OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING THE CHILDREN'S REPORT CARD.
By law, the Children's Committee must maintain an annual children's report card that evaluates the progress of state policies and programs in promoting the result that all Connecticut children grow up in a stable living environment and are safe, healthy, and ready to lead successful lives. The committee must do this in consultation with the offices of Fiscal Analysis and Legislative Research and the Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors.
This bill establishes a 38-member leadership committee that the Children's Committee, beginning January 15, 2019, must consult with annually to review certain aspects of the report card and determine how to best measure progress towards achieving the desired results. Currently, the Children's Committee must consult with a working group of representatives from various public and private entities that provide services and programs for children.
The bill also makes various minor changes to the report card's required indicators and the manner in which the committee must annually disseminate the report card.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018
Under the bill, the leadership committee members are as follows:
1. the Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors executive director or his designee;
2. the chief court administrator or his designee;
3. the children and families, public health, education, social services, and early childhood commissioners or their designees;
4. the child advocate or her designee;
5. the governor's nonprofit liaison;
6. the Appropriations, Education, Human Services, Judiciary, and Public Health committee chairpersons and ranking members; and
7. one representative each from the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits, Connecticut Voices for Children, Connecticut Association for Human Services, Connecticut Community Providers Association, CT Parent Power, Center for Children's Advocacy, Connecticut Association for Community Action, Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut.
The committee must be chaired by two members, one selected by the House speaker and one selected by the Senate president pro tempore.
The bill requires the Children's Committee to consult with the leadership committee to (1) review the adequacy of the report card's primary and secondary indicators, system-level performance measures, and related data resources and (2) determine whether there are more appropriate alternatives to monitoring progress to achieve the desired results. Currently, the committee must perform these tasks with a working group's assistance.
The bill also requires the Children's Committee and the Appropriations Committee's Accountability Subcommittee, by January 15, 2019 instead of at least annually as under current law, to (1) identify programs in the child welfare system that make a significant contribution to achieving the above-stated result and (2) require these entities to prepare annual report cards using the results-based format the subcommittee developed.
Currently, for each indicator on the report card, data must be presented in various ways, including according to geography and, where appropriate, age and other relevant characteristics. The bill (1) eliminates the geography breakdown requirement and (2) makes the breakdown by age required instead of only where appropriate. Additionally, the bill:
1. modifies a required report card indicator of statewide third grade reading proficiency rates to statewide reading proficiency rates (with no grade specified);
2. specifies that the committee must measure progress with secondary as well as primary indicators;
3. removes obsolete references to an annual social health index and a 2009 Program Review and Investigations report; and
4. makes other minor, technical, and conforming changes.
Disseminating the Report Card
As under current law, the committee must annually make the report card available to the public on the General Assembly's website. The bill eliminates requirements that the committee annually email the report card to Appropriations and Human Services committee members and the commissioners of the Department of Children and Families, State Department of Education, and Department of Public Health; child advocate; Office of Policy and Management secretary; and chief court administrator.
Committee on Children