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AB-895 Pupil Mental Health Services Program Act.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/08/2019 09:00 PM
AB895:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 08, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 895


Introduced by Assembly Member Muratsuchi

February 20, 2019


An act to amend Sections 4372 and 4380 of, and to add Section 4392 to, add Article 3 (commencing with Section 49440) to Chapter 9 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Education Code, relating to mental health.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 895, as amended, Muratsuchi. School-based early mental health intervention and prevention services. Pupil Mental Health Services Program Act.
Existing law, the School-Based Early Mental Health Intervention and Prevention Services for Children Act of 1991, authorizes the Director of Health Care Services, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to provide matching grants to local educational agencies to pay the state share of the costs of providing school-based early mental health intervention and prevention services to eligible pupils at schoolsites of eligible pupils, subject to the availability of funding each year. Existing law defines “eligible pupil” for this purpose as a pupil who attends a publicly funded elementary school and who is in kindergarten or grades 1 to 3, inclusive. Existing law also defines “local educational agency” as a school district or county office of education or a state special school. Existing law describes eligible supportive services for purposes of determining the priority to be given to applicants for the grants.

This bill would revise the program to award grants rather than matching grants, and would expand the definition of an eligible pupil to include a pupil who attends a preschool program at a contracting agency of the California state preschool program or a local educational agency, and a pupil who is in transitional kindergarten, thereby extending the application of the act to those persons. The bill would also include charter schools in the definition of local educational agency, thereby extending the application of the act to those entities. The bill would revise the description of eligible support services to include the ability of the local education agency to partner with the county to establish direct linkages for students to community-based mental health services and the ability to participate in evidence-based and community-defined best practice programs for mental health services improvements, among other changes.

This bill would enact a similar program to be known as the Pupil Mental Health Services Program Act. The act would authorize the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Superintendent, beginning with grants for the 2020–21 school year and subject to the availability of funding each year, to award matching grants to local educational agencies, as defined, throughout the state for programs that provide supportive services, defined to mean services that enhance the mental health and social-emotional development of pupils, to eligible pupils at schoolsites. The act would award matching grants for a period of not more than 3 years and would prohibit a single schoolsite from being awarded more than one grant. For these purposes, an eligible pupil would be defined as a pupil who attends kindergarten, including transitional kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, at a local educational agency. The bill would prescribe the procedure for a local educational agency to apply for a matching grant. The bill would also prohibit more than 10% of the moneys allocated to the department for these purposes from being used for program administration and evaluation.
Existing law, the Mental Health Services Act, an initiative measure enacted by the voters as Proposition 63 at the November 2, 2004, statewide general election, funds a system of county mental health plans for the provision of mental health services, as specified. The act establishes the Mental Health Services Fund to fund various county mental health programs by imposing a tax of 1% on annual incomes above $1,000,000. The act provides that it may be amended by the Legislature by a 2/3 vote of each house as long as the amendment is consistent with and furthers the intent of the act, and that the Legislature may also clarify procedures and terms of the act by majority vote.
This bill would implement the program Pupil Mental Health Services Program Act contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act for purposes of that act from the administrative portion of the Mental Health Services Fund for these purposes. Fund.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Pupils from all backgrounds and circumstances in California deserve adequate behavioral and academic support to achieve their full potential.
(b) Pupils in California face relational and environmental stressors that diminish their ability to achieve their full potential. Among these complex challenges may be poverty, frequent exposure to violence, placement in the foster care system, and other negative experiences that result in chronic stress and trauma. Nearly 700,000 pupils in California receive special education services, and nearly one in four youth are living in poverty. Nearly 60,000 youth are currently placed in foster care, and as many as 20 percent of youth are in need of mental health interventions.
(c) In 2014, an estimated 22.5 million Americans 12 years of age or older reported needing treatment for a substance use disorder.
(d) 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.
(e) Fifty-seven percent of Californian children have experienced trauma.
(f) Early intervention and prevention of mental health and substance use disorders are critical to Californians’ behavioral and physical health.
(g) Pupils with these stressors are frequently failed by the current policies and systems in place, as measured by indicators for academic outcomes, social inclusion, emotional development, mental health support, and general pupil well-being.
(h) In California, more than 20 percent of special education pupils spend less than 40 percent of their day within their regular classroom, an indicator of inclusion, compared to 14 percent of special education pupils nationally and a federal target of less than 9 percent.
(i) Only 59 percent of special education pupils graduated from high school within four years in the 2010–11 fiscal year compared to 76 percent of all pupils.
(j) Statewide, a recent study found only 58 percent of foster youth in grade 12 graduated compared to 85 percent of all youth, with nearly 14 percent of foster youth in grade 12 dropping out of school.
(k) Far too often, youth with mental health challenges do not receive the services they need. For instance, one study found that nearly two-thirds of adolescents who experienced a major depressive disorder in the last year did not receive treatment.
(l) Even by grade 3, low-income pupils perform substantially below their higher income peers in areas of social and emotional skills, social and emotional development, engagement in school, and physical well-being.
(m) Delivery of comprehensive community-based support and resources requires a high level of collaboration among schools, school districts, and county mental health agencies.
SEC. 2.Section 4372 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
4372.

For the purposes of this part, the following definitions apply:

(a)“Cooperating entity” means a federal, state, or local, public or private nonprofit agency providing school-based early mental health intervention and prevention services that agrees to offer services at a schoolsite through a program assisted under this part.

(b)“Eligible pupil” means a pupil who attends a preschool program at a contracting agency of the California state preschool program, as established by Article 7 (commencing with Section 8235) of Chapter 2 of Part 6 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code, or a local educational agency, or who attends a publicly funded elementary school and who is in kindergarten, transitional kindergarten, or grades 1 to 3, inclusive.

(c)“Local educational agency” means any school district or county office of education, state special school, or charter school.

(d)“Department” means the State Department of Health Care Services.

(e)“Director” means the Director of Health Care Services.

(f)“Supportive service” means a service that will enhance the mental health and social-emotional development of children.

SEC. 3.Section 4380 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
4380.

Beginning with grants for the 2020–21 school year and subject to the availability of funding each year, the Legislature authorizes the director, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to award grants to local educational agencies to provide programs that provide school-based early mental health intervention and prevention services to eligible pupils at schoolsites of eligible pupils, as follows:

(a)The director shall award grants pursuant to this chapter to local educational agencies throughout the state.

(b)Grants awarded under this part shall be awarded for a period of not more than three years and a single schoolsite shall not be awarded more than one grant.

(c)The director shall pay to each local educational agency having an application approved pursuant to requirements in this part the state share of the cost of the activities described in the application.

(d)Priority shall be given to those applicants that demonstrate the following:

(1)The local educational agency will serve the greatest number of eligible pupils from low-income families.

(2)The local educational agency will provide a strong parental involvement component.

(3)The local educational agency will provide supportive services with one or more cooperating entities.

(4)The local educational agency will provide services at a low cost per child served in the project.

(5)The local educational agency will provide programs and services that are based on adoption or modification, or both, of existing programs that have been shown to be effective. No more than 20 percent of the grants awarded by the director may be utilized for new models.

(6)The local educational agency will provide services to children who are in out-of-home placement or who are at risk of being in out-of-home placement.

(e)Eligible supportive services may include the following:

(1)The ability of the local education agency to provide direct services including, but not limited to, increasing staff to student ratios and providing individual and group early mental health intervention and prevention services.

(2)Providing individual and small group counseling supports to individual pupils as well as pupil groups to address social-emotional and mental health concerns.

(3)The ability of the local education agency to partner with the local county to establish direct linkages for students to community-based mental health services.

(4)The ability to participate in evidence-based and community-defined best practice programs for mental health services improvements.

(5)Referral to outside resources when eligible pupils require additional services.

(6)Any other service or activity that will improve the mental health of eligible pupils, particularly evidence-based interventions and promising practices intended to mitigate the consequences of childhood adversity and cultivate resilience and protective factors.

(f)Prior to participation by an eligible pupil in either individual or group services, consent of a parent or guardian shall be obtained.

(g)Each local educational agency seeking a grant under this chapter shall submit an application to the director at the time, in a manner, and accompanied by any information the director may reasonably require.

(h)Each grant application submitted shall include all of the following:

(1)Documentation of need for the school-based early mental health intervention and prevention services.

(2)A description of the school-based early mental health intervention and prevention services expected to be provided at the schoolsite.

(3)A statement of program goals.

(4)A list of cooperating entities that will participate in the provision of services. A letter from each cooperating entity confirming its participation in the provision of services shall be included with the list. At least one letter shall be from a cooperating entity confirming that it will agree to screen referrals of low-income children the program has determined may be in need of mental health treatment services and that, if the cooperating entity determines that the child is in need of those services and if the cooperating entity determines that according to its priority process the child is eligible to be served by it, the cooperating entity will agree to provide those mental health treatment services.

(5)A detailed budget and budget narrative.

(6)A description of the population anticipated to be served, including number of pupils to be served and socioeconomic indicators of sites to receive funds.

(7)A plan describing how the proposed school-based early mental health intervention and prevention services program will be continued after the grant has expired.

(8)Assurance that grants would supplement and not supplant existing local resources provided for early mental health intervention and prevention services.

(9)A description of an evaluation plan that includes quantitative and qualitative measures of school and pupil characteristics, and a comparison of children’s adjustment to school.

(i)Grants awarded pursuant to this article may be used for salaries of staff responsible for implementing the school-based early mental health intervention and prevention services program, equipment and supplies, training, and insurance.

(j)Salaries of administrative staff and other administrative costs associated with providing services shall be limited to 5 percent of the state share of assistance provided under this section.

(k)No more than 10 percent of the moneys allocated to the director pursuant to this chapter may be utilized for program administration and evaluation.

SEC. 4.Section 4392 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
4392.

Implementation of this chapter is contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act from the administrative portion of the Mental Health Services Fund for the purposes of this chapter.

SEC. 2.

 Article 3 (commencing with Section 49440) is added to Chapter 9 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  3. Pupil Mental Health Services Program Act

49440.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the Pupil Mental Health Services Program Act.

49440.1.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Eligible pupil” means a pupil who attends kindergarten, including transitional kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, at a local educational agency.
(b) “Local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, state special school, or charter school.
(c) “Supportive services” means services that enhance the mental health and social-emotional development of eligible pupils.

49440.2.
 Beginning with grants for the 2020–21 school year and subject to the availability of funding each year, the department may, in consultation with the Superintendent, award matching grants to local educational agencies for programs that provide supportive services to eligible pupils at schoolsites, as follows:
(a) The department shall award matching grants pursuant to this article to local educational agencies throughout the state.
(b) Matching grants awarded under this article shall be awarded for a period of not more than three years and a single schoolsite shall not be awarded more than one grant.
(c) The department shall pay to each local educational agency awarded a grant the state share of the cost of the activities described in the application if the department approves the application pursuant to this article.
(d) Eligible supportive services may include the following:
(1) The ability of the local educational agency to provide direct services, including, but not limited to, increasing staff-to-pupil ratios and providing individual and group mental health intervention and prevention services.
(2) Providing individual and small group counseling supports to individual pupils, and to pupil groups, to address social-emotional and mental health concerns.
(3) The ability of the local educational agency to partner with the county to establish direct linkages for pupils to community-based mental health services.
(4) The ability to participate in evidence-based and community-defined best practices for mental health services improvements.
(5) Referral to outside resources when eligible pupils require additional services.
(6) Any other service or activity that will improve the mental health of eligible pupils, particularly evidence-based interventions and promising practices intended to mitigate the consequences of childhood adversity and cultivate resilience and protective factors.
(e) Before participation by an eligible pupil in either individual or group supportive services, the local educational agency shall obtain the consent of the pupil’s parent or guardian.

49440.3.
 (a) A local educational agency seeking a matching grant pursuant to this article shall submit an application to the department at the time, in a manner as, and accompanied by any information the department may reasonably require.
(b) A matching grant application submitted shall include all of the following:
(1) Documentation of need for the supportive services.
(2) A description of the supportive services expected to be provided at the schoolsite.
(3) A statement of program goals.
(4) A detailed budget and budget narrative.
(5) A description of the population anticipated to be served, including number of pupils to be served and socioeconomic indicators of schoolsites to receive funds.
(6) A plan describing how the proposed school-based mental health intervention and prevention services program will be continued after the matching grant has expired.
(7) Assurance that matching grants will supplement and not supplant existing local resources provided for mental health intervention and prevention services.
(8) A description of an evaluation plan that includes quantitative and qualitative measures of school and pupil characteristics, and a comparison of pupils’ adjustment to school after receiving the supportive services.

49440.4.
 (a) Matching grants awarded pursuant to this article may be used for salaries of staff to implement the supportive services program, equipment and supplies, training, and insurance.
(b) Salaries of administrative staff and other administrative costs associated with providing services shall be limited to 5 percent of the state share of assistance provided under this article.
(c) No more than 10 percent of the moneys allocated to the department pursuant to this article may be used for program administration and evaluation.

49440.5.
 Implementation of this article is contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act for purposes of this article from the administrative portion of the Mental Health Services Fund created by Section 5890 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.