H. R. 3168
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 24, 2007
Mr. Hastings of Florida introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor
To establish an educational mentoring pilot program for at-risk youth through community partnerships that provides life, social, academic and vocational skills necessary for youth to become productive law abiding citizens.
This Act may be cited as the
Path to Success: Gang Prevention
through Community Partnerships Act.
The purpose of this Act is to encourage community supported programs that—
leverage and enhance community support for at-risk young adults by facilitating the transition of such young adults who are eligible individuals into productive learning environments where such young adults can obtain the life, social, academic and vocational skills and credentials necessary to strengthen the Nation's workforce;
provide counseling, as appropriate, for eligible individuals participating in the programs to allow such individuals to build a relationship with one or more guidance counselors during the period that the individuals are enrolled in the programs, including providing referrals and connections to community resources that help eligible individuals transition back into the community with the necessary life, social, academic and vocational skills after being in detention, or incarcerated, particularly resources related to health, housing, job training, and work-place readiness;
provide training and education for eligible individuals participating in the programs, to allow such individuals to assist community officials and law enforcement agencies with the deterrence and prevention of gang and youth violence by participating in seminars, training, and workshops throughout the community; and
provide each eligible youth participating in the programs with individual attention based on a curriculum that matches the interests and abilities of the individual to the resources of the program.
Reentry education program
Grant program established
The Secretary of Education is authorized to award grants to community colleges to enter into and maintain partnerships with juvenile detention centers and secure juvenile justice residential facilities to provide assistance, services, and education to eligible individuals who reenter the community and pursue, in accordance with the requirements of this Act, at least one of the following:
A certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, a general equivalency diploma (GED), or another recognized equivalent of such a certificate or diploma.
A certificate of completion for a specialized area of study, such as vocational training and other alternative post-secondary educational programs.
An associate’s degree.
A grant awarded under this Act shall be for one 2-year period, and may be renewed for an additional period as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
A community college desiring to receive a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary shall require, which shall include—
an assessment of the existing community resources available to serve at-risk youth;
a detailed description of the program and activities the community college will carry out with such grant; and
a proposed budget describing how the community college will use the funds made available by such grant.
In awarding grants under this section, the Secretary of Education shall give priority to community colleges that accept the highest number of eligible individuals from high-risk areas, and among such community colleges, shall give priority to community colleges that the Secretary determines will best carry out the purposes of this Act, based on the applications submitted in accordance with subsection (c).
Allowable uses of funds
A community college awarded a grant under this Act may use such grant to—
pay for tuition and transportation costs of eligible individuals;
establish and carry out an education program that includes classes for eligible individuals that—
provide marketable life and social skills to such individuals;
meet the education program requirements under section 5;
promote the civic engagement of such individuals; and
facilitate a smooth reentry of such individuals into the community;
create and carry out a mentoring program—
that is specifically designed to help eligible individuals with the potential challenges of the transitional period from detention to release;
is created in consultation with guidance counselors, academic advisors, law enforcement officials, and other community resources; and
that is administered by a program coordinator, selected and employed by the community college, who shall oversee each individual’s development and shall serve as the immediate supervisor and reporting officer to whom the academic advisors, guidance counselors, and volunteers shall report regarding the progress of each such individual;
facilitate employment opportunities for eligible individuals by entering into partnerships with public and private entities to provide opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, and permanent employment, as possible, for such individuals; and
provide training for eligible individuals participating in the programs, to allow such individuals to assist community officials and law enforcement agencies with the deterrence and prevention of gang and youth violence by participating in seminars and workshop series throughout the community.
Education program requirements
An education program established and carried out under section 4 shall—
include classes that are required for completion of a certificate, diploma, or degree described in paragraphs (1) through (3) of section 3(a);
provide a variety of academic programs, with various completion requirements, to accommodate the distinctive academic backgrounds, learning curves, and concentration interests of the eligible individuals who participate in the program;
offer flexible academic programs that are designed to improve the academic development and achievement of eligible individuals, and to avoid high attrition rates for such individuals; and
provide for a uniquely designed education plan for each eligible individual participating in the program, which shall require such individual to receive, at a minimum, a certificate or diploma described in paragraph (1) of section 3(a) to successfully complete such program.
Each community college awarded a grant under this Act shall submit to the Secretary of Education a report—
documenting the results of the program carried out with such grant; and
evaluating the effectiveness of activities carried out through such program.
In this Act:
The term community college means a public or nonprofit institution of higher education (as such term is defined in section 101 or 102(a)(2)(B) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001, 1002(a)(2)(B)), that—
provides an educational program of not less than two years; and
that is accredited by a regional accrediting agency or association.
The term eligible individual means an individual who—
is 16 to 19 years of age;
has been convicted of a gang-related offense, and has served a period of detention in a juvenile detention center for such offense; and
is detained in, or has been released from such center.
The term gang-related offense means conduct constituting any Federal or State crime, punishable by imprisonment in any of the following categories:
A crime of violence.
A crime involving obstruction of justice, tampering with or retaliating against a witness, victim, or informant, or burglary.
A crime involving the manufacturing, importing, distributing, possessing with intent to distribute, or otherwise dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)).
The term guidance counselor means an individual who works with at-risk youth on a one-on-one basis, to establishing a supportive relationship with such at-risk youth and to provide such at-risk youth with academic assistance and exposure to new experiences that enhance their ability to become responsible citizens.
The term high-risk area means a specified area within a State where there is a disproportionately high number of gang-related activities reported to State and local law enforcement authorities.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $20,000,000 for the period beginning with fiscal year 2008 and ending with fiscal year 2010.