SENATE BILL 39
52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2016
Howie C. Morales
FOR THE LEGISLATIVE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE
RELATING TO CHILDREN; DIRECTING THE CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES DEPARTMENT TO ESTABLISH AND ADMINISTER A YEAR-LONG DEMONSTRATION PROJECT TO PROVIDE SERVICES TO CHILDREN AND YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES AIMED AT IMPROVING EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES AND AVOIDING INVOLVEMENT IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM; PROVIDING FOR REPORTING; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. TEMPORARY PROVISION--IMPROVING EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES--AVOIDING JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM INVOLVEMENT--CHILDREN AND YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES--DEMONSTRATION PROJECT.--
A. By January 1, 2017, the secretary of children, youth and families shall implement in at least two counties a research and demonstration project aimed at:
(1) improving access to appropriate special education and related services for youth;
(2) increasing school-based supports for children and youth with disabilities so that they are not unnecessarily pushed into the juvenile justice system;
(3) collaborating with schools to increase the use of evidence-based disciplinary practices, including positive behavior supports;
(4) creating a culture shift in the education and juvenile justice systems to bridge gaps so that juvenile justice is better able to partner with schools in providing services to youth; and
(5) helping the entire court system appropriately respond to students with disabilities.
B. The demonstration project shall identify and offer services to students under twenty-two years of age, while prioritizing for allocation of services those children under fourteen years of age, who:
(1) are living with a disability;
(2) are eligible for or enrolled in special education services pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and
(3) have had at least one incident resulting in involvement in the juvenile justice system.
C. The children, youth and families department shall contract with a nonprofit legal services provider that demonstrates to the department that it has:
(1) the capacity to address individual and systemic barriers to education;
(2) the requisite expertise to advocate successfully for meeting the educational needs of students with disabilities, suspected disabilities or enhanced needs;
(3) the capacity to work in rural areas of the state and meet the needs of diverse rural students and families; and
(4) demonstrated experience in working with the children, youth and families department, the administrative office of the courts and the public defender department.
D. The children, youth and families department shall establish services pursuant to the demonstration project in two counties that the department has identified as having a high degree of need for the demonstration project's services. One site of the demonstration project shall take place in a class A county with at least six hundred thousand inhabitants. One site of the demonstration project shall take place in a county with fewer than one hundred thousand inhabitants.
E. By September 1, 2018, the children, youth and families department shall report its findings and recommendations pursuant to the demonstration project to the legislative health and human services committee and the legislative finance committee.
SECTION 2. APPROPRIATION.--One hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the children, youth and families department for expenditure in fiscal years 2017 and 2018 for the establishment and administration of a demonstration project in accordance with the provisions of Section 1 of this act and to report the results of the first year's results and recommendations from the demonstration project to the fifty-third legislature. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2018 shall revert to the general fund.
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