September 2011 E-Newsletter

September 19, 2011

ENDING CYBERBULLYING

In just a few weeks on October 2, I'll be holding my Health and Safety Fair and the featured guest is Holly Pederson, an authority on preventing bullying. She will give a presentation on effective ways to stop bullying in schools and online.

There will be free health and dental screenings, healthy diet information, counselors to help Medical enrollees, and more.  In addition, California Highway Patrol officers will conduct free car seat safety checks but registration for this is required.

HEALTH AND SAFETY FAIR
Sunday, October 2, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
First Congregational Church of San Jose
1800 Hamilton Ave., San Jose

To RSVP, call the 24th Assembly District office, (408) 282-8920.

AUTISM INSURANCE

A collaboration between me and Senate President Darrell Steinberg has resulted in landmark legislation being sent to the Governor's desk to require health plan insurers to cover the costs of autism therapies.

I encourage you to write the Governor to urge him to sign SB 946, legislation to not only help people with autism but also end the practice of health insurers denying coverage to their consumers and shifting millions in their costs onto our taxpayer-supported school districts and other public health agencies. To reach the Governor's office, click here.

SB 946, an amalgamation of my AB 171 and Steinberg's SB 166, eliminates the road blocks for those seeking coverage for autism treatment. It also streamlines the process by which thousands of families can be connected to behavioral specialists and therapists.

This combined bill defines the scope treatment to be covered and targets a problem that stopped people with autism spectrum disorders from getting their insurers to pay for treatment. Currently, health insurers are only required to pay for coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis services and other therapies from a licensed provider. However, the state has no mechanism for licensing, effectively preventing people from accessing their coverage.

SB 946 addresses that problem by allowing the state Department of Developmental Services and the Regional Centers to also approve providers.

MY EDUCATION CORNER

This August, the Santa Clara County Office of Education began implementing California's newly adopted Common Core State Standards.

A major goal of the Common Core Standards (CCS) is to prepare all students for college and careers with the ability to compete in a rapidly evolving global society. The CCS allows California to work collaboratively with other states, creating a common ground for dialogue about best practices, instructional content, and professional development.

Work began on the standards back in the fall of 2009 with the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association addressing the content areas of English language arts and mathematics. The final standards were released in June of 2010, and since that time they have been adopted by 37 states.

The County Office of Education is leading the charge in rolling out the CCS here in California in three stages over the next three years. By the end of the first year, teacher leaders will have mastered the standards and how they work within a classroom context. In the second year, the standards will actually be applied in classrooms. In the third year, assessments will begin to measure the results.

With the establishment of the CCS, California is now able to set a clear and consistent progression for all students from kindergarten to college, career, and beyond.

Visit the county Office of Education's Common Core State Standards web page for more information.