SB 483 - This act enacts provisions relating to alternative educational procedures for public schools.
CHARTER SCHOOLS: Currently, a high risk or alternative charter school may include alternative arrangements for students to obtain credit in the school's charter application and charter. This act adds "performance-based credit" as a possible alternative arrangement. (Section 160.405)
Certain charter schools, as described in the act, may employ teachers who are certified to teach students at the grade level at which the students are performing academically, instead of the grade level in which they are enrolled. (Section 160.420)
SCHOOL FLEX PROGRAM: This act allows charter schools to participate in the School Flex Program. School Flex will be available to students who have attained the age of sixteen but not attained the age of twenty-two, instead of just eleventh and twelfth grade students. Currently, students are required to attend at least two instructional hours per day. This act would allow students to attend at least ten hours per week.
A student may be engaged in employment or labor that meets the student's basic needs provided the student has developed a business plan and a transition plan to employment or labor that is aligned with his or her career academic plan. An eligible student who has been unable to obtain employment may provide evidence that he or she has been seeking employment to be eligible.
High-risk students are required to maintain an eighty percent attendance rate.
MISSOURI CREDIT FLEX PROGRAM: This act establishes the Missouri Credit Flex Program to allow public school students between ages sixteen and twenty-two to earn high school credit based on the demonstration of subject area competency. Students must be identified to benefit from the program by their principal to participate. Participating students will be exempt from any seat-time requirements, school calendar requirements, minimum school day requirements, and school term requirements. Students may earn credit by completing traditional coursework, demonstrating mastery of course content, or pursuing one or more educational options. Educational options may include internships, distance learning, independent studies, virtual education, off-campus instruction, dual credit, embedded credit, performance-based credit, and service learning. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must identify assessments, competency examinations, and model courses of studies that may be used by schools and students.
For purposes of calculation and distribution of funding, attendance of a student enrolled in the program will equal, upon course completion, ninety-four percent of the hours of attendance for such class delivered in the school’s traditional program. Course completion will be calculated in two increments, fifty percent completion and one hundred percent. State funding will be distributed at the fifty percent increment and one hundred percent increment in an amount equal to forty-seven percent of hours of attendance possible for such course delivered in the school's traditional program.
Schools with students participating in the program must annually report to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Department must annually report on the effectiveness of the program to the Joint Committee on Education. (Section 160.543)