SCS/SB 709 - This act changes the process by which travel hardships are granted to public school pupils.
A parent or guardian of any pupil residing in St. Elizabeth or St. Albans is authorized to submit an application to the Commissioner of Education requesting that the pupil and any sibling of the pupil be assigned to another school district if the pupil is eligible and meets certain conditions as described in the act.
The act specifies that the driving distance from the pupil's residence to his or her attendance center in the district of residence must be 15 miles or more by the shortest route available. The new attendance center must be at least 5 miles closer in actual driving distance to the pupil's residence, and the attendance of the pupil must not cause the classroom in the receiving district to exceed the number of pupils per class set by the receiving district.
The Commissioner is required to assign pupils in the order in which applications are received. Once granted, the hardship assignment shall continue until the pupil, and any siblings of the pupil attending the same attendance center, completes his or her course of study in the receiving district or the parent withdraws the pupil. If withdrawn, subsequent grants of applications are discretionary.
A pupil who is not currently enrolled in a public school district becomes eligible to apply after the pupil has enrolled in and completed a full year in a public school in his or her district of residence. The board of education of the district where the pupil resides shall pay the tuition of the pupil reassigned, which shall not exceed the pro rata cost of instruction. However, if the tuition of the receiving district is greater than the tuition of the pupil's district of residence, the parent or guardian of the pupil shall pay the difference in tuition.
This act is identical to provisions contained in the truly agreed to SS/HCS/HB 1606 (2018), and similar to HB 2032 (2018), SB 476 (2017), HB 926 (2017), and HB 1789 (2012).