HOUSE BILL 238
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS; ENACTING THE CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AWARENESS TRAINING ACT; REQUIRING CERTAIN SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS TO PROVIDE SUCH TRAINING TO SCHOOL EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE REGULAR CONTACT WITH AT-RISK STUDENTS TO CREATE AN AWARENESS OF THE EFFECTS OF CHILDHOOD TRAUMA ON THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENTS; PROVIDING FOR DUTIES; REQUIRING SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS THAT RECEIVE AT-RISK PROGRAM UNITS TO INCLUDE INFORMATION WITH THEIR OPERATING BUDGETS THAT DETAILS SPECIFIC SERVICES, INCLUDING CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AWARENESS TRAINING, THAT WERE PROVIDED IN THE PRIOR SCHOOL YEAR AND ARE PROVIDED IN THE CURRENT SCHOOL YEAR TO IMPROVE THE ACADEMIC SUCCESS OF AT-RISK STUDENTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Childhood Trauma Awareness Training Act"."
SECTION 2. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Childhood Trauma Awareness Training Act:
A. "childhood trauma" means adverse childhood experiences that impede brain development, learning and appropriate socialization; and
B. "school employee" means an employee of a school district or charter school who works in a public school that generates at-risk units or who has regular contact with at-risk students."
SECTION 3. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] TRAINING PROGRAMS--INITIAL AND ANNUAL TRAINING--GOALS.--
A. The goals of the childhood trauma awareness training program are to:
(1) create an awareness of the types of poverty in New Mexico;
(2) create an understanding of the adverse effects of childhood trauma on brain development and learning;
(3) create an understanding of the adverse effects of childhood trauma on students' academic achievement, social development and well-being;
(4) create an understanding of the specific demographics of students in a school district and its individual public schools or students in a charter school, including free or reduced-fee lunch status, English language status, student mobility status, family dynamics and cultural mores and folkways;
(5) provide effective research-based strategies to engage students and families in the educational process so that licensed school employees can use effective research-based strategies to teach and engage students confronted with childhood trauma;
(6) develop strategies to mitigate the academic and social effects of childhood trauma on students and improve their educational experience; and
(7) assist school districts and charter schools in developing an annual action plan that addresses the specific needs of students experiencing childhood trauma and implement ongoing professional development for school employees that is intensive, job-embedded, collaborative, data-driven, classroom-focused and sustainable.
B. Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, each school district and charter school that receives at-risk program units through the state equalization guarantee distribution shall require their school employees to be trained annually on the effects of childhood trauma on student achievement and social development. Training courses shall be intensive, job-embedded, collaborative, data-driven, classroom-focused and sustainable. The initial course shall be at least six and one-half hours in duration, and subsequent annual courses shall be at least three hours in duration.
C. Each school district and charter school required by the provisions of Subsection B of this section to provide training shall develop an action plan to train every school employee in childhood trauma awareness in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. The action plan shall prioritize training for licensed school employees in year one and for unlicensed school employees in year two. The initial training course shall be conducted no later than the end of the first six weeks of the start of the school year. The school district or charter school shall provide a second initial training course within the first six weeks of the first day of the spring semester for school employees who missed the first training course or who were hired after the first initial training. After initial training, each school employee shall attend an annual training course.
D. Each school district and charter school, alone or with other school districts or charter schools that are demographically similar, and regional education cooperatives may develop and conduct department-approved childhood trauma awareness training programs using department-certified trainers.
E. Newly hired school employees who were employed by another school district prior to employment with the current school district may provide proof from their prior school employer that they have attended the required amount of training in the immediately preceding year. If a school employee has attended the required initial training, the school employee needs only to attend the required annual training.
F. The department shall:
(1) approve only those childhood trauma awareness training programs that meet the goals provided in Subsection A of this section and programmatic rules of the department; and
(2) certify qualified childhood trauma awareness trainers."
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