HCS/SCS/SB 904 - This act modifies several provisions relating to elementary and secondary 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.
This provision shall be effective July 1, 2017. (Section 163.031)
This provision is substantially similar to HCS/HB 1419 (2016), and to provisions contained in HCS/SCS/SB 996 (2016), HCS/HB 1943 (2016), CCS/SCS/SB 638 (2016), and HB 637 (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 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).
SUICIDE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION EDUCATION
This act also allows, beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, any licensed educator to annually complete up to two hours of training or professional development in youth suicide awareness and prevention as part of the professional development hours required for State Board of Education certification.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop guidelines for training or professional development in youth suicide awareness and prevention. The Department shall also develop materials that may be used for such training or professional development.
Each district shall adopt a policy for youth suicide awareness and prevention by July 1, 2018. The Department develop a model policy by July 1, 2017, that districts may adopt. The Department shall cooperate, consult with, and seek input from organizations that have expertise in youth suicide awareness and prevention. By July 1, 2021, and at least every three years thereafter, the Department shall request information and seek feedback from districts on their experience with the policy for youth suicide awareness and prevention. The Department shall review this information and may use it to adapt the department's model policy. The Department shall post the information it receives from districts on its website. The Department shall not post any confidential information or any information that personally identifies a student or school employee.
This provision is identical to SCS/SB 646 (2016) and to a provision contained in SS/SCS/HCS/HB 2379 (2016), SB 1029 (2010), and SCS/HCS/HB 1583 (2016), and is substantially similar to HB 1546 (2016) and SB 328 (2015), and to a provision contained in SB 1029 (2016), HCS/SCS/SB 146 (2015), and SCS/SB 328 (2015).
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION
This act also provides that each school district may rely on technical coursework and skills assessments developed for industry-recognized certificates and credentials when establishing career and technical education offerings. (Section 162.1115)
This provision is identical to SB 1109 (2016) and to a provision contained in HB 2594 (2016), and is substantially similar to a provision contained in SCS/SBs 620 & 582 (2016) and HCS/SB 13 (2015).