The intent of this section is to establish a mechanism which allows local school level initiatives to be designed and implemented to meet local school needs and circumstances. In accordance with this intent, a local school improvement council established under the provisions of this article may propose alternatives to the operation of the public school which alternatives will meet or exceed the high quality standards established by the state board and will increase administrative efficiency, enhance the delivery of instructional programs, promote community involvement in the local school system or improve the educational performance of the school generally. The proposal of the council shall set forth the objective or objectives to be accomplished under the proposal, how the accomplishment of such objective or objectives will meet or exceed the standards established by the state board, the indicators upon which the meeting of such standards should be judged and a projection of any funds to be saved by the proposal and how such funds will be reallocated within the school. The alternatives proposed by the council may include matters which require the waiver of policies or rules promulgated by the state or county board and state superintendent interpretations: Provided, That such request for waiver be submitted to the appropriate board adopting said rule or policy and that board may approve the waiver. When a county board does not act within two months after receiving a request for waiver of a county board policy or rule or disapproves such a request, the local school improvement council may seek an advisory opinion from the state board regarding the waiver request. The county board shall furnish the state board with copies of all waiver requests together with their response thereto: Provided, however, That when a local school improvement council votes to waive a state superintendent's interpretation, the state superintendent need only be notified that the local council intends to waive the state superintendent's interpretation: Provided further, That notwithstanding any other provisions of the law to the contrary, council is not prohibited from permitting off-site classrooms to be developed in conjunction with local businesses if those sites have met the requirements established by the local board and if sites are located off campus. For an alternative to be proposed, at least two thirds of the members must vote in favor thereof: And provided further, That if the alternative to be proposed relates to a waiver of policies or rules promulgated by the state or county board and state superintendent interpretations affecting employees, then prior to the proposal of the alternative, a majority of the local affected employee group involved must agree.
A council may also submit a written statement, with supporting reasons, to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability recommending a waiver of a statute or legislative rule, which the commission shall review and determine whether a recommendation should be made to the Legislature to waive such statute or rule.
When a council decides to propose an alternative, it shall forward a copy of the proposal to the state board and the affected local board. The state board shall acknowledge receipt of the proposed alternative, promptly review the proposed alternative in consultation with the county board or their agents and, in its discretion, approve implementation of the alternative or reply to the council within a reasonable time as to its reasons for not approving the proposed alternative. If the state board approves a proposed alternative, the state board shall provide appropriate notice to the local school improvement council and the county board and shall establish a process for evaluation of the operation of the alternative. Approval for the operation of the alternative may be continued or revoked at any time based on the results and findings of the evaluation.
The state board shall submit a report to the legislative oversight commission on education accountability and the governoron the first day of September of each year summarizing the proposed alternatives received, approved or rejected, continued or revoked during the preceding school year and the results and findings of the evaluations. The report shall specifically identify all policy, rule, and interpretation waiver requests including those requests made to county boards by local school improvement councils received during the preceding year and the disposition of each.
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