Bill Text: MS HB52 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Mississippi History and United States Government; require to be included in curriculum for all students in Grades 9-12.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-05 - Referred To Education [HB52 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2021-HB52-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2021 Regular Session

To: Education

By: Representative Hines

House Bill 52

AN ACT TO REQUIRE A COMPREHENSIVE COURSE IN MISSISSIPPI HISTORY AND UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO BE TAUGHT TO ALL STUDENTS IN GRADES 9 THROUGH 12 IN ALL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE OR PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS AND HOMESCHOOL PROGRAMS; TO REQUIRE THE DISCONTINUATION OF END-OF-COURSE SUBJECT AREA TEST IN UNITED STATES HISTORY; TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-16-7, 37-3-49, 37-15-38, 37-16-17 AND 37-35-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PRECEDING PROVISIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  In addition to the curriculum otherwise required by law or the State Board of Education to be taught in the public schools of this state, comprehensive courses in Mississippi History and United States Government are required for all students to be administered between Grades 9 through 12.  The Mississippi History course must provide students with an examination of the history of the State of Mississippi from the age of discovery and colonization to the present with particular emphasis on the significant political, social, economic and cultural issues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which have impacted the diverse ethnic and racial populations of the state.  Similarly, all private, parochial and home-based school programs shall provide the same curriculum requirements to students enrolled in Grades 9 through 12, as prescribed in this section.  The courses shall be taught on a semester basis and shall account as a one-half (1/2) Carnegie unit.

     SECTION 2.  Beginning in the 2021 school year, the State Board of Education shall cease to require the administration of the end-of-course subject area test in United States History, and shall only require the administration of subject area tests for courses in English II, Algebra I and Biology.  The State Board of Education shall adopt a policy abolishing the requirement of administration of the United States History end-of-course subject area test to all public high school students, which in previous academic years, has been required for a student to meet the requirements for a standard Mississippi high school diploma and as a factor in accountability ratings.

     SECTION 3.  Section 37-16-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-16-7.  (1)  Each district school board shall establish standards for graduation from its schools which shall include as a minimum:

          (a)  Mastery of minimum academic skills as measured by assessments developed and administered by the State Board of Education * * *.; and

          (b)  Completion of a minimum number of academic credits, and all other applicable requirements prescribed by the district school board.

     ( * * * c2The school board of each school district shall maintain, by school, information on high school graduation rates.  High schools with graduation rates lower than eighty percent (80%) must submit a detailed plan to the * * *Mississippi State Department of Education to restructure the high school experience to improve graduation rates.

     ( * * *23)  A student who meets all requirements prescribed in subsection (1) of this section shall be awarded a standard diploma in a form prescribed by the State Board of Education.

     ( * * *34)  The State Board of Education may establish student proficiency standards for promotion to grade levels leading to graduation.

     SECTION 4.  Section 37-3-49, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-3-49.  (1)  The State Department of Education shall provide an instructional program and establish guidelines and procedures for managing such program in the public schools within the school districts throughout the state as part of the State Program of Educational Accountability and Assessment of Performance as prescribed in Section 37-3-46.  Public school districts may (a) elect to adopt the instructional program and management system provided by the State Department of Education, or (b) elect to adopt an instructional program and management system which meets or exceeds criteria established by the State Department of Education for such.  This provision shall begin with the courses taught in Grades K-8 which contain skills tested through the Mississippi Basic Skills Assessment Program and shall proceed through all secondary school courses mandated for graduation and all secondary school courses in the * * *Mississippi end-of-course testing program in the subject areas of English II, Algebra I and Biology.  Other state core objectives must be included in the district's instructional program as they are provided by the State Department of Education along with instructional practices, resources, evaluation items and management procedures.  Districts are encouraged to adapt this program and accompanying procedures to all other instructional areas.  The department shall provide that such program and guidelines, or a program and guidelines developed by a local school district which incorporates the core objectives from the curriculum structure are enforced through the performance-based accreditation system.  It is the intent of the Legislature that every effort be made to protect the instructional time in the classroom and reduce the amount of paperwork which must be completed by teachers.  The State Department of Education shall take steps to insure that school districts properly use staff development time to work on the districts' instructional management plans.

     (2)  The State Department of Education shall provide such instructional program and management guidelines which shall require for every public school district that:

          (a)  All courses taught in Grades K-8 which contain skills which are tested through the Mississippi Basic Skills Assessment Program, all secondary school courses mandated for graduation, and all courses in the end-of-course testing program in the subject areas of English II, Algebra I and Biology shall include the State Department of Education's written list of learning objectives.

          (b)  The local school board must adopt the objectives that will form the core curriculum which will be systematically delivered throughout the district.

          (c)  The set of objectives provided by the State Department of Education must be accompanied by suggested instructional practices and resources that would help teachers organize instruction so as to promote student learning of the objectives.  Objectives added by the school district must also be accompanied by suggested instructional practices and resources that would help teachers organize instruction.  The instructional practices and resources that are identified are to be used as suggestions and not as requirements that teachers must follow.  The goal of the program is to have students to achieve the desired objective and not to limit teachers in the way they teach.

          (d)  Standards for student performance must be established for each core objective in the local program and those standards establish the district's definition of mastery for each objective.

          (e)  There shall be an annual review of student performance in the instructional program against locally established standards.  When weaknesses exist in the local instructional program, the district shall take action to improve student performance.

     (3)  The State Board of Education and the board of trustees of each school district shall adopt policies to limit and reduce the number and length of written reports that classroom teachers are required to prepare.

     (4)  This section shall not be construed to limit teachers from using their own professional skills to help students master instructional objectives, nor shall it be construed as a call for more detailed or complex lesson plans or any increase in testing at the local school district level.

     (5)  Districts meeting the highest levels of accreditation standards, as defined by the State Board of Education, shall be exempted from the provisions of subsection (2) of this section. 

     SECTION 5.  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 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 Mississippi Community College Board 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 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)  [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.  Distance Learning Collaborative Program courses approved under Section 37-67-1 shall be fully eligible for dual credit.  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 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 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.  Except for United States History, 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 6.  Section 37-16-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-16-17.  (1)  Purpose.  (a)  The purpose of this section is to create a quality option in Mississippi's high schools for students not wishing to pursue a baccalaureate degree, which shall consist of challenging academic courses and modern career-technical studies.  The goal for students pursuing the career track is to graduate from high school with a standard diploma and credit toward a community college certification in a career-technical field.  These students also shall be encouraged to take the national assessment in the career-technical field in which they become certified.

          (b)  The State Board of Education shall develop and adopt course and curriculum requirements for career track programs offered by local public school boards in accordance with this section.  The Mississippi Community College Board and the State Board of Education jointly shall determine course and curriculum requirements for the career track program.

     (2)  Alternative career track; description; curriculum.  (a)  A career track shall provide a student with greater technical skill and a strong academic core and shall be offered to each high school student enrolled in a public school district.  The career track program shall be linked to postsecondary options and shall prepare students to pursue either a degree or certification from a postsecondary institution, an industry-based training or certification, an apprenticeship, the military, or immediate entrance into a career field.  The career track shall be designed primarily for those students who are not college bound and shall provide them with alternatives to entrance into a four-year university or college after high school graduation.

          (b)  Students pursuing a career track shall be afforded the opportunity to dually enroll in a community or technical college or to participate in a business internship or work-study program, when such opportunities are available and appropriate.

          (c)  Each public school district shall offer a career track program approved by the State Board of Education.

          (d)  Students in a career track program shall complete an academic core of courses and a career and technical sequence of courses.

          (e)  The twenty-one (21) course unit requirements for the career track shall consist of the following:

              (i)  At least four (4) English credits, including English I and English II.

              (ii)  At least three (3) mathematics credits, including Algebra I.

              (iii)  At least three (3) science credits, including one (1) unit of biology.

              (iv)  At least three (3) social studies credits, including one (1) unit of U.S. History and one (1) unit of Mississippi Studies/U.S. Government.

              (v)  At least one-half (1/2) credit in health or physical education.

              (vi)  At least four (4) credits in career and technical education courses in the dual enrollment-dual credit programs authorized under Section 37-15-38.

              (vii)  At least one (1) credit in integrated technology * * * with optional end of course testing.

              (viii)  At least two and one-half (2-1/2) credits in additional electives or career and technical education courses required by the local school board, as approved by the State Board of Education.  Academic courses within the career track of the standard diploma shall provide the knowledge and skill necessary for proficiency on the state subject area tests in English II, Algebra I and Biology.

     (3)  Nothing in this section shall disallow the development of a dual enrollment program with a technical college so long as an individual school district, with approval from the State Department of Education, agrees to implement such a program in connection with a technical college and the agreement is also approved by the proprietary school's commission.

     (4)  The career track program for students not pursuing a Baccalaureate Degree shall not be available to any student entering the ninth grade in the 2017-2018 school year or thereafter.

     SECTION 7.  Section 37-35-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     37-35-3.  (1)  The board of trustees of any school district, including any community/junior college, may establish and maintain classes for adults, including general educational development classes, under the regulations authorized in this chapter and pursuant to the standards prescribed in subsection (3).  The property and facilities of the public school districts may be used for this purpose where such use does not conflict with uses already established.

     (2)  The trustees of any school district desiring to establish such program may request the taxing authority of the district to levy additional ad valorem taxes for the support of this program.  The board of supervisors, in the case of a county school district, a special municipal separate school district, or a community/junior college district, and the governing authority of any municipality, in the case of a municipal separate school district, is authorized, in its discretion, to levy a tax not exceeding one (1) mill upon all the taxable property of the district for the support of this program.  The tax shall be in addition to all other taxes authorized by law to be levied.  In addition to the funds realized from any such levy, the board of trustees of any school district is authorized to use any surplus funds that it may have or that may be made available to it from local sources to supplement this program.

     (3)  (a)  Any student participating in an approved High School Equivalency Diploma Option program administered by a local school district or a local school district with an approved contractual agreement with a community/junior college or other local entity shall not be considered a dropout.  Students in such a program administered by a local school district shall be considered as enrolled within the school district of origin for the purpose of enrollment for minimum program funding only.  Such students shall not be considered as enrolled in the regular school program for academic or programmatic purposes.

          (b)  Students participating in an approved High School Equivalency Diploma Option program shall have an individual career plan developed at the time of placement to insure that the student's academic and job skill needs will be met.  The Individual Career Plan will address, but is not limited to, the following:

              (i)  Academic/instructional needs of the student;

              (ii)  Job readiness needs of the student; and

              (iii)  Work experience program options available for the student.

          (c)  Students participating in an approved High School Equivalency Diploma Option program may participate in existing job and skills development programs or in similar programs developed in conjunction with the High School Equivalency Diploma Option program and the vocational director.

          (d)  High School Equivalency Diploma Option programs may be operated by local school districts 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 a High School Equivalency Diploma Option program, the school board of a district designated to be the lead district shall serve as the governing board of the High School Equivalency Diploma Option program.  Transportation for students placed in the High School Equivalency Diploma Option program shall be the responsibility of the school district of origin.  The expense of establishing, maintaining and operating such High School Equivalency Diploma Option programs may be paid from funds made available to the school district through contributions, minimum program funds or from local district maintenance funds.

          (e)  The State Department of Education will develop procedures and criteria for placement of a student in the High School Equivalency Diploma Option programs.  Students placed in High School Equivalency Diploma Option programs shall have parental approval for such placement and must meet the following criteria:

              (i)  The student must be at least sixteen (16) years of age;

              (ii)  The student must be at least one (1) full grade level behind his or her ninth grade cohort or must have acquired less than four (4) Carnegie units;

              (iii)  The student must have taken every opportunity to continue to participate in coursework leading to a diploma; and

              (iv)  The student must be certified to be eligible to participate in the GED course by the school district superintendent, based on the developed criteria.

          (f)  Students participating in an approved High School Equivalency Diploma Option program, who are enrolled in subject area courses through January 31 in a school with a traditional class schedule or who are enrolled in subject area courses through October 31 or through March 31 in a school on a block schedule, notwithstanding courses in United States History, shall be required to take the end-of-course subject area tests for those courses in which they are enrolled.

     SECTION 8.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.


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