SB 638 Modifies several provisions relating to elementary and secondary education
Sponsor: Riddle Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number: 4478S.05T Fiscal Notes
Committee: Education
Last Action: 6/22/2016 - Signed by Governor Journal Page: S2308-2309
Title: CCS SCS SB 638 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2016
House Handler: Swan

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Current Bill Summary


CCS/SCS/SB 638 - This act modifies several provisions relating to elementary and secondary education.

CIVICS EDUCATION

This act creates the "Missouri Civics Education Initiative."

This act requires the subject of American civics to be included in the exam required for graduation from any public or private school, other than proprietary schools. (Section 170.011)

Any student entering ninth grade after July 1, 2017, who is attending a public, charter, or private school, except for private trade schools, shall pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics.

The test will consist of one hundred questions similar to the one hundred questions used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Each district must adopt a policy permitting a student with a disability to receive a waiver from the basic civics test requirement if the student's IEP committee recommends it. (Section 170.345)

These provisions are substantially similar to SCS/HCS/HBs 1646, 2132, & 1621 (2016) and are similar to HB 1621 (2016), HB 2132 (2016), SCS/HCS/HBs 578, 574, & 584 (2015), HB 1050 (2015), SB 271 (2015), and SB 273 (2015).

This act also allows a school district to recognize a student's participation in the Constitution Project of the Missouri Supreme Court, as described in the act. (Section 170.350)

This provision is identical to HB 2186 (2016), HCS/HB 658 (2015), and HB 2298 (2014), and to a provision contained in CCS/SCS/SB 638 (2016).

DYSLEXIA

By December 31, 2017, this act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines for the appropriate screening of students for dyslexia and related disorders and to develop the necessary classroom support for such students. Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, each public school, including charter schools, shall conduct dyslexia screenings and provide reasonable classroom support consistent with the guidelines developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Additionally, practicing teacher assistance programs shall include two hours of in-service training regarding dyslexia and related disorders provided by each school district for all practicing teachers. Such training shall count as two contact hours of professional development. (Section 167.950)

This provision is substantially similar to a provision contained in SCS/HCS/HB 2379 (2016), HCS/SB 711 (2016), SB 809 (2016), and SCS/SB 468 (2015), and is similar to HB 731 (2015).

This act also creates the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia. The Task Force will advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Joint Committee on Education, and relevant state agencies. The Task Force will consist of twenty members, as described in the act. Except for four legislative members and the Commissioner of Education, the members will be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The task force will make recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia, as described in the act.

The Task Force will hire or contract for hire specialist services to support the work of the Task Force as necessary with appropriations or from other available funding.

The Task Force will terminate on August 31, 2018. (Section 633.420)

This provision is identical to a provision in HCS/SB 827 (2016) and HCS/SCS/SB 904 (2016), and is substantially similar to provisions contained in CCS/HCS/SB 635 (2016), HCS/SB 711 (2016), HCS/HB 1928 (2016), SCS/HCS/HB 2379 (2016), SB 548 (2015) and HCS/HB 921 (2015).

REMEDIAL EDUCATION AND PERSONAL PLANS OF STUDY

This act requires that by July 1, 2018, each school district shall implement a system for identifying students in their ninth grade year who are at risk of not being ready for college-level work or for entry-level career positions, as described in the act. (Section 167.905)

This act also requires DESE to conduct a review of its policies and procedures relating to remedial education and present the results of such review to the Joint Committee on Education by October 31, 2017. (Section 173.750)

This act allows each student entering his or her ninth grade year to develop a personal plan of study. The plan of study shall include graduation requirements, career or postsecondary goals, coursework related to career or postsecondary goals, grade-appropriate and career-related experiences, and student assessments, interest inventories, or academic results. (Section 167.903)

These provisions are identical to HCS/HB 1613 (2016).

BONDING REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICERS

For treasurers and secretaries of the boards of urban school districts, this act modifies bonding requirements by requiring that such officers enter into bonds with one or more sureties instead of two or more sureties. (Section 162.541)

This provision is identical to a provision contained in SCS/HB 1478 (2016).

SCHOOL BOARD VACANCIES

This act provides that if any seven-director district, other than an urban district, that is located in a county without a county commission has more than two vacancies at any one time, the county executive shall fill the vacancies upon written notice of the vacancies with the advice and consent of the county council. (Sections 162.073 and 162.261)

This provision is identical to HB 1602 (2016).

CPR INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS

Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, this act requires high school pupils in public schools and charter schools to have received thirty minutes of CPR instruction and training in the proper performance of the Heimlich maneuver or other first aid for choking prior to graduation. The act also requires the training to be included in the district's existing health or physical education curriculum. (Section 170.310)

This act is identical to HB 1643 (2016) and to a provision contained in CCS/SCS/SB 638 (2016), SCS/HB 1678 (2016), and CCS/HCS/SB 635 (2016), and is substantially similar to HCS/HB 457 (2015) and SB 493 (2015).

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE IN SCHOOLS

This act requires that all public schools shall ensure that the Pledge of Allegiance is recited in at least one scheduled class of every pupil at least once per school day rather than once per school week. This act also allows flags for display in classrooms to be provided by voluntary donation. (Section 171.021)

This provision is identical to HB 1750 (2016) and is substantially similar to HCS/HB 499 (2015).

CHARTER SCHOOLS

This act provides that charter schools shall meet current state academic performance standards as well as other standards agreed upon by the sponsor and the charter school in the performance contract.

If a sponsor notifies a charter school of closure, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall withhold funding to assure all obligations of the charter school are met. (Section 160.400)

This act provides that the Missouri Charter Public School Commission shall be exempt from the charter school sponsor application and approval process.

This act also repeals a provision that prohibits new sponsors from commencing charter sponsorship without approval from the State Board of Education. (Section 160.403)

This act moves the deadline for charter approval by the State Board of Education from December 1 of the year prior to the proposed opening date to January 31.

The act also requires the charter sponsor to submit a statement of finding that the charter application meets all requirements, and requires the State Board of Education to approve or deny the application within sixty days of receipt. Any denial of a charter application shall be in writing and shall identify the specific failures of the application.

A sponsor may place a charter school on probationary status for no more than twenty-four months.

A charter school may have an expedited renewal process if it has an annual performance report consistent with a classification of accredited for three of the last four years and is fiscally viable.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall calculate an annual performance report for each charter school and shall publish it in the same manner as for public school districts.

The Joint Committee on Education shall create a committee to investigate facility access and affordability of charter schools. (Section 160.405)

This act allows high-quality charter schools, as defined in the act, to have expedited opportunities to replicate and expand into unaccredited districts, the St. Louis City school district, and the Kansas City school district. (Section 160.408)

This act requires charter schools to enroll nonresident pupils who transfer from an unaccredited district.

This act also requires that a charter school's admission process shall not discriminate based on parents' ability to pay fees or tuition when enrollment capacity is insufficient to enroll all pupils who submit a timely application.

This act also repeals a provision that requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to commission a study every two years on the efficacy and impact of charter schools. (Section 160.410)

This act requires that a charter school may not charge tuition or impose fees except that it may receive tuition payments from districts in the same or an adjoining county for nonresident students who transfer from an unaccredited district.

This act also requires charter schools to satisfy all of its financial obligations within twelve months of a notification of closure. Any remaining state and federal funds shall be returned to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (Section 160.415)

A charter school shall be considered as experiencing financial stress if it has incurred debt due to insufficient fund balances or reserves. (Section 160.417)

This act requires that an unaccredited district shall pay the tuition and provide transportation for a student who attends an accredited school in another district in the same or an adjoining county or in an approved charter school, as defined in the act, in the same or an adjoining county.

The rate of tuition a charter school may charge is the per pupil cost of maintaining the school's grade level grouping, as described in the act. (Section 167.131)

This act requires an unaccredited district to provide transportation for students who transfer to a charter school. (Section 167.241)

These provisions are identical to provisions contained in SCS/HCS/HB 1451 (2016), are substantially similar to provisions contained in CCS/SCS/HCS/HB 42 (2016), and are similar to HCS/HB 550 (2015).

EARLY LEARNING QUALITY ASSURANCE REPORT

This act repeals the prohibition of a quality rating system for early childhood education. (Section 161.216)

This act also establishes an early learning quality assurance report three year pilot program in collaboration with the Missouri Head Start Collaboration Office and the Departments of Health and Senior Services, Mental Health, and Social Services. The program is voluntary for any licensed, license-exempt, or certified early learning providers that are center-based or home based and providing services for children from any age up to kindergarten.

The early learning quality assurance report may include, but is not limited to, information regarding staff qualifications, instructional quality, professional development, health and safety standards, parent engagement, and community engagement. (Section 161.217)

This provision is substantially similar to SB 1084 (2016), HCS/SB 996 (2016), and HB 2566 (2016).

GIFTED EDUCATION

This act prohibits school districts from determining whether a child is gifted based on the child's participation in an advanced placement course or international baccalaureate course. Whether a child is gifted must be determined using the statutory definition of "gifted children". (Section 162.720)

Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, this act also reduces a district's funding as described in the act when it experiences a decrease in its gifted program enrollment of 20% or more from the previous school year. This provision shall not apply to school districts with an average daily attendance of three hundred fifty or less. (Section 163.031)

These provisions are substantially similar to SCS/SB 904 (2016) and HCS/HB 1419 (2016), and to provisions contained in HCS/SCS/SB 996 (2016), HCS/HB 1943 (2016), HCS/SB 113 (2015), SB 290 (2015), and HB 637 (2015).

A+ SCHOOLS PROGRAM

This act allows a qualifying student of a nonpublic school to be

eligible for reimbursement of post secondary education through the A+ program, as described in the act. (Section 160.545)

This provision is identical to HB 2693 (2016).

TRAUMA-INFORMED SCHOOLS INITIATIVE

This act establishes the Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) shall provide information regarding the trauma-informed approach, as described in the act, to all school districts, offer training on the trauma-informed approach to all school districts, and develop an informational website about the Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative. (Section 161.1050)

Subject to appropriations, this act also establishes the Trauma-Informed Schools Pilot Program, under which DESE shall choose five schools to receive intensive training, as described in the act, on the trauma-informed approach. The schools shall be chosen as described in the act.

DESE shall terminate the pilot program on August 28, 2019. By December 21, 2019, DESE shall submit a report to the General Assembly containing the results of the program, including any benefits experience by the participating schools.

The pilot program shall be funded through the Trauma-Informed Schools Pilot Program Fund, which is created by the act. (Section 161.1055)

These provisions are identical to HCS/HBs 2565 & 2564 (2016) and to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1928 (2016) and HCS/SB 827 (2016).

JOSHUA NORBERG