding the range of options, programs, services, and resources available to assist children and young adults with disabilities and their families.
(5) (E)  Participate in school improvement and reform activities.
(6) (F)  Advocate for the child’s needs in a manner that promotes alternative forms of dispute resolution and positive relationships between parents and professionals . professionals. 
(4) Subject to the availability of resources and upon parental request, attend individualized education program development meetings that include parents and personnel responsible for assessing pupil eligibility for special education and early intervention services.
(5) Submit data annually, in accordance with the data template established by the department pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 56411, no later than a date selected by the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall select this date by June 30, 2020.
(b) (1) Following the initial awarding of a grant to a Family Empowerment Center on Disability, the department shall assess the center’s eligibility for continued funding, at a minimum, as follows:
(A) For a Family Empowerment Center on Disability established during or after the 2019–20 fiscal year, the department shall assess the center’s eligibility every five years after the center is established.
(B) For a Family Empowerment Center on Disability established before the 2019–20 fiscal year, the department shall assess the center’s eligibility during the 2021–22 fiscal year and every five years thereafter.
(2) Assessments conducted pursuant to this subdivision shall be based on a Family Empowerment Center on Disability’s demonstrated ability to meet the requirements of subdivision (a).

SEC. 5.

 Section 56410 of the Education Code is amended to read:

56410.
 A statewide Family Empowerment and Disability Council composed of the executive directors for the Family Empowerment Centers on Disability shall be established. Membership on the Family Empowerment and Disability Council may also include the Executive Director executive director  or representative from the Early Start  Family Resource Centers, funded by the State  Department of Developmental Services, and from the parent centers funded by the federal  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.). The department shall contract with an outside entity experienced with developing a statewide technical assistance disability network.  A base amount of one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) shall be made available, from the annual appropriation made for the Family Empowerment Centers,  Centers on Disability,  to support the work of the council. The Family Empowerment and Disability Council shall, at a minimum, do all of the following:
(a) Provide central coordination of training and information dissemination, content, and materials for Family Empowerment Centers on Disability.
(b) Develop a technical assistance system and activities in accordance with a plan developed in conjunction with the directors of the Family Empowerment Centers on Disability.
(c) Ensure that a periodic assessment and  an outside entity provides assistance in developing a statewide technical assistance disability network, and performs an annual, independent  evaluation of the service delivery and management of each Family Empowerment Center on Disability conducted effectiveness of the services provided  by Family Empowerment Center on Disability directors and includes on the assessment and evaluation team at least one parent advocate from another region.  Centers on Disability that shall include, but is not limited to, an evaluation of the data points listed in subdivision (b) of Section 56411.  The goal shall be to improve center management  management, parental satisfaction with the services received,  and the quality and efficiency effectiveness  of services delivered.
(d) Assist each center to build its capacity to serve its geographic region.
(e) Develop uniform tracking and data collection systems, which are not duplicative and interface with existing special education data systems, to be utilized by each Family Empowerment Center on Disability.
(f) Establish outcome-based evaluation procedures and processes to be used by the State Department of Education.
(g) (e)  Conduct media outreach and other public education efforts to promote the goals of the Family Empowerment Centers on Disability.
(h) (f)  Support and coordinate system change advocacy efforts at the local, state, and national level. levels. 

SEC. 6.

 Section 56411 is added to the Education Code, to read:

56411.
 (a) The department, on or before June 30, 2020, shall develop or update a uniform and coordinated tracking and data collection system, and establish or update outcome-based evaluation procedures and processes, for use by Family Empowerment Centers on Disability to demonstrate the centers’ ability to meet the requirements of Section 56408. The tracking and data collection system shall not be duplicative of, and shall interface with, existing special education data systems.
(b) The department, on or before June 30, 2020, shall develop a data collection template for use by Family Empowerment Centers on Disability that shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The number of parent trainings provided by the center, including, but not limited to, trainings on individualized education programs and least restrictive educational environments.
(2) The number of individualized education program meetings attended by personnel of a center.
(3) The disability categories of children and young adults served by the center.
(4) Demographic information, including the preferred language, of families served by the center.
(5) The nature of disagreements between parents and schools or school districts, and the manner in which these disagreements were resolved with the assistance of the center.
(6) Parental satisfaction with services provided by the center.
(c) The department shall provide guidance to Family Empowerment Centers on Disability on how to define and report data for purposes of this section.
(d) The department shall consult with the Family Empowerment and Disability Council on the development of the data collection template.

SEC. 7.

 Section 56415 of the Education Code is repealed.

56415.
 The department shall include a link on the sample procedural safeguards maintained on its Internet Web site to the page on its Internet Web site that lists family empowerment centers. The department shall include this link on all sample procedural safeguard forms for which it maintains translations.

SEC. 8.

 Section 56415 is added to the Education Code, to read:

56415.
 On or before June 30, 2020, the department shall do both of the following:
(a) Inform parents of children with disabilities of the availability of Family Empowerment Centers on Disability services by including in its notice of procedural safeguards information on the purpose of the centers as well as the Internet Web address of its Internet Web site that lists contact information for the centers.
(b) Include the information described in subdivision (a) on all of the department’s translated versions of its notice of procedural safeguards and on a sample notice of procedural safeguards that it shall maintain on its Internet Web site.
SEC. 9.
 Implementation of this act is contingent upon an appropriation being made in the annual Budget Act or another statute for its purposes.