SS/SCS/HCS/HB 1552 - This act modifies provisions relating to alternative education programs.
FUNDING FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS (Section 160.415)
In addition to any state aid remitted to charter schools, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall remit to any charter school an amount equal to the weighted average daily attendance (WADA) of the charter school multiplied by the difference of:
1) The amount of state and local aid per WADA received by the school district in which the charter school is located, not including any funds remitted to the charter school in the district; and
2) The amount of state and local aid per WADA of the charter school received by the charter school.
When calculating such amount, the Department shall utilize the most current data to which the Department has access.
The funding calculation above shall apply to charter schools operated only in certain locations as stated in the act.
The members of a governing board of a charter school shall be residents of the state of Missouri.
Any charter school management company operating a charter school in the state shall be incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under provisions of law relating to nonprofit corporations.
Beginning July 1, 2023, provisions of law relating to lactation accommodations for employees, teachers, and students shall be applicable to charter schools.
Finally, charter schools shall publish their annual performance report on the school's website in a downloadable format.
CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOL COMMISSION (Section 160.425)
This act establishes the Charter Public School Commission Revolving Fund in the State Treasury. Sponsorship funding due to the Charter Public School Commission from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Commission's role as a charter school sponsor shall be deposited into the Fund.
This provision is identical to SB 1082 (2022) and SB 328 (2021).
VIRTUAL EDUCATION PROGRAM (Section 161.670)
This act modifies provisions relating to the virtual school program.
The Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program shall offer nonclassroom-based instruction in a virtual setting.
Student attendance in a virtual program shall only be included in any district pupil attendance calculation or charter school pupil attendance calculation for the calculation and distribution of state school aid using current year pupil attendance for full-time virtual program pupils.
The act changes the definition of a "full-time equivalent student" to mean a student who is enrolled in the instructional equivalent of 6 credits per regular term.
Pursuant to an education services plan and collaborative agreement, full-time equivalent students may be allowed to use a physical location of the resident school district for all or some portion of ongoing instructional activity.
A full-time virtual school program serving full-time equivalent students shall participate in the statewide assessment system, with the results to be assigned to the designated attendance center of the full-time virtual school program. The academic performance of any student who disenrolls from a full-time virtual school program and enrolls in a public school or charter school shall not be used in determining the annual performance report score of the attendance center or school district in which the student enrolls for 12 months from the date of enrollment.
A public institution of higher education operating a full-time virtual school program shall be subject to all requirements applicable to a host school district with respect to its full-time equivalent students.
The act modifies under what circumstances a school district or charter school shall pay for a student's enrollment in a virtual school course.
The act repeals a provision stating that school counselors shall not be required to approve or disapprove a student's enrollment in the virtual school program.
When a school delineates a policy by which a student may enroll in a virtual school course, such policy shall ensure that available opportunities for in-person instruction are considered prior to moving a student to virtual courses. Such policy shall also allow for continuous enrollment throughout the school year.
The act repeals a provision stating what shall happen when a student is denied enrollment in the virtual school program.
Good cause justification to disapprove a student's request for enrollment shall be consistent with the determination that would be made for such course request under the process by which a district student would enroll in a similar course offered by a school district or charter school. Appeals of course denials shall be considered under a policy that is substantially similar to the typical process by which appeals would be considered for students seeking to enroll in courses offered by a school district or charter school.
The act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to adopt a policy for students enrolling in a full-time virtual program, with such policy containing information as stated in the act. Each host district shall implement such policy.
Virtual school programs shall monitor individual student success and engagement and provide regular progress reports for each student at least four times per school year to the school district or charter school. The act repeals a provision requiring school districts and charter schools to monitor student progress and success.
The Department shall monitor the aggregate performance of virtual providers.
An education services plan may require an eligible student to have access to student facilities of the resident school district during regular school hours. The plan shall provide for reimbursement of the resident school district for such access.
The act creates a definition for "instructional activities" and states that a full-time virtual school shall develop a policy setting forth consequences for a student who fails to complete the required instructional activities. If a full-time virtual school disenrolls a student for failure to complete required instructional activities, the school shall immediately provide written notification to such student's school district of residence. A student shall be enrolled in a new educational option as stated in the act.
Virtual school programs shall comply with audit requirements under state law, access to public records under state law, and school accountability report cards under state law. Teachers and administrators employed by a virtual provider shall be considered to be employed in a public school for all certification purposes under state law.
On or before January 1, 2023, the Department shall create a guidance document that details options for virtual course access and full-time virtual course access for all students in the state. The document shall be distributed as stated in the act.
These provisions are similar to HCS/HB 1903 (2022).