Bill Text: MS HB1217 | 2013 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Oakley Youth Development Center; establish process to convert to a public charter school.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2013-02-05 - Died In Committee [HB1217 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2013-HB1217-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2013 Regular Session

To: Education

By: Representative Dixon

House Bill 1217

AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO ENTER INTO AGREEMENT FOR THE CONVERSION OF THE OAKLEY YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTER TO A CONVERSION CHARTER SCHOOL; TO PRESCRIBE FOR THE ENROLLMENT OF STUDENT ADJUDICATED BY THE COURT AS DELINQUENT OR THOSE CHILDREN WITH SUCH ABHORRENT BEHAVIOR, SPECIAL NEEDS AS DEFINED UNDER IDEA, EMOTIONAL INSTABILITIES, ACADEMIC DEFICIENCIES OR SEVERE RECORD OF SCHOOL SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION THAT RENDERS THE CHILD INCAPABLE OF RECEIVING INSTRUCTION IN A TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT; TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-165-5, 37-165-7, 37-165-9, 37-165-17 AND 43-21-605, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PRECEDING PROVISIONS; TO BRING FORWARD SECTIONS 37-165-1, 37-165-3, 37-165-11, 37-165-13, 37-165-15, 37-165-19, 37-165-21, 37-165-23, 37-165-25 AND 37-165-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, FOR PURPOSES OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  (1)  This section applies only to those public facilities authorized by the State of Mississippi to serve as youth development centers for the detention, training, care and treatment of delinquent compulsory-school-age children, as adjudicated by a court, or for those children with such abhorrent behavior, special needs as defined under IDEA, emotional instabilities, academic deficiencies or severe record of school suspension or expulsion that renders the child incapable of receiving instruction in a traditional public school environment, as determined by the Division of Youth Services within the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the State Department of Education.

     For purposes of this section, the term "conversion charter school" means the successor school to public school and training component of Oakley Youth Development Center, which converts to charter status in compliance with the provisions of Chapter 165, Title 37, Mississippi Code of 1972, as determined by a charter agreement entered into by the Division of Youth Services with the State Department of Education.

     (2)  There is established the Oakley Conversion Charter School Program for the purpose of transforming the Oakley Youth Development Center into a quality educational option for children adjudicated by a court as delinquent, or for those children with such abhorrent behavior, special needs as defined under IDEA, emotional instabilities, academic deficiencies or severe record of school suspension or expulsion that renders the child incapable of receiving instruction in a traditional public school environment, as determined by the Division of Youth Services within the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the State Department of Education.  The Oakley Conversion Charter School Program shall be under the administration of the Mississippi Recovery School District established under Section 37-17-6(11)(g).

     (3)  (a)  An agreement shall be entered into by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the State Department of Education for the release of jurisdiction and control of the educational and instructional component of Oakley Youth Development Center to the State Board of Education for conversion of the center into a conversion charter school as defined under Section 37-165-5.  The Mississippi Recovery School District shall provide written notice to the administrator and each licensed and nonlicensed employee in the youth development center that the facility will be transformed into a conversion charter school and the person's employment with the facility shall be terminated.  The notice shall be sent by the deputy superintendent responsible for the Mississippi Recovery School District as soon as practicable after the agreement between the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the State Department of Education.

          (b)  In addition to the notice required under paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), the Mississippi Recovery School District shall provide notice to the public in a newspaper of general circulation in each county of the agreement entered into by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the State Department of Education, that the facility will be converted into a charter school.  The advertisement may not be placed in any portion of the newspaper where legal notices and classified advertisements appear.  The advertisement shall appear in a newspaper that is published at least five (5) days a week, unless the only newspaper in the county is published less than five (5) days a week, in such case, the advertisement shall be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks.  The newspaper selected must be one of general interest, readership and circulation in all areas of the community.

     (4)  The Mississippi Recovery School District shall take such steps as may be necessary to facilitate the conversion of the facility into a conversion charter school.  The State Board of Education, in its discretion, may grant a one-year delay if it determines circumstances merit giving the facility an additional year to provide for the transition of employees to other facilities.

     (5)  The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations governing the transformation of the facility into a conversion charter school, consistent with those rules and regulations adopted for the conversion of public schools under Chapter 165, Title 37, Mississippi Code of 1972.  The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations that ensure that all students who were enrolled in, in attendance at and residing in the attendance zone of the facility meeting the criteria established in subsection (1) of this section before the conversion charter school is instituted shall continue being eligible for and shall be deemed to be enrolled in the conversion charter school without any required application process for the school.  The rules and regulations must include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following provisions:

          (a)  The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations to evaluate the performance of all licensed and nonlicensed employees in the facility that is to be transformed into a conversion charter school.  The performance evaluation shall be conducted by the State Department of Education at the conclusion of the year immediately preceding the year in which the facility is scheduled to initially operate under conversion charter school status.  For all licensed employees the rules and regulations shall use qualitative and quantitative data, which shall include using the measures of student achievement, to assess the effectiveness of the educator.  Any employee that receives an unsatisfactory evaluation may be terminated by the State Department of Education.  Upon completion of an improvement plan, a person employed other than as a teacher who is terminated may apply for a position at the conversion charter school or at another public school district; however, the school district may exercise its discretion in determining whether or not the person will be offered continued employment.  Upon completion of an improvement plan, a teacher terminated under this paragraph (a) may apply for employment with the conversion charter school or for a position at another school district.  A teacher terminated under this paragraph (a) may be reemployed by the conversion charter school, subject to the condition of the charter contract for employment of teachers, and subject to approval of that teacher's reemployment by the deputy superintendent responsible for the Mississippi Recovery School District.

          (b)  All decisions impacting the academic, finance or any other managerial or operational functions of the conversion charter school shall be subject to the review and approval of the Mississippi Recovery School District.

          (c)  The administrator of the conversion charter school shall select and recommend for employment all licensed and nonlicensed personnel for the school to the local management board for the school.  The administrator and local management board shall endeavor to select only the most qualified applicants for employment in the conversion charter school.  Each teacher recommended for employment in the conversion charter school must be approved by the Deputy Superintendent of the Mississippi Recovery School District before a contract for employment may be executed with the teacher.

          (d)  The State Board of Education shall develop professional development courses of training specifically designed for licensed personnel in the conversion charter school.  All licensed employees of the conversion charter school shall be required to participate in the professional development courses.

          (e)  Subject to the availability of funds for such purposes, the campus of the conversion charter school may be refurbished in efforts to distinguish the school from the youth development center it is replacing.  The conversion charter school may receive donations or grants from any public or private source for making improvements to the school.

          (f)  The State Board of Education shall prescribe the circumstances under which the conversion charter school shall cease to be designated as a conversion charter school subject to the requirements of this section and the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education relating to conversion charter schools.

     (6)  Before the Oakley Conversion Charter School Program shall be eligible to take effect, the Mississippi Department of Human Services, shall relinquish all authority, control and jurisdiction over the Oakley Youth Development Center to the State Department of Education, and shall only serve the State Department of Education in an advisory capacity through its Division of Youth Services.

     SECTION 2.  Section 37-165-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-1.  This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Conversion Charter School Act of 2010."

     SECTION 3.  Section 37-165-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-3.  It is the intent of the Legislature that this chapter provide a means whereby the parents or guardians of students enrolled in eligible local public schools may choose to enter into a binding academic or vocational, or both, performance-based contract approved by the State Board of Education, called a "contract."

     SECTION 4.  Section 37-165-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-165-5.  For purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

          (a)  "Conversion charter school" means a public school that has converted to operating under the terms of a contract entered into between the local management board of a conversion charter school and the State Board of Education.  The term shall also mean a public youth development center that has converted to operating under the terms of a contract entered into between the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the State Board of Education.

          (b)  "Local school" means a public school in Mississippi which is under the management and control of the school board of the school district in which the school is located.

          (c)  "Petition" means a proposal to enter into an academic or vocational, or both, performance-based contract between the State Board of Education and the sponsors of a local school whereby the local school obtains a conversion charter school status.

          (d)  "Sponsor" means the group of parents or guardians of students enrolled in a public school rated as Low-Performing, At-Risk of Failing or Failing or an organization selected or appointed by the sponsoring group of parents or guardians to represent those parents or guardians submitting a petition to the State Board of Education for the conversion of a chronically under-performing public school into a conversion charter school, provided that during the petitioning process and the subsequent approval of a contract, that group of parents or guardians shall remain the sponsor of the conversion charter school.

          (e)  "Chronically under-performing public school" means a public school that, during each of three (3) consecutive school years, is rated as Low-Performing, At-Risk of Failing or Failing, as determined by the State Department of Education.  For the purposes of this chapter, the 2009-2010 school year shall be the first year that a school's classification may be considered.

          (f)  "Board" means the State Board of Education.

          (g)  "Department" means the State Department of Education.

          (h)  "Local management board" means the five-member governing board of a conversion charter school composed of the parents or guardians of students enrolled in the conversion charter school responsible for the academic and administrative functions and decisions of the conversion charter school.  The academic responsibilities are subject to the authority of the State Board of Education and the administrative responsibilities are subject to the authority of the local school board.

          (i)  "Youth development center" means the Oakley Youth Development Center which is used for the detention, training, care, treatment and aftercare supervision of delinquent children, adjudicated as such, and committed to the facility by a court.

     SECTION 5.  Section 37-165-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-165-7.  (1)  The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to only those chronically under-performing public schools or a youth development center in the State of Mississippi which seek to be converted, and ultimately may be converted, to conversion charter schools upon approval of a petition for conversion charter school status by the State Board of Education.

     (2)  The State Board of Education, subject to the requirements of the Mississippi Administrative Procedures Law, shall establish rules and regulations for the submission of petitions for the conversion of a public school to conversion charter school status and criteria and procedures for the operation of conversion charter schools.  The board shall receive and review each petition for the conversion of a public school to conversion charter school status from the school's sponsors and, in its discretion, may approve the petition and grant conversion charter school status.

     (3)  In order to be approved, a petition for conversion charter school status must adequately include:

          (a)  A plan for improvement at the school level for improving student learning and achieving a Successful rating or higher under the State Accountability Model;

          (b)  A set of academic or vocational, or both, performance-based objectives and student achievement-based objectives for the term of the contract and the means for measuring those objectives on no less than an annual basis;

          (c)  An agreement to provide a yearly report to parents, the school board of the school district in which the conversion charter school is located, and the State Board of Education which indicates the progress made by the conversion charter school in the previous year in meeting the academic or vocational, or both, performance objectives;

          (d)  An agreement that the conversion charter school shall be nonsectarian;

          (e)  An agreement that the conversion charter school shall not charge tuition; and

          (f)  An agreement requiring the conversion charter school to be subject to financial audits in the same manner as public school districts.

     (4)  The procedures and process for the conversion of a public school to conversion charter school status shall be as follows:

          (a)  (i)  A petition shall be developed by a sponsor or its appointed representative and shall be made available to all parents or guardians of students enrolled in a public school that is chronically Low-Performing, At-Risk of Failing or Failing, as determined by the State Department of Education, with a copy of the proposed conversion plan attached to the petition for their inspection and signing; or

              (ii)  A petition shall be developed by the Division of Youth Services or its appointed representative and shall be made available to all parents or guardians of students committed to a youth development center that is designed for the treatment, training and care of children adjudicated as delinquent with a copy of the proposed conversion plan attached to the petition for their inspection and signing;

          (b)  The petition and conversion plan must be approved by more than fifty percent (50%) of the families of the students enrolled in a chronically under-performing public school during the third consecutive year in which the school has been designated as Low-Performing, At-Risk of Failing or Failing, as determined by the State Department of Education or committed to a youth development center.  The family of a student enrolled in a chronically under-performing public school or committed to a youth development center proposed to be converted to conversion charter school status shall be entitled to one (1) vote per family without regard to the number of children a family may have enrolled as students at the school.  The group of parents or guardians, or in the case of a youth development center, the Division of Youth Services or its appointed representative, submitting or having the petition submitted on their behalf shall be considered the sponsor of the conversion charter school;

          (c)  The sponsor shall prepare and submit the petition and the conversion plan for conversion charter school status approved by the parents or guardians of students enrolled in a chronically under-performing public school or committed to a youth development center to the State Board of Education upon forms prescribed by or in a format specified by the board;

          (d)  Before the petition for conversion granting a public school or youth development center conversion charter school status is submitted to the State Board of Education for approval, the sponsor shall conduct a public hearing in the local school district in which the school proposed for conversion is located to allow the parents or guardians of students enrolled in the chronically under-performing public school or youth development center affected by the conversion to be informed of the conversion process and to address any concerns relating to the process and subsequent operation of the conversion charter school; and

          (e)  (i)  After the State Board of Education approves a petition for conversion charter school status, the parents or guardians of the students enrolled in the conversion charter school shall select members to serve on the conversion charter school's local management board, which members shall be selected in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education for the selection of conversion charter school local management board members.

              (ii)  After the State Board of Education approves a petition for conversion charter school status for a youth development center, the deputy superintendent responsible for the Mississippi Recovery School District shall, with approval of the Governor select members to serve on the conversion charter school's local management board.

     (5)  The conversion plan to be attached to the petition must include the following:

          (a)  A description of the plan for school improvement that addresses how the school proposes to work toward improving student learning and achieving a Successful rating or higher under the State Accountability Model;

          (b)  An outline of proposed academic or vocational, or both, performance criteria to be used during the initial period of the contract to measure progress of the school in improving student learning and achieving a Successful rating or higher under the State Accountability Model requiring that:

              (i)  Academic performance criteria must include specific and measureable benchmarks of academic performance on state assessments; and

              (ii)  Academic performance criteria include a requirement that conversion charter schools not miss adequate yearly progress for any two (2) consecutive years, as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, or other future federal school accountability requirements;

          (c)  A provision requiring the conversion charter school to comply with all rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the State Board of Education and the local school board and the provisions of the Mississippi Code of 1972 relating to the elementary and secondary education of students, except those rules, regulations, policies or procedures from which the conversion charter school specifically requests to be exempted and which have been agreed upon by the State Board of Education as specified in the school's contract.  Conversion charter schools must comply with general health and safety standards, state test assessments and accountability requirements, financial accountability and auditing requirements, and all reporting and data collecting requirements in the same manner as public schools in the local school district;

          (d)  The local management board shall not directly or indirectly communicate to a parent or guardian that the conversion charter school is unable to meet the needs of a child, but shall provide a free and public education to every student in the attendance zone;

          (e)  Conversion charter schools may not be exempted from the following statutes:

              (i)  Section 37-9-75, which relates to teacher strikes;

              (ii)  Section 37-11-20, which prohibits acts of intimidation intended to keep a student from attending school;

              (iii)  Section 37-11-21, which prohibits abuse of school staff;

              (iv)  Section 37-11-23, which prohibits the willful disruption of school and school meetings;

              (v)  Sections 37-11-29 and 37-11-31, which relate to reporting requirements regarding unlawful or violent acts on school property;

              (vi)  Section 37-151-107, which prohibits false reporting of student counts by school officials;

              (vii)  Applicable State Department of Health regulations;

              (viii)  Applicable federal No Child Left Behind requirements and any additional federal education programs; and

              (ix)  Applicable federal and state requirements for special education, gifted education and vocational education programs;

          (f)  A detailed budget and a clear business plan, including any projected costs that extend beyond the regular operational costs of the conversion charter school;

          (g)  A plan of governance and the process by which the members of the local management board of the conversion charter school shall be selected to serve as the governing administrative authority, provided that:

              (i)  The local management board shall be composed of parents or guardians of students enrolled in and in attendance at the conversion charter school, selected by other parents or guardians of students enrolled in and in attendance at that school, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (e)(ii) of this subsection;

              (ii)  Members of the local management board may serve a term of three (3) years; however, a member's term of service on the local management board is contingent upon that member having a child continuously enrolled as a student at the conversion charter school during each school year that the member serves on the board.  If a student no longer attends the conversion charter school and the board member has no other child enrolled in and attending the school, the term of the member-parent or guardian shall expire immediately and a new member selected.  If a student is promoted and the board member has no other child enrolled in and attending the conversion charter school, the term of the member-parent or guardian shall expire immediately and a new member selected, unless the member-parent or guardian has another child who will be enrolled in the conversion charter school in the next succeeding scholastic year;

              (iii)  Members of the local management board shall serve without compensation;

              (iv)  No member of the local school board of any public or private school district may serve on the local management board of a conversion charter school;

              (v)  Procedures for the subsequent selection of members and filling vacancies that occur on the local management board are included; and

              (vi)  The selection of members to the local management board of conversion charter schools shall be performed in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education for the selection of conversion charter school local management board members;

          (h)  An agreement to provide an annual academic achievement report to parents, the local school board of any school district from which the conversion charter school draws students and the State Board of Education, which indicates the progress made by the conversion charter school during the previous year in meeting its academic or vocational performance objectives.  The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

              (i)  Student progress concerning academic achievement;

              (ii)  Student attendance;

              (iii)  Student grades and scores on assessment instruments;

              (iv)  Incidents involving student discipline;

              (v)  Student socioeconomic data; and

              (vi)  Parent satisfaction with the schools;

          (i)  An agreement to provide a yearly financial report to parents, the local school board of any school district from which the conversion charter school draws students and the State Board of Education, which discloses all public and private funds received by the conversion charter school, and how those funds were expended;

          (j)  An agreement requiring all student records, financial documentation, and all other pertinent records of student and school data shall be accessible by the local school board;

          (k)  An agreement requiring members of the local management board of a conversion charter school to attend the training required under Section 37-3-4, provided by the Mississippi School Boards Association for local school board members and public school superintendents of this state, in order for those individuals to carry out their duties more effectively.  Members of the local management board shall be reimbursed for the necessary expenses and mileage in attending any required training and shall be paid a per diem for each day in attendance at the training by the local school district in the amount authorized by Section 37-6-13 for members of the local school board;

          (l)  A transcript of the public hearing required under subsection (4)(d) of this section; and

          (m)  A description of the discipline policy to be adopted by the local management board, or alternatively, an agreement that the local management board shall adhere to the discipline policy implemented for the school district by the local school board.

     (6)  If a petition for the conversion of a public school or a youth development center to conversion charter school status is approved, the local management board, subject to the utilization of any available resources, may:

          (a)  Extend the school day or length of the scholastic year;

          (b)  Develop and establish a curriculum that is consistent with the Mississippi Curriculum Framework which provides courses that promote postsecondary education and vocational preparation and/or admission;

          (c)  Select, purchase and use textbooks, literature and other instructional materials that would improve educational attainment by students in the school, subject to the approval of the State Board of Education;

          (d)  Select a person to be employed as the principal of the conversion charter school or may contract with a profit or nonprofit organization which has operated a successful public school in any state or the District of Columbia for the daily administrative management of the conversion charter school, provided that daily administrative management shall not include the authority to employ or terminate conversion charter school administrators, teachers or other personnel, establish curriculum or adopt a budget.  The person selected by the local management board to serve as principal of the conversion charter school must attend or must have attended a principal leadership program approved by the State Department of Education.  If the local management board contracts with a profit or nonprofit organization for daily administrative management functions, that contract shall not abrogate or preempt any provisions of the contract entered into between the local management board and the State Board of Education for the conversion of the public school to conversion charter school status; and

          (e)  Select licensed teachers who are highly qualified under the No Child Left Behind Act for employment in the conversion charter school and determine the salaries of those teachers employed.  The minimum salaries for licensed teachers employed in the conversion charter school shall be in accordance with the scale for teachers' salaries provided under the Teacher Opportunity Program, as established under Section 37-19-7.

     (7)  (a)  All functions and decisions of the local management board impacting the academic curriculum, student progress and assessment, and the accountability standards of a conversion charter school shall be subject to the reviewing and approval authority of the State Board of Education.

          (b)  All administrative functions and decisions of the local management board impacting the financial or any other managerial or operational functions of a conversion charter school shall be subject to the reviewing and approval authority of the local school board.

     (8)  Meetings of the local management board shall be subject to the requirements of Sections 25-41-1 through 25-41-17 governing open meetings.

     (9)  Nothing in this chapter prohibits conversion charter schools from offering virtual service pursuant to state law and regulations defining virtual schools.

     SECTION 6.  Section 37-165-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-165-9.  (1)  Members of the local management board, local school board and the State Board of Education are immune from civil and criminal liability with respect to all activities of a conversion charter school approved by the State Board of Education; however, the local management board, local school board or the State Board of Education, in its official capacity, may be held liable only for matters with which the respective board has been involved directly, including the misappropriation of funds, the appropriation of funds beyond the scope of its authority, abridging the due process rights of a student attending the conversion charter school, gross negligence, intentional and willful misconduct, malfeasance and nonfeasance.

     (2)  The local school board and the State Board of Education shall provide the local management board of a conversion charter school with the same legal representation as is provided to * * * the local school boards.

     SECTION 7.  Section 37-165-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-11.  (1)  The State Board of Education shall establish a time line for accepting petitions requesting the conversion of a public school to conversion charter school status.  The board and the Commission on School Accreditation shall review and rate all petitions for a conversion charter school.

     (2)  After initial review and rating, the board, with the advice of the Commission on School Accreditation, may approve or deny a petition based on criteria adopted by the board, which shall include criteria relating to improving student performance and encouraging new and innovative programs.  The board must provide a written response to each sponsor submitting a petition in writing within forty-five (45) days after the closing date for receiving petitions in the form of an approval or rejection.  The response to rejected petitions shall include notification to the sponsors of the reasons for rejection.

     (3)  The board shall allow each sponsor, who submits a petition for a conversion charter school within thirty (30) days before the closing date for receiving petitions to resubmit the petition, if the original petition was found to be deficient by the board, after the sponsor has corrected any deficiencies.

     (4)  If a public school has been designated as a chronically failing school for three (3) consecutive years, as determined by the State Department of Education, and the petition for conversion to conversion charter school status is rejected by the State Board of Education, the board, on its own motion, may initiate the procedure to transform the failing school into a new start school under the New Start School Program authorized under Section     37-167-1.

     SECTION 8.  Section 37-165-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-13.  (1)  A public school converted to conversion charter school status, upon approval by the State Board of Education, shall continue to be considered a public school under the authority of the local school district for purposes of receiving transportation services and funding, state funding for students based on per-pupil expenditures, classroom supplies resources, other adequate education program funds, including at-risk funding and any additional operational services provided to local schools by the district.

     (2)  The local school board, when providing transportation services to students enrolled in and attending a conversion charter school, shall comply with all statutes governing the transportation of students required of public school districts under Chapter 41, Title 37, Mississippi Code of 1972.

     (3)  All students enrolled in, in attendance at and residing in the attendance zone of a public school when a petition is submitted for conversion charter school status shall be deemed to be enrolled in the conversion charter school when the petition is approved by the State Board of Education without any required application process for the school.  Enrollment in a conversion charter school is limited to those students residing in the attendance zone of the conversion charter school, and shall not be open for the enrollment of transfer students unless any openings are available, at which time students within the local public school district may apply for admission into the conversion charter school.  A conversion charter school is subject to any desegregation court orders in effect in the school district in which the conversion charter school is located.  In the event that openings are available in a conversion charter school, the local management board, with the approval of the State Board of Education, shall establish an application process for students in the local school district, who reside outside of the attendance zone of the public school granted conversion charter school status, to seek enrollment in the conversion charter school, provided that the process is in compliance with rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education.  The parent of any student granted admission to the conversion charter school who resides outside the attendance zone of the school shall be responsible for transporting the student to and from the school.

     (4)  Any student enrolled in a public school converted to conversion charter school status who elects not to attend the conversion charter school shall be permitted by the local school board to attend another public school in the local school district that the student otherwise would be eligible to attend if not enrolled at the conversion charter school.  If there is not another public school in the local school district that the student would be eligible to attend serving the student's current grade level, the local school board shall grant the student a release to seek enrollment in another school district.

     SECTION 9.  Section 37-165-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-15.  (1)  The initial contract issued by the State Board of Education for a public school converted to conversion charter school status shall be for a minimum term of three (3) years.  Thereafter, the State Board of Education may renew the contract for a conversion charter school on a one-year or multiyear basis, not to exceed three (3) years, if all parties to the original contract approve the renewal with a vote of a majority of the parents or guardians of students enrolled in the conversion charter school.

     (2)  After a school has been in conversion charter school status for three (3) years, the parents or guardians of students enrolled in the conversion charter school may request removal from conversion charter school status upon the submission of a petition of more than fifty percent (50%) of those parents or guardians to the State Board of Education.

     (3)  The State Board of Education shall prescribe the circumstances under which a conversion charter school shall cease to be designated a conversion charter school subject to the rules and regulations of the State Board of Education relating to conversion charter schools.

     SECTION 10.  Section 37-165-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-165-17.  All employees of a conversion charter school shall be deemed employees of the local school district or the State Department of Education for purposes of receiving certain state-funded employee benefits, including membership in the Public Employees' Retirement System and the State and School Employees Life and Health Insurance Plan. Conversion charter schools are public schools, and the employees of conversion charter schools are public school employees.

     SECTION 11.  Section 37-165-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-19.  The State Board of Education with the advice of the Commission on School Accreditation may approve up to twelve (12) conversion charter schools during a period of six (6) years, under the authority provided under Section 37-165-11, which such conversion charter schools shall not begin operations before July 1, 2013; however, no more than three (3) petitions for conversion charter school status in each of the four (4) congressional districts may be approved.  After the sixth year, the board shall evaluate the existing process of converting public schools to conversion charter school status and shall make a recommendation to the Legislature on the feasibility of increasing the number of conversion charter schools in the state.

     SECTION 12.  Section 37-165-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-21.  A school district, school district employee or any other person who has control over personnel actions may not take unlawful reprisal against an employee of the school district because the employee is directly or indirectly involved in a petition to convert a public school to conversion charter school status.  As used in this section, the term "unlawful reprisal" means an action that is taken by another school district employee as a direct result of a lawful application to convert a public school to conversion charter school status and which is adverse to the employee and results in one or more of the following for the employee:

          (a)  Disciplinary or corrective action;

          (b)  Detail, transfer or reassignment;

          (c)  Suspension, demotion or dismissal;

          (d)  An unfavorable performance evaluation;

          (e)  A reduction in pay, benefits or awards;

          (f)  Elimination of the employee's position without a reduction in force by reason of lack of monies or work; or

          (g)  Other significant changes in duties or responsibilities which are inconsistent with the employee's salary or employment classification.

     SECTION 13.  Section 37-165-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-23.  The Education Employment Procedures Law shall not apply to any category of employee employed in any school that is converted to a conversion charter school under this chapter.

     SECTION 14.  Section 37-165-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-25.  In addition to receiving state funds for  operations, public schools converted to conversion charter school status may accept bequests, devises, donations and grants from any public or private source and may apply for federal funding under the federal "Race to the Top" program.  It is the intent of the Legislature that in accordance with the conditions of federal funding under the federal "Race to the Top" program, public schools converted to conversion charter school status in Mississippi are authorized to operate conversion charter and autonomous public school programs that are high-performing.  It is further the intent of the Legislature that public schools converted to conversion charter school status receive equitable state and federal funding compared to traditional public schools, as required by the federal "Race to the Top" program, and that the state shall not impose any school facility-related requirements on conversion charter schools which are more restrictive than those applied to traditional public schools.

     SECTION 15.  Section 37-165-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     37-165-27.  Sections 37-167-1, 37-9-3, 37-9-103 and 37-165-1 through 37-165-27 shall stand repealed on July 1, 2016.

     SECTION 16.  Section 43-21-605, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     43-21-605.  (1)  In delinquency cases, the disposition order may include any of the following alternatives:

          (a)  Release the child without further action;

          (b)  Place the child in the custody of the parents, a relative or other persons subject to any conditions and limitations, including restitution, as the youth court may prescribe;

          (c)  Place the child on probation subject to any reasonable and appropriate conditions and limitations, including restitution, as the youth court may prescribe;

          (d)  Order terms of treatment calculated to assist the child and the child's parents or guardian which are within the ability of the parent or guardian to perform;

          (e)  Order terms of supervision which may include participation in a constructive program of service or education or civil fines not in excess of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or restitution not in excess of actual damages caused by the child to be paid out of his own assets or by performance of services acceptable to the victims and approved by the youth court and reasonably capable of performance within one (1) year;

          (f)  Suspend the child's driver's license by taking and keeping it in custody of the court for not more than one (1) year;

          (g)  Give legal custody of the child to any of the following:

              (i)  The Department of Human Services for appropriate placement; or

              (ii)  Any public or private organization, preferably community-based, able to assume the education, care and maintenance of the child, which has been found suitable by the court; or

              (iii)  The Division of Youth Services for placement in the least restrictive environment, except that no child under the age of ten (10) years shall be committed to the state training school.  Only a child who has been adjudicated delinquent for a felony or who has been adjudicated delinquent three (3) or more times for a misdemeanor offense may be committed to the training school.  For the purposes of this section, a misdemeanor offense does not include contempt of court for a probation violation, unless the probation violation constitutes a charge that would be a crime if committed by an adult.  In the event a child is committed to the Oakley Youth Development Center by the court, the child shall be deemed to be committed to the custody of the Department of Human Services which may place the child in the Oakley Youth Development Center or another appropriate facility.

     The training school may retain custody of the child until the child's twentieth birthday but for no longer.  When the child is committed to the training school, the child shall remain in the legal custody of the training school until the child has made sufficient progress in treatment and rehabilitation and it is in the best interest of the child to release the child.  However, the superintendent of the state training school, in consultation with the treatment team, may parole a child at any time he or she may deem it in the best interest and welfare of such child.  Ten (10) business days before the parole, the training school shall notify the committing court of the pending release.  The youth court may then arrange subsequent placement after a reconvened disposition hearing, except that the youth court may not recommit the child to the training school or any other secure facility without an adjudication of a new offense or probation or parole violation.  The Department of Human Services shall ensure that staffs create transition planning for youth leaving the facilities.  Plans shall include providing the youth and his or her parents or guardian with copies of the youth's training school education and health records, information regarding the youth's home community, referrals to mental and counseling services when appropriate, and providing assistance in making initial appointments with community service providers.  Before assigning the custody of any child to any private institution or agency, the youth court through its designee shall first inspect the physical facilities to determine that they provide a reasonable standard of health and safety for the child.  No child shall be placed in the custody of the state training school for a status offense or for contempt of or revocation of a status offense adjudication unless the child is contemporaneously adjudicated for having committed an act of delinquency that is not a status offense.  A disposition order rendered under this subparagraph shall meet the following requirements:

                   1.  The disposition is the least restrictive alternative appropriate to the best interest of the child and the community;

                   2.  The disposition allows the child to be in reasonable proximity to the family home community of each child given the dispositional alternatives available and the best interest of the child and the state; and

                   3.  The disposition order provides that the court has considered the medical, educational, vocational, social and psychological guidance, training, social education, counseling, substance abuse treatment and other rehabilitative services required by that child as determined by the court;

          (h)  Recommend to the child and the child's parents or guardian that the child attend and participate in the Youth Challenge Program under the Mississippi National Guard, as created in Section 43-27-203, subject to the selection of the child for the program by the National Guard; however, the child must volunteer to participate in the program.  The youth court shall not order any child to apply for or attend the program;

          (i)  (i)  Adjudicate the juvenile to the Statewide Juvenile Work Program if the program is established in the court's jurisdiction.  The juvenile and his or her parents or guardians must sign a waiver of liability in order to participate in the work program.  The judge will coordinate with the youth services counselors as to placing participants in the work program;

              (ii)  The severity of the crime, whether or not the juvenile is a repeat offender or is a felony offender will be taken into consideration by the judge when adjudicating a juvenile to the work program.  The juveniles adjudicated to the work program will be supervised by police officers or reserve officers.  The term of service will be from twenty-four (24) to one hundred twenty (120) hours of community service.  A juvenile will work the hours to which he or she was adjudicated on the weekends during school and weekdays during the summer.  Parents are responsible for a juvenile reporting for work.  Noncompliance with an order to perform community service will result in a heavier adjudication.  A juvenile may be adjudicated to the community service program only two (2) times;

              (iii)  The judge shall assess an additional fine on the juvenile which will be used to pay the costs of implementation of the program and to pay for supervision by police officers and reserve officers.  The amount of the fine will be based on the number of hours to which the juvenile has been adjudicated;

          (j)  Order the child to participate in a youth court work program as provided in Section 43-21-627;

          (k)  Order terms of house arrest under the intensive supervision program as created in Sections 47-5-1001 through 47-5-1015.  The Department of Human Services shall take bids for the placement of juveniles in the intensive supervision program.  The Department of Human Services shall promulgate rules regarding the supervision of juveniles placed in the intensive supervision program.  For each county there shall be seventy-five (75) slots created in the intensive supervision program for juveniles.  Any youth ordered into the intensive home-based supervision program shall receive comprehensive strength-based needs assessments and individualized treatment plans.  Based on the assessment, an individualized treatment plan shall be developed that defines the supervision and programming that is needed by a youth.  The treatment plan shall be developed by a multidisciplinary team that includes the family of the youth whenever possible.  The juvenile shall pay Ten Dollars ($10.00) to offset the cost of administering the alcohol and drug test.  The juvenile must attend school, alternative school or be in the process of working toward a general educational development (GED) certificate;

          (l)  Order the child into a juvenile detention center operated by the county or into a juvenile detention center operated by any county with which the county in which the court is located has entered into a contract for the purpose of housing delinquents.  The time period for detention cannot exceed ninety (90) days, and any detention exceeding forty-five (45) days shall be administratively reviewed by the youth court no later than forty-five (45) days after the entry of the order.  At that time the youth court counselor shall review the status of the youth in detention and shall report any concerns to the court.  The youth court judge may order that the number of days specified in the detention order be served either throughout the week or on weekends only.  No first-time nonviolent youth offender shall be committed to a detention center for a period in excess of ninety (90) days until all other options provided for in this section have been considered and the court makes a specific finding of fact by a preponderance of the evidence by assessing what is in the best rehabilitative interest of the child and the public safety of communities and that there is no reasonable alternative to a nonsecure setting and therefore commitment to a detention center is appropriate.

     If a child is committed to a detention center for ninety (90) days, the disposition order shall meet the following requirements:

              (i)  The disposition order is the least restrictive alternative appropriate to the best interest of the child and the community;

              (ii)  The disposition order allows the child to be in reasonable proximity to the family home community of each child given the dispositional alternatives available and the best interest of the child and the state; and

              (iii)  The disposition order provides that the court has considered the medical, educational, vocational, social and psychological guidance, training, social education, counseling, substance abuse treatment and other rehabilitative services required by that child as determined by the court;

          (m)  The judge may consider house arrest in an intensive supervision program as a reasonable prospect of rehabilitation within the juvenile justice system.  The Department of Human Services shall promulgate rules regarding the supervision of juveniles placed in the intensive supervision program; or

          (n)  Referral to A-team provided system of care services.

     (2)  If a disposition order requires that a child miss school due to other placement, the youth court shall notify a child's school while maintaining the confidentiality of the youth court process.  If a disposition order requires placement of a child in a juvenile detention facility, the facility shall comply with the educational services and notification requirements of Section 43-21-321.

     (3)  In addition to any of the disposition alternatives authorized under subsection (1) of this section, the disposition order in any case in which the child is adjudicated delinquent for an offense under Section 63-11-30 shall include an order denying the driver's license and driving privileges of the child as required under Section 63-11-30(9).

     (4)  If the youth court places a child in a state-supported training school, the court may order the parents or guardians of the child and other persons living in the child's household to receive counseling and parenting classes for rehabilitative purposes while the child is in the legal custody of the training school.  A youth court entering an order under this subsection (4) shall utilize appropriate services offered either at no cost or for a fee calculated on a sliding scale according to income unless the person ordered to participate elects to receive other counseling and classes acceptable to the court at the person's sole expense.

     (5)  Fines levied under this chapter shall be paid into the general fund of the county but, in those counties wherein the youth court is a branch of the municipal government, it shall be paid into the municipal treasury.

     (6)  Any institution or agency to which a child has been committed shall give to the youth court any information concerning the child as the youth court may at any time require.

     (7)  The youth court shall not place a child in another school district who has been expelled from a school district for the commission of a violent act.  For the purpose of this subsection, "violent act" means any action which results in death or physical harm to another or an attempt to cause death or physical harm to another.

     (8)  The youth court may require drug testing as part of a disposition order.  If a child tests positive, the court may require treatment, counseling and random testing, as it deems appropriate.  The costs of such tests shall be paid by the parent, guardian or custodian of the child unless the court specifically finds that the parent, guardian or custodian is unable to pay.

     (9)  The Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services, shall operate and maintain services for youth adjudicated delinquent at the Oakley Youth Development Center.  The program shall be designed for children committed to the training schools by the youth courts.  The purpose of the program is to promote good citizenship, self-reliance, leadership and respect for constituted authority, teamwork, cognitive abilities and appreciation of our national heritage.  The program must use evidenced-based practices and gender-specific programming and must develop an individualized and specific treatment plan for each youth.  The State Department of Education, in conjunction with the  Division of Youth Services, through the Oakley Conversion Charter School Program, shall issue credit towards academic promotions and high school completion.  The * * * Division of Youth Services mayconversion charter school shall award credits to each student who meets the requirements for a * * * general education development certificationstandard diploma for high school graduation.  The Division of Youth Services must also provide to each special education eligible youth the services required by that youth's individualized education plan.

     SECTION 17.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2013.


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