UPDATE, June 26, 2013: Today, we received an email questioning about the outcome of AB 1152 (see full history below), Assemblymember Tom Ammiano's bill to keep Cal-SAFE from categorical "flexing": "Did it get shelved? I work with teen moms and their children in Salinas. We have over 22 high school graduates a year, and they also get scholarships and their children go to preschool. We are praying ][AB 1152] goes to Assembly..." We checked with Nina Buthee, executive director of the California Child Development Administrators Association (CCDAA) and a prominent advocate for Cal-SAFE; she reported that AB 1152 died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 24.
May 24, 2013: AB 1152, to exempt Cal-SAFE from categorical "flexing" under the proposed Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) of the Brown '13-'14 budget [see backstory below], is up before the Assembly Appropriations Committee today, where it will either be passed on to the full Assembly or shelved.
February 27, 2013: "It is one thing for a school board to think about which of the K-12 programs are most important to the K-12 students in their district, and decide priorities. It is quite another to pit two different groups of children (K-12 students and young children of teen parents) against each other for funding." -- Nina Buthee, at left, executive director of the California Child Development Administrators Association (CCDAA).
CCDAA is sponsoring AB 1152, a bill authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), that would exempt California School Age Families Education (Cal-SAFE) Program from categorical "flexing" -- protecting funding for programs for teen parents from proposed changes to categorical programs. If passed, the bill will also require that unused Cal-SAFE funds not be retained by local education agencies (LEAs), but be returned to Cal-SAFE's state-wide budget line.
The Cal-SAFE program, begun in 2000, works with teenaged parents, providing academic and support services to help keep them in school. According to TeenNow California, Cal-SAFE's in-school program has had a 75% graduation rate (compared to a national graduate rate of 33% for teen parents.)
In an e-mail to California's Children, CCDAA's Buthee said:
Buthee added, "Most of the categoricals serve K-12 students (Miller-Unruh reading program, text book funding, home to school transportation, etc., etc.). CalSAFE’s child development dollars are targeted at a different group of children – the children of teen parents...
"Education for K-12 students is mandated by the state Constitution, and local boards cannot eliminate education for any of those students – they must spend the money on those students, it is just how to spend the money on them. There is no mandate to serve the young children of teen parents. What happens when there is budget pressure, including the pressure of negotiations with unions? One group the board must serve, the other it can eliminate."
CCDAA is seeking additional co-authors.
Written by Taylor McCulloch.