Blog | March 25, 2021

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California 2021-2022 Policy Agenda

Our legislative priorities for California fiscal year

2021-2022 Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Budget and Legislative Policy Agenda

Expanded Learning Programs:

Expanded Learning (After School) programs serve as an essential resource for school-aged youth by creating safe spaces, fostering connections, preventing juvenile crime, and improving academic performance. Our Fight Crime: Invest in Kids law enforcement members know that California’s afterschool programs positively engage young people by connecting them to their community and caring adults, keeping them safe, and building their academic, social, and emotional skills. During COVID, expanded learning programs have played an essential role in supporting kids and families by providing academic support and access to online learning as well as providing essential care for children while their parents work.

Budget Investments:

To ensure expanded learning programs and their workforce stand ready to meet the urgent student and family needs and support longer-term recovery efforts, as a member of the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance, we support its ask to the Legislature to provide a minimum of $25 million for a COLA to statefunded expanded learning programs, such as After School Education and Safety (ASES) programs.

State Legislation:

AB 1112 (Carrillo) - Before and After School Programs: Maximum Grant Amounts

  • What the bill does: The bill would remove maximum grant amounts and require the California Department of Education (CDE) to determine the grant amounts and how much programs receive per child within the total budget amount set by the Legislature. It would require the CDE to develop a procedure to determine regional rates for programs as well as change the way rates are set by prioritizing support for students and families that need it the most through a data and stakeholder driven process, rather than having the same rate no matter where the program operates.
  • Why it matters: Expanded learning programs help reduce crime, improve student behavior, boost academic performance, and increase graduation rates. However not every child has the ability to reap the benefits of high-quality expanded learning programming. In California, over 2.4 million students are waiting to enroll in afterschool. For our state to take juvenile crime seriously and set students on the right track in life, it is critical that we invest in these high-quality programs.

Early Childhood Care & Education

Access to high-quality early education is critical to our next generation’s future success. Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is committed to strengthening California’s early childhood education system because law enforcement leaders know that one of the best ways to prepare kids for school, improve graduation rates, and keep them on a path towards success involves making sure they have a strong foundation in their earliest years.

Budget Investments:

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is part of the California Early Childhood Education Coalition and supports the coalition’s state budget requests that include increasing provider reimbursement rates, increased investments in subsidized child care, waiving copayments or fees for low income families in childcare, and investing in technology.

State Legislation:

AB 92 (Reyes) - Preschool & Development Services: Family Fees

  • What the bill does: This bill would create an equitable sliding scale for child care family fees that will alleviate the burden on working families struggling to pay for child care and early childhood education services.
  • Why it matters: The lack of reliable child care for working parents of young children, up to age 3, could come to $6.8 to $9.1 billion in annual costs in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue for California.

AB 865 (Quirk-Silva) - Child Care Services Alternative Payment Programs

  • What the bill does: This bill would allow for family child care providers and centers to be reimbursed based on a family’s maximum certified hours of need and not based on attendance. It would also require the State to make direct deposits to contractors, and greater use of electronic communications to best support the needs of families.
  • Why it matters: The child care industry is a vital backbone to California’s future economy. Since the pandemic, an estimated 5,500 family child care homes and 9,200 childcare centers have closed in California. This bill would lessen the financial hardships imposed on California’s family child care providers by allowing them to more accurately plan and budget to stay open for business.

SB 246 (Leyva) - Early Childhood Education: Reimbursement Rates

  • What the bill does: This bill would establish a single regionalized state reimbursement rate system — The Child Care Stabilization Formula — for child care, preschool, and early learning services.
  • Why it matters: California’s current bifurcated rate system and low reimbursement rates make it harder to fund and deliver high-quality child care. A single state reimbursement rate system would increase teacher compensation, move toward adequately funding early child care programs, and contribute to increasing high-quality care.

SB 50 (Limón) - Strengthening the 0-5 ECE System

  • What the bill does: This bill would strengthen and streamline the early learning and care system by, among other things, opening the State Preschool Program (CSPP) to serve children 0-5, expand eligibility for subsidized child care & preschool to more families, and allow unhoused families and families with variable work schedules to better access child care.
  • Why it matters: Quality early learning experiences during the earliest years help set children on a path to thrive in school and life while supporting working parents.

Children’s Mental Health

Mental health consultations and programs for children are critical at addressing existing behavior problems, preventing further difficulties, and building a child’s social-emotional skills. These consultations and programs can provide benefits to both children and early education staff by reducing problems with behavior, fewer expulsions, an improved learning environment for classes, as well as reduced stress, increased teaching skills, and increased involvement with parents.

State Legislation:

AB 563 (Berman) - School-Based Health Programs

  • What the bill does: This bill would establish an Office of School-Based Health Programs within the California Department of Education to ensure a coordinated approach to assist schools in meeting the increased demand for student health and mental health services while drawing down federal reimbursement.

AB 586 (O’Donnell) - School Health Demonstration Project

  • What the bill does: This bill would establish the School Health Demonstration Project, within the State Department of Health Care Services, to expand comprehensive health and mental health services to public school pupils by providing training and support services to selected local educational agencies.
  • Why these bills matter (AB 563 and AB 586): A lack of routine health care can cause adverse effects such as missed diagnosis of cognitive or developmental issues and the worsening of existing mental health issues over time, and even vaccine-preventable disease. These can transcend into the classroom, and make it harder for a child to focus or stay in good academic standing, which, in turn, may affect school performance, graduation rates, and future success.


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