HB 2325 Modifies provisions relating to professional development

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- Prepared by Senate Research -


HB 2325 - This act modifies provisions relating to professional development.

EXTENDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES (Section 160.565)

This act establishes the "Extended Learning Opportunities Act".

Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, each local school board and charter school shall routinely inform students and parents of the ability to earn credit through extended learning opportunities, which the act defines as out-of-classroom learning experiences approved by a local school board or a charter school to provide enrichment, career readiness skills, or other approved educational opportunities.

Public schools and charter schools may assist students and parents in enrolling in such programs. Such opportunities shall not require the permission of the student's school so long as the student and at least one parent sign an agreement detailing all program requirements.

Extended learning opportunities shall count as credit toward graduation requirements and the achievement of state standards. Students shall submit a written request and proof of completion to a school administrator to receive credit.

Each local school district and charter school shall adopt, distribute, and implement policies related to the approval of extended learning opportunities by outside entities, a list of approved entities, a process for requesting credit, criteria for the approval of extended learning opportunities by districts and charter schools, and criteria for awarding a certificate of completion and credit.

Entities approved by the State Board of Education shall be qualified to offer extended learning opportunities for all districts and charter schools.

A student awarded a certificate of completion and credit shall be considered to have completed all coursework for the particular course of study. Opportunities that satisfy all required coursework for a high school course shall count toward credit for graduation.

Policies and procedures adopted by the State Board, local school boards, and charter schools shall provide students an equal opportunity to participate in extended learning opportunities and shall satisfy existing timelines and requirements for transcribing and reporting credits.

These provisions are similar to SCS/SB 1051 (2022) and SCS/HB 1856 (2022).

ADULT HIGH SCHOOLS (Sections 160.2700 & 160.2705)

This act modifies provisions relating to 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, in addition to other requirements provided in current law. This act repeals the on-site requirement for such childcare.

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 SB 1052 (2022) and to provisions in SCS/HCS/HB 2304 (2022).

WORKFORCE DIPLOMA PROGRAM (Section 173.831)

This act establishes the "Workforce Diploma Program," within the Department, to assist students in obtaining a high school diploma and developing employability and career technical skills.

The act requires that before September 1, 2022, and annually thereafter, the Department must issue a request for interested program providers to become approved for the program. An approved program provider must meet a list of qualifications, including but not limited to being an accredited high school diploma-granting entity and having a minimum of two years experience providing adult dropout recovery services.

Every year, the Department must announce the approved programs before October 16th. The approved program providers shall begin enrolling students starting before November 15th of each year. The Department shall pay, upon appropriation, the approved program providers for the specified milestones provided to each student, including: for completion of each half unit of high school credit, for attaining an employability skills certification, for attaining an industry recognized credential requiring no more than fifty hours of training, for attaining an industry-recognized credential requiring at least fifty-one but no more than one hundred hours of training, for attaining an industry-recognized credential requiring more than one hundred hours of training, and for attaining an accredited high school diploma.

No approved program provider shall receive funding if that provider receives federal or state funding or private tuition for the student. The Department must provide a written update to approved program providers by the last calendar day of each month. Providers may not charge any type of student fees or tuition unless a student is earning hours in addition to the maximum limit covered by state expenditures.

Before July 16th of each year, each provider must report certain metrics, specified in the act, for each individual cohort, on a cohort-by-cohort basis, to the Department. The act requires each approved provider to conduct a survey of each individual cohort, on a cohort-to-cohort basis, who graduated from the approved program and submit the results to the Department before September 16th of each year beginning the year after the individual graduates and the next four consecutive years.

The survey must include the individual's employment status, hourly wages, access to employer-sponsored health care, and any postsecondary enrollment the individual has completed including a postsecondary certificate or degree program.

Upon the end of the second fiscal year of the program, the Department must review the metrics for each program provider and determine whether each provider is meeting the minimum performance standards. If a program provider does not meet the minimum standards for two consecutive years, that provider will be removed from the approved provider list.

This act also creates the "Workforce Diploma Program Fund".

The Workforce Diploma Program sunsets six years after the effective date.

These provisions are identical to provisions in SCS/HCS/HB 2304 (2022), provisions in HCS/SS/SCS/SBs 681 & 662 (2022), and similar to SCS/SB 957 (2022).

JAMIE ANDREWS


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