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AB-1937 Homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths: reporting. (2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/09/2020 09:00 PM
AB1937:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 09, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1937


Introduced by Assembly Members Luz Rivas and Chiu
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members McCarty, Quirk-Silva, and Ramos)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Boerner Horvath Boerner Horvath, Cristina Garcia, and Salas)
(Coauthor: Senator Chang)

January 16, 2020


An act to amend Section 48852.5 of, and to add Sections 48851, 48852.6, and 48857 to, the Education Code, relating to homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1937, as amended, Luz Rivas. Homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths: reporting.
(1) Existing federal law, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, provides grants to states to carry out activities relating to the education of homeless children and youths, as defined, including, among others, providing services and activities to improve the identification of homeless children and youths and to enable them to enroll in, attend, and succeed in school. The act requires a state plan submitted for the receipt of the grant to include assurances that local educational agencies will designate an appropriate staff person to act as a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths and a description of how the state will ensure that local educational agencies and their liaisons will comply with specified requirements of the act, including the identification of homeless children and youths.
Under existing state law, public schools, including charter schools, and county offices of education are required to immediately enroll a homeless child or youth seeking enrollment, except as specified. Existing law requires a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths to ensure that public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths is disseminated in schools within the liaison’s local educational agency that provide services pursuant to the act.
This bill would require a local educational agency to ensure that each school within the local educational agency identifies all homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths enrolled at the school, create a housing questionnaire, as specified, for purposes of identifying homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths, and annually provide the housing questionnaire to all parents or guardians of pupils and unaccompanied youths of the local educational agency. The bill would require a local educational agency to collect the completed housing questionnaires and report the data from those questionnaires to the State Department of Education in a format determined by the department. The bill would also require the local educational agency to annually report to the department the number of homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths enrolled. The bill would require a local educational agency to ensure that its school personnel who provide services to youth experiencing homelessness receive training about the homeless education program at least annually.
This bill would require a school district or county office of education to create an internet web page or post on its internet website a list of the local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths in that school district or county, respectively, and the contact information for those liaisons. liaisons, and specific information regarding the educational rights and resources available to persons experiencing homelessness. The bill would require a school to post on its internet website the contact information for the liaison, if available. The bill would also require, if a school has an employee or person under contract whose duties include assisting the liaison in completing the liaison’s duties under the federal act, the school to post on its internet website the contact information for that employee or person under contract. The bill would require data collected by the State Department of Education or by a local educational agency under these provisions to only be used for purposes of implementing the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and related state agency programs.
By imposing additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would appropriate the sum of $1,500,000 from the General Fund to the State Department of Education, to be equally allocated to 3 county offices of education in different regions throughout the state for purposes of establishing technical assistance centers to foster relationships with community partners and other local educational agencies in each region, as provided. The bill would require the department to determine which county offices of education to allocate those funds to through a competitive process, as provided, and to take into account geographic diversity and concentrations of homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths.
(2) Existing law requires the department to provide, among other things, informational and training materials to local educational agency liaisons regarding the educational rights of homeless children and youths and the responsibilities of the liaisons.
This bill would require the department to develop, as specified, best practices and a model housing questionnaire that a local educational agency may use to identify and obtain accurate data on all homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths enrolled in schools of the local educational agency. The bill would require the department to post the best practices and model housing questionnaire on its internet website.
(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: MAJORITY   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 48851 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48851.
 (a) As required pursuant to Section 11432(g)(6)(A)(i) of Title 42 of the United States Code, a local educational agency shall ensure that each school within the local educational agency identifies all homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths enrolled at the school.
(b) (1) A local educational agency shall create, in accordance with the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.) and based on best practices developed by the department pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 48852.5, a housing questionnaire for purposes of identifying homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths, as that term is those terms are defined in Section 11434a(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code. The local educational agency shall include, in the housing questionnaire, an explanation of the rights and protections a pupil has as a homeless child or youth or as an unaccompanied youth. The housing questionnaire shall be available in paper form.
(2) A local educational agency shall annually provide the housing questionnaire described in paragraph (1) to all parents or guardians of pupils and to all unaccompanied youths of the local educational agency.
(3) If the primary language of a pupil’s parent or guardian or an unaccompanied youth is not English, either of the following shall occur:
(A) The housing questionnaire shall be made available in the primary language of the unaccompanied youth or the pupil’s parent or guardian pursuant to Section 48985.
(B) An appropriate translation of the housing questionnaire shall be provided upon request of a pupil’s parent or guardian. guardian or an unaccompanied youth.
(4) A local educational agency shall collect the completed housing questionnaires that it created and distributed pursuant to this section, and shall report the data from those questionnaires to the department in a format determined by the department.
(c) A local educational agency shall annually report to the department the number of homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths enrolled.
(d) A local educational agency shall ensure that its school personnel who provide services to youth experiencing homelessness receive training about the homeless education program at least annually.

SEC. 2.

 Section 48852.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48852.5.
 (a) Pursuant to the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.), a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code, shall ensure that public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths is disseminated in schools within the liaison’s local educational agency that provide services pursuant to the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.).
(b) The department shall provide informational materials to local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths regarding the educational rights of homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths under state and federal law, updates and changes to state and federal law regarding the rights of homeless students, pupils, the responsibilities of local educational agency liaisons relating to homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths, and the resources available to schools to assist homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths.
(c) The department shall provide training materials to local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths to assist liaisons with providing professional development and other support to school personnel providing services pursuant to the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. These materials are intended to support liaisons in meeting the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, as specified in Section 11432(g)(6)(A) of Title 42 of the United States Code.
(d) The department may use and adapt informational and training materials from state or national sources when applicable and appropriate.
(e) The department shall adopt policies and practices to ensure that local educational agency liaisons for homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths participate in professional development and other technical assistance programs that are deemed appropriate by the Superintendent in accordance with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, as specified in Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(iv) of Title 42 of the United States Code.
(f) (1) The department shall develop both of the following:
(A) Best practices that a local educational agency may use to identify and obtain accurate data on all homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths enrolled in schools of the local educational agency. The department shall develop these best practices in accordance with the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.) and in a manner informed by relevant guidance from experts on the identification of homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths, including, but not limited to, the United States Department of Education and technical assistance centers sponsored by the Office of Safe and Healthy Students of the United States Department of Education. These best practices may include the distribution of information relating to the educational rights and resources of persons experiencing homelessness in public places that are frequently visited by homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths.
(B) A model housing questionnaire, based on best practices developed pursuant to subparagraph (A), that a local educational agency may use to identify and obtain accurate data on all homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths enrolled at schools of the local educational agency.
(2) The department shall post the best practices and model housing questionnaire developed pursuant to paragraph (1) on its internet website.
(g) Data collected by the department or by a local educational agency pursuant to this chapter shall only be used for purposes of implementing the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11301 et seq.) and related state agency programs.
(h) For purposes of this section, chapter, “homeless children and youths” is and “unaccompanied youths” are defined in Section 11434a(2) of Title 42 of the United States Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 48852.6 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48852.6.
 (a) For purposes of this section, “liaison” means a local educational agency liaison for homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths designated pursuant to Section 11432(g)(1)(J)(ii) of Title 42 of the United States Code.
(b) A school district or county office of education shall create an internet web page or post on its internet website a both of the following:
(1) A list of the liaisons in that school district or county, respectively, and the contact information for those liaisons.
(2) Specific information on homelessness, including, but not limited to, information regarding the educational rights and resources available to persons experiencing homelessness.
(c) If available, a school shall post on its internet website the contact information for the liaison. In addition, if a school has an employee or person under contract whose duties include assisting the liaison in completing the liaison’s duties under Section 11432(g)(6) of Title 42 of the United States Code, the school shall post on its internet website the name and contact information for that employee or person under contract.

SEC. 4.

 Section 48857 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48857.
 (a) Upon appropriation by the Legislature, the department shall allocate five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) each to three county offices of education in different regions throughout the state for purposes of establishing technical assistance centers to foster relationships between community partners and local educational agencies in each region. The department shall determine which county offices of education will be designated technical assistance centers through a competitive process that provides each county office of education with the opportunity to apply to become a technical assistance center. In making this determination, the department shall take into account geographic diversity and concentrations of homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths.
(b) The responsibilities of a technical assistance center established pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Creating, and facilitating the implementation of, training materials that outline the needs and challenges of, and barriers facing, homeless children and youths youths, unaccompanied youths, and their families.
(2) Developing and disseminating best practices for small, midsize, and large counties to support the educational progress and academic outcomes of homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths.
(3) Assisting counties and local educational agencies in the process of ensuring accuracy in the identification of homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths in local pupil information systems and using this data to report educational outcomes for homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths who receive support services.
(c) Technical assistance provided by a technical assistance center pursuant to this section shall be provided consistent with the statewide system of support established pursuant to Section 52059.5.

SEC. 5.

 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. 6.

 The sum of one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund, and not from a federal source, to the State Department of Education to be used to provide grants under Section 48857 of the Education Code.