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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 1L: Comprehensive interdisciplinary health education and human service discretionary grant program; proposals; rejection; funds

Section 1L. Subject to appropriation, the board shall establish a comprehensive interdisciplinary health education and human service discretionary grant program. Funds for this program may be appropriated from the Health Protection Fund established by section two T of chapter twenty-nine. Comprehensive interdisciplinary health education and human service programs shall include, but not be limited to, planning and coordination activities, curriculum development, in-service training components for all school staff, in-service education, instruction, school counseling services, health service delivery, promotion of knowledge of child development and appropriate care, effective parenting skills for parents and adolescents, and parent education services which will promote improved home based learning, the prevention of substance abuse, tobacco use, family violence, child abuse and neglect, teenage pregnancy and eating disorders, AIDS and suicide, and promote sound health practices including nutritional health and emotional development, improved school counseling services, early intervention services for high risk students, peer counseling and education, incentives for participation by students of both sexes, and increased coordination between schools, parents and existing community services, especially for those students most in need. As the primary educators of their children, parents shall play a substantial role in the design, development and implementation of programs and curriculum.

Instruction in health education shall include, but shall not be limited to, consumer health, ecology, community health, body structure and function safety, nutrition, fitness and body dynamics, dental health, emotional and character development, promotion of self-esteem skills, AIDS/HIV prevention education in accordance with policies or regulations of the board, and training in the administration of first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The board shall solicit proposals for comprehensive interdisciplinary health education and human service programs for students in grades kindergarten through twelve, inclusive. Applications shall include evidence of a district-wide needs assessment and planning processes, program objectives and activities, anticipated results, and evaluation plan, and proposed linkages with community health and human service agencies and existing school programs. Proposals which describe linkages with other health and human service agencies and existing programs under chapter one hundred and eighty-eight of the acts of nineteen hundred and eighty-five which provide matching funds from local, federal and private sources shall be given priority.

Each school committee shall appoint an advisory council consisting of parents, junior and senior high school students, teachers, school counseling professionals, health and home economic educators, health professionals, school administrators, and representatives of community or regional health or social service agencies and representatives of local religious organizations.

Funds may be granted to a school district to provide for program coordinators, in-service training and program materials. It shall not be the primary focus of programs to finance various school-based clinics.

If the board rejects a proposal of a school committee under this section, then the board shall provide the respective school committee with a written explanation for rejection. The written explanation for rejection shall state the reasons for the rejection and suggest recommendations for resubmission.

Programs and services provided by this program shall supplement, not supplant, programs and services provided under chapters seventy-one A, seventy-one B, and seventy-four. At least fifty percent of said funds shall be allocated to programs serving low-income sites, as determined by the board. No more than ten percent of said funds shall be allocated for state administration of the program.

Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, any grant funds distributed under this program shall be deposited with the treasurer of the city, town or regional school district and held in a separate account and shall be expended by the school committee without further appropriation.

The board, through the department, shall administer the discretionary grant program, provide technical assistance to school districts, including information about model programs and agency services, provide for program review and evaluation, and, in consultation with the members of the state advisory council, develop program guidelines for coordinated service delivery and shall establish standards against which programs may be judged for efficiency and effectiveness.