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Introduced Version House Bill 4319 History

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AB


H. B. 4319

(By Fahey, Morgan, Perry, Shelton, Paxton, Harrison and

Canterbury)


(Originating in the Committee on Education)


[January 30, 2002]



A BILL to amend and reenact section five, article two-e, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the process for improving education; making certain findings with respect to process for improving education and authority and responsibility of state board and Legislature; further specifying intent; establishing process for improving education commission; providing purpose, members, compensation, expenses, authorization for employees and meetings; providing for appointment of advisory committee; providing that nothing in section requires any specific level of funding; specifying scope of unified school and county improvement plans; requiring consultation with process for improving education commission prior to establishing certain standards and measures; requiring certain standards for student, school and school system progress; eliminating certain performance standards and clarifying or strengthening others; requiring consultation with process for improving education commission prior to establishing system of education performance audits; strengthening purposes of system; establishing relationship of audit with other required reviews and inspections and prohibiting duplication and more stringent compliance measures; expanding uses of audit system information; providing for additional state and regional agencies to be used for early detection and intervention of low performing schools; specifying recommendations to be made to process for improving education commission; expanding purposes of office of education performance audits; providing for consultation with process for improving education commission prior to establishment of office; providing for assistance to office from certain additional state and regional agencies; providing for state board designation of certain expert person or persons to participate in on-site audits, lead teams and complete reports; clarifying that accreditation and approval shall focus primarily on student performance and progress and delivery of instruction; including process for improving education commission as recipient of certain recommendations by audit office; eliminating requirement that on site reviews be random and unannounced; adding evaluation of instructional programs to purposes of on site reviews; requiring development of reporting formats for certain information, specifying their use and providing penalty for intentional or grossly negligent reporting of false information; providing for five school-day notice of on site review; authorizing on-site reviews of limited scope; revising process for appointment of team to assist person or persons designated by state board participating in on-site review and requiring office to reimburse substitute expense; providing for exit conferences for on-site reviews; specifying time limit for submitting reports of on site reviews; requiring copies of on-site reports to be provided to process for improving education commission; adding progress to the criteria for school accreditation and system approval; providing for schools and system to remain on full accreditation or approval for certain period if certain conditions are met; including process for improving education commission as an appropriate body for receipt of certain reports on capacity building; and including principals academy as potential staff development provider to build capacity.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section five, article two-e, chapter eighteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2E. HIGH QUALITY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS.

§18-2E-5. Process for improving education; process for improving education commission; education standards and accountability measures; office of education performance audits; school accreditation and school system approval; intervention to correct impairments.

(a) Legislative findings and intent. - The Legislature finds that the process for improving education includes four primary elements, those being: (1) standards which set forth the things that students should know and be able to do as the result of a thorough and efficient education and include measurable criteria to evaluate student performance and progress toward obtaining a thorough and efficient education; (2) assessments of student performance and progress toward obtaining a thorough and efficient education; (3) a system for holding schools and school systems accountable for student performance and progress toward obtaining an education which is thorough and is delivered in an efficient manner; and (4) a method for building the capacity and improving the efficiency of schools and school systems to improve student performance and progress toward obtaining a thorough and efficient education. The Legislature further finds that as the constitutional body charged with the general supervision of schools as provided by general law, the state board has the authority and the responsibility to establish the standards, assess the performance and progress of students against the standards, hold schools and school systems accountable, and assist schools and school systems to build capacity and improve efficiency so that the standards are met, including, when necessary, seeking additional resources in consultation with the Legislature and the governor. The Legislature also finds as the constitutional body charged with providing for a thorough and efficient system of schools, the Legislature has the authority and the responsibility to establish and be constructively engaged in the determination of the things that students should know and be able to do as the result of a thorough and efficient education, using the process for improving education to determine when a thorough and efficient system of schools is or is not being provided, evaluating the results and the efficiency of the system of schools, ensuring accountability, and providing for the necessary capacity and its efficient use. Therefore, the purpose of this section is to establish a process for improving education that includes standards, assessment, accountability and capacity building the four primary elements as set forth in this subsection to provide assurances that a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided for all West Virginia public school students on an equal education opportunity basis and that the high quality standards are, at a minimum, being met. It is further the intent of this section to establish a process through which the Legislature, the governor and the state board can work in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration intended in the process for improving education to regularly consult and examine the performance and progress of students, schools and school systems and consider alternative measures to ensure that all students continue receiving the thorough and efficient education to which the are entitled.
(b) Process for Improving Education Commission. -- There is

hereby established a process for improving education commission for the purpose of providing on-going general oversight of the process for improving education, including, but not limited to, determination of the things that student should know and be able to do as the result of a thorough and efficient education, the performance and progress of students toward obtaining a thorough and efficient education, and any further improvements necessary to increase the capacity of schools and school systems to deliver a thorough and efficient education. The commission shall be comprised of the following members: The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates who shall be ex officio non voting members; a member of the Senate education committee and a member of the Senate finance committee appointed by the President of the Senate; a member of the House of Delegates education committee and a member of the House of Delegates finance committee appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; the state superintendent of schools, ex officio; the president of the state board, ex officio, who shall chair the commission; the chancellor of the higher education policy commission, ex officio; and the governor, ex officio, or the governor's designee. Members appointed to the commission shall serve until their successors have been appointed as heretofore provided. The members shall receive compensation and expenses from their respective agencies and offices as provided by law. The commission may employ such legal, technical, investigative, clerical, advisory and other personnel as it deems necessary from appropriations to the commission and shall utilize the employees of the represented agencies to the extent possible, upon approval of the agencies. The commission shall appoint an advisory committee to provide it with advice and input on the standards and measures of student performance and progress and any other matters requested of it by the commission. Members of the commission and at the direction of the commission, it employees, may participate as observers in any on-site review of a school or school system conducted by the office of education performance audits. The commission may meet at any time both during sessions of the Legislature and in the interim. Nothing in this section requires any specific level of funding by the Legislature.
(b) State board rules Unified county and school improvement plans. -- The state board shall promulgate rules in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code establishing a unified county improvement plan for each county board and a unified school improvement plan for each public school in this state. The state board is not required to promulgate new rules if legislative rules meeting the requirements of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code have been filed with the office of the secretary of state before the effective date of this section. The rules shall specify that the respective school and county unified improvement plans shall include all other appropriate plans required by law including, but not limited to, plans in areas such as safe schools, technology, preventive discipline, and to the extent permitted by federal law, inclusion and Title I.
(c) High quality education standards and efficiency standards. -- The state board shall, in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, after consultation with the process for improving education commission, adopt and periodically review and update high quality education standards for student, school and school system performance and processes in the following areas:
(1) Curriculum;
(2) Workplace readiness skills;
(3) Finance;
(4) Transportation;
(5) Special education;
(6) Facilities;
(7) Administrative practices;
(8) Training of county board members and administrators;
(9) Personnel qualifications;
(10) Professional development and evaluation;
(11) Student and school performance and progress toward obtaining a thorough and efficient education;
(12) School and school system performance and progress in providing a thorough and efficient education;
(12) (13) A code of conduct for students and employees;
(13) (14) Indicators of efficiency; and
(14) (15) Any other areas determined by the state board.
(d) Performance measures. -- The standards shall assure that all graduates are prepared for gainful employment or for continuing post-secondary education and training and that schools and school districts systems are making progress in achieving the education goals of the state.
The standards shall include measures of student performance and progress to indicate when a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided and of school and school system performance, progress and processes that enable student performance. The measures of student performance and progress and school and school system performance, progress and processes shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) The acquisition of student proficiencies as indicated by student performance and progress by grade level measured, where possible, by a uniform statewide assessment program;
(2) School attendance rates;
(3) The student dropout rate;
(4) Percent of students promoted to the next grade;
(5) (4) The high school graduation rate;
(6) Average class size;
(7) Pupil-teacher ratio and number of exceptions to ratio requested by county boards and the number granted;
(8) Number of split-grade classrooms;
(9) (5) The percentage of graduates who enrolled in college; and the percentage of graduates who enrolled in other post-secondary education within one year following high school graduation; and the percentage of graduates who become fully employed within one year of high school graduation all as reported by the graduates on the assessment form attached to their individualized student transition plan, pursuant to section eight of this article and the percentage of graduates reporting;
(10) Pupil-administrator ratio;
(11) Parent involvement;
(12) Parent, teacher and student satisfaction;
(13) Operating expenditures per pupil;
(14) Percentage of graduates who attain the minimum level of performance in the basic skills recognized by the state board as laying the foundation for further learning and skill development for success in college, other postsecondary education and gainful employment and the grade level distribution in which the minimum level of performance was met;
(15) (6) The percentage of graduates who received additional certification of their skills, competence and readiness for college, other post-secondary education or employment above the minimum foundation level of basic skills level required for graduation; and
(16) (7) The percentage of students in secondary and middle schools who are enrolled in and the percentage of students who successfully completed advanced placement, dual credit and or honors classes, respectively, by grade level.
(e) Indicators of efficiency. -- The state board shall, in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, after consultation with the process for improving education commission, adopt and periodically review and update indicators of efficiency for student and school system performance and processes in the following areas:
(A) (1) Curriculum delivery including, but not limited to, the use of distance learning;
(B) (2) Transportation;
(C) (3) Facilities;
(D) (4) Administrative practices;
(E) (5) Personnel;
(F) (6) Utilization of regional educational service agency programs and services, including programs and services that may be established by their assigned regional educational service agency, or other regional services that may be initiated between and among participating county boards; and
(G) (7) Any other indicators as determined by the state board, after consultation with the process for improving education commission.
(f) Assessment and accountability of school and school system performance and processes. -- The state board shall establish by rule in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, after consultation with the process for improving education commission, a system of education performance audits which measures the quality of education and the preparation of students based on the standards and measures of student, school and school system performance, progress and processes, including, but not limited to, the standards and measures set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. The system of education performance audits shall assist the state board, the Legislature and the governor in ensuring that the standards and measures established pursuant to this section are, at a minimum, being met and that a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided. The system of education performance audits shall include: (1) The assessment of student performance and progress toward obtaining a thorough and efficient education, school and school system performance and progress in providing a thorough and efficient education, and the processes in place in schools and school systems which enable student performance and progress; (2) the review of school and school system unified improvement plans; and (3) the periodic, random unannounced on-site review of school and school system performance and progress and compliance with the standards. An audit shall determine and report whether required reviews and inspections have been conducted by the appropriate agencies, including, but not limited to, the state fire marshal, the health department, the school building authority and the responsible divisions within the department of education, and whether noted deficiencies have or are in the process of being corrected, and may not conduct a duplicate review or inspection or mandate more stringent compliance measures.
(g) Uses of school and school system assessment information. -- The state board and the process for improving education commission shall use information from the system of education performance audits to assist it them in ensuring that a thorough and efficient system of schools is being provided and to improve student, school and school system performance and progress. Information from the system of education performance audits shall further be used by the state board to assist it in, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) Determining school accreditation and school system approval status; (2) holding schools and school systems accountable for the efficient use of existing resources to meet or exceed the standards; and (3) targeting additional resources when necessary to improve performance and progress. Primary emphasis in determining school accreditation and school system approval status shall be based on student performance and progress toward a thorough and efficient education and school and school system performance and progress toward providing a thorough and efficient education and such other measures on measures selected by the state board after consultation with the process for improving education commission. The state board shall make accreditation information available to the Legislature; the governor; and to the general public and any individuals who request the information, subject to the provisions of any act or rule restricting the release of information. Based on the assessment of student, school and school system performance and progress, the state board shall establish early detection and intervention programs using the available resources of the department of education, the regional educational service agencies, the center for professional development and the principals academy as appropriate to assist underachieving schools and school systems in improving to improve performance before conditions become so grave as to warrant more substantive state intervention, including, but not limited to, making additional technical assistance, programmatic, professional staff development, monetary, and staffing and other resources available where appropriate, and, if necessary, making appropriate recommendations to the process for improving education commission.
(h) Office of education performance audits. -- To assist the state board and the process for improving education commission in the operation of the a system of education performance audits that will enable it to evaluate whether a thorough and efficient education is being provided, and to assist the state board in making determinations regarding the accreditation status of schools and the approval status of school systems, the state board, after consultation with the process for improving education commission, shall establish an office of education performance audits which shall be operated under the direction of the state board independently of the functions and supervision of the state department of education and state superintendent. The office of education performance audits shall report directly to and be responsible to the state board in carrying out its duties under the provisions of this section. The office shall be headed by a director who shall be appointed by the state board and shall serve at the will and pleasure of the state board. The salary of the director shall not exceed the salary of the state superintendent of schools. The state board shall organize and sufficiently staff the office to fulfill the duties assigned to it by this section and the state board. Employees of the state department of education who are transferred to the office of education performance audits shall retain their benefit and seniority status with the department of education. Under the direction of the state board, the office of education performance audits shall receive from the West Virginia education information system staff research and analysis data on the performance and progress of students, schools and school systems, and shall receive assistance, as determined by the state board, from staff at the state department of education, the regional education service agencies, the center for professional development, the principals academy and the state school building authority to carry out the duties assigned to the office. An on-site review of a school or school system shall include a person or persons who have expert knowledge and experience in the area or areas to be reviewed and who are designated by the state board from the department and the agencies responsible for assisting the office. If the size of the school or school system being reviewed necessitates the use of an on-site review team or teams, the person or persons designated by the state board shall be the team leaders. The persons designated by the state board shall be responsible for completing the report on the findings and recommendations of the on-site in their area of expertise. It is the intent of Legislature that the persons designated by the state board will participate in all on-site reviews that involve their area of expertise to the extent practical so that the on- site review process will evaluate compliance with the standards in a uniform, consistent and expert manner. In addition to other duties which may be assigned to it by the state board or by statute, the office of education performance audits also shall:
(1) Assure that all statewide assessments of student performance are secure as required in section one-a of this article;
(2) Administer all accountability measures as assigned by the state board, including, but not limited to, processes for the accreditation of schools and the approval of school systems which shall focus primarily on the measurable criteria of student performance and progress toward obtaining a thorough and efficient education and the delivery of instruction which will enable student performance and progress toward obtaining a thorough and efficient education, and recommend recommending to the state board appropriate action, including, but not limited to, accreditation and approval action;
(3) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, what capacity may be needed by schools and school systems to meet the standards established by the Legislature and the state board, and recommend to the school, the school system, and the state board and the process for improving education commission, plans to establish those needed capacities;
(4) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, whether statewide system deficiencies exist in the capacity to establish and maintain a thorough and efficient system of schools, including the identification of trends and the need for continuing improvements in education, and report those deficiencies and trends to the state board and the process for improving education commission;
(5) Determine, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, staff development needs of schools and school systems to meet the standards established by the Legislature and the state board, and make recommendations to the state board, the process for improving education commission, the center for professional development, the regional educational service agencies, the higher education governing boards policy commission, and the county boards; and
(6) Identify, in conjunction with the assessment and accountability processes, exemplary schools and school systems and best practices that improve student, school and school system performance, and make recommendations to the state board and the process for improving education commission for recognizing and rewarding exemplary schools and school systems and promoting the use of best practices. The state board shall provide information on best practices to county school systems and shall use information identified through the assessment and accountability processes to select schools of excellence.
(i) On-site reviews. -- At the direction of the state board or by weighted, random selection by the office of education performance audits, an unannounced on-site review shall be conducted by the office of education performance audits of any school or school system for purposes, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) Evaluating the instructional program; (1) (2) verifying data reported by the school or county board; (2) (3) documenting compliance with policies and laws; (3) (4) evaluating the effectiveness and implementation status of school and school system unified improvement plans; (4) (5) investigating official complaints submitted to the state board that allege serious impairments in the quality of education in schools or school systems; and (5) (6) investigating official complaints submitted to the state board that allege that a school or county board is in violation of policies or laws under which schools and county boards operate. The director of the office of education performance audits shall develop reporting formats, such as check lists, which shall be used by the appropriate administrative personnel in schools and school systems to document compliance with various of the applicable laws, policies and process standards as deemed appropriate and approved by the state board. Information contained in the reporting formats shall be examined during an on-site review to determine compliance with said laws, policies and standards. Intentional and grossly negligent reporting of false information is grounds for dismissal. The random selection of schools and school systems for an on-site review shall use a weighted random sample so that those with lower performance and progress indicators and those that have not had a recent on-site review have a greater likelihood of being selected. The director shall notify the county superintendent of schools five school days prior to commencing an on-site review of the county school system and both the county superintendent and the principal prior to the on-site review of an individual school. Under the direction of the state board, The office of education performance audits may conduct on- site reviews which are limited in scope to specific areas in addition to full reviews which cover all areas. When conducting an on-site review, the director may, in consultation with the person or persons designated by the state board pursuant to subsection (h) of this section who will be participating in the on-site review, appoint a team or teams assist the person or persons. The teams shall be of such size as deemed necessary based on the size of the school or school system to be reviewed. shall appoint an education standards compliance review team to assist it in conducting on-site reviews. The teams shall be composed of an adequate number of persons who possess the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to make an accurate assessment of education programs and who are drawn from a trained cadre established by the office of education performance audits. The state board shall have discretion in determining the number of persons to serve on a standards compliance review team based on the size of the school or school system as applicable. The teams shall be led by a member of the office of education performance audits. The state board The office of education performance audits shall reimburse a county board for the costs of substitutes required to replace county board employees while they are serving on an education standards compliance a review team. At the conclusion of an on-site review of a school system, the director and team leaders shall hold an exit conference with the superintendent and an opportunity shall be provided for principals to be present for at least the portion of the conference pertaining to their school. In the case of an on-site review of a school, the exit conference shall be held with the principal with an opportunity for the superintendent to be present. The office of education performance audits shall report the findings of the on-site reviews to the state board for inclusion in the evaluation and determination of a school's or county board's accreditation or approval status as applicable. The report on the findings of an on-site review shall be submitted to the state board within thirty days following the conclusion of the on-site review and to the county superintendent within forty-five days following the conclusion of the on-site review. A copy of the report shall be provided to the process for improving education commission.
(j) School accreditation. -- The state board annually shall review the information from the system of education performance audits submitted for each school and shall issue to every school: Exemplary accreditation status, full accreditation status, temporary accreditation status, conditional accreditation status, or shall declare the education programs at the school to be seriously impaired.
(1) Full accreditation status shall be given to a school when the school's performance and progress on the standards adopted by the state board pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section is at a level which would be expected when all of the high quality education standards are being met. A school which meets or exceeds all of the standards for student performance and progress and does not have any deficiencies which would endanger student health or safety or other extraordinary circumstances as defined by the board, shall remain on full accreditation status for one year following an on-site review in which other deficiencies are noted and shall have an opportunity to correct those deficiencies, notwithstanding other provisions of this subsection.
(2) Temporary accreditation status shall be given to a school when the measure of the school's performance and progress is below the level required for full accreditation status. Whenever a school is given temporary accreditation status, the county board shall ensure that the school's unified improvement plan is revised to increase the performance and progress of the school to a full accreditation status level. The revised unified school improvement plan shall include objectives, a time line, a plan for evaluation of the success of the improvements, cost estimates, and a date certain for achieving full accreditation. The revised plan shall be submitted to the state board for approval.
(3) Conditional accreditation status shall be given to a school when the school's performance and progress on the standards adopted by the state board is below the level required for full accreditation, but the school's unified improvement plan has been revised to achieve full accreditation status by a date certain, the plan has been approved by the state board and the school is meeting the objectives and time line specified in the revised plan.
(4) Exemplary accreditation status shall be given to a school when the school's performance and progress on the standards adopted by the state board pursuant to subsections (c) and (d) of this section substantially exceeds the minimal level which would be expected when all of the high quality education standards are being met. The state board shall propose legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a, designated to establish standards of performance and progress to identify exemplary schools.
(5) The state board shall establish and adopt standards of performance and progress to identify seriously impaired schools and the state board may declare a school seriously impaired whenever extraordinary circumstances exist as defined by the state board.
(A) These circumstances shall include, but are not limited to: (i) The failure of a school on temporary accreditation status to obtain approval of its revised unified school improvement plan within a reasonable time period as defined by the state board; (ii) the failure of a school on conditional accreditation status to meet the objectives and time line of its revised unified school improvement plan; or (iii) the failure to achieve full accreditation by the date specified in the revised plan.
(B) Whenever the state board determines that the quality of education in a school is seriously impaired, the state board shall appoint a team of improvement consultants to make recommendations within sixty days of appointment for correction of the impairment. Upon approval of the recommendations by the state board, the recommendations shall be made to the county board. If progress in correcting the impairment as determined by the state board is not made within six months from the time the county board receives the recommendations, the state board shall place the county board on temporary approval status and provide consultation and assistance to the county board to: (i) Improve personnel management; (ii) establish more efficient financial management practices; (iii) improve instructional programs and rules; or (iv) make any other improvements that are necessary to correct the impairment.
(C) If the impairment is not corrected by a date certain set by the state board the state board shall appoint a monitor who shall be paid at county expense to cause improvements to be made at the school to bring it to full accreditation status within a reasonable time period as determined by the state board. The monitor's work location shall be at the school and the monitor shall work collaboratively with the principal. The monitor shall, at a minimum, report monthly to the state board on the measures being taken to improve the school's performance and the progress being made. The reports may include requests for additional assistance and recommendations required in the judgment of the monitor to improve the school's performance and progress, including, but not limited to, the need for targeting resources strategically to eliminate deficiencies. If the state board determines that the improvements necessary to provide a thorough and efficient education to the students at the school cannot be made without additional targeted resources, it shall establish a plan in consultation with the county board that includes targeted resources from sources under the control of the state board and the county board to accomplish the needed improvements. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow a change in personnel at the school to improve school performance and progress, except as provided by law.
(k) Transfers from seriously impaired schools. -- Whenever a school is determined to be seriously impaired and fails to improve its status within one year, any student attending the school may transfer once to the nearest fully accredited school, subject to approval of the fully accredited school and at the expense of the school from which the student transferred.
(l) School system approval. -- The state board annually shall review the information submitted for each school system from the system of education performance audits and issue one of the following approval levels to each county board: Full approval, temporary approval, conditional approval, or nonapproval.
(1) Full approval shall be given to a county board whose education system meets or exceeds all of the high quality standards for student, school and school system performance, progress and processes adopted by the state board and whose schools have all been given full, temporary or conditional accreditation status. A school system which meets or exceeds all of the standards for student performance and progress and does not have any deficiencies which would endanger student health or safety or other extraordinary circumstances as defined by the board, shall remain on full approval status for one year following an on-site review in which other deficiencies are noted and shall have an opportunity to correct those deficiencies, notwithstanding other provisions of this subsection.
(2) Temporary approval shall be given to a county board whose education system is below the level required for full approval. Whenever a county board is given temporary approval status, the county board shall revise its unified county improvement plan to increase the performance and progress of the school system to a full approval status level. The revised plan shall include objectives, a time line, a plan for evaluation of the success of the improvements, a cost estimate, and a date certain for achieving full approval. The revised plan shall be submitted to the state board for approval.
(3) Conditional approval shall be given to a county board whose education system is below the level required for full approval, but whose unified county improvement plan meets the following criteria: (i) The plan has been revised to achieve full approval status by a date certain; (ii) the plan has been approved by the state board; and (iii) the county board is meeting the objectives and time line specified in the revised plan.
(4) Nonapproval status shall be given to a county board which fails to submit and gain approval for its unified county improvement plan or revised unified county improvement plan within a reasonable time period as defined by the state board or fails to meet the objectives and time line of its revised unified county improvement plan or fails to achieve full approval by the date specified in the revised plan. The state board shall establish and adopt additional standards to identify school systems in which the program may be nonapproved and the state board may issue nonapproval status whenever extraordinary circumstances exist as defined by the state board. Furthermore, whenever a county board has more than a casual deficit, as defined in section one, article one of this chapter, the county board shall submit a plan to the state board specifying the county board's strategy for eliminating the casual deficit. The state board either shall approve or reject the plan. If the plan is rejected, the state board shall communicate to the county board the reason or reasons for the rejection of the plan. The county board may resubmit the plan any number of times. However, any county board that fails to submit a plan and gain approval for the plan from the state board before the end of the fiscal year after a deficit greater than a casual deficit occurred or any county board which, in the opinion of the state board, fails to comply with an approved plan may be designated as having nonapproval status. Whenever nonapproval status is given to a school system, the state board shall declare a state of emergency in the school system and shall appoint a team of improvement consultants to make recommendations within sixty days of appointment for correcting the emergency. Upon approval of the recommendations by the state board, the recommendations shall be made to the county board. If progress in correcting the emergency, as determined by the state board, is not made within six months from the time the county board receives the recommendations, the state board shall intervene in the operation of the school system to cause improvements to be made that will provide assurances that a thorough and efficient system of schools will be provided. This intervention may include, but is not limited to, the following: (i) Limiting the authority of the county superintendent and county board as to the expenditure of funds, the employment and dismissal of personnel, the establishment and operation of the school calendar, the establishment of instructional programs and rules and any other areas designated by the state board by rule; (ii) taking any direct action  necessary to correct the emergency; and (iii) declaring that the office of the county superintendent is vacant.
(m) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the state board may intervene immediately in the operation of the county school system with all the powers, duties and responsibilities contained in subsection (l) of this section, if the state board finds the following:
(1) That the conditions precedent to intervention exist as provided in this section; and
(2) That delaying intervention for any period of time would not be in the best interests of the students of the county school system.
(n) Capacity. -- The process for improving education includes a process for targeting resources strategically to improve the teaching and learning process. Development of unified school and school system improvement plans, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, is intended, in part, to provide mechanisms to target resources strategically to the teaching and learning process to improve student, school and school system performance. When deficiencies are detected through the assessment and accountability processes, the revision and approval of school and school system unified improvement plans shall ensure that schools and school systems are efficiently using existing resources to correct the deficiencies. When the state board determines that schools and school systems do not have the capacity to correct deficiencies, the state board shall work with the county board to develop or secure the resources necessary to increase the capacity of schools and school systems to meet the standards and, when necessary, seek additional resources in consultation with the Legislature and the governor.
The state board shall recommend to the appropriate body including, but not limited to, the process for improving education commission, the Legislature, county boards, schools and communities, methods for targeting resources strategically to eliminate deficiencies identified in the assessment and accountability processes by:
(1) Examining reports and unified improvement plans regarding the performance and progress of students, schools and school systems relative to the standards and identifying the areas in which improvement is needed;
(2) Determining the areas of weakness and of ineffectiveness that appear to have contributed to the substandard performance and progress of students or the deficiencies of the school or school system;
(3) Determining the areas of strength that appear to have contributed to exceptional student, school and school system performance and progress and promoting their emulation throughout the system;
(4) Requesting technical assistance from the school building authority in assessing or designing comprehensive educational facilities plans;
(5) Recommending priority funding from the school building authority based on identified needs;
(6) Requesting special staff development programs from the center for professional development, the principals academy, higher education, regional educational service agencies and county boards based on identified needs;
(7) Submitting requests to the Legislature for appropriations to meet the identified needs for improving education;
(8) Directing county boards to target their funds strategically toward alleviating deficiencies;
(9) Ensuring that the need for facilities in counties with increased enrollment are appropriately reflected and recommended for funding;
(10) Ensuring that the appropriate person or entity is held accountable for eliminating deficiencies; and
(11) Ensuring that the needed capacity is available from the state and local level to assist the school or school system in achieving the standards and alleviating the deficiencies.



Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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