Bill Text: MS SB2571 | 2014 | Regular Session | Engrossed

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Administration of public school districts; make certain technical amendments.

Status: (Passed) 2014-03-26 - Approved by Governor [SB2571 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2014-SB2571-Engrossed.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2014 Regular Session

To: Education

By: Senator(s) Tollison, Stone

Senate Bill 2571

(As Passed the Senate)

AN ACT RELATING TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-13-67 AND 37-13-91, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE LENGTH OF THE SCHOOL DAY AND THE DETERMINATION OF STUDENT AGE FOR PURPOSES OF THE COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE LAW; TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-92, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO SUBMIT CERTAIN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL REPORTS AND TO PROVIDE ENFORCEMENT SANCTIONS FOR FAILING TO FILE; TO AMEND SECTION 37-15-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT STUDENT RECORDS MAY BE STORED DIGITALLY; TO AMEND SECTION 37-15-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE BIRTHDAY CUT-OFF DATE FOR ENROLLMENT OF CHILDREN IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS; TO AMEND SECTION 37-15-38, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY ELIGIBLE COURSES FOR DUAL ENROLLMENT PROGRAMS FOR HIGH SCHOOL AND POSTSECONDARY CREDIT; TO AMEND SECTION 37-61-33, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY PROCEDURES FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF CLASSROOM SUPPLY FUNDS BY SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND TEACHERS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE WITHDRAWAL OF A SCHOOL DISTRICT'S ACCREDITATION IN A DISTRICT WITH AN "A" OR "B" RATING FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN ACADEMIC OR SERIOUS FINANCIAL DEFICIENCIES SHALL NOT RESULT IN THE LIMITATION OF THE SCHOOLS IN THE DISTRICT TO PARTICIPATE IN EXTRACURRICULAR OR ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES; TO REPEAL SECTION 37-13-62, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES THAT ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS SHALL BEGIN THE SCHOOL YEAR ON OR AFTER THE THIRD MONDAY IN AUGUST; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 37-13-67, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-13-67.  The number of hours of actual teaching which shall constitute a school day shall be determined and fixed by the board of trustees of the school district at not less than five * * * (5) and one-half (5-1/2) hours.

     SECTION 2.  Section 37-13-91, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-13-91.  (1)  This section shall be referred to as the "Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law."

     (2)  The following terms as used in this section are defined as follows:

          (a)  "Parent" means the father or mother to whom a child has been born, or the father or mother by whom a child has been legally adopted.

          (b)  "Guardian" means a guardian of the person of a child, other than a parent, who is legally appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction.

          (c)  "Custodian" means any person having the present care or custody of a child, other than a parent or guardian of the child.

          (d)  "School day" means not less than five * * * (5) and one-half (5-1/2) and not more than eight (8) hours of actual teaching in which both teachers and pupils are in regular attendance for scheduled schoolwork.

          (e)  "School" means any public school, including a charter school, in this state or any nonpublic school in this state which is in session each school year for at least one hundred eighty (180) school days, except that the "nonpublic" school term shall be the number of days that each school shall require for promotion from grade to grade.

          (f)  "Compulsory-school-age child" means a child who has attained or will attain the age of six (6) years on or before * * * September August 1 of the calendar year and who has not attained the age of seventeen (17) years on or before * * * September August 1 of the calendar year; and shall include any child who has attained or will attain the age of five (5) years on or before * * * September August 1 and has enrolled in a full-day public school kindergarten program.

          (g)  "School attendance officer" means a person employed by the State Department of Education pursuant to Section 37-13-89.

          (h)  "Appropriate school official" means the superintendent of the school district, or his designee, or, in the case of a nonpublic school, the principal or the headmaster.

          (i)  "Nonpublic school" means an institution for the teaching of children, consisting of a physical plant, whether owned or leased, including a home, instructional staff members and students, and which is in session each school year.  This definition shall include, but not be limited to, private, church, parochial and home instruction programs.

     (3)  A parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child in this state shall cause the child to enroll in and attend a public school or legitimate nonpublic school for the period of time that the child is of compulsory school age, except under the following circumstances:

          (a)  When a compulsory-school-age child is physically, mentally or emotionally incapable of attending school as determined by the appropriate school official based upon sufficient medical documentation.

          (b)  When a compulsory-school-age child is enrolled in and pursuing a course of special education, remedial education or education for handicapped or physically or mentally disadvantaged children.

          (c)  When a compulsory-school-age child is being educated in a legitimate home instruction program.

     The parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child described in this subsection, or the parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child attending any charter school or nonpublic school, or the appropriate school official for any or all children attending a charter school or nonpublic school shall complete a "certificate of enrollment" in order to facilitate the administration of this section.

     The form of the certificate of enrollment shall be prepared by the Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement of the State Department of Education and shall be designed to obtain the following information only:

               (i)  The name, address, telephone number and date of birth of the compulsory-school-age child;

               (ii)  The name, address and telephone number of the parent, guardian or custodian of the compulsory-school-age child;

               (iii)  A simple description of the type of education the compulsory-school-age child is receiving and, if the child is enrolled in a nonpublic school, the name and address of the school; and

               (iv)  The signature of the parent, guardian or custodian of the compulsory-school-age child or, for any or all compulsory-school-age child or children attending a charter school or nonpublic school, the signature of the appropriate school official and the date signed.

     The certificate of enrollment shall be returned to the school attendance officer where the child resides on or before September 15 of each year.  Any parent, guardian or custodian found by the school attendance officer to be in noncompliance with this section shall comply, after written notice of the noncompliance by the school attendance officer, with this subsection within ten (10) days after the notice or be in violation of this section.  However, in the event the child has been enrolled in a public school within fifteen (15) calendar days after the first day of the school year as required in subsection (6), the parent or custodian may, at a later date, enroll the child in a legitimate nonpublic school or legitimate home instruction program and send the certificate of enrollment to the school attendance officer and be in compliance with this subsection.

     For the purposes of this subsection, a legitimate nonpublic school or legitimate home instruction program shall be those not operated or instituted for the purpose of avoiding or circumventing the compulsory attendance law.

     (4)  An "unlawful absence" is an absence for an entire school day or during part of a school day by a compulsory-school-age child, which absence is not due to a valid excuse for temporary nonattendance.  For purposes of reporting absenteeism under subsection (6) of this section, if a compulsory-school-age child has an absence that is more than thirty-seven percent (37%) of the instructional day, as fixed by the school board for the school at which the compulsory-school-age child is enrolled, the child must be considered absent the entire school day.  Days missed from school due to disciplinary suspension shall not be considered an "excused" absence under this section.  This subsection shall not apply to children enrolled in a nonpublic school.

     Each of the following shall constitute a valid excuse for temporary nonattendance of a compulsory-school-age child enrolled in a noncharter public school, provided satisfactory evidence of the excuse is provided to the superintendent of the school district, or his designee:

          (a)  An absence is excused when the absence results from the compulsory-school-age child's attendance at an authorized school activity with the prior approval of the superintendent of the school district, or his designee.  These activities may include field trips, athletic contests, student conventions, musical festivals and any similar activity.

          (b)  An absence is excused when the absence results from illness or injury which prevents the compulsory-school-age child from being physically able to attend school.

          (c)  An absence is excused when isolation of a compulsory-school-age child is ordered by the county health officer, by the State Board of Health or appropriate school official.

          (d)  An absence is excused when it results from the death or serious illness of a member of the immediate family of a compulsory-school-age child.  The immediate family members of a compulsory-school-age child shall include children, spouse, grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, including stepbrothers and stepsisters.

          (e)  An absence is excused when it results from a medical or dental appointment of a compulsory-school-age child.

          (f)  An absence is excused when it results from the attendance of a compulsory-school-age child at the proceedings of a court or an administrative tribunal if the child is a party to the action or under subpoena as a witness.

          (g)  An absence may be excused if the religion to which the compulsory-school-age child or the child's parents adheres, requires or suggests the observance of a religious event.  The approval of the absence is within the discretion of the superintendent of the school district, or his designee, but approval should be granted unless the religion's observance is of such duration as to interfere with the education of the child.

          (h)  An absence may be excused when it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the superintendent of the school district, or his designee, that the purpose of the absence is to take advantage of a valid educational opportunity such as travel, including vacations or other family travel.  Approval of the absence must be gained from the superintendent of the school district, or his designee, before the absence, but the approval shall not be unreasonably withheld.

          (i)  An absence may be excused when it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the superintendent of the school district, or his designee, that conditions are sufficient to warrant the compulsory-school-age child's nonattendance.  However, no absences shall be excused by the school district superintendent, or his designee, when any student suspensions or expulsions circumvent the intent and spirit of the compulsory attendance law.

          (j)  An absence is excused when it results from the attendance of a compulsory-school-age child participating in official organized events sponsored by the 4-H or Future Farmers of America (FFA).  The excuse for the 4-H or FFA event must be provided in writing to the appropriate school superintendent by the Extension Agent or High School Agricultural Instructor/FFA Advisor.

          (k)  An absence is excused when it results from the compulsory-school-age child officially being employed to serve as a page at the State Capitol for the Mississippi House of Representatives or Senate.

     (5)  Any parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child subject to this section who refuses or willfully fails to perform any of the duties imposed upon him or her under this section or who intentionally falsifies any information required to be contained in a certificate of enrollment, shall be guilty of contributing to the neglect of a child and, upon conviction, shall be punished in accordance with Section 97-5-39.

     Upon prosecution of a parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child for violation of this section, the presentation of evidence by the prosecutor that shows that the child has not been enrolled in school within eighteen (18) calendar days after the first day of the school year of the public school which the child is eligible to attend, or that the child has accumulated twelve (12) unlawful absences during the school year at the public school in which the child has been enrolled, shall establish a prima facie case that the child's parent, guardian or custodian is responsible for the absences and has refused or willfully failed to perform the duties imposed upon him or her under this section.  However, no proceedings under this section shall be brought against a parent, guardian or custodian of a compulsory-school-age child unless the school attendance officer has contacted promptly the home of the child and has provided written notice to the parent, guardian or custodian of the requirement for the child's enrollment or attendance.

     (6)  If a compulsory-school-age child has not been enrolled in a school within fifteen (15) calendar days after the first day of the school year of the school which the child is eligible to attend or the child has accumulated five (5) unlawful absences during the school year of the public school in which the child is enrolled, the school district superintendent or his designee shall report, within two (2) school days or within five (5) calendar days, whichever is less, the absences to the school attendance officer.  The State Department of Education shall prescribe a uniform method for schools to utilize in reporting the unlawful absences to the school attendance officer.  The superintendent or his designee, also shall report any student suspensions or student expulsions to the school attendance officer when they occur.

     (7)  When a school attendance officer has made all attempts to secure enrollment and/or attendance of a compulsory-school-age child and is unable to effect the enrollment and/or attendance, the attendance officer shall file a petition with the youth court under Section 43-21-451 or shall file a petition in a court of competent jurisdiction as it pertains to parent or child.  Sheriffs, deputy sheriffs and municipal law enforcement officers shall be fully authorized to investigate all cases of nonattendance and unlawful absences by compulsory-school-age children, and shall be authorized to file a petition with the youth court under Section 43-21-451 or file a petition or information in the court of competent jurisdiction as it pertains to parent or child for violation of this section.  The youth court shall expedite a hearing to make an appropriate adjudication and a disposition to ensure compliance with the Compulsory School Attendance Law, and may order the child to enroll or re-enroll in school.  The superintendent of the school district to which the child is ordered may assign, in his discretion, the child to the alternative school program of the school established pursuant to Section 37-13-92.

     (8)  The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations for the purpose of reprimanding any school superintendents who fail to timely report unexcused absences under the provisions of this section.

     (9)  Notwithstanding any provision or implication herein to the contrary, it is not the intention of this section to impair the primary right and the obligation of the parent or parents, or person or persons in loco parentis to a child, to choose the proper education and training for such child, and nothing in this section shall ever be construed to grant, by implication or otherwise, to the State of Mississippi, any of its officers, agencies or subdivisions any right or authority to control, manage, supervise or make any suggestion as to the control, management or supervision of any private or parochial school or institution for the education or training of children, of any kind whatsoever that is not a public school according to the laws of this state; and this section shall never be construed so as to grant, by implication or otherwise, any right or authority to any state agency or other entity to control, manage, supervise, provide for or affect the operation, management, program, curriculum, admissions policy or discipline of any such school or home instruction program.

     SECTION 3.  Section 37-15-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-15-2.  The permanent record provided for in Section 37-15-1 shall be kept, while it is active, in the attendance center office in a fire resistant container.

     The permanent record shall be considered active:  (a) if the student is enrolled in the school; or (b) if he has withdrawn or has been expelled and the students of the class of which he was a member shall not have reached the time of graduation.

     At the point of the student's graduation or at the time when the student would normally have graduated had he not withdrawn or been expelled from school, the student's permanent record shall become a part of the permanent binder in the central fire resistant depository or stored digitally as designated and provided by the school board of the school district, or, as an alternative method, the records may be maintained in fire resistant storage at the school last attended by the student.  The permanent binding and preservation of the inactive records shall be the duty of the superintendent of the school district who shall maintain a central depository of the records.

     SECTION 4.  Section 37-15-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-15-9.  (1)  Except as provided in subsection (2) and subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, no child shall be enrolled or admitted to any kindergarten which is a part of a public school during any school year unless such child will reach his fifth birthday on or before * * * September August 1 of said school year, and no child shall be enrolled or admitted to the first grade in any public school during any school year unless such child will reach his sixth birthday on or before * * * September August 1 of said school year.  No pupil shall be permanently enrolled in a public school in the State of Mississippi who formerly was enrolled in another public or private school within the state until the cumulative record of the pupil shall have been received from the school from which he transferred.  Should such record have become lost or destroyed, then it shall be the duty of the superintendent or principal of the school where the pupil last attended school to initiate a new record.

     (2)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, any child who transfers from an out-of-state public or private school in which that state's law provides for a first-grade or kindergarten enrollment date subsequent to * * * September August 1, shall be allowed to enroll in the public schools of Mississippi, at the same grade level as their prior out-of-state enrollment, if:

          (a)  The parent, legal guardian or custodian of such child was a legal resident of the state from which the child is transferring;

          (b)  The out-of-state school from which the child is transferring is duly accredited by that state's appropriate accrediting authority;

          (c)  Such child was legally enrolled in a public or private school for a minimum of four (4) weeks in the previous state; and

          (d)  The superintendent of schools in the applicable Mississippi school district or the principal of a charter school, as the case may be, has determined that the child was making satisfactory educational progress in the previous state.

     (3)  When any child applies for admission or enrollment in any public school in the state, the parent, guardian or child, in the absence of an accompanying parent or guardian, shall indicate on the school registration form if the enrolling child has been expelled from any public or private school or is currently a party to an expulsion proceeding.  If it is determined from the child's cumulative record or application for admission or enrollment that the child has been expelled, the school district or charter school may deny the student admission and enrollment until the superintendent of the school, or his designee, or principal of the charter school, as the case may be, has reviewed the child's cumulative record and determined that the child has participated in successful rehabilitative efforts including, but not limited to, progress in an alternative school or similar program.  If the child is a party to an expulsion proceeding, the child may be admitted to a public school pending final disposition of the expulsion proceeding.  If the expulsion proceeding results in the expulsion of the child, the public school may revoke such admission to school.  If the child was expelled or is a party to an expulsion proceeding for an act involving violence, weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs or other activity that may result in expulsion, the school district or charter school shall not be required to grant admission or enrollment to the child before one (1) calendar year after the date of the expulsion.

     SECTION 5.  Section 37-13-92, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-13-92.  (1)  Beginning with the school year 2004-2005, the school boards of all school districts shall establish, maintain and operate, in connection with the regular programs of the school district, an alternative school program or behavior modification program as defined by the State Board of Education for, but not limited to, the following categories of compulsory-school-age students:

          (a)  Any compulsory-school-age child who has been suspended for more than ten (10) days or expelled from school, except for any student expelled for possession of a weapon or other felonious conduct;

          (b)  Any compulsory-school-age child referred to such alternative school based upon a documented need for placement in the alternative school program by the parent, legal guardian or custodian of such child due to disciplinary problems;

          (c)  Any compulsory-school-age child referred to such alternative school program by the dispositive order of a chancellor or youth court judge, with the consent of the superintendent of the child's school district;

          (d)  Any compulsory-school-age child whose presence in the classroom, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, is a disruption to the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the interest and welfare of the students and teachers of such class as a whole; and

          (e)  No school district is required to place a child returning from out-of-home placement in the mental health, juvenile justice or foster care system in alternative school. Placement of a child in the alternative school shall be done consistently, and for students identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), shall adhere to the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004If a school district chooses to place a child in alternative school the district will make an individual assessment and evaluation of that child in the following time periods:

               (i)  Five (5) days for a child transitioning from a group home, mental health care system, and/or the custody of the Department of Human Services, Division of Youth and Family Services * * *custody;

               (ii)  Ten (10) days for a child transitioning from a dispositional placement order by a youth court pursuant to Section 43-21-605; and

               (iii)  An individualized assessment for youth transitioning from out-of-home placement to the alternative school shall include:

                    1.  A strength needs assessment.

                    2.  A determination of the child's academic strengths and deficiencies.

                    3.  A proposed plan for transitioning the child to a regular education placement at the earliest possible date.

     (2)  The principal or program administrator of any such alternative school program shall require verification from the appropriate guidance counselor of any such child referred to the alternative school program regarding the suitability of such child for attendance at the alternative school program.  Before a student may be removed to an alternative school education program, the superintendent of the student's school district must determine that the written and distributed disciplinary policy of the local district is being followed.  The policy shall include standards for:

          (a)  The removal of a student to an alternative education program that will include a process of educational review to develop the student's individual instruction plan and the evaluation at regular intervals of the student's educational progress; the process shall include classroom teachers and/or other appropriate professional personnel, as defined in the district policy, to ensure a continuing educational program for the removed student;

          (b)  The duration of alternative placement; and

          (c)  The notification of parents or guardians, and their appropriate inclusion in the removal and evaluation process, as defined in the district policy.  Nothing in this paragraph should be defined in a manner to circumvent the principal's or the superintendent's authority to remove a student to alternative education.

     (3)  The local school board or the superintendent shall provide for the continuing education of a student who has been removed to an alternative school program.

     (4)  A school district, in its discretion, may provide a program of general educational development (GED) preparatory instruction in the alternative school program.  However, any GED preparation program offered in an alternative school program must be administered in compliance with the rules and regulations established for such programs under Sections 37-35-1 through

37-35-11 and by the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges. The school district may administer the General Educational Development (GED) Testing Program under the policies and guidelines of the GED Testing Service of the American Council on Education in the alternative school program or may authorize the test to be administered through the community/junior college district in which the alternative school is situated.

     (5)  Any such alternative school program operated under the authority of this section shall meet all appropriate accreditation requirements of the State Department of Education.

     (6)  The alternative school program may be held within such school district or may be operated by two (2) or more adjacent school districts, pursuant to a contract approved by the State Board of Education.  When two (2) or more school districts contract to operate an alternative school program, the school board of a district designated to be the lead district shall serve as the governing board of the alternative school program.  Transportation for students attending the alternative school program shall be the responsibility of the local school district.  The expense of establishing, maintaining and operating such alternative school program may be paid from funds contributed or otherwise made available to the school district for such purpose or from local district maintenance funds.

     (7)  The State Board of Education shall promulgate minimum guidelines for alternative school programs.  The guidelines shall require, at a minimum, the formulation of an individual instruction plan for each student referred to the alternative school program and, upon a determination that it is in a student's best interest for that student to receive general educational development (GED) preparatory instruction, that the local school board assign the student to a GED preparatory program established under subsection (4) of this section.  The minimum guidelines for alternative school programs shall also require the following components:

          (a)  Clear guidelines and procedures for placement of students into alternative education programs which at a minimum shall prescribe due process procedures for disciplinary and general educational development (GED) placement;

          (b)  Clear and consistent goals for students and parents;

          (c)  Curricula addressing cultural and learning style differences;

          (d)  Direct supervision of all activities on a closed campus;

          (e)  Attendance requirements that allow for educational and workforce development opportunities;

          (f)  Selection of program from options provided by the local school district, Division of Youth Services or the youth court, including transfer to a community-based alternative school;

          (g)  Continual monitoring and evaluation and formalized passage from one (1) step or program to another;

          (h)  A motivated and culturally diverse staff;

          (i)  Counseling for parents and students;

          (j)  Administrative and community support for the program; and

          (k)  Clear procedures for annual alternative school program review and evaluation.

     (8)  On request of a school district, the State Department of Education shall provide the district informational material on developing an alternative school program that takes into consideration size, wealth and existing facilities in determining a program best suited to a district.

     (9)  Any compulsory-school-age child who becomes involved in any criminal or violent behavior shall be removed from such alternative school program and, if probable cause exists, a case shall be referred to the youth court.

     (10)  The State Board of Education shall promulgate guidelines for alternative school programs which provide broad authority to school boards of local school districts to establish alternative education programs to meet the specific needs of the school district.

     (11)  Each school district having an alternative school program shall submit a report * * *annually by July 31 of each calendar year to the State Department of Education describing the results of its annual alternative school program review and evaluation undertaken pursuant to subsection (7)(k).  The report shall include a detailed account of any actions taken by the school district during the previous year to comply with substantive guidelines promulgated by the State Board of Education under subsection (7)(a) through (j).  The Mississippi Department of Education shall sanction each district which fails to file the mandatory annual report.  Each district shall pay a penalty for each day each student is enrolled in the alternative school past the report deadline at the rate the school receives in federal funding for the child's enrollment/attendance in the district.

     SECTION 6.  Section 37-15-38, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-15-38.  (1)  The following phrases have the meanings ascribed in this section unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

          (a)  A dual enrolled student is a student who is enrolled in a community or junior college or state institution of higher learning while enrolled in high school.

          (b)  A dual credit student is a student who is enrolled in a community or junior college or state institution of higher learning while enrolled in high school and who is receiving high school and college credit for postsecondary coursework.

     (2)  A local school board, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the * * * State Board for Community Colleges Mississippi Community College Board shall establish a dual enrollment system under which students in the school district who meet the prescribed criteria of this section may be enrolled in a postsecondary institution in Mississippi while they are still in school.

     (3)  Dual credit eligibility.  Before credits earned by a qualified high school student from a community or junior college or state institution of higher learning may be transferred to the student's home school district, the student must be properly enrolled in a dual enrollment program.

     (4)  Admission criteria for dual enrollment in community and junior college or university programs.  The boards of trustees of the community and junior college districts and the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning may recommend to the State Board of Education admission criteria for dual enrollment programs under which high school students may enroll at a community or junior college or university while they are still attending high school and enrolled in high school courses.  Students may be admitted to enroll in community or junior college courses under the dual enrollment programs if they meet that individual institution's stated dual enrollment admission requirements.

     (5)  Tuition and cost responsibility.  Tuition and costs for university-level courses and community and junior college courses offered under a dual enrollment program may be paid for by the postsecondary institution, the local school district, the parents or legal guardians of the student, or by grants, foundations or other private or public sources.  Payment for tuition and any other costs must be made directly to the credit-granting institution.

     (6)  Transportation responsibility.  Any transportation required by a student to participate in the dual enrollment program is the responsibility of the parent, custodian or legal guardian of the student.  Transportation costs may be paid from any available public or private sources, including the local school district.

     (7)  School district average daily attendance credit.  When dually enrolled, the student may be counted, for adequate education program funding purposes, in the average daily attendance of the public school district in which the student attends high school.

     (8)  High school student transcript transfer requirements.  Grades and college credits earned by a student admitted to a dual credit program must be recorded on the high school student record and on the college transcript at the university or community or junior college and high school where the student attends classes.  The transcript of the university or community or junior college coursework may be released to another institution or applied toward college graduation requirements.

     (9)  Determining factor of prerequisites for dual enrollment courses.  Each university and community or junior college participating in a dual enrollment program shall determine course prerequisites.  Course prerequisites shall be the same for dual enrolled students as for regularly enrolled students at that university or community or junior college.

     (10)  Process for determining articulation of curriculum between high school, university, and community and junior college courses.  All dual credit courses must meet the standards established at the postsecondary level.  Postsecondary level developmental courses may not be considered as meeting the requirements of the dual credit program.  Dual credit memorandum of understandings must be established between each postsecondary institution and the school district implementing a dual credit program.

     (11) * * *  Ineligible courses for dual credit programs.  Any course that is required for subject area testing as a requirement for graduation from a public school in Mississippi is not eligible for dual credit.  [Deleted]

     (12)  Eligible courses for dual credit programs.  Courses eligible for dual credit include, but are not necessarily limited to, foreign languages, advanced math courses, advanced science courses, performing arts, advanced business and technology, and career and technical courses.  All courses being considered for dual credit must receive unconditional approval from the superintendent of the local school district and the chief instructional officer at the participating community or junior college or university in order for college credit to be awarded.  A university or community or junior college shall make the final decision on what courses are eligible for semester hour credits. 

     (13)  High school Carnegie unit equivalency.  One (1) three-hour university or community or junior college course is equal to one (1) high school Carnegie unit.

     (14)  Course alignment.  The universities, community and junior colleges and the State Department of Education shall periodically review their respective policies and assess the place of dual credit courses within the context of their traditional offerings.

     (15)  Maximum dual credits allowed.  It is the intent of the dual enrollment program to make it possible for every eligible student who desires to earn a semester's worth of college credit in high school to do so.  A qualified dually enrolled high school student must be allowed to earn an unlimited number of college or university credits for dual credit.

     (16)  Dual credit program allowances.  A student may be granted credit delivered through the following means:

          (a)  Examination preparation taught at a high school by a qualified teacher.  A student may receive credit at the secondary level after completion of an approved course and passing the standard examination, such as an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate course through which a high school student is allowed CLEP credit by making a three (3) or higher on the end-of-course examination.

          (b)  College or university courses taught at a high school or designated postsecondary site by a qualified teacher who is an employee of the school district and approved as an instructor by the collaborating college or university.

          (c)  College or university courses taught at a college, university or high school by an instructor employed by the college or university and approved by the collaborating school district.

          (d)  Online courses of any public university, community or junior college in Mississippi.

     (17)  Qualifications of dual credit instructors.  A dual credit academic instructor must meet the requirements set forth by the regional accrediting association (Southern Association of College and Schools).  University and community and junior college personnel have the sole authority in the selection of dual credit instructors.

     A dual credit career and technical education instructor must meet the requirements set forth by the * * * State Board for Community and Junior Colleges Mississippi Community College Board in the qualifications manual for postsecondary career and technical personnel.

     (18)  Guidance on local agreements.  The Chief Academic Officer of the State Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the Chief Instructional Officers of the * * * State Board for Community and Junior Colleges Mississippi Community College Board and the State Department of Education, working collaboratively, shall develop a template to be used by the individual community and junior colleges and institutions of higher learning for consistent implementation of the dual enrollment program throughout the State of Mississippi.

     (19)  Mississippi Works Dual Enrollment-Dual Credit Option.  A local school board and the local community colleges board shall establish a Mississippi Works Dual Enrollment-Dual Credit Option Program under which potential or recent student dropouts may dually enroll in their home school and a local community college in a dual credit program consisting of high school completion coursework and a community college credential, certificate or degree program.  Students completing the dual enrollment-credit option may obtain their high school diploma while obtaining a community college credential, certificate or degree.  The Mississippi Department of Employment Security shall assist students who have successfully completed the Mississippi Works Dual Enrollment-Dual Credit Option in securing a job upon the application of the student or the participating school or community college.  The Mississippi Works Dual Enrollment-Dual Credit Option Program will be implemented statewide in the 2012-2013 school year and thereafter.  The State Board of Education, local school board and the local community college board shall establish criteria for the Dual Enrollment-Dual Credit Program.  Students enrolled in the program will not be eligible to participate in interscholastic sports or other extracurricular activities at the home school district.  Tuition and costs for community college courses offered under the Dual Enrollment-Dual Credit Program shall not be charged to the student, parents or legal guardians.  When dually enrolled, the student shall be counted for adequate education program funding purposes, in the average daily attendance of the public school district in which the student attends high school, as provided in Section 37-151-7(1)(a).  Any transportation required by the student to participate in the Dual Enrollment-Dual Credit Program is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian of the student, and transportation costs may be paid from any available public or private sources, including the local school district.  Grades and college credits earned by a student admitted to this Dual Enrollment-Dual Credit Program shall be recorded on the high school student record and on the college transcript at the community college and high school where the student attends classes.  The transcript of the community college coursework may be released to another institution or applied toward college graduation requirements.  Any course that is required for subject area testing as a requirement for graduation from a public school in Mississippi is eligible for dual credit, and courses eligible for dual credit shall also include career, technical and degree program courses.  All courses eligible for dual credit shall be approved by the superintendent of the local school district and the chief instructional officer at the participating community college in order for college credit to be awarded.  A community college shall make the final decision on what courses are eligible for semester hour credits and the local school superintendent, subject to approval by the Mississippi Department of Education, shall make the final decision on the transfer of college courses credited to the student's high school transcript.

     SECTION 7.  Section 37-61-33, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-61-33.  (1)  There is created within the State Treasury a special fund to be designated the "Education Enhancement Fund" into which shall be deposited all the revenues collected pursuant to Sections 27-65-75(7) and (8) and 27-67-31(a) and (b).

     (2)  Of the amount deposited into the Education Enhancement Fund, Sixteen Million Dollars ($16,000,000.00) shall be appropriated each fiscal year to the State Department of Education to be distributed to all school districts.  Such money shall be distributed to all school districts in the proportion that the average daily attendance of each school district bears to the average daily attendance of all school districts within the state for the following purposes:

          (a)  Purchasing, erecting, repairing, equipping, remodeling and enlarging school buildings and related facilities, including gymnasiums, auditoriums, lunchrooms, vocational training buildings, libraries, teachers' homes, school barns, transportation vehicles (which shall include new and used transportation vehicles) and garages for transportation vehicles, and purchasing land therefor.

          (b)  Establishing and equipping school athletic fields and necessary facilities connected therewith, and purchasing land therefor.

          (c)  Providing necessary water, light, heating, air-conditioning and sewerage facilities for school buildings, and purchasing land therefor.

          (d)  As a pledge to pay all or a portion of the debt service on debt issued by the school district under Sections 37-59-1 through 37-59-45, 37-59-101 through 37-59-115, 37-7-351 through 37-7-359, 37-41-89 through 37-41-99, 37-7-301, 37-7-302 and 37-41-81, or debt issued by boards of supervisors for agricultural high schools pursuant to Section 37-27-65, if such pledge is accomplished pursuant to a written contract or resolution approved and spread upon the minutes of an official meeting of the district's school board or board of supervisors.  The annual grant to such district in any subsequent year during the term of the resolution or contract shall not be reduced below an amount equal to the district's grant amount for the year in which the contract or resolution was adopted.  The intent of this provision is to allow school districts to irrevocably pledge a certain, constant stream of revenue as security for long-term obligations issued under the code sections enumerated in this paragraph or as otherwise allowed by law.  It is the intent of the Legislature that the provisions of this paragraph shall be cumulative and supplemental to any existing funding programs or other authority conferred upon school districts or school boards.  Debt of a district secured by a pledge of sales tax revenue pursuant to this paragraph shall not be subject to any debt limitation contained in the foregoing enumerated code sections.

     (3)  The remainder of the money deposited into the Education Enhancement Fund shall be appropriated as follows:

          (a)  To the State Department of Education as follows:

               (i)  Sixteen and sixty-one one-hundredths percent (16.61%) to the cost of the adequate education program determined under Section 37-151-7; of the funds generated by the percentage set forth in this section for the support of the adequate education program, one and one hundred seventy-eight one-thousandths percent (1.178%) of the funds shall be appropriated to be used by the State Department of Education for the purchase of textbooks to be loaned under Sections 37-43-1 through 37-43-59 to approved nonpublic schools, as described in Section 37-43-1.  The funds to be distributed to each nonpublic school shall be in the proportion that the average daily attendance of each nonpublic school bears to the total average daily attendance of all nonpublic schools;

               (ii)  Seven and ninety-seven one-hundredths percent (7.97%) to assist the funding of transportation operations and maintenance pursuant to Section 37-19-23; and

               (iii)  Nine and sixty-one one-hundredths percent (9.61%) for classroom supplies, instructional materials and equipment, including computers and computer software, to be distributed to all * * * school districts in the proportion that the average daily attendance of each school district bears to the average daily attendance of all school districts eligible teachers within the state through the use of procurement cards.  Classroom supply funds shall not be expended for administrative purposes.  On or before September 1 of each year, local school districts shall * * * allocate classroom supply funds equally among all classroom teachers in the school district determine and submit to the State Department of Education the number of teachers eligible to receive an allocation for the current year.  For purposes of this subparagraph, "teacher" means any employee of the school board of a school district who is required by law to obtain a teacher's license from the State Department of Education and who is assigned to an instructional area of work as defined by the department, but shall not include a federally funded teacher. * * *  Two (2) or more teachers may agree to pool their classroom supply funds for the benefit of a school within the district.  It is the intent of the Legislature that all classroom teachers shall * * * be involved in the development of a spending plan utilize these funds in a manner that addresses individual classroom needs and supports the overall goals of the school regarding supplies, instructional materials, equipment, computers or computer software under the provisions of this subparagraph, including the type, quantity and quality of such supplies, materials and equipment. * * *  This plan shall be submitted in writing to the school principal for approval.  Classroom supply funds allocated under this subparagraph shall supplement, not replace, other local and state funds available for the same purposes. * * *  School districts need not fully expend the funds received under this subparagraph in the year in which they are received, but such funds may be carried forward for expenditure in any succeeding school year.  Any individual teacher or group of teachers with an approved spending plan that has not been fully funded need not expend the funds allocated under this subparagraph in the year in which such funds are received.  Such funds may be carried forward for expenditure in any subsequent school year in which the plan is fully funded.  However, beginning July 1, 2006, any funds allocated under this subparagraph which are not reserved in an approved spending plan but remain unspent on March 31 of the fiscal year in which the funds were allotted must be utilized by the school where the teacher is employed for instructional supply and equipment purposes.  The State Board of Education shall develop and promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of this subparagraph consistent with the above criteria, with particular emphasis on allowing the individual teachers to expend funds as they deem appropriate.  Effective with the 2013-2014 school year, the local school board shall require each school to issue procurement cards provided by the Department of Finance and Administration under the provisions of Section 31-7-9(1)(c) for the use of teachers and necessary support personnel in making instructional supply fund expenditures under this section, consistent with the regulations of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration pursuant to Section 31-7-9.  Such procurement cards shall be issued at the beginning of the school year and shall be issued in equal amounts per teacher determined by the total number of qualifying personnel and the current state appropriation for classroom supplies with the Education Enhancement Fund.  Such cards will expire on a pre-determined date at the end of each school year.  All unexpended amounts will be carried forward, combined with the following year's allocation of Education Enhancement Fund instructional supplies funds and reallocated for the following year;

          (b)  Twenty-two and nine one-hundredths percent (22.09%) to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning for the purpose of supporting institutions of higher learning; and

          (c)  Fourteen and forty-one one-hundredths percent (14.41%) to the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges for the purpose of providing support to community and junior colleges.

     (4)  The amount remaining in the Education Enhancement Fund after funds are distributed as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section shall be disbursed as follows:

          (a)  Twenty-five Million Dollars ($25,000,000.00) shall be deposited into the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund created pursuant to Section 27-103-203(1), until the balance in such fund reaches the maximum balance of seven and one-half percent (7-1/2%) of the General Fund appropriations in the appropriate fiscal year.  After the maximum balance in the Working Cash-Stabilization Reserve Fund is reached, such money shall remain in the Education Enhancement Fund to be appropriated in the manner provided for in paragraph (b) of this subsection.

          (b)  The remainder shall be appropriated for other educational needs.

     (5)  None of the funds appropriated pursuant to subsection (3)(a) of this section shall be used to reduce the state's General Fund appropriation for the categories listed in an amount below the following amounts:

          (a)  For subsection (3)(a)(ii) of this section, Thirty-six Million Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars ($36,700,000.00);

          (b)  For the aggregate of minimum program allotments in the 1997 fiscal year, formerly provided for in Chapter 19, Title 37, Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, excluding those funds for transportation as provided for in subsection (5)(a) in this section.

     SECTION 8.  Effective upon passage of this act, the withdrawal of a school district's accreditation by the Commission on School Accreditation in a school district with an "A" or "B" accountability rating, for any reason other than failure to meet student academic standards or for failure to comply with financial accountability requirements, shall not result in any limitation of the schools in the district to participate in any extracurricular or athletic activity in the regular or postseason.  The Commission on School Accreditation shall amend its rules and regulations to conform to the provisions of this section.

     SECTION 9.  Section 37-13-62, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provides that all public schools shall begin the school year on or after the third Monday in August, is hereby repealed.

     SECTION 10.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.


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