SENATE BILL 5766
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Senators Pelz, Bailey, Rinehart, Erwin, Murray, Anderson, A. Smith, Newhouse, Stratton and Bauer.
Read first time February 19, 1991. Referred to Committee on Education.
AN ACT Relating to a program for academic excellence for at-risk youth; adding new sections to chapter 28A.630 RCW; and providing a contingent effective date.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. (1) The legislature finds that more and more young people, especially in the urban areas of the state, are becoming involved with gangs, substance abuse, including drug trafficking, and teen pregnancy. As they become involved in such activities, they more frequently drop out of school than other students and are at greater risk of experiencing unemployment, becoming involved with criminal activities, and turning to public assistance programs for support. The end result is harm to both themselves and society. Substance abuse, gang activity, unemployment, and teen pregnancy are taking a disproportionate toll on minority youth.
(2) The legislature further finds that existing programs take a piecemeal approach to the needs of at-risk youth, offering only limited services. As a consequence, the current programs are not adequately effective in stopping the proliferation of gangs, substance abuse, unemployment, teen pregnancy, or other problems among youth, particularly in the urban areas of the state. Studies show clearly that poor academic performance plays a significant part in these problems.
(3) The purpose of sections 1 through 12 of this act is to create a cost-effective program that will challenge, motivate, and give incentive to underachieving, at-risk students in an effort to: Boost their academic achievement in school; reduce their involvement with gangs and substance abuse; reduce the numbers of at-risk youth, particularly minorities, who are unemployed; and reduce the number of teen pregnancies.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. This act shall be known and may be cited as project DREAM (dare to reach for educational aspirations and marks).
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout sections 4 through 12 of this act.
(1) "Advisor" means an adult assigned specific responsibilities to work individually with at-risk students who receive services under project DREAM established under section 4 of this act.
(2) "At-risk student" or "student" means a student age fourteen through age twenty-one who meets the following criteria:
(a) The student is one or more grade levels behind in basic skills as determined by placement testing or has not graduated from high school or has not successfully completed the general educational development test;
(b) The student has violated school district or school building rules of conduct on at least three occasions in the same school year;
(c) The student comes from an historically disadvantaged group; and
(d) The family income level of the student is below the median level for the state.
(3) "Department" means the department of social and health services.
(4) "Superintendent" means the state superintendent of public instruction.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. (1) The superintendent, working with the employment security department, the department of social and health services, the state board for vocational education in the office of the governor, and other state agencies as are appropriate, shall be the lead agency in developing and administering project DREAM, dare to reach for educational aspirations and marks, a pilot grant program for academic excellence for underachieving, at-risk students. The program shall emphasize a focus on minority students but shall not be exclusively limited to serving minority students.
(2) Initially, the program shall be limited to the school districts of Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Yakima, and Pasco, focusing on the areas within these school districts with the highest percentages of underachieving, at-risk students.
(3) Project DREAM shall commence at the beginning of the school year following receipt of federal funds by the superintendent of public instruction and, subject to continued federal or state funding, end at the completion of the fourth school year following implementation of the program.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. Each school district participating in project DREAM shall be responsible for the following:
(1) Individual programs under project DREAM shall consist of the following:
(a) Academic counseling and outreach, including study skills;
(b) Parent and family outreach and involvement;
(c) Employment and vocational counseling and training;
(d) Substance abuse awareness and counseling, and treatment as necessary;
(e) Teen pregnancy and teen parenting counseling; and
(f) Positive self-image building.
(2) In designing the local program, the participating districts are encouraged to consider:
(a) Dropout prevention strategies developed by school districts under RCW 28A.175.020 through 28A.175.070, the state grant program for local school district student motivation, retention, and retrieval programs; and
(b) Substance abuse prevention, intervention, and aftercare strategies developed by school districts under RCW 28A.170.010 through 28A.170.070, the state grant program for local school district substance abuse awareness programs.
(3) In designing the local program, the participating districts shall:
(a) Contact the local job service center to establish how the center can assist the district in providing participating students employment and vocational counseling and training; and
(b) Contact branch offices of the department and local community-based providers of health care to establish how these entities can and will assist the district in providing participating students counseling and information, and treatment as necessary, relating to substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and teen parenting.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. (1) The participating districts shall be responsible for screening and employing adult advisors and for providing any training necessary for the adult advisors to carry out their responsibilities effectively.
(2) Each adult advisor shall be responsible for the following:
(a) Maintaining a caseload of at-risk students not to exceed fifteen;
(b) Signing a written agreement with each student to comply with specific state or local regulations, or both, while participating in project DREAM;
(c) Meeting weekly with each student to monitor the student's progress under project DREAM;
(d) Meeting bi-weekly with each student's teachers, school counselor, and parents or guardian, and family members;
(e) Maintaining for each student a portfolio; and
(f) Serving as the facilitator in getting the student together with school or community-based health care providers, vocational counselors, job service center personnel, employment interviews, and other persons or groups that can help the student gain maximum benefits from participating in project DREAM.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. Each student shall be responsible to do the following:
(1) Sign a written agreement with his or her adult advisor to comply with all state or local regulations, or both, while a participant in project DREAM;
(2) Meet weekly with his or her adult advisor to discuss the student's progress;
(3) Maintain a personal written or audio portfolio;
(4) Attend all programs, seminars, training sessions, and other activities arranged by their advisor; and
(5) Maintain regular attendance at school or at work or both.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. (1) Each school district participating in project DREAM shall submit annually to the superintendent of public instruction a report on the district's local program. The report shall include an assessment of the effectiveness of the services, programs, or activities provided to the participating at-risk students and other information required by the superintendent. The superintendent shall establish the date for submittal of reports.
(2) The superintendent shall work with the participating districts in developing reporting requirements that do not create excessive paperwork but that provide information necessary for the superintendent to evaluate the impact of project DREAM on the participating at-risk students.
(3) The superintendent shall submit annually to the legislature and the governor a report on project DREAM. The first report shall be submitted not later than December 1 of the second school year following implementation of the program, and each succeeding report shall be submitted not later than December 1st.
(4) The superintendent's reports shall include information on how many students have or are participating in the local programs and the success of the programs in meeting the needs of the participating at-risk students.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 9. The superintendent shall undertake the following activities:
(1) Organize a speakers' bureau of prominent role models, with an emphasis on minority role models;
(2) Meet with community and business leaders to market project DREAM; and
(3) Coordinate with other state and local agencies a centralized data base of preexisting services that can meet the purposes of project DREAM.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 10. Through the state clearinghouse for education information, the superintendent shall collect and disseminate to school districts and other interested parties information about project DREAM.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 11. The employment security department, the department of social and health services, the state board for vocational education in the office of the governor, and other state agencies as may be involved with the development of project DREAM, shall assist the superintendent in providing appropriate and necessary technical support and assistance to the school districts participating in project DREAM.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 12. (1) The superintendent shall adopt rules as necessary under chapter 34.05 RCW to implement the provisions of sections 1 through 10 of this act.
(2) The respective agencies under section 11 of this act shall adopt rules as necessary under chapter 34.05 RCW to implement section 11 of this act.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 13. This act shall take effect when the superintendent of public instruction receives funds made available for the purposes of this act and only if such funds are received by June 30, 1993.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 14. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.