SB 95
Modifies provisions related to the virtual school program
Sponsor:
LR Number:
0986S.04C
Committee:
Last Action:
4/19/2021 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection
Journal Page:
Title:
SCS SB 95
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2021

Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 95 - Under current law, for purposes of calculation and distribution of state school aid, all students enrolled in the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program shall be included in the student enrollment of the school district in which the student physically is enrolled.

If a school district or charter school fails to make any payment to a virtual program provider in full within sixty days of receiving an invoice, the provider may notify the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Upon notice of such nonpayment, the Department shall immediately pay the Missouri course access and virtual school program the total amount invoiced, to be withheld from the next disbursement of funding to the non-paying school district or charter school. By November 1st annually, the Department shall provide a written report to the Joint Committee on Education detailing each occasion during the prior school year that such an issue occurred.

A full-time virtual school program serving full time equivalent students shall participate in the statewide assessment system, with the results to be attributed to the virtual school program as an attendance center, rather than the local educational authority.

The Department, rather than each school district or charter school, shall adopt a policy that delineates the process by which a student not enrolled in a full-time virtual program may enroll in courses provided by the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program.

Current law requires a school district or charter school to allow any eligible student who resides in such district to enroll in Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program courses if, prior to enrolling in any such course, a student has received approval from his or her school district or charter school. This act repeals the provision requiring a student to receive approval from his or her school district. If the school district or charter school believes a student's request to enroll in a virtual program is not in the best educational interest of the student, the reason shall be provided in writing to the student's parent or guardian, who shall have final decision-making authority. The reason shall not be based on financial considerations or the virtual course offerings of the school district, charter school, or preferred provider.

Current law requires costs associated with such virtual courses to be paid by the school district or charter school directly on a pro rata monthly basis based on a student's completion of assignments and assessments. Under this act, costs shall be paid by the school district, charter school, or by the Department for full-time equivalent students, to the provider once per semester based on a student's completion of assignments and assessments. This amount shall not exceed 14% of the state adequacy target.

This act requires that additional state and federal funds a student receives, which are excluded from provisions of current law limiting the maximum amount of such payments, shall be additionally included in the payments.

This act repeals a provision providing that schools shall not be prohibited from negotiating lower costs directly with virtual school providers.

Current law also requires the Department to monitor student success and engagement and report such information to the school district or charter school. Under this act, the Department shall report the aggregate performance of providers to the public in an annual report as described in the act.

Virtual school providers are required, under this act, to monitor student progress and success, and may remove a student from the program if the provider believes it to be in the best educational interest of the student.

A full-time virtual school shall, under this act, submit a notification to a parent or legal guardian of a student who is not consistently engaged in instructional activities, as defined in the act. Such school shall also develop a policy setting forth the consequences for a student's failure to attend school and complete instructional activities, including disenrollment from the virtual school.

School districts or charter schools are required, under current law, to inform parents of their child's right to participate in the virtual schools program. Under this act, such notification shall be made annually, separately, and in an impartial manner. Any school district or charter school that fails to notify parents of their child's right to participate in the program shall be subject to civil penalties in an amount equal to $100 for each day such school district or charter school is in violation of this requirement, including reasonable attorney's fees.

The Department shall provide a written explanation of its denial of virtual program authorization within 10 days, rather than 30 days.

In its annual report on the program, the Department shall include student outcome data, including comparative data from students' prior educational settings, four and five year graduation rates, credit status upon enrollment, and progress toward graduation.

This act is substantially similar to provisions in SCS/SBs 55,23, & 25 (2021) and HB 754 (2021) and is similar to SCS/SB 996 (2020).

MATT KIMMINAU

Amendments

No Amendments Found.