California State Budget Enacted for 2011-12: AB 3632 Mandate Repealed

The California mandate on county mental health (CMH) departments to provide mental health services to eligible special education students, known as AB 3632, has been repealed. This issue presents a significant impact for schools as they assume full responsibility for provision and/or payment of these services.

 

Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2011-12 California State Budget into law Thursday, June 30. The complete Budget Summary, which addresses a $26.6 billion budget gap, is available here on the Department of Finance website.

Of particular note for school districts was the final repeal of a mandate upon county mental health (CMH) departments to provide services for eligible special education students according to their IEPs. This mandate was originally established by AB 3632 in 1984.

The 2011-12 Budget Bill permanently eliminates the AB 3632 mandate, which was initially de-funded and suspended in the fall of 2010. This releases CMH departments from responsibility for providing services to special education students in order to benefit from their IEPs. Specific funding changes associated with the mandate’s repeal are:

  1. To provide $98.6 million in Proposition 63 funds to county mental health agencies on a one‑time basis in 2011‑12 to partially cover provision of contracted mental health services to schools. Schools will be responsible for any costs exceeding this amount.
  2. To provide $2.8 million in one‑time federal carryover funds for program oversight and technical assistance while transitioning provision of mental health services from counties to schools, and for the increased caseload at the Office of Administrative Hearings resulting from related disputes.
  3. To increase Proposition 98 General Fund by $221.8 million to partially fund the shift in responsibility to school districts for providing the mental health services, including out‑of‑home residential services, that are required under federal law.

 

Paradigm’s June publication on AB 3632 provides some additional information on the repeal of the AB 3632 CMH mandate, including how the LEA Billing and MAA programs may be able to supplement funding of mental health services for special education students. We also continue to research how additional programs, such as California Children’s Services (CCS) and Early Periodic, Diagnosis, Screening and Treatment (EPSDT), may help districts fund mental health services to special education students. We will publish additional information as soon as it becomes available.