SB 317 – This act allows proposed high risk or alternative charter schools to request that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education grant alternative arrangements for students to obtain credits for satisfying graduation requirements. Alternative arrangements may include credit for off-campus instruction, embedded credit, work experience, independent studies, and performance-based credit options. The Department must approve or disapprove such a request within thirty days.
The State Board of Education must approve a charter application for a proposed high risk or alternative charter school whose educational program contains certain educational approaches, as described in the act. After three years of operation, the State Board must conduct a study of any such charter school to assess student performance, graduation rates, educational outcomes, and entry into the workforce or higher education. (Section 160.405)
This act requires charter schools whose mission includes student drop-out prevention or recovery to enroll nonresident pupils from the same or an adjacent county who are considered high-risk or are dropouts, or nonresident pupils from the same or an adjacent county who reside in residential care facilities, transitional living group homes, or independent living programs who submit a timely application. Preference will be given to resident pupils over non-resident pupils if there is insufficient capacity. Charter schools may also give an admissions preference to high-risk and dropout students. (Section 160.410)
This act contains provisions similar to SB 1027 (2008) and similar to provisions also contained in SB 64 (2009).