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SB228 SUB1 Senate Bill 228 History

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COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

                      Senate Bill No. 228

       (By Senators Kessler (Acting President) and Hall,

By Request of the Executive)

____________

[Originating in the Committee on Education;

reported February 16, 2011.]

____________

 

 

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-8B-1, §18-8B-2, §18-8B-3, §18-8B-4, §18-8B-5 and §18-8B-6, all relating to school dropout prevention and recovery; creating the Local Solution Dropout Prevention and Recovery Act; providing legislative findings and purpose; defining terms; creating a Local Solution Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee to implement this act and the state board rules required by this act; requiring Local Solution Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee to develop a comprehensive statewide student data system; establishing pilot sites to test individual statewide student data system; creating special revenue fund in State Treasury entitled the Local Solution Dropout Prevention and Recovery Fund; providing application process for groups of schools, school districts or community-based education enrichment entities approved by the county board to become designated dropout prevention and recovery pilot projects; requiring State Board of Education emergency rules to implement dropout prevention and recovery pilot program, application and award process; and requiring the Local Solution Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee to provide the Legislature with annual reports regarding the dropout prevention and recovery pilot project.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §18-8B-1, §18-8B-2, §18-8B-3, §18-8B-4, §18-8B-5 and §18-8B-6, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 8B. LOCAL SOLUTION DROPOUT PREVENTION AND RECOVERY ACT.

§18-8B-1. Title.

    This article shall be known as the “Local Solution Dropout Prevention and Recovery Act”.

§18-8B-2. Legislative findings and purpose.

    (a) Legislative findings. -- The Legislature finds that:

    (1) High school graduation is an essential milestone for all West Virginia students and impacts the future success of the individual, community and state;

    (2) There are significant correlations between educational attainment and labor market outcomes, greater labor force participation rate, increased employment rates, improved health, and decreased levels of poverty and crime. The negative impact on these linkages is most evident in the absence of high school completion;

    (3)Dropping out of school is a process, not an event, with factors building and compounding over time;

    (4)Students at risk of not completing high school can be identified as early as prekindergarten through the third grade using the indicators of attendance, behavior and course failures such as reading for example. Therefore, a comprehensive graduation plan must include a comprehensive systemic approach that emphasizes early interventions;

    (5) Research identifies a number of effective strategies for engaging students that have the most positive impact on improving high school graduation rates. Some of these strategies include, but are not limited to, school-community collaboration, safe learning environments, family engagement, early literacy development, mentoring and tutoring services, service learning opportunities, alternative and nontraditional schooling, offering multiple pathways and settings for attaining high school diplomas, after-school opportunities, individualized instruction and career and technical education.

    (6) Schools cannot solve the dropout problem alone. Research shows when educators, parents, politicians, business leaders, faith-based leaders, human service personnel, judicial personnel and civic leaders collectively work together they are often able to find innovative solutions to address school and community problems; and

    (7) Increasing high school graduation rates is an important factor in preparing a college and career-ready citizenry. Higher education institutions, including community and technical colleges, are essential partners in creating local and statewide solutions.

    (b) Intent and purpose. -– The intent and purpose of this article is to:

    (1) Provide the resources to develop a comprehensive statewide individual student data system to assist in identifying students at-risk of not graduating from high school;

    (2) Provide for the establishment of Local Solution Dropout Prevention and Recovery Pilot Programs, increase graduation rates and reduce the number of dropouts from West Virginia schools;

    (3) Provide schools and communities with opportunities for greater collaboration to plan and implement systemic approaches that include evidence-based solutions for increasing graduation rates and reducing the number of dropouts;

    (4) Provide a testing ground for innovative graduation programs, incentives and approaches to reducing the number of dropouts. The innovative graduation programs, incentives and approaches may include, among others, those of a community based education enrichment entity approved by the county board;

    (5) Provide information regarding the effects of specific innovations, collaborations and policies on graduation rates and dropout prevention and recovery; and

    (6) Document educational strategies that increase graduation rates, prevent dropouts and enhance student success.

§18-8B-3. Definitions.

    For the purposes of this article:

    (a) “Committee” means the Local Solution Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee;

    (b) “Community based entity” means a community based education enrichment entity approved by the county board; and

    (c) “Pilot program” means a Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Pilot Program.

§18-8B-4. Creation of Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee.

    (a) A Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee is created for the purpose of implementing the provisions of this article and the state board rules required by section four of this article. The committee shall be composed of the following:

    (1) The Secretary of Education and the Arts;

    (2) The State Superintendent;

    (3) The Chancellor for Higher Education or his or her designee;

    (4) The Chancellor for Community and Technical College Education or his or her designee;

    (5) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources or his or her designee;

    (6) An attendance director appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate;

    (7) A representative of county prosecuting attorneys appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate;

    (8) A representative of the judiciary appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate; and

    (9) A representative of a community based entity appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

    (b) The Secretary of Education and the Arts and the State Superintendent shall co-chair the committee. The committee shall meet as often as necessary to conduct its business pursuant to this article.

    (c) Each appointment is for a two year term, and no member may serve more than two consecutive terms. If a vacancy in an appointed position occurs, the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the person’s term.

    (d) Appointed members shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their official duties from funds appropriated or otherwise made available for those purposes upon submission of an itemized statement therefore.

    (e) This committee terminates on June 30, 2013 unless continued by act of the Legislature.

§18-8B-5. Comprehensive individual student data system; Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Fund; application; state board rule.

    (a) The Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee shall develop a comprehensive statewide individual student data system. This data system shall be developed in conjunction with the part of the high quality digital learning program set forth in section thirty-eight, article two of this chapter that requires the state board to ensure that local and state data systems and related applications are updated and robust to inform longitudinal management decisions, accountability and instruction. The system shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

    (1) Early warning indicators for students at risk of not completing high school. The early warning indicators shall be prioritized by the degree to which each indicator predicts dropping out of school;

    (2) Indicators for student success. Student success includes, but is not limited to, entering meaningful careers and earning advanced degrees. The indicators for student success shall be prioritized by the degree to which each indicator predicts student success;

    (3) A multifaceted assessment system to quantify and qualify students’ academic talents;

    (4) Performance indicators; and

    (5) Student portfolios.

    (b) After ascertaining the identity of all community based education enrichment entities across the state, the Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee shall establish pilot sites to test the comprehensive statewide individual student data system.

    (c) There is hereby created in the State Treasury a special revenue fund known as the "Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Fund." The fund shall consist of all moneys received from any source to further the purpose of this article. The fund shall be administered by the Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee solely for the purposes of this article. Any balance in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall remain in the fund and shall not expire or revert. Fund balances shall be invested with the state's consolidated investment fund and any and all interest earnings on these investments shall be used solely for the purposes of this article.

    (d) A group of schools, a school district or a community based entity may apply to become a Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Pilot Program in accordance with this article. The application by a group of schools or a school district shall be in collaboration with a community or state partner. The application by a community based entity shall be in collaboration with a state partner. The community or state partner may be a public, private, for profit or nonprofit entity.

    (e) The state board shall promulgate a rule, including an emergency rule, in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this article. The emergency rule shall be promulgated on or before June 30, 2011. The rule shall include provisions for at least the following:

    (1) A process for a group of schools, a school district or a community based entity to apply to become a Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Pilot;

    (2) Standards for the Local Solutions Dropout Prevention and Recovery Committee to review applications for designation as a pilot program and to make determinations of the applicants to be selected; and

    (3) The number or geographic locations of pilot programs to be established.

    (f) The process for a group of schools, a school district or a community based entity to apply to become a pilot program shall encompass at least the following:

    (1) The manner, time and process for the submission of an application;

    (2) The contents of the application, which shall include a general description of the dropout prevention and recovery strategies, plan that the group of schools, school district or community based entity seeks to institute and a plan for rigorous evaluation of the proposed program by an outside, independent entity; and

    (3) Factors that shall be considered by the committee and factors that may be considered by the committee when evaluating an application.

    (g) The factors that shall be considered by the committee when evaluating an application shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Meaningful involvement of community organizations as outlined in the dropout prevention and recovery plan and evidenced by letters of support;

    (2) Support from parents, students, the county board, the local school improvement councils and school business partners;

    (3) The level of staff commitment and support to apply to become a pilot program as determined by a vote by secret ballot at a special meeting of school employees to vote on the plan;

    (4) The potential for an applicant to be successful in building community awareness of the high school dropout problem and developing and implementing its dropout prevention and recovery plan;

    (5) The type of entity that is applying with a preference being given to a school district; and

    (6) The existence and amount of a financial or in-kind commitment with a preference being given to applicants with the largest commitment.

    (h) The factors that may be considered by the committee when evaluating an application shall include, but is not limited to, meaningful collaboration with a higher education institution or institutions, including community and technical colleges, that would encourage and foster high school graduation and college preparation and readiness.

    (i) The committee shall review applications in accordance with the standards adopted by the state board and determine whether to designate the applicant as a pilot program. The committee shall notify an applicant of its determination within sixty days of receipt of an application.

§18-8B-6. Progress reviews and annual reports.

    (a) At least annually, the committee shall review the progress of the development or implementation of a pilot program. If, following the review, the committee determines that a designated group of schools, school district or community based entity has not made adequate progress toward developing or implementing its plan, the committee shall submit a report to the designated group of schools, school district or community based entity identifying its areas of concern. The committee may conduct an additional review within six months of submitting a report in accordance with this section. If, following the additional review, the committee determines that the designated group of schools, school district or community based entity has not made adequate progress toward developing or implementing its program plan, the committee may revoke the designation as a pilot program and withhold all future funding of the designated group of schools, school district or community based entity’s plan.

    (b) The committee shall provide an annual report on the pilot programs and plans to the Legislative Oversight Commission for Education Accountability. After at least one pilot program is implemented for one year, the annual report shall include information on which innovations, collaborations and policies were successful and which were not.

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