HCS/HB 733 - This act modifies provisions related to adult high schools and Career and Technical Education Certificates (CTEs) and establishes provisions relating to innovation waivers in elementary and secondary education and the Workforce Diploma Program.
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) and HB 624 (2021).
Under this act, any school intervention team, which shall mean a group of persons representing certain schools as set forth in the act, may submit a state innovation waiver plan to the State Board of Education for certain purposes, including improving student readiness for employment, higher education, vocational training, technical training, or any other form of career and job training; increasing the compensation of teachers; or improving the recruitment, retention, training, preparation, or professional development of teachers.
A school innovation waiver shall mean a waiver granted by the State Board to certain schools, as set forth in the act, in which such schools are exempt from a specific requirement imposed by current law, or from any regulations promulgated by the State Board or the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Any school innovation waiver granted to a school district or group of school districts shall be applicable to every elementary and secondary school within the school district or group of school districts unless the plan specifically provides otherwise.
Any plan for a school innovation waiver shall include certain information, including the specific provision of law for which a waiver is being requested, and an explanation of why such provision of law inhibits the ability of the school or school district to accomplish the goal stated in the plan. The plan shall also demonstrate that the intent of the law can be addressed in a more effective, efficient, or economical manner and that the waiver or modification is necessary to implement the plan.
In evaluating a plan submitted by a school innovation team, the State Board shall consider whether the plan meets certain criteria set forth in the act. The State Board may propose modifications to the plan in cooperation with the school innovation team.
Any waiver granted under this act shall be effective for no longer than three school years, but school innovation waivers may be renewed. No more than one school innovation waiver shall be in effect with respect to any one elementary or secondary school at one time.
The State Board shall not authorize the waiver of any statutory requirements relating to school start dates, teacher certification, teacher tenure, or any requirement imposed by federal law. (Section 161.214)
These provisions are substantially similar to provisions in SB 265 (2021).
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) CERTIFICATES
Under this act, the State Board of Education, in consultation with the Career and Technical Advisory Council, shall develop a statewide plan establishing the minimum requirements for CTE. The statewide plan shall match workforce needs with appropriate educational resources.
Each local school district shall determine the curriculum, programs of study, and course offerings based on student needs and interests and the requirements of the statewide plan.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall convene work groups from each CTE program area. Such work groups shall develop and recommend performance standards or course competencies. The Department shall develop written model curriculum frameworks for CTE programs, which shall not be subject to certain limits on performance standards provided under existing law, as described in the act. (Section 170.029)
These provisions are identical to SB 386 (2021) and HB 1868 (2020) and are similar to SB 536 (2020).
WORKFORCE DIPLOMA PROGRAM
This act establishes the "Workforce Diploma Program" within the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development to assist students in obtaining a high school diploma and in developing employability and career and technical skills.
Before August 16, 2022, and annually each year after, the Department shall issue a request for applications for interested program providers to become approved providers to participate in the program. Applications shall furnish evidence that such interested provider meets certain criteria set forth in the act, including having at least two years of experience providing adult dropout recovery services.
The Department shall announce approved program providers prior to October 16th each year, and approved program providers shall begin enrolling students before November 15th each year.
The Department shall pay approved program providers amounts set forth in the act for the completion of certain milestones by students. However, no program provider shall receive funding for a student if such provider already receives federal or state funding or private tuition for such student.
Providers shall comply with requirements established by the Department to ensure an accurate accounting of a student's high school credits and alignment of coursework to performance standards.
In order to receive payments, program providers shall be required to submit monthly invoices to the Department before the eleventh calendar day of each month for the milestones met by students in the previous month. The Department shall pay approved program providers in the order in which invoices are submitted until all available funds are exhausted.
The Department shall also provide a written update to program providers by the last day of each month, which shall include the aggregate total dollars that have been paid to the providers, and the estimated number of enrollments still available for the program year.
Prior to July 16th of each year, each provider shall report certain information set forth in the act to the Department, including the total number of students who have been funded through the program, the total number of credits earned, the total number of employability skills certifications issued, the total number of industry-recognized credentials earned, and the total number of graduates.
Prior to September 16th of each year, each provider shall submit to the Department the results of a survey of each provider's graduates conducted at the end of each of the five years following graduation. The survey shall include graduate employment data, as described in the act.
The Department shall review data from each approved program provider at the end of the second fiscal year of the program to ensure that each provider is achieving minimum program performance standards. Any provider failing to meet such standards shall be placed on probationary status for the remainder of the fiscal year. If a provider fails to meet the standards for two consecutive years, such provider shall be removed from the approved provider list.
No approved program provider shall discriminate against a student based on certain classifications as described in the act. A provider may refer a student to the state's basic education services if the provider finds that the student would be better served in a different program.
This act establishes the Workforce Diploma Program Fund to be used for the purposes of the program.
These provisions are similar to SB 139 (2021) and SB 839 (2020).