SB 406 - This act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to grant a license to a Missouri-based nonprofit organization before January 1, 2018, to establish and operate four adult high schools, as defined in the act, with one location in St. Louis City and one location each in Butler County, Greene County, and Boone County, or a county contiguous to each of these counties.
The license shall be granted by a bid process conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations governing purchasing through the Office of Administration. The requirements for a successful bid are described in the act. The act requires DESE to work with the successful bidder to assess the specific requirements for a student to obtain a high school diploma. The requirements shall be based on an adult student's prior high school achievement and the remaining credits and coursework required for the student to receive a high school diploma if he or she were in a traditional high school setting.
The act specifies that DESE shall award high school diplomas to adult students who successfully complete the requirements and the diploma will be indistinguishable from a traditional high school diploma. This act allows an adult student to complete required coursework at his or her own pace and as available through the adult high school. The act prohibits DESE from creating additional regulations or burdens on the adult high school or an adult student beyond certifying necessary credits and ensuring that a student has sufficiently mastered the subject matter to make him or her eligible for credit.
A person must be 21 years of age or older and have not yet earned a high school diploma in order to be eligible to enroll in an adult high school. Admission preference shall given to a student who receives any local, state, or federal assistance in which a person or family is required not to exceed a certain income level in order to qualify for the assistance.
The act specifies that an adult high school shall not receive funding from the foundation formula and shall not receive any local funding that is intended to benefit traditional public schools in the state. An adult high school may receive funding from public or private sources, including from the nonprofit organization operating the adult high school. If the adult high school receives funding from a public source, it must operate in a manner that does not violate the provisions of Article IX, Section 8, or Article I, Section 7 of the Missouri Constitution or the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The nonprofit organization operating the adult high school shall ensure that funding for the school enables it to operate year-round, and it shall set outcome expectations for the school as described in the act. The nonprofit organization shall submit an annual report to DESE, as described in the act, and DESE shall submit the report to the Joint Committee on Education, the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate before December first each year.
This act is similar to provisions contained in SS/SCS/HB 93 (2017) and SCS/HB 680 (2017).