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Article 7. School-Based Pupil Motivation and Maintenance Program and Dropout Recovery Act   

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The Legislature finds that there is an increasing percentage of pupils in school who are in danger of not satisfactorily completing a high school diploma program, or its equivalent, and that these pupils will face additional dangers due to inadequate academic, job, and social competencies.

The Legislature further finds that the characteristics of high-risk pupils are well documented and consist of, but are not limited to, the following school-related factors: absenteeism, truancy, and frequent tardiness; poor grades; low math and reading scores; failure in one or more grades; limited extracurricular participation; lack of identification with the school; failure to see the relevance of education to life experience; boredom with school; disruptive behavior and rebellious attitudes toward authority; verbal and language deficiencies; and inability to tolerate structured activities.

The Legislature further finds that all youth are entitled to an opportunity for a free education at public expense that culminates in a high school diploma or its equivalent.

The Legislature further finds that there are numerous educationally sound programs, practices, and interventions for alleviating school-related factors for high-risk pupils.

The Legislature also finds and declares that it has established many categorical, optional, and alternative programs to address the needs of high-risk pupils and that provisions to waive those statutes or regulations for purposes of maximizing resources and coordinating programs already exist.

In recognition of the fact that all youth are entitled to a free public education culminating in a high school diploma, or its equivalent, and that a high percentage of California's youth are in danger of not reaching that goal, it is the intent of the Legislature to increase the student holding power of schools through the effective coordination and promotion of existing categorical and apportionment programs, and to increase student holding power generated through improved attendance and increases in apportionment revenues. Many schools which serve a disproportionate number of high-risk youth are unable, because of the immediate problem of inadequate revenues, to retain acceptable percentages of their pupils.

It is the intent of the Legislature to provide greater flexibility for schools and school districts to better coordinate the categorical funds and optional apportionment programs while ensuring that schools continue to receive categorical funds and optional apportionments to meet their needs.

It is further the intent of the Legislature to focus the authority to exercise that flexibility at the school level, with the approval and under the policy direction of, the governing board.

The Legislature further intends to provide supplemental revenue to those schools to improve programs and increase school motivation and maintenance and dropout recovery programs, thereby placing financially disadvantaged schools in a position eventually to generate adequate revenue from existing apportionment programs.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1431, Sec. 3.)