SS/SCS/SB 125 - This act modifies duties of boards of education.
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION RULEMAKING: This act requires the State Board of Education to promulgate rules under which the board classifies the public schools of the state.
The appropriate scoring guides, instruments, and procedures used in determining the accreditation status of a district are subject to a public meeting upon notice in a newspaper of general circulation in each of the three most populous cities in Missouri and a newspaper that is a certified minority business enterprise or woman-owned business enterprise in each of the two most populous cities in Missouri, and notice to various state government officials, as described in the act, at least fourteen days in advance of the meeting. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must conduct the public meeting no less than ninety days prior to the application in accreditation, with all comments received to be reported to the State Board of Education.
This provision is also contained in SCS/HCS/HB 388 (2013). (Section 161.092)
UNACCREDITED SCHOOL DISTRICTS: This act removes the two-year waiting period that exists between the classification of a school district as unaccredited and the lapse of the district's corporate organization. Instead, when the State Board of Education initially classifies, or reclassifies, a district as unaccredited, it must review the governance of the district to establish the conditions under which the existing school board will continue to govern or determine the date on which the district will lapse and determine an alternative governing structure for the district.
This act changes the timing and purpose of the hearing that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must conduct. The Department must conduct at least two public hearings, which must be regarding the accreditation status of the district. Also, the hearings must provide an opportunity to convene community resources that may be useful or necessary to support the district as it attempts to return to accredited status. The hearings must be conducted at least twice annually for every year in which the district remains unaccredited or provisionally accredited.
When it classifies a district as unaccredited, the State Board of Education may allow continued governance by the existing local board of education under specific terms and conditions. If the State Board appoints a special administrative board to oversee the district, the board must consist of at least five members, the majority of whom must be district residents. In addition, the board members must reflect the population characteristics of the district and collectively possess strong experience in school governance, management and finance, and leadership. Within fourteen days after appointment by the State Board, the special administrative board must organize by the election of a president, vice president, secretary and a treasurer, as provided in current law for the organization of school boards. The special administrative board must appoint a superintendent of schools to serve as the chief executive officer of the district and to have all powers and duties of any other general district superintendent. A special administrative board will be responsible for the operation of the district until it is classified as provisionally accredited for at least two successive school years, at which time the State Board of Education may provide for a transition back to local governance, as described in the act.
If the State Board determines an alternative governing structure, it must provide a rationale for its decision and recertify the alternative form of governance every three years. In addition, the State Board must create a public comment method, establish expectations for academic progress by creating a time line for full accreditation, and provide annual reports to the General Assembly and Governor on the district's progress, as described in the act.
If the State Board chooses to allow a district to remain governed by the local school board under specific terms and conditions, the State Board of Education must lapse the district and intervene if a district has been unaccredited for three consecutive school years and failed to regain accredited status. The State Board must also lapse the district and intervene if, after two consecutive school years of unaccredited status, the State Board of Education determines that the district's academic progress is insufficient to attain accredited status after the third school year.
A special administrative board appointed under this act will retain the authority granted to a school board under the laws of the state in effect at the time of the district's lapse. A special administrative board may enter into contracts with accredited districts or other education service providers to deliver high quality educational programs. In addition, if a student graduates from a school operated under a contract with an accredited district, the student will receive his or her diploma from the accredited district.
Neither the special administrative board nor its members will be deemed to be the state or a state agency for any purpose. Furthermore, the state, its agencies and employees, will have absolute immunity from liability, as provided in the act.
This act repeals the requirement that provisionally accredited and unaccredited districts develop a plan to divide up the district if the district cannot regain accreditation within three years of the loss of accreditation. (Section 162.081)
This act repeals the authorization for the serving members of a special administrative board to appoint a school superintendent if the state board of education appoints a successor member to replace the chair of the special administrative board. (Section 162.083)
When a school district receives students from another district as a result of a boundary line change, consolidation, annexation, dissolution, or action of the state board of education, as described in the act, the statewide assessment scores and all other performance data of the students received by the district will not be used for three years when calculating the receiving district's performance for purposes of the Missouri school improvement program. (Section 162.1300)
These sections are substantially similar to perfected SCS/SB 7 (2013), SCS/HCS/HB 388 (2013), SCS/HCS/HB 76 (2013), SS/SCS/SB 210 (2013), and HB 50 (2013). This act contains a provision identical to SB 168 (2013).
SCHOOL PERSONNEL IN THE ST. LOUIS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT: This act allows tenured teachers in the St. Louis City School District to be removed based on incompetency.
This act repeals the requirement that a notification of written charges seeking dismissal received during a vacation period be considered as received on the first day of the following school term.
Currently, to be dismissed for inefficiency in the line of duty, a teacher must be notified in writing at least one semester prior to the presentment of charges. This waiting period is shortened to thirty days and will also apply to incompetency.
This act modifies the prohibition on new teachers being hired while available teachers have been placed on leave of absence due to a reduction in force because of insufficient funds or a decrease in student enrollment. Instead, new teachers cannot be appointed while there are properly qualified teachers on unrequested leave of absence. A leave of absence because of a reduction in force will not impair the tenure of a teacher and will continue for up to three years, unless extended by the school board.
The St. Louis City School District may use the "St. Louis Plan" for professional development, if agreed to by teachers, if the state mandates that local school districts provide professional development to teachers and funds are utilized for professional development. (Section 168.221)
This act repeals a provision governing how a reduction in force based on insufficient funds or a decrease in student enrollment would be conducted for non-certified employees in the St. Louis City School District. (Section 168.291)
These sections are substantially similar to SB 601 (2012), HB 1893 (2012) and provisions contained in HCS/HB 1526 (2012).