SCS/SBs 493, 485, 495, 516, 534, 545, 595, 616 & 624 -- This act modifies provisions relating to elementary and secondary education.
SCHOOL DISTRICT ACCREDITATION: When the State Board of Education assigns classification designations to school districts, it must use one of the following designations: unaccredited, provisionally accredited, accredited, and accredited with distinction.
This section is substantially similar to SB 856 (2014). (Section 161.086)
SCHOOL BUILDING AND CHARTER SCHOOL ACCREDITATION: The State Board of Education must adopt a system of classification that accredits individual school buildings within a district separately from the district as a whole. The State Board cannot classify a district as unaccredited unless it has previously classified at least sixty-five percent of the district's schools as unaccredited.
The State Board must also adopt a system of classification to accredit charter schools. However, charter school accreditation classifications will not be factored into any district's accreditation classification. (Section 161.238)
SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE BOARDS: The State Board of Education may appoint members of an elected school board to serve on a special administrative board. However, no more than forty-nine percent of a special administrative board may be composed of a district's elected school board members. (Sections 162.081)
LOCAL EFFORT CALCULATION AND BOUNDARY LINE CHANGES: Currently, the calculation of local effort uses a school district's assessed valuation figure from 2004. This act provides that when a change in school district boundary lines occurs, as described in the act, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must adjust each affected district's local effort calculation based on the land area adjustments from the boundary line change using 2004 assessed valuation data. (Section 162.432)
TRANSIENT STUDENT RATIO & STUDENT ASSESSMENT SCORES: This act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to annually calculate a transient student ratio for each public school building and each school district. The transient student ratio must be published on the Department's website and in the school accountability report card for each district and public school building. The Department must also publish on its website an aggregate transient student ratio for the state.
The transient student ratio will use data, including the number of students enrolled in the district or school, the number of students who withdraw from the district or school, and the number of students who are enrolled, withdrew, and later reentered the district or school.
Each school district must report annually to the Department any information and data necessary for the Department to calculate transient student ratios.
This act establishes how the student assessment scores and other performance data for students who have not been enrolled in a district-operated school for the previous full school term will be used when calculating the district's performance for purposes of the Missouri School Improvement Program. The scores of any student who has not been enrolled in a district-operated school for the preceding school term will not be used. The scores of any student who has been enrolled in a district-operated school for the preceding school term but not for the full two preceding school terms will be weighted at thirty percent of the weight assigned to a student who has been enrolled for the full three preceding school terms. The scores of any student who has been enrolled in a district-operated school for two full preceding school terms but not for the full three preceding school terms will be weighted at seventy percent of the weight assigned to a student who has been enrolled for the full three preceding school terms. (Section 162.1303)
PARENT NOTIFICATION OF UNACCREDITED DISTRICT STATUS & HOME VISITS: When a district or school building becomes unaccredited, the district must promptly notify the parent or guardian of students enrolled in the district or school and district taxpayers. The notice must also include an explanation of the option to transfer to another accredited school in the district, to another accredited district, or to a private nonsectarian school, and any services for which the student may be eligible. This notice must be posted in district school buildings and must be sent to each political subdivision located in the boundaries of the school district.
Each unaccredited school, provisionally accredited school, or any school with a three year average APR consistent with unaccredited or provisionally accredited must perform at least one home visit for each student. (Section 162.1310)
HARDSHIP TRANSPORTATION ASSIGNMENTS: Currently, under section 167.121, the Commissioner of Education may assign a pupil to another district based on an unusual or unreasonable transportation hardship. This act allows the parent or guardian of a child to apply, and requires the Commissioner to assign the pupil to another district, if the following conditions are met: the actual driving distance from the pupil's residence to the attendance center in his or her district of residence is at least seventeen miles by the shortest route; the attendance center to which the pupil would be assigned is at least seven miles closer in actual driving distance than the attendance center in the district of residence; and the pupil's attendance will not cause the classroom in the receiving district to exceed the maximum number of students per class as determined by the receiving district. The Commissioner must assign pupils in the order in which the applications are received.
The assignment will continue until the pupil, and any sibling of the pupil who attends the same attendance center, completes the course of study in the receiving district. If a parent or guardian withdraws a pupil from a hardship assignment, the granting of any future application will be discretionary. For any pupil who was assigned to another district by the Commissioner prior to the effective date of this provision of law, the assignment will apply to the pupil's siblings and also remain in effect until the pupil completes the course of study in the receiving district.
Currently, the tuition amount cannot exceed the pro rata cost of instruction. This act specifies that the tuition amount will be the lesser of the two districts' current expenditure per average daily attendance. Pupils with an individualized education program will only be included in the pupil count of the student's district of residence. If there is disagreement as to the tuition amount, the facts will be submitted to the State Board of Education.
This section is identical to a provision contained in SB 485 (2014), SB 495 (2014), SB 534 (2014), SB 545 (2014), and SB 595 (2014). (Section 167.121)
STUDENT PROMOTION: Except for the St. Louis School District and Kansas City School District, all unaccredited districts, provisionally accredited districts, districts with a three year average annual performance report score consistent with unaccredited or provisional accreditation are prohibited from promoting any student from the fifth grade to the sixth grade or from the eighth grade to the ninth grade who has not scored at the proficient level or above on the statewide assessments in the areas of English language arts and mathematics. (Section 167.642)
SCHOOL DISTRICT IMPROVEMENT MEASURES AND FUND: Any unaccredited district, provisionally accredited district, district with sixty-five percent or more of its schools unaccredited, and any district with a three year average annual performance report score consistent with unaccredited or provisionally accredited must offer free tutoring and supplemental education services to underperforming and struggling students. Funds for such activities will be provided through the School District Improvement Fund. In addition, such a district or school may: implement a new curriculum, as described in the act; retain an outside expert to advise the district or school on regaining accreditation; enter into a contract with an education management organization with a proven record of success; enter into a collaborative relationship with an accredited district in which teachers from both districts exchange positions for two school weeks; and terminate the employment of school personnel. In addition, when a district is classified as unaccredited, all teachers contracts will be void at the end of the school year. (Sections 167.685 & 167.687)
READING, PERSONALIZED LEARNING PLANS, STUDENT RETENTION: This act requires, beginning July 1, 2015, all public schools in the St. Louis City School District and Kansas City School District, including charter schools, to use a response-to-intervention tiered approach to reading instruction for students determined by their school to be struggling readers. At a minimum, the reading levels of students in kindergarten through tenth grade must be assessed at the beginning and middle of the school year. Students who score below district benchmarks must be provided with intensive, systemic reading instruction.
Beginning on January 1, 2015, and each January thereafter, each public school in the St. Louis City School District and Kansas City School District, including charter schools, must prepare a personalized learning plan for any kindergarten or first grade student whose most recent school-wide reading assessment result shows the student is below grade level. Certain exceptions exist from this requirement. For any student with a personalized learning plan, the student's main teacher must consult with the student's parent or guardian about the plan and must have consent to implement it. If a student is still performing below grade level through the end of the first grade year, the school must refer him or her for assessment to determine if an IEP is necessary. If an IEP is not necessary, the personalized learning plan must remain in place until the student is at grade level.
Any student who is not reading at the second grade level in the St. Louis City School District and the Kansas City School District by the end of second grade may be promoted to third grade only if: the school provides additional reading instruction during the summer and demonstrates the student is ready for third grade at the end of summer school; if the school provides a "looping" classroom in which the student remains with the same teacher for multiple years and the student is not reading at the third grade level by the end of third grade, the student must be retained; or the student's parents or guardians may sign a notice that they prefer to have the student promoted except that the school will have final determination to retain.
The St. Louis City School District, the Kansas City School District, and each charter school located in them must provide in the annual school accountability report card the numbers and percentages by grade of any students at grade level who have been promoted but who have been determined as reading below grade level.
This section is substantially similar to provisions contained in SB 616 (2014) and HB 2214 (2010). (Section 167.730)
STUDENT TRANSFERS: 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 of law currently applies to both unaccredited school districts and K-8 school districts that do not offer high school grades. This act repeals the provisions applicable to unaccredited school districts so that the statute only applies to K-8 school districts. (Section 167.131)
Any student enrolled in and attending an unaccredited school may transfer to another accredited school in his or her district of residence that offers the student's grade level of enrollment. Each district must adopt a policy to grant priority to the lowest achieving students from low-income families if its capacity is insufficient to enroll all pupils who seek to attend. (Section 167.825)
If a student residing in an unaccredited district and living within the attendance boundaries of an unaccredited school is unable to transfer to an accredited school within his or her district of residence, he or she may transfer to an accredited school in an accredited district in the same or an adjoining county, as described in the act. The district of residence must pay the student's tuition, as provided in the act. This act creates the Supplemental Tuition Fund in the state treasury. If a receiving district has a higher per-pupil cost than the sending district, the difference will be paid from the Supplemental Tuition Fund. The student must provide proof that he or she has resided in the unaccredited district and within the attendance boundaries of an unaccredited school for at least twelve months. (Section 167.826)
Provisionally accredited districts, provisionally accredited schools, unaccredited districts, unaccredited schools, or any districts or schools with a current year APR score of seventy-five or less under MSIP 5 are not eligible to accept transfer students. However, any student who received a transfer to a district or school with a current year APR score of seventy-five or less under MSIP 5 prior to the effective date of this section may remain enrolled. (Section 167.826)
Each district has the right to establish a policy for desirable class size and student-teacher ratios and will not be required to accept any transfer students that would violate its policy. If a transfer student is denied admission based on a lack of space under a district policy, the student may appeal to the State Board of Education. The State Board must review the policy's appropriateness and may limit it. The State Board must give special consideration to a district with a greater than average population of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch. The State Board's decision is final. (Section 167.826)
By January 1 annually, each accredited school district in the same or an adjoining county as an unaccredited district or school must report the number of its available enrollment slots by grade level to the appropriate regional education authority for the affected district. The education authority must make information and assistance available to parents who intend to transfer their child to an accredited school. Parents who intend to transfer their child must send initial notification to the appropriate education authority between January 1 and August 1. The education authority will assign transfer students to accredited schools, as space allows. The education authority will give first priority to students who live in the same household with family members within the first or second degree of consanguinity who have already transferred to an accredited school. Next, the education authority will assign transfers in the order in which they are received. Finally, if insufficient enrollment slots are available, any students who are not able to transfer will receive first priority the following year. If sufficient enrollment slots are available, the education authority will provide each student a choice of three accredited schools. The transfer coordination authority may deny a transfer to a student with a history of school discipline policy violations. (Section 167.827)
STUDENT TRANSFERS TO NONSECTARIAN PRIVATE SCHOOLS: The school board of any district that operates an unaccredited school must pay tuition for any student who resides within the attendance boundaries of an unaccredited school and is unable to transfer to an accredited school in the district of residence to attend a nonsectarian private school located in the district of residence. The tuition amount cannot exceed the lesser of the nonsectarian private school's tuition or the nonresident tuition rate that would be calculated for the student to attend another accredited district.
As a condition of receiving state aid, an unaccredited district must use funds from the operating levy for school purposes to pay tuition remission for students who attend a nonsectarian private school. In addition, such tuition shall be paid only using funds from the operating levy for school purposes. (Section 163.021 & Section 167.828)
REGIONAL EDUCATION AUTHORITIES: This act creates three separate regional education authorities to coordinate student transfers from unaccredited districts to accredited districts, one for St. Louis County and St. Louis City, a second authority for Jackson County, and a third authority for the rest of the state. Each authority will consist of three members who must be residents of their covered area, appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, who will serve for a term of six years, as described in the act. The Authority must coordinate and collaborate with local districts and local governments for the student transfers. Parents who want to transfer their child to another district must notify the appropriate regional education authority. The education authority will assign students to districts using an admissions process, as described in the act.
(Sections 167.830 to 167.845)
PARENT PORTALS: This act creates the Parent Portal Fund to provide financial assistance to districts to establish and maintain a parent portal. A parent portal is accessible by mobile technology so parents may have access to educational information and access to student data. (Section 170.320)
LENGTH OF SCHOOL DAY AND HOURS OF INSTRUCTION: The school board of any district with a provisionally accredited school or unaccredited school may, by a majority vote, increase the length of the school day by ten percent and also increase the number of instruction hours above the statutory minimum requirement of 1044 hours. To be eligible to do this, the school must have a student population in which seventy-five percent of the students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, or have been eligible for free and reduced lunch in any of the previous three years. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must adjust the district's state aid so that it receives additional funding to reflect the increased instruction time. (Section 171.031)
This act contains an emergency clause.
SA 1: THIS SENATE AMENDMENT REMOVES LANGUAGE FROM 167.687 THAT WOULD HAVE ALLOWED UNACCREDITED DISTRICTS, PROVISIONALLY ACCREDITED DISTRICTS, AND CERTAIN OTHER DISTRICTS TO TERMINATE THE EMPLOYMENT OF CERTAIN SCHOOL PERSONNEL. THIS SENATE AMENDMENT ALSO REMOVES THE PORTION OF SECTION 167.687 THAT WOULD HAVE VOIDED THE CONTRACTS OF TEACHERS EMPLOYED IN UNACCREDITED DISTRICTS.
SA 1 TO SSA 1 FOR SA 2: THIS SENATE AMENDMENT CHANGES THE DATE BY WHICH PARENTS MAY APPLY TO TRANSFER THEIR CHILD TO MARCH 1.
SSA 2 FOR SA 3, AS AMENDED: THIS SENATE AMENDMENT ADDS ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS TO TRANSFER TO A PRIVATE NONSECTARIAN SCHOOL. IN ADDITION, PRIVATE NONSECTARIAN SCHOOLS MUST MEET CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS IN ORDER TO RECEIVE TUITION MONEY FROM LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS.