HB 624 - This act establishes the Show Me Success Diploma Program, modifies provisions related to adult high schools, establishes the Competency-Based Education Task Force, and modifies provisions related to the Missouri Education Savings Program.
SHOW ME SUCCESS DIPLOMA PROGRAM
This act establishes the Show Me Success Diploma Program as an alternative pathway to high school graduation. The Show Me Success Diploma may be earned at any point between the end of 10th grade and the end of 12th grade.
By July 1, 2022, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop eligibility requirements for the diploma, including completing English, science, and math courses at a community college and receiving satisfactory grades on approved subject area examinations.
School districts and charter schools may offer a course of study for students seeking the diploma starting in such students' 9th grade year.
Students who obtain the diploma may remain in high school until the end of their 12th grade year. Students who remain in high school shall continue to be counted for purposes of the calculation and distribution of school aid and may participate in school extracurricular activities.
Students who pursue the diploma but fail to obtain it by the end of 10th or 11th grade shall receive a customized program of assistance to address the student's areas of deficiency. Students may elect to return to a traditional course of study.
The Department shall provide training, guidance, and assistance to the teachers and administrators of schools offering the diploma and shall closely monitor the progress of such schools in developing the program.
Students who earn a show me success diploma may enroll in a postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a U.S. Department of Education student aid program. Such students shall continue to be counted for purposes of the calculation and distribution of school aid to the school from which they graduated until the end of what would have been their 12th grade year. For purposes of counting such students for attendance, their attendance percentage shall equal the school's average attendance percentage in the previous year. 90% of all state, local, and federal aid attributable to such student shall be deposited into a Missouri Education Savings Program account that lists the student as the beneficiary.
These provisions are identical to provisions in SB 34 (2021).
ADULT HIGH SCHOOLS
For a school to meet the definition of "adult high school" under current law, the school must offer on-site childcare for children of enrolled students. This act removes the requirement that the childcare be offered on-site.
Current law prohibits adult high schools from offering a majority of instruction online or remotely. This act provides that synchronous instruction connecting students to a live class at an adult high school shall be treated as in-person instruction.
Current law prohibits any person from establishing, operating, maintaining, or advertising a child-care facility without a license, with an exception for any private, elementary, or secondary school system providing childcare to children under school age. This act provides that adult high schools shall be deemed a "secondary school system" for purposes of such exception.
These provisions are identical to provisions in HB 151 (2021).
COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION TASK FORCE
This act establishes the Competency-Based Education Task Force to study and develop competency-based education programs in public schools. Task force members shall be appointed before October 31, 2021, with membership as described in the act. The Task Force shall conduct interviews and at least three public hearings to identify promising competency-based education programs and obstacles to implementing such programs. Before December 1st of each year, the Task Force shall present its findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Joint Committee on Education, and the State Board of Education.
These provisions are substantially similar to provisions in SB 33 (2021), SB 34 (2021), and SB 35 (2021).
MISSOURI EDUCATION SAVINGS PROGRAM
Under this act, the Missouri Education Savings Program is renamed the Missouri Education Program.
This act modifies the definition of "eligible educational institution" to include all eligible educational institutions, as defined in Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, rather than just institutions of postsecondary education.
(Sections 166.400, 166.410, 166.415, 166.420, 166.425, 166.435, 166.440, 166.456, 166.502, and 209.610)
These provisions are substantially similar to provisions in SS/SCS/SB 152 (2021) and are similar to provisions in SCS/HCS/HB 1540 (2020), HCS/HB 2068 (2020), and HCS/HB 2261 (2020).