Legislative Updates (GRC)

Government Relations Committee (GRC) - Research, correlate, and disseminate information related to legislative process and policy formation at the federal, state, and local levels as it relates to the WorkAbility I program.

Table of Contents

Here are the legislative updates for the 2018-19 school year, updated March 2019.

Legislative Updates 2018-19 WorkAbility Govenment Relations Committee (GRC) (1).pdf

Fast Facts for 17-18 — Mar 14, 2018 6:44:41 PM

This is the updated Fast Facts for the 17-18 year, with new student data from 16-17. Note this is also on the main Workability Central page.

WorkAbility I Fast Facts1 17-18.pdf

The final version of the CIE Blueprint was posted in May 2017. Look for it here:

http://www.chhs.ca.gov/Pages/Competitive-Integrated-Employment-(CIE).aspx

Part 4 of the document is where goals for DDS (Regional Centers), DOR and the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are found.

The website above also has a User Friendly Overview and a template for a Local Partnership Agreement (LPA). It is definitely worth checking out!

DACA update — Oct 12, 2017 6:56:04 PM

As you have likely heard, on September 5, 2017 President Trump ordered an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program provided undocumented persons, who came to this country as children and met other conditions, to be provided deportation deferrals and temporary work permits. California is home to 223,000 DACA recipients.

The Association of California School Administrators has put resources together at www.acsa.org/undocumented. The resources include DACA renewal application scholarships, free application assistance, fact sheets, and a FAQ.

Attached to this post are ten things educators can do to assist student recipients of DACA.

NEA has a great resource page to help educators and support professionals in the classroom and beyond.

Another source of information on all things immigration: https://www.sandersinstitute.com/issues/immigration?sources

GRC will keep you updated as immigration law changes.

E4FC_EducatorTop10.pdf

March 2017 Legislative Updates — Mar 15, 2017 3:56:57 PM

The GRC has created a legislative updates document current as of March 2017. This will be distributed at your spring Region meetings, but is also available here for your download. We hope you find it helpful!

leg updates.pdf

New ESSA Regulations — Mar 13, 2017 8:25:12 PM

Congress has repealed regulations issued by the Obama administration on how to implement ESSA and today came out with a new template for states to use for their plans. Expect further analysis on this in coming days and weeks.

https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-secretary-education-betsy-devos-announces-release-updated-essa-consolidated-state-plan-template?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

The attached document from the Association of California School Administrators gives guidance to school sites regarding the rights of undocumented students and their families.

03_Undocumented_Info_from_ACSA.PDF

ESSA Updates — Nov 18, 2016 12:03:23 AM

ESSA Regulations are expected to be published in December 2016, with California's state plan slated for completion in January 2017. ESSA will be implemented in the 2017-18 school year. Updates on ESSA will be posted here: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/es/

California's CIE Blueprint Draft Posted! — Nov 17, 2016 6:53:01 PM

Today the California Department of Education (CDE), California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), and California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders including Disability Rights California (DRC) with leadership provided by the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHSA) released the final draft California Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Blueprint and the opening of the final public comment period. The Blueprint is the combined effort of to develop a proactive interagency plan to increase opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) to prepare for and engage in CIE and reduce reliance upon subminimum wage jobs and segregated work settings.

The goals of the Blueprint are:

1. Improve collaboration and coordination between the three departments to prepare and support all individuals with ID/DD who choose CIE.

2. Increase opportunities for individuals with ID/DD who choose CIE to prepare for and participate in the California workforce development system and achieve CIE within existing resources.

3. Support the ability of individuals with ID/DD to make informed choices, adequately prepare for, transition to, and engage in CIE.

The Blueprint identifies Objectives, Targeted Outcomes, Strategies, and Actions to achieve each goal.

To view the final draft Blueprint, please visit the California Health and Human Services Agency webpage at www.chhs.ca.gov and select the tab at the top titled “CIE”. The Blueprint is available in the following seven languages: English, Spanish, Chinese (Traditional) , Tagalog, Armenian, Russian and Vietnamese. The public comment period will close on December 30, 2016 and a public teleconference will be held on December 13, 2016.

These are talking points regarding Deferred Action Childhood Arrival, (DACA), and has information and resources for students who are undocumented and may or may not have filed for DACA yet

Post-Election Talking Points.docx

New: The California Department of Developmental Services issued guidelines for implementation of the paid internship program and the competitive integrated employment incentive payments. See attachments for more information.

Enclosure 1 - 4870(d-g).pdf

Enclosure 2 - Guidelines for Implementation of Paid Internship Program letter dated 072816.pdf

Incentive Program Guidelines letter final.pdf

WIOA Regulations announced — Jul 1, 2016 3:55:40 PM

The Final Regulations for how WIOA will be implemented were announced June 30th, 2016. Here are some sites and documents to start diving into the legislation:

https://www.doleta.gov/wioa/Final_Rules_Resources.cfm

Overview fact sheet: https://www.doleta.gov/WIOA/Docs/Final-Rules-An-Overview-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Detailed fact sheet: https://www.doleta.gov/WIOA/Docs/Final-Rules-A-Detailed-Look-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Workplace options for more kids proposed in bill

by Alisha Kirby

(Calif.) After pouring more than $1 billion into career education initiatives, California lawmakers are now moving to open workplace programs to more students and also to lengthen the amount of time kids can participate.

AB 2063, which would lower the age requirement for enrolling in career technical education programs and nearly double the number of hours students can shadow business professionals, unanimously passed the Senate Education Committee Wednesday.

The bill, according to author Rep. James Gallagher, R-Plumas Lake, will give children the opportunity to learn valuable life lessons and apply what they learn in class to real-world experiences.

“This bill exposes students to CTE at a younger age, thus allowing them to explore more career options and giving them additional work training hours they need to launch their careers or further their education,” Gallagher said in a statement.

Increasing the number of opportunities for students to experience worthwhile job training during their formative years has been a priority for many lawmakers in recent years. Since 2014, more than $1 billion has been appropriated in California for Career Pathways Trust and Career Technical Education Incentive Grant programs through the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Districts that received the grants were expected to expand or create high-quality CTE courses and career pathway programs through partnerships with community colleges and business and industry leaders to provide more students with varied workforce options.

Currently, in order to enroll in work experience programs such as apprenticeships, vocational education or job-shadowing, students must be 16 years old. Additionally, job shadowing for the purpose of exploring different career opportunities cannot exceed 25 hours in any given semester.

School principals may certify that a student under 16 can begin a workplace program under limited circumstances, such as a requirement under a pupil’s individualized education plan or a need for a student to work in order to support themselves or their family.

AB 2063 would open up the opportunity to students 14 or older in order for them to participate in a career technical education program.

The bill would also allow students to enroll for up to 40 hours in work shadowing programs, as opposed to the current 25-hour per-semester maximum. In addition to classroom instruction, such programs provide career guidance and a chance for kids to explore different interests and options.

“These programs help students choose a career path based on their skills and interests,” Gallagher said in a document submitted to the education committee. “Exposing students to career technical education at a younger age is crucial.”

California is one of a handful of states that has taken steps this year to increase access to career technical education. In Colorado, students who successfully demonstrate career readiness can earn their schools up to $1,000, while Virginia students can earn career credentials during their final two years of high school.https://www.cabinetreport.com/curriculum-instruction/Workplace-options-for-more-kids-proposed-in-bill

WIOA Comparison — Apr 18, 2016 4:37:39 PM

On July 22, 2014 the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law. This landmark federal legislation makes significant changes to vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs in California and across the United States.

WIOA, which replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, and support services to succeed in the modern labor market. The law will also encourage workforce development programs to help match employers with skilled workers needed to compete in the global economy.

This table reflects the Department of Rehabilitation's first phase of identifying changes in vocational rehabilitation through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Department of Rehabilitation anticipates several further phases of review, during which additional changes will be added, and during which the impacts of the changes contained in this table as well as other impacts will be identified. The section numbers in the table do not reflect any order of importance, but were added simply to help identify sections to facilitate discussion. This table was last amended December 4, 2015.

WIOA Comparison.docx

AB 167 FAQ — Apr 18, 2016 4:36:08 PM

AB 167 refers to California legislation that amended section 51225.3 of the California Education Code (E.C.) to exempt pupils in foster care from school district graduation requirements that exceed state graduation requirements if the pupil transfers to the district, or transfers from one high school to another within a district in the 11th or 12th grade if the pupil would not be reasonably able to complete the additional district requirements.

This document is a Frequently Asked Questions document only relating to AB 167.

AB 167 FAQ.pdf

CEC and other members of the Friends of the Institute of Education Sciences (FIES) coalition hosted a Capitol Hill briefing last week to highlight the need for more funding for the research that provides the evidence base for special education practices in the nation’s classrooms.

The briefing, Transitioning to Adult Productivity: Supporting Secondary Students with Disabilities in Successful Movement to College and Career, focused on the work of four of the field’s top researchers (see links below) who are studying interventions that can prepare students with disabilities for postsecondary education and the workforce.

Mary Wagner, Ph.D., SRI International

David Test, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Erik Carter, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Laurie Powers, Ph.D., Portland State University

Source: FIES

This bill appropriates a specified sum to the State Department of Developmental Services to, commencing July 1, 2016, among other things, increase rates and wages for certain developmental services providers and fund incentive payments for competitive integrated employment opportunities and internships for individuals with developmental disabilities. The bill requires the department to submit a rate study to specified committees of the Legislature on or before March 1, 2019, regarding community-based services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The bill requires each regional center to report specified information to the department regarding increased funding for regional center operations. The bill will, for dates of service on or after August 1, 2016, increase the payment rates for intermediate care facilities and skilled nursing facilities that provide services to developmentally disabled individuals under the Medi-Cal program, as specified.

This was approved by the Governor on 3/1/16.

Source: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520162AB1

SB 3 (State Minimum Wage Increase) — Apr 11, 2016 4:56:30 PM

Senate Bill 3

In mid-March 2016, California legislators moved towards an agreement with the unions behind the competing 2016 minimum wage initiatives. If approved by the legislature, the proposed alternative, Senate Bill 3, was designed to gradually increase the statewide minimum wage until it reached $15 in 2022, with the wage tied to inflation thereafter. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees were given until 2023 to raise minimum wages to $15 per hour by the bill. The bill was also designed to allow the governor to delay minimum wage hikes in the event of an economic decline. Senate Bill 3 was given final approval by the California State Legislature on March 31, 2016. The legislature voted along party lines, with every "yes" vote on SB 3 coming from a Democraticlawmaker and all but two "no" votes coming from Republicans. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed SB 3 into law on April 4, 2016.[5][10][11]

Source: https://ballotpedia.org/California_%22Fair_Wage_Act_of_2016%22_$15_Minimum_Wage_Initiative_%282016%29

SB 3 (State Minimum Wage Increase) — Apr 11, 2016 4:56:30 PM

See news below regarding another way Department of Rehab will be able to fund new services though WIOA.

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has been awarded a new five year, $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide technical assistance to our nation’s Vocational Rehabilitation system to improve transition programs and services for youth. Known as the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Youth (VR TAC-Youth), this new technical assistance center is one of five awarded by RSA last week to assist the vocational rehabilitation system to implement the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The vocational rehabilitation system provides job training services, among other things, to youth and adults with disabilities so they can enter, stay in, and advance in employment. Some of the more important changes to the vocational rehabilitation program contained in WIOA include greater emphasis on serving transition age students and youth, including that states spend at least 15% of their funding on this population.

Over the last two decades, IEL’s Center for Workforce Development has conducted research, provided training and technical assistance, and produced high quality publications around the needs of all youth, including those with disabilities and other disconnected youth. It’s seminal framework is the Guideposts for Success, which outlines what youth need to make a successful transition from school to further education and work, from home to community and independent living. The VR TAC Youth rounds out IEL’s work in the transition field by joining NCWD/Youth and two programs built on IEL’s work, the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Right Turn Career Focused Transition Initiative (Right Turn) funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“We are thrilled to receive this new grant,” said IEL’s President Marty Blank. ”On one level, this award validates our work over the last two decades in the youth transitions field. On another, it allows us to continue to grow our cross-boundary work as we help the vocational rehabilitation system work with other systems like juvenile justice, child welfare and other social service agencies at the state and local level to improve transition youth outcomes.”

See news below regarding another way Department of Rehab will be able to fund new services though WIOA.

The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has been awarded a new five year, $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) to provide technical assistance to our nation’s Vocational Rehabilitation system to improve transition programs and services for youth. Known as the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Youth (VR TAC-Youth), this new technical assistance center is one of five awarded by RSA last week to assist the vocational rehabilitation system to implement the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The vocational rehabilitation system provides job training services, among other things, to youth and adults with disabilities so they can enter, stay in, and advance in employment. Some of the more important changes to the vocational rehabilitation program contained in WIOA include greater emphasis on serving transition age students and youth, including that states spend at least 15% of their funding on this population.

Over the last two decades, IEL’s Center for Workforce Development has conducted research, provided training and technical assistance, and produced high quality publications around the needs of all youth, including those with disabilities and other disconnected youth. It’s seminal framework is the Guideposts for Success, which outlines what youth need to make a successful transition from school to further education and work, from home to community and independent living. The VR TAC Youth rounds out IEL’s work in the transition field by joining NCWD/Youth and two programs built on IEL’s work, the Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program (RAMP) funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Right Turn Career Focused Transition Initiative (Right Turn) funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

“We are thrilled to receive this new grant,” said IEL’s President Marty Blank. ”On one level, this award validates our work over the last two decades in the youth transitions field. On another, it allows us to continue to grow our cross-boundary work as we help the vocational rehabilitation system work with other systems like juvenile justice, child welfare and other social service agencies at the state and local level to improve transition youth outcomes.”

ABLE — Dec 11, 2015 1:07:50 AM

Update 4/6/17:

On April 4th, a bi-partisan group of Members of Congress, including Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jerry Moran (R-KA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representatives Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Tony Cardenas (D–Calif.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), introduced a package of bills (filed independently of each other) aimed at enhancing the benefits provided through the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. This package of bills consists of the following three pieces of proposed legislation (these are not law at this time):

The ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S. 817/HR 1874) would raise the age limit for ABLE accounts to age 46. Currently, individuals with a severe disability that occurred prior to the age of 26 are eligible to open an ABLE account. Many debilitating diseases and conditions can occur later in life, including multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, or paralysis due to an accident. Increasing the age limit for ABLE accounts will allow more individuals to save money to help cover the costs of short-, medium- and long-term disability related expenses.

The ABLE Financial Planning Act (S. 816/HR 1897) would allow families to rollover savings in a 529 college savings plan into an ABLE account. Many families save for a child’s college education by opening a 529 account, sometimes before their child is even born, only to learn later that their child has a severe disability. In such instances, these families have funds trapped in a 529 that they could use to help cover their child’s lifelong disability-related expenses. But if they withdraw the funds for anything other than college expenses, they face taxes and penalties on their withdrawals. The ABLE Financial Planning Act would help these families by allowing them to transfer funds from their 529 account without penalty into an ABLE account for their child with a qualified disability. It is important to note that the rollover from a 529 to a 529 ABLE account would still be subject to the annual contribution limit (currently $14,000).

The ABLE to Work Act (S. 818/HR 1896) would allow individuals and their families to save more money in an ABLE account if the beneficiary works and earns income. Specifically, in addition to the $14,000 annual contribution cap, an ABLE beneficiary who earns income from a job could contribute from his/her compensation up to the Federal Poverty Level, which is currently at $11,770 (potentially increasing allowable annual contributions to $25,770). These additional funds into the ABLE account would only be allowed if the beneficiary was not participating in his/her employer’s retirement plan (ex: 401k). The bill will also allow ABLE beneficiaries to qualify for the existing Saver's Credit when they contribute savings to their ABLE account. It is important to note that beneficiaries would still be subject to the caps related to earned income and substantial gainful employment (SGA). This bill would not allow individuals with disabilities the ability to disregard earned income (even if it is contributed to their ABLE account) for purposes of eligibility for SSI and Medicaid.

Original post:

The ABLE Act was signed into law on 10/11/15 in California (AB 449/ SB 324). ABLE stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. Here's information on ABLE from the National Down Syndrome Society:

The ABLE Act amends Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing and transportation. The bill supplements, but does not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment and other sources. An ABLE account may fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing and transportation. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It eliminates barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.

ESSA — Dec 11, 2015 1:04:05 AM

BREAKING NEWS from Council for Exceptional Children:

Congress Passes ESSA!

Today the U.S. Senate passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA/S. 1177) with a vote of 85-12, with all 12 “No” votes from Republicans. The U.S. House passed the bill on December 2, with a vote of 359 – 64, with all 64 “No” votes from Republicans. CEC is pleased that many of the provisions included in the legislation for children and youth with disabilities and gifts and talents support equity, access and excellence. There are compromises in the Act but overall the passage of S. 1177 offers a stronger path forward for children and youth with exceptionalities than the outdated No Child Left Behind Act. CEC stands ready to work with CEC members at the state and local level to provide support in the implementation of the Act. The bill will go to President Obama, who is expected to sign it as soon as Thursday given the statements of support from the U.S. Secretary of Education and the White House Press Secretary.

GRC Region 1 Presentation — May 5, 2015 1:12:50 AM

Check out GRC's presentation at the Region 1 conference for a summary on recent legislative updates.

GRC spring presentation.pptx

AB 1806 was signed into law in September 2014. It extends provisions given to foster youth to homeless youth, including the ability to earn the state diploma in lieu of the district diploma. See the attached PDF for more specific information. School aged children are considered homeless if they are living in one of the following conditions:

-In a shelter

-With an adult other than their parents

-In campgrounds, temporary trailers, or parks

-In an automobile

-In an abandoned building or public place

-Temporarily doubled up with friends or relatives, due to loss of housing stemming from financial hardship

-In substandard housing (i.e. no running water, no electricity, possibly a garage)

-In a transitional housing program

-In a home for minor unwed mothers

AB 1806.pdf

Another step towards the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) becoming enacted took place in 4/15:

http://www.policyinsider.org/2015/04/us-senate-education-committee-unanimously-approves-esea-rewrite-.html

Below is more information from CTE Policy Watch:

Committee Wrap-up and Next Steps for ESEA

Posted: 21 Apr 2015 07:10 AM PDT

On April 16, after a three-day markup, the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee wrapped up its work on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act by approving the bill unanimously on a 22-0 vote. Nearly 60 amendments were considered and many approved, including one of our priorities related to CTE information on state report cards, which we previously reported.

The bill now must be approved by the full Senate. There are mixed reports and a wide variety of opinions as to the timing of such consideration. Education committee leaders hope the bill will see floor time before the end of May, but a full agenda and the complexity of issues involved may push the bill to summer or later.

Below is a collection of articles that have been written about the bill, its bipartisan development and future prospects (these articles do not necessarily reflect ACTE positions, but provide a variety of perspectives):