Today's Law As Amended


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AB-2341 Student Equity and Achievement Program: Rising Scholars Network: justice-involved students.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) On average 200,000 people are incarcerated in California jails and prisons on any given day, plus hundreds more in juvenile correctional facilities. Ninety-five percent of these individuals will come home. California is also home to millions of individuals who are living in the community after a history of juvenile or adult adjudication or conviction. These incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and detained people are known as justice-involved.
(b) Research shows that postsecondary education reduces recidivism and increases the odds of finding employment for justice-involved students.
(c) Providing postsecondary opportunity to all Californians, including those who are justice-involved, is part of the mission of the California Community Colleges. Establishing the Rising Scholars Network would provide greater support to California community colleges to provide academic instruction and support services for justice-involved students.
(d) The Legislature recognizes the historic underrepresentation of justice-involved students in the California Community Colleges, and the need for equitable efforts that enhance the enrollment, retention, and success of justice-involved students in the California Community Colleges.
(e) Before 2014, there were no face-to-face community college students in California’s prisons, and fewer than 10 targeted support programs for justice-involved students in the California Community Colleges. Following the passage of SB 1391 of the 2013–14 Regular Session (Chapter 695 of the Statutes of 2014), the California Community Colleges began teaching face-to-face in California’s prisons and now serve more than 6,000 unique students face-to-face each semester at 34 of 35 prisons. In addition, targeted support programs for justice-involved students now exist at more than 20 California community colleges. Waitlists exist at almost every prison for these programs. Students and potential students are coming home from incarceration, self-identifying, and seeking support from the California Community Colleges.
(f) The Legislature recognizes its responsibility to provide and adequately fund postsecondary programs and services in the California Community Colleges for justice-involved students.
(g) It is therefore necessary and appropriate to take steps to encourage the enrollment, retention, and success of justice-involved students in the California Community Colleges through a program that provides education and services that promote the students’ academic success. Providing this education and support to justice-involved students in California’s community colleges serves a significant governmental and public interest, namely reduced recidivism and the reduction in poverty among Californians who have been involved in the criminal justice system.

SEC. 2.

 Article 6 (commencing with Section 78070) is added to Chapter 1 of Part 48 of Division 7 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:

Article  6. Support Services for Justice-Involved Students
78070.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Justice-involved” means a person who is currently or formerly incarcerated in a California correctional facility, or currently or formerly detained in a juvenile facility.
(b) “Rising Scholars Network” means the program established pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 78071.
78071.
 (a) The office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges may establish a program, as part of the Student Equity and Achievement Program pursuant to Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 78220) of Chapter 2, to enter into agreements with up to 50 community colleges to provide additional funds for services in support of postsecondary education for justice-involved students. This program shall be known as the Rising Scholars Network, and shall expand the number of justice-involved students participating and succeeding in the community colleges and shall not displace other students.
(b) A community college district that wishes to participate in the Rising Scholars Network shall apply for funding by including justice-involved students as part of a student equity plan under the Student Equity and Achievement Program pursuant to Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 78220) of Chapter 2. The application of each participating community college district shall identify the Rising Scholars college or colleges in the district, and shall include, but not be limited to, the number of justice-involved students who will be served. The application shall also describe the extent of cooperation between the college and local criminal justice stakeholders including, as applicable, wardens, county sheriffs, juvenile facilities, and probation departments.
(c) To the maximum extent feasible, funds received by a community college under this article as part of the Student Equity and Achievement Program pursuant to Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 78220) of Chapter 2 shall be used for, but not limited to, any of the following supports and services:
(1) Provide any of the following for programs serving all justice-involved students, whether on campus or in custody:
(A) Academic counseling or advising that provides clear pathways.
(B) Academic tutoring.
(C) Financial aid information and application assistance.
(D) Frequent in-person contact.
(E) Professional development for faculty and staff.
(2) Provide any of the following for programs serving formerly incarcerated students on campus:
(A) Peer-to-peer support or mentoring.
(B) Assistance with accessing campus resources, including admissions, financial aid, and student services.
(C) Career counseling and, as feasible, placement services.
(D) Assistance with accessing community resources, including record clearance, housing assistance, mental health support, and social services.
(3) Provide either of the following for programs serving currently incarcerated or detained students:
(A) Transitional materials and services to support students in enrollment and persistence in higher education upon release.
(B) Parity of academic supports and services as provided on campus.
78072.
 The board of governors shall adopt regulations for the Rising Scholars Network that fulfill the following goals and guidance:
(a) Participating colleges designate a staff program director, coordinator, or liaison who has experience working with currently or formerly incarcerated students.
(b) Funded programs are supported with a dedicated campus meeting space.
(c) Funded programs build support and competency from a broad range of college stakeholders.
(d) Participating colleges offer and make accessible a range of student supports to address academic and nonacademic needs.
(e) Funded programs foster peer mentors, as applicable.
(f) Funded programs develop and maintain strong relationships with external partners, including community-based programs, probation, parole, and county jails.
(g) Participating colleges provide or connect justice-involved students with direct student financial support for critical needs.
(h) Funded programs outreach and respond to prospective justice-involved students, particularly those in jail or prison.
(i) Funded programs help justice-involved students apply, matriculate, and persist to graduation.
78073.
 On or before December 31, 2023, the board of governors shall submit a report to the Governor describing its efforts to serve justice-involved students. The report shall include recommendations on whether and how the Rising Scholars Network under this article can be expanded to all community college districts and campuses.

SEC. 3.

 Section 78220 of the Education Code is amended to read:

78220.
 (a) As a condition for receiving Student Success and Support Program funding, and in order to ensure equal educational opportunities and to promote student success for all students, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or economic circumstances, the governing board of each community college district shall maintain a student equity plan that includes all of the following for each community college in the community college district:
(1) Campus-based research, as to the extent of student equity by gender and for each of the following categories of students, that uses the methodology established pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 78221:
(A) Current or former foster youth.
(B) Students with disabilities.
(C) Low-income students.
(D) Veterans.
(E) Students in the following ethnic and racial categories, as they are defined by the United States Census Bureau for the 2010 Census for reporting purposes:
(i) American Indian or Alaska Native.
(ii) Asian.
(iii) Black or African American.
(iv) Hispanic or Latino.
(v) Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.
(vi) White.
(vii) Some other race.
(viii) More than one race.
(F) Homeless students.
(G) Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender students.
(H) Additional categories of students determined by the governing board of the community college district.
(2) To the extent that student data described in paragraph (1) has been collected, the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges shall make the data available to community college districts for determining student equity and disproportionate impact.
(3) Goals for access and retention, degree and certificate completion, English as a Second Language and basic skills, completion, and transfer for the overall student population and for each population group of high-need or disadvantaged students, and a determination of what activities are most likely to effectively meet those goals.
(4) Whether significant underrepresentation is found to exist pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (3), based on the methodology established pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 78221, measures for addressing the disparities in those areas, implementation activities designed to attain the goals specified in paragraph (3), including, but not necessarily limited to, the adoption of evidence-based models of remediation, implementation of assessment and placement policies that more accurately predict student success and identify students’ remedial needs, and a means of coordinating with, at a minimum, the following student equity-related categorical programs or campus-based programs:
(A) Students with disabilities.
(B) Extended Opportunity Programs and Services and Special Services.
(C) Fund for Student Success.
(D) Student Success and Support Program.
(E) Programs for foster youth.
(F) Programs for veterans.
(G) Special Services for CalWORKs Recipients.
(H) Student Financial Aid Administration.
(I) Student Success for Basic Skills Students.
(J) Rising Scholars Network.
(5) Sources of funds for the activities in the plan.
(6) A schedule and process for evaluation.
(7) An executive summary that includes, at a minimum, the student groups for whom goals have been set, the goals, the initiatives that the community college or community college district will undertake to achieve these goals, the resources that have been budgeted for that purpose, and the community college district official to contact for further information. Commencing with the 2016–17 academic year, the executive summary shall also include a detailed accounting of how funding was expended and an assessment of the progress made in achieving the identified goals.
(b) Student equity plans shall be developed with the active involvement of all groups on campus as required by law, including, but not limited to, the academic senate, academic faculty and staff, student services, and students, and with the involvement of appropriate people from the community.
(c) The plan shall be adopted by the governing board of the community college district and submitted to the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges on or before January 1, 2015, who shall publish all executive summaries, sending copies to the appropriate policy and budget committees of the Legislature, the Department of Finance, every community college and community college district, each consultation group identified in subdivision (b) that so requests, and additional individuals and organizations as deemed appropriate.
(d) The plan shall be updated every three academic years and plan updates shall be submitted to the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges for publication and distribution as provided for in subdivision (c).
(e) (1) Funding included in the Budget Act for the Student Equity and Achievement Program may be used for provision of emergency student financial assistance to help an eligible student overcome unforeseen financial challenges that would directly impact the student’s ability to persist in the student’s course of study. These challenges include, but are not necessarily limited to, the immediate need for shelter or food. Each community college district and campus is encouraged to consider the unique characteristics of its student body in developing specific guidelines for further defining what constitutes an unforeseen financial challenge for its students.
(2) In order for emergency student financial assistance to be an allowable use of Student Equity and Achievement Program funds, emergency student financial assistance shall be included in the institution’s plan for interventions to students.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, the following terms are defined as follows:
(A) “Eligible student” means a student who has experienced an unforeseen financial challenge, who is making satisfactory academic progress, as defined by the college the student attends, and who is at risk of not persisting in the student’s course of study due to the unforeseen financial challenge. For purposes of this paragraph, the definition of satisfactory academic progress used by the community college shall provide that homelessness, as defined as a “homeless individual” within the meaning of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11302(a)), or as defined as a “homeless child or youth,” as defined in subsection (2) of Section 725 of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11434a(2)), is an extenuating circumstance for students who are otherwise unable to meet the requirements deemed to constitute “satisfactory academic progress” at that community college, and that extenuating circumstance may be considered by the institution to alter or excuse compliance with those progress requirements. 
(B) “Emergency student financial assistance” means financial support to assist a student to overcome unforeseen financial challenges, including, but not limited to, direct aid in the form of emergency grants, housing and food assistance, textbook grants, and transportation assistance, so that the student can continue the student’s course of study.
(f) Funding included in the Budget Act for the Student Equity and Achievement Program may be used for programs of the Rising Scholars Network, as established as part of the Student Equity and Achievement Program pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 78071.

SEC. 3.SEC. 4.

 Section 78222 of the Education Code is amended to read:

78222.
 (a) (1) The Student Equity and Achievement Program is hereby established.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that funds for the Student Equity and Achievement Program support the California Community Colleges in advancing the systemwide goal to boost achievement for all students with an emphasis on eliminating achievement gaps for students from traditionally underrepresented groups by doing all of the following:
(A) Implementing activities and practices pursuant to the California Community College Guided Pathways Grant Program.
(B) Ensuring students complete their educational goals and a defined course of study.
(C) Providing quality curriculum, instruction, and support services to students who enter college deficient in English and mathematics to ensure these students complete a course of study in a timely manner.
(b) As a condition of the receipt of funds for purposes of this section, a district shall comply with all of the following:
(1) Maintain a student equity plan pursuant to Section 78220 to ensure equal educational opportunities and to promote student success for all students, regardless of race, gender, age, disability, or economic circumstances.
(2) Provide student matriculation services pursuant to Section 78212, including implementation of orientation, counseling and advising, referral to specialized student support services, and other education planning services needed to assist a student in making informed decisions about the student’s educational goal and course of study and in developing an education plan. The Office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges shall establish guidelines on student matriculation services, including, but not limited to, the development of an education plan leading to a course of study. Notwithstanding any other law, students who are exempted from matriculation services pursuant to Section 78215 are not subject to the requirements of this paragraph.
(3) Adopt and implement placement policies consistent with the requirements of Section 78213.
(4) Provide all students with an education plan, which identifies courses, a sequence of courses, key progress milestones, and other requirements the student must complete to earn an associate degree, career technical education certificate, other community college certificate, or meet transfer requirements. Notwithstanding any other law, students who are exempted from having an education plan under Section 78215 are not subject to the requirement of this paragraph.
(5) Provide support to, or establish, on-campus food pantries or regular food distributions.
(6) (5)  Provide a report to the chancellor’s office by January 1 of each year detailing how funding pursuant to this section was expended in the prior fiscal year and for what specific purposes. A district report shall also include an assessment of the progress in advancing the goals identified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).
(c) (1) If the total amount of funds appropriated for purposes of this section is equal to or greater than the amount of funds appropriated in the 2017–18 fiscal year for the Student Success and Support Program pursuant to Section 78212, the student equity plans pursuant to Section 78221, and the Student Success for Basic Skills program pursuant to Section 88815, the chancellor shall allocate to each district an amount equal to or greater than the amount allocated in the 2017–18 fiscal year.
(2) If the total amount of funds appropriated for purposes of this section is less than the amount of funds appropriated in the 2017–18 fiscal year for the Student Success and Support Program pursuant to Section 78212, the student equity plans pursuant to Section 78221, and the Student Success for Basic Skills program pursuant to Section 88815, the chancellor shall allocate to each district the pro rata share of the amount appropriated based on the amount allocated to each district in the 2017–18 fiscal year.
(3) The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges may require districts or colleges to provide a local fund match for funding appropriated for purposes of this section.
(4) The chancellor shall provide guidance to districts regarding eligible expenditures and activities and integrated planning to ensure funding for the Student Equity and Achievement Program is used to support the goal of eliminating disparities pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). It is the intent of the Legislature that colleges prioritize funding for high-need and disadvantaged students, as those terms are defined in subdivision (c) of Section 78221.
(5) (A) The chancellor may allocate up to 5 percent of the total funds appropriated for the purposes of this program for state administrative operations to carry out the intent of this section.
(B) Of the amount allocated pursuant to subparagraph (A), the chancellor shall allocate to a community college district no less than the amount that was provided to a district in the 2017–18 fiscal year pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 88815 to carry out faculty and staff development to improve curriculum, instruction, student services, and program practices in the areas of basic skills and English as a second language program.
(6) By April 1 of each year, the chancellor’s office shall submit a systemwide report to the Legislature and Department of Finance that provides a summary of the district reports referenced in paragraph (6) (5)  of subdivision (b). A report to the Legislature pursuant to this paragraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(d) (1) All districts receiving an allocation of funds pursuant to subdivision (c) shall comply with the requirements of Section 78214. In meeting this requirement, the Student Success and Support Program referenced in Section 78214 means the Student Equity and Achievement Program.
(2) For purposes of Section 87482.3, the Student Success and Support Program means the Student Equity and Achievement Program.
(e) The chancellor’s office may provide funding under the Student Equity and Achievement Program to community college districts that participate in the Rising Scholars Network pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 78070) of Chapter 1.