Report 2015-112 Recommendations

When an audit is completed and a report is issued, auditees must provide the State Auditor with information regarding their progress in implementing recommendations from our reports at three intervals from the release of the report: 60 days, six months, and one year. Additionally, Senate Bill 1452 (Chapter 452, Statutes of 2006), requires auditees who have not implemented recommendations after one year, to report to us and to the Legislature why they have not implemented them or to state when they intend to implement them. Below, is a listing of each recommendation the State Auditor made in the report referenced and a link to the most recent response from the auditee addressing their progress in implementing the recommendation and the State Auditor's assessment of auditee's response based on our review of the supporting documentation.

Recommendations in Report 2015-112: Student Mental Health Services: Some Students' Services Were Affected by a New State Law, and the State Needs to Analyze Student Outcomes and Track Service Costs (Release Date: January 2016)

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Recommendations to East Side Union High School District
Number Recommendation Status
17

To better understand the effectiveness of the mental health services in its special education program, East Side should use the six performance indicators we identified to perform analysis annually on the subset of students receiving mental health services.

Partially Implemented
27

To ensure that it can demonstrate that the contracted personnel who provide mental health services are qualified, East Side should annually obtain and retain copies of contractor personnel lists and the credentials or licenses for personnel who provide mental health services to students in the LEA.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Education, Department of
Number Recommendation Status
3

To ensure that all LEAs comply with federal special education requirements, Education should require them to include directly in a student's IEP document reasons for any changes to student placement or services.

Will Not Implement
8

To enable it to review additional areas of its special education program for quality assurance, Education should collect information about the frequency of the provision of each service contained in all students' IEPs. Education should then use this information to annually review the frequency of mental health services and follow up with SELPAs when it observes a significant reduction in the frequency of services.

Will Not Implement
9

To ensure that LEAs comply with federal and state requirements, Education should require all LEAs to use the IEP document to communicate the rationale for residential treatment and any potential harmful effects of such placement.

Will Not Implement
18

Education should analyze and report to the Legislature, by May 30, 2016, on the outcomes for students receiving mental health services statewide, including outcomes across the six performance indicators we identified, in order to demonstrate whether those services are effective. Once it has reported this statewide information, Education should provide each LEA throughout the State a report regarding the outcomes for the students the LEA served.

Will Not Implement
20

To ensure that the State knows the amount LEAs spend to provide mental health services for student IEPs, before the start of the 2017-18 fiscal year, Education should develop, and require all LEAs to follow, an accounting methodology to track and report expenditures related to special education mental health services.

Will Not Implement
21

To ensure that LEAs provide mental health services as required, Education should, on an annual basis, identify LEAs with accumulated balances of mental health funding and analyze whether the LEA has had a corresponding drop in mental health service levels. For all LEAs that Education determines have both an accumulated balance and a corresponding drop in services, Education should follow up with the LEA to determine whether the LEA is meeting its obligations to provide mental health services to students as part of the special education program.

Resolved
28

Education should require all LEAs and SELPAs that hold contracts for mental health services to annually obtain and retain copies of contractor personnel lists and the credentials or licenses for contractor personnel who provide mental health services to students in their respective LEA or SELPA.

Partially Implemented
29

To ensure that the State provides special education and related services to all eligible students, Education should investigate the difference between the estimated number of school aged children statewide who have a severe emotional disturbance and the number receiving mental health services through an IEP and determine the reason for such a discrepancy. Education should then take any steps necessary to assist LEAs in identifying and providing services to children who are severely emotionally disturbed.

Will Not Implement
Recommendations to Legislature
Number Recommendation Status
1

The Legislature should amend state law to require Education to report annually, beginning March 2017, regarding the outcomes for students receiving mental health services in the six key areas we identified. The report to the Legislature should include outcome data for the most recently completed school year and should compare the outcomes for students receiving mental health services with the outcomes for other special education students. Subsequent reports should also identify any trends in outcome data from one year to the next. Education should also provide comments in the report on the trends that it identifies and any actions it plans to take to improve the outcomes for students who receive mental health services.

Partially Implemented
19

The Legislature should amend state law to require counties to enter into agreements with SELPAs to allow SELPAs and their LEAs to access EPSDT funding through the county mental health plans by providing EPSDT mental health services. If individual counties can demonstrate good reason why this type of arrangement is not possible or beneficial, the amended law should allow the counties to opt out of the collaboration by seeking a time-limited waiver from Health Care Services. The Legislature should require Health Care Services to make a final determination as to whether counties will be allowed to opt out of the required collaboration. The Legislature should require counties seeking a waiver to specify what barriers exist to working with SELPAs and their LEAs and how the county is attempting to remove those barriers.

Legislation Proposed But Not Enacted
Recommendations to Long Beach Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
2

To ensure that it provides mental health services through an IEP to all students who require such services, Long Beach should analyze the number of students to whom it provides these services and determine whether the annual decline can be attributed to its early intervention program. If the decline cannot be attributed to the early intervention program, Long Beach should reassess its process for determining whether students require mental health services through an IEP and make any necessary improvements to that process.

Fully Implemented
4

To better communicate with parents and future IEP teams about reasons for any changes to student services, including changes to mental health services and student placements, Long Beach should develop a process to ensure that IEP teams record these reasons in student IEP documents.

Partially Implemented
10

To ensure that it complies with federal and state requirements, Long Beach should develop a process to ensure that IEP teams record, in student IEP documents, the rationale for residential treatment and any potential harmful effects of such placement.

Partially Implemented
14

To better understand the effectiveness of the mental health services in its special education program, Long Beach should use the six performance indicators we identified to perform analysis annually on the subset of students receiving mental health services.

Pending
22

To ensure that all staff it hires are qualified to provide mental health services, Long Beach should update its minimum qualifications for the autism supervisor position to comply with state regulatory requirements no later than March 2016.

Fully Implemented
24

To ensure that it can demonstrate that the contracted personnel who provide mental health services are qualified, Long Beach should annually obtain and retain copies of contractor personnel lists and the credentials or licenses for personnel who provide mental health services to students in the SELPA.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Mt. Diablo Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
5

To better communicate with parents and future IEP teams about reasons for any changes to student services, including changes to mental health services and student placements, Mt. Diablo should develop a process to ensure that IEP teams record these reasons in student IEP documents.

Fully Implemented
11

To ensure that it complies with federal and state requirements, Mt. Diablo should develop a process to ensure that IEP teams record, in student IEP documents, the rationale for residential treatment and any potential harmful effects of such placement.

Fully Implemented
15

To better understand the effectiveness of the mental health services in its special education program, Mt. Diablo should use the six performance indicators we identified to perform analysis annually on the subset of students receiving mental health services.

Fully Implemented
23

To ensure that the licensed staff it hires are qualified at the time of hire and throughout their employment, Mt. Diablo should follow its formal procedures to ensure that staff possess required licenses when hired and that their licenses remain current while employed.

Fully Implemented
25

To ensure that it can demonstrate that the contracted personnel who provide mental health services are qualified, Mt. Diablo should annually obtain and retain copies of contractor personnel lists and the credentials or licenses for personnel who provide mental health services to students in the SELPA.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Murrieta Valley Unified School District
Number Recommendation Status
16

To better understand the effectiveness of the mental health services in its special education program, Murrieta Valley should use the six performance indicators we identified to perform analysis annually on the subset of students receiving mental health services.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to Riverside County SELPA
Number Recommendation Status
6

To better communicate with parents and future IEP teams about reasons for any changes to student services, including changes to mental health services and student placements, Riverside should develop a process to ensure that IEP teams record these reasons in student IEP documents.

Fully Implemented
12

To ensure that it complies with federal and state requirements, Riverside should develop a process to ensure that IEP teams record, in student IEP documents, the rationale for residential treatment and any potential harmful effects of such placement.

Fully Implemented
26

To ensure that it can demonstrate that the contracted personnel who provide mental health services are qualified, Riverside should annually obtain and retain copies of contractor personnel lists and the credentials or licenses for personnel who provide mental health services to students in the SELPA.

Fully Implemented
Recommendations to South East Consortium SELPA
Number Recommendation Status
7

To better communicate with parents and future IEP teams about reasons for any changes to student services, including changes to mental health services and student placements, South East should develop a process to ensure that IEP teams record these reasons in student IEP documents.

Fully Implemented
13

To ensure that it complies with federal and state requirements, South East should develop a process to ensure that IEP teams record, in student IEP documents, the rationale for residential treatment and any potential harmful effects of such placement.

Fully Implemented


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