HCS/SB 243 – This act modifies provisions relating to educational resources and services.
CLASSIFICATION AND ACCREDITATION OF SCHOOLS: After the implementation of the fifth cycle of the Missouri School Improvement Program, the State Board of Education must adopt a system to accredit individual schools and to accredit school districts separately from individual schools. The State Board must submit a report to the Joint Committee on its progress, beginning on December 1, 2011.
This provision is identical to a provision contained in HB 994 (2011) and HCS/SB 147 (2011). (Section 160.080)
CHARTER SCHOOLS: (Section 160.400) – In addition to the St. Louis City and Kansas City School Districts, charter schools may be operated in unaccredited districts, provisionally accredited districts if certain criteria are met, and in districts accredited without provisions if sponsored by the local school board.
This act removes the restriction that a sponsoring public four-year college or university have its primary campus in the school district or in a county adjacent to the county in which the district is located. In addition, a community college whose service area encompasses some portion of the district may be a sponsor. Currently, any private four-year college or university located in St. Louis City with an enrollment of one thousand students and an approved teacher preparation program may be a sponsor. This act eliminates the requirement that the institution be located in St. Louis City but requires that its primary campus be located in Missouri. Additional sponsors include any two-year private vocational or technical school, as described in the act, the Missouri Charter Public School Commission, and a nonprofit or charitable organization, excluding a nonpublic sectarian or religious institution exempt from federal taxation under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6).
Except for the St. Louis and Kansas City school districts, changes in a school district's accreditation status will be addressed in the following manner: as a district transitions from unaccredited to provisionally accredited, the district will fall under the requirements of an unaccredited district until it has three consecutive school years of provisional accreditation; and a charter school whose charter provides for the addition of grade levels may continue to add levels until the planned expansion is complete.
The mayor of St. Louis City may request a two-year private vocational or technical school, the Missouri Charter Public School Commission, or a nonprofit or charitable organization, excluding a nonpublic sectarian or religious institution exempt from federal taxation under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6), to consider sponsoring a "workplace charter school."
When a charter school chooses to affiliate with a four-year college or university, the college or university will no longer required to be located within the county in which the school district lies or in an adjacent county.
This act allows a school district or the State Board of Education, when acting as a sponsor, to have expenses associated with sponsorship to be defrayed by having the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education withhold up to 1.5% of the charter school's state and local funding. A sponsor that receives 1.5% funding to defray expenses associated with sponsorship must submit annual reports to the Joint Committee on Education demonstrating compliance with requirements.
A charter school sponsor must develop policies and procedures for the following: the review of a charter school proposal; the granting of a charter; the performance framework of a charter; the renewal, revocation, and nonrenewal processes; additional criteria for oversight of the charter; and procedures to be used when a school closes for the transfer or repository of student records and the disposition of school assets. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is required to provide guidance to sponsors in developing these procedures and policies.
Currently, the State Board of Education has authority to require remedial action for a sponsor, including withholding its funding and suspending, for a period of one year, its ability to sponsor a school. This act allows the State Board to suspend a sponsor's ability to sponsor a school until reauthorized by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education under section 160.403. If the state board serves as interim sponsor of a charter school, the board shall revoke the school's charter if the school fails to meet academic performance or other goals in the charter.
This act allows the Special Administrative Board of the St. Louis City School District, in equal partnership with the Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis, to sponsor a charter school and declare itself as the local education agency of the charter school for school funding purposes. If the special administrative board if dissolved, the charter school may continue to operate provided it seeks and obtains a new sponsorship under the new governing board of the school district and the cooperating school districts.
Section 160.402 – An accredited school district or cooperative association of accredited districts may sponsor or operate a charter school in an unaccredited school district. In addition, an unaccredited school district with unused facilities must grant the right of first refusal for lease or purchase to such a charter school. If the school district regains accreditation without provisions and the district or cooperative wishes to discontinue the school, it must solicit proposals for the continuation of the school. This must be presented for a vote of the parents or guardians of the students attending the school in the school year during which the district undergoes its next accreditation review.
SECTION 160.403 – The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must establish an annual application and approval process for all entities eligible to sponsor charter schools. All information and guidelines for eligible sponsors must be made available by January 1, 2012.
An eligible sponsor must submit an application by April 1 that includes the following: written notice of intent; evidence of budget and personnel capacity; an outline of the request for proposal that it would use to solicit charter school applicants; the performance framework that the applicant sponsor would use to guide the establishment of a charter contract, and oversee and evaluate the charter school it would sponsor; and its renewal, revocation, and nonrenewal processes.
By July 1 annually, the Department must grant or deny a sponsoring authority to a sponsor applicant. Within thirty days of the Department's decision, it must execute a renewable sponsoring contract with each approved sponsoring entity. The term will be ten years in length.
All entities sponsoring a charter school at the time of this act's effective date must apply to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for approval to continue as a sponsor by April 1, 2012. By July 1, 2012, the Department must decide whether to grant the sponsor the authority to continue. Charter sponsors that are granted the authority to continue as a sponsor may do so for ten years. A sponsor that is denied authority will lose authority to sponsor immediately. The Missouri Charter Public School Commission will become the interim sponsor for a period of up to three years until the charter school finds a new sponsor or until the charter contract period lapses.
SECTION 160.405 – This act replaces the requirement that a charter state educational goals and objectives to be achieved by the school with the requirement that the charter contain a performance contract, as described in the act.
The term of a charter will be for five years, instead of the current provision that allows charters to be not less than five but not greater than ten years.
Any charter school that is sponsored by the Special Administrative Board of the St. Louis City School District in equal partnership with the Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis County, the charter may be for a period of three years and may be renewable. If such a charter school does not perform to the academic standards initially set out in the charter agreement, the SAB and CSD may close the school at the end of the three-year term and incorporate it into the school district.
A charter must contain the following additional items: description of the procedures that ensure admission of students with disabilities in a nondiscriminatory manner; a description of the school's grievance procedure for parents or guardians; a description of the agreement between the school and the sponsor as to when a charter will be revoked for failure to comply with certain requirements or will not be renewed; procedures to be implemented if the charter school were to close; and a description of the special education and related services that will be available to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
A charter must be submitted to the sponsor and follow the sponsor's policies and procedures for review and granting. In addition, the charter must be approved by the State Board of Education by December 1 prior to the proposed opening date of the charter school.
This act removes the requirement if a sponsor grants three or more charters that at least one-third of them be schools actively recruiting dropout students or high-risk students. It also modifies the definition of "high risk" student.
Charter schools must conduct a background check of education personnel, including through the Family Care Safety Registry.
Audit reports and annual financial reports must be published on the charter school's website or on DESE's website. This act removes the reference to the annual financial report in chapter 165.
Currently, charter schools must collect baseline data during at least the first three years to determine performance. This act requires charter schools to establish baseline student performance during the first year of operation and collect student performance data, as described in the act, throughout the duration of the charter to annually monitor student academic performance, based upon grade levels offered by the school.
The performance standards for alternative and special purpose charter schools that target high-risk students must be based on academic growth measures.
Charter schools are required to comply with all applicable federal and state special education laws including IDEA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
This act allows proposed or existing high risk or alternative charter schools to include alternative arrangements for students to obtain credits for satisfying graduation requirements in the charter application and charter. Alternative arrangements may include credit for off-campus instruction, embedded credit, work experience, independent studies, and performance-based credit options. Upon approval of the charter by the State Board of Education, any alternative arrangements will be approved at the same time.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must conduct a study of any such charter school granted alternative arrangements for students to obtain credit to assess student performance, graduation rates, educational outcomes, and entry into the workforce or higher education.
The sponsor, governing board, and charter school staff must jointly review the school's performance, management, and operations during the first year of operation and then every other year after the most recent review, instead of the current requirement of at least once every two years.
This act removes the requirement that a charter school become a local educational agency for the sole purpose of direct access to federal grants and allows the school to become an agency if the sponsor and the governing board reach a written agreement to become an agency.
This act limits the length of probationary status for a charter school to no more than twelve months, provided that no more than one designation of probationary status is allowed for the duration of the charter contract.
This act eliminates judicial review of a sponsor's final decision to revoke a charter.
Beginning August 1, during the year in which a charter is up for renewal, a sponsor must demonstrate to the State Board of education that the charter school is in compliance with federal and state law on accountability, transparency, maintenance of parent, student, and employee rights, performance of charter requirements, and academic performance standards, as described in the act. For a charter school that offers high school grades, the sponsor must establish that the average graduation rate for the most recent three years is no lower than seventy percent in any of the last four years unless the school is engaged in dropout recovery and enrolls seventeen to twenty-one year old students. For all charter schools, the sponsor must establish that the school is not among the persistently lowest achieving five percent of schools by using three years of Missouri Assessment Program for communication arts and mathematics data. The State Board of Education must determine if the sponsor has demonstrated compliance. If compliance has not been achieved, the school and the sponsor must file a statement by October 31 stating why the school should not be closed. If no such statement is filed, the school must cease operation at the end of the current academic year. If a statement is timely filed, the State Board must hold a public hearing no later than January 10 to determine if the charter should be renewed. The State Board must vote by February 28 as to whether to continue school operations. The State Board may also impose certain conditions on continued operation or may close the charter school at the end of the current academic year.
A charter school must close at the end of the academic year if: the charter is revoked by the State Board of Education; the charter is revoked by the school's sponsor; the charter is not renewed; or the charter is voluntarily relinquished. The decision of the State Board to revoke or not renew a charter is final.
A properly authorized charter school will have the right to purchase or lease an unused facility or unused portion of a facility from a school district. A purchase or lease will be made available to a charter school at a fair market value prior to any unused facility or unused portion of a facility being offered to any noncharter school entity. No school district may sell or lease a facility to another entity without doing so first.
The State Board of Education must immediately close all existing charter schools that have failed to attain the state's annual yearly performance standard established pursuant to the state's implementation plan for No Child Left Behind that are not outperforming the lowest performing district school in the district.
SECTION 160.410 – 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 reside in residential care facilities, transitional living group homes, or independent living programs, whose last school of enrollment is in the school district where the charter school is established, who submit a timely application. Charter alternative and special purpose schools may also give a preference for admission to high-risk students, as defined, when the school targets these students through its proposed mission, curriculum, teaching methods, and services.
Students of a charter school who are present for the January membership count in section 163.011 will be counted in the performance of the charter school on the statewide assessments in that calendar year, unless otherwise exempted as English language learners.
If a charter school is operated by a management company, a copy of the contract must be made available for public inspection.
If a student attending a charter school moves so that he or she no longer lives in the school district where charter schools may operate, he or she may complete the current semester at the charter school and will be considered a resident student. The parent or legal guardian will be responsible for the student's transportation.
If a change in school district boundary lines occurs so that a student no longer lives in a school district, or if action by the State Board of Education occurs under section 162.081, where charter schools may operate, the student may complete the current academic year at the charter school. The parent or legal guardian will be responsible for the student's transportation.
The Foster Care Bill of Rights (sections 167.018 and 167.019) apply to charter schools.
SECTION 160.415 – An educational cooperative of school districts may provide managerial academic services as a contractor.
If a proposed charter school intends to contract with an education services provider for substantial educational services, management services, or both, the request for proposals must require charter school applicants to: provide evidence of the service provider's success in serving student populations similar to the targeted population; provide a term sheet setting forth the proposed duration of the service contract, roles and responsibilities of the governing board, school staff, and service provider, scope of services, performance evaluation measures and time lines, methods of contract oversight; disclose and explain any existing or potential conflicts of interest between the governing board and proposed service provider; disclose and explain any termination or nonrenewal of contracts for equivalent services for any other charter school within the past five years; ensure that the lead administrator and the legal counsel at the charter school shall be direct employees of the charter school governing board; and provide a process to ensure that the expenditures that the educational service provider intends to bill the charter school will receive prior approval of the governing board or its designee.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education may withhold funding at an adequate level during a charter school's last year of operation until the Department determines that school records, liabilities, and reporting requirements, including a full audit, are satisfied.
SECTION 160.417 – By October 1, 2011, and each October 1 thereafter, the Department of Elementary and Secondary education must identify charter schools experiencing financial stress using information from the report required by section 162.821. A list of charter schools experiencing financial stress will be provided to the Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and President Pro Tem of the Senate.
Parameters for financial stress are defined in the act.
By November 1, the Department must notify the charter school sponsor and the board of directors if it is identified as experiencing financial stress. The sponsor must develop and approve a budget and education plan, which must be submitted to the Department. The Department may withhold any payment of financial aid until such time as the charter school is in compliance with these requirements.
SECTION 160.420 - In addition to existing criminal background check requirements, charter schools must ensure that a Family Care Safety Registry check is conducted for employees. In addition, "certification by the National Standards Board" is updated to be "National Board for Professional Teaching Standards."
SECTION 160.425 – This act creates the Missouri Charter Public School Commission. It will have nine members, all appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Members will serve a term of four years, except for the initial appointees, whose terms are staggered. Commission members will be: one member selected from a slate of three candidates recommended by the Commissioner of Education; one member selected from a slate of three candidates recommended by the Commissioner of Higher Education; one member selected from a slate of three recommended by the President Pro Tem of the Senate; a member selected from a slate of three recommended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and five additional members. Operating procedures for the Commission are included.
The Commission may approve proposed charters for its sponsorship, as described in the act. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must provide start-up funding for the Commission to operate, which will be reimbursed from funds the Commission receives as sponsor of any charter schools under section 160.400.
These provisions are identical to provisions contained in HCS/SB 147 (2011) and HB 897 (2011) and are substantially similar to HCS/HB 473 (2011), and are similar to HB 994 (2011), SCS/SBs 291, 184 & 294 (2011), SB 838 (2010), SB 835 (2010), HB 2200 (2010), SB 317 (2009), SB 1027 (2008) and SB 64 (2009).
GIFTED EDUCATION: This act requires school districts to include in their annual school accountability report card whether the school district currently has a state-approved gifted education program and the percentage and number of students being served by the program.
This provision is identical to the introduced version of SB 147 (2011) and HB 570 (2011) and is similar to provisions contained in HB 1295 (2010), SB 962 (2010), SB 498 (2009), and HB 2542 (2008).
FOSTER CARE CHILDREN: This act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to ensure that school districts implement specific criteria relating to the enrollment of foster care children.
School districts will be required to: facilitate the timely enrollment of foster care children; facilitate the student placement process so that foster care children are not disadvantaged by variations between school districts; facilitate the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic, and social activities; facilitate the on-time graduation of foster care children; provide for uniform collection and sharing of information between and among schools, foster care children, and families; and promote flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, foster parents, and the student to achieve educational success for the student.
When a foster care student transfers before or during the school year, the receiving school district must initially honor the placement of the student in educational courses based on the student's enrollment or assessments conducted in the sending district. The receiving district may perform subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement. The receiving district must initially provide comparable services to a foster care student with disabilities based on his or her current IEP and provide accommodations under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The receiving district may conduct subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement.
Schools must waive specific courses required for graduation if similar course work has been satisfactorily completed in another school or provide reasonable justification for denial of a waiver. If the school district does not grant a waiver, it must provide an alternative means of acquiring required course work so graduation may occur on time. Receiving schools must accept end-of-course exams required for graduation from the sending school, national norm-referenced achievement tests, or alternative testing in lieu of testing requirements for graduation.
If a foster care student transfers at the beginning or during the senior and is ineligible to graduate from the receiving school, the sending and receiving school must grant a diploma to the student from the sending school, provided the student meets the sending school's graduation requirements.
This section is identical to SB 342 (2011), HB 419 (2011), and is identical to a provision in HCS/SB 147 (2011). (Section 160.1990)
COORDINATION OF STUDENT TRANSFERS FROM UNACCREDITED DISTRICTS: This act allows the governing board of the "Metropolitan Schools Achieving Value in Transfer Corporation" to coordinate student transfers from unaccredited districts. If this role is undertaken, the corporation would act as the central repository for student applications and establish an open enrollment period. The corporation would make student assignments based on available seats in accredited districts and the availability of transportation. School districts would be required to annually inform the corporation of anticipated open seats at each attendance center. A school district that does not report its anticipated open seats or distorts the availability of seats may be prosecuted.
This provision is identical to a provision contained in HB 994 (2011) and HCS/SB 147 (2011). (Section 162.1062)
VIRTUAL EDUCATION: This act allows students to enroll in a school district other than their school district of residence or in a charter school for the purpose of attending virtual courses or programs. For purposes of state school aid, the student will be included in the average daily attendance of the school district of residence. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must pay the district or charter school an amount equal to eighty-five percent of its tuition fee or the state adequacy target, whichever is greater. This amount cannot exceed one and twenty-five hundredths times the state adequacy target for each enrolled virtual student. In addition, if the average local tax effort per average daily attendance of the student's district of residence does not exceed eighty-five percent of the amount paid to the school district or charter school enrolling the student, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must pay to the general revenue fund an amount equal to ten percent of the amount of the local educational agency's tuition fee, or of the state adequacy target, whichever is greater, for each student. The Department must also withhold from the student's district of residence an amount equal to the amount paid for the virtual education plus the amount deposited in the general revenue fund.
Any institution of higher education with its primary campus located in Missouri with an approved teacher education program may sponsor virtual charter schools. Virtual charter schools are subject to all charter school laws. They may only offer instruction in a virtual setting using technology, intranet and internet methods of communication.
This provision is identical to SB 329 (2011) and is similar to HB 463 (2011). (Section 162.1250)
STUDENT TRANSFERS FROM AN UNACCREDITED DISTRICT TO AN ACCREDITED DISTRICT: Currently, the school board of a school district that does not maintain an accredited school is required to pay the tuition and transportation of resident pupils who attend an accredited school in another district of the same or an adjoining county. This provision applies to both unaccredited school districts and K-8 school districts that do not offer high school grades.
This act differentiates between a K-8 school district that does not offer high school grades and a school district classified as unaccredited by the State Board of Education. This act specifies that the school board of an unaccredited district must pay the tuition and transportation of resident pupils who attend an accredited school in another district of the same or an adjoining county. A resident pupil of an unaccredited district may attend a school in another accredited district in the same or an adjoining county if the student was enrolled in and attending a public school in the district during the school year when the district lost its accreditation, or years subsequent to the year in which the district lost its accreditation.
The rate of tuition to be charged is the lesser of the nonresident tuition established by each district, or in the absence of nonresident tuition, the lesser of the two districts' average expenditure per pupil for the most recently completed year for which data are available. The residence district shall also pay the cost of education in the receiving district for any student with an IEP accepted in the receiving district.
Before a student who attends a public school in an unaccredited school district may transfer to a public school in an accredited district, the unaccredited district must determine if space is available in a district school that meets adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind. If space exists, the student must remain enrolled in the district attending that school. This right of first intervention by the unaccredited district will remain in effect as long as there are available spaces.
By June 30, 2011, each district must establish criteria for the admission of nonresident pupils from unaccredited districts. The primary criteria must be the availability of highly qualified teachers in existing classroom space. Each district must establish criteria for calculating available seats, taking into account the district's resident student population growth or decrease, such that the receiving district is not required to employ additional teachers or construct additional classrooms. In addition, resident pupils must not be displaced from the school building to which they are assigned. The receiving district will be responsible for assigning a student to a particular building.
When a student from an unaccredited district has been accepted in an accredited district, he or she may complete the educational program in the building to which he or she has been assigned, even if the district of residence regains accreditation. Upon a student's transition from an educational program in the building to which the student was assigned to a program in another building if the student's district of residence has regained accreditation, the student must return to his or her district of residence.
This provision is identical to a provision contained in HCS/SB 147 (2011) and is substantially similar to HB 763 (2011). This section contains an emergency clause. (Section 167.131)
CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION INSTRUCTION: Each school district that operates a high school and each charter school offering grades nine through twelve must provide instruction in CPR. Instruction may be embedded in any health education course in grades nine through twelve. Parameters for instruction are included in the act. Instruction will be required for high school graduation for students graduating in the 2014-2015 school year.
This section is identical to a provision contained in HCS/SB 147 (2011) and to HB 903 (2011). (Section 170.310)
SCHOOL CALENDAR: A school board may prepare a school calendar that contains at least 1088 hours of actual pupil attendance with no minimum number of days required.
This provision is identical to a provision contained in HCS/SB 147 (2011) and is identical to HB 765 (2011). (Section 171.031)
SHARING OF SERVICES AND INCREASING EFFICIENCIES ACT: This section establishes the "Sharing of Services and Increasing Efficiencies Act."
A school district or charter school may cooperate and share resources with one or more school districts, charter schools or any public, private, or nonprofit entity, political subdivision, public institution of higher education, or private institution of higher education to achieve efficiencies, become more cost-effective, reduce costs, and reduce and minimize duplicative operations, services, and purchasing. Examples of cooperative actions include: group purchases of supplies and insurance products; administration of certain services; participation in a deferred compensation plan; and joint use of school district facilities for education purposes. A school district or charter may also engage in the following with any of the previously identified entities: cooperate to share employees; enter into agreements relating to the use of sites, buildings, facilities, furnishings, and equipment; and enter into agreements for services.
In addition, nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit any of the identified entities from entering into any cooperative agreement, as described in the act, or to prohibit any identified entity from altering any current agreement it may have with another entity described in the act without agreement from all the parties to the agreement or expiration of the contract that is in force upon the effective date of the act.
This act also repeals a requirement that certain payments made from any source by a school district that result in the transfer of the title of real property to the school district be deducted as an adjustment to the funds payable to the district under the school funding formula. (Sections 177.088 & 177.250)
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION CURRICULUM ON RECOGNITION OF EATING DISORDERS: This act requires the Department of Mental Health to develop a continuing professional education curriculum for the recognition and response to eating disorders in young people by December 31, 2011. The Department must collaborate with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Eating Disorder Council.
Any school district may adopt and implement this curriculum for its school nurses, health care professionals, psychologists, counselors, and athletic coaches who are responsible for students in grades six through twelve.
This section is identical a provision contained in HCS/SB 147 (2011) and is identical to SB 192 (2011) and HB 586 (2011). (Section 630.590)
SECTION 1 – The Joint Committee on Education must review the fifth cycle school improvement program standards to determine what effects, if any, changes to performance standards may have on the number and type of charter schools and sponsorship as a consequence of a district's accreditation status. The Joint Committee must deliver a report, with any recommendations for changes to law or State Board of Education policy, no later than December 31, 2011.
This provision is also contained in HCS/HB 473 (2011) and HCS/SB 147 (2011).
This act contains an emergency clause on section 167.131.