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Introduced Version Senate Bill 2010 History

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sb2010 intr
Senate Bill No. 2010

( By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Hall,

By Request of the Executive)

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[Introduced July 17, 2010; referred to the Committee on Education; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §18-2-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to establishing pilot projects for alternative schools or other placements at elementary and middle school levels; requiring uniform definitions and standards for disruptive behavior and placement; and requiring reports.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §18-2-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

§18-2-6. Classification and standardization of schools; standards for degrees and diplomas; certificates of proficiency; establishment of alternative education programs.

(a) (1) The state board shall promulgate rules for the accreditation, classification and standardization of all schools in the state, except institutions of higher education, and shall determine the minimum standards for the granting of diplomas and certificates of proficiency by those schools. The certificates of proficiency shall include specific information regarding the graduate's skills, competence and readiness for employment or honors and advanced education and shall be granted, along with the diploma, to every eligible high school graduate. The certificate of proficiency shall include the program of study major completed by the student only for those students who have completed the required major courses, or higher level courses, advanced placement courses, college courses or other more rigorous substitutes related to the major, and the recommended electives.
(b) (2) An institution of less than collegiate or university status may not grant any diploma or certificate of proficiency on any basis of work or merit below the minimum standards prescribed by the state board.
(c) (3) A charter or other instrument containing the right to issue diplomas or certificates of proficiency may not be granted by the State of West Virginia to any institution or other associations or organizations of less than collegiate or university status within the state until the condition of granting or issuing such the diplomas or other certificates of proficiency has first been approved in writing by the state board.
(d) (b) The state board shall promulgate a rule for the approval of alternative education programs for disruptive students who are at risk of not succeeding in the traditional school structure. This rule may provide for the waiver of other policies of the state board, the establishment and delivery of a nontraditional curriculum, the establishment of licensure requirements for alternative education program teachers, and the establishment of performance measures for school accreditation. This rule shall provide uniform definitions of disruptive student behavior and uniform standards for the placement of students in alternative settings or providing other interventions to correct student behavior so that they can return to a regular classroom without engaging in further disruptive behavior.
(c) The state board shall establish up to five pilot projects at the elementary or middle school levels, or both, that employ alternative schools or other placements for disruptive students to learn appropriate behaviors so they can return to the regular classroom without further disrupting the learning environment. The state board shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability by December 1, 2010, on its progress in establishing the pilot projects and by December 1 in each year after that for the duration of the pilot projects on the effect of the projects on maintaining student discipline.
(e) (d) If a student attends an approved alternative education program or the Mountaineer Challenge Academy, which is designated as a special alternative education program pursuant to section twenty-four, article one-b, chapter fifteen of this code, and the student graduates or passes the General Equivalency Development (GED) Tests within five years of beginning ninth grade, that student shall be considered graduated for the purposes of calculating the high school graduation rate used for school accreditation and school system approval, subject to the following:
(1) The student shall only be considered graduated to the extent that this is not in conflict with any provision of federal law relating to graduation rates;
(2) If the state board determines that this is in conflict with a provision of federal law relating to graduation rates, the state board shall request a waiver from the United States Department of Education; and
(3) If the waiver is granted, notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (1) of this subsection, the student graduating or passing the General Educational Development (GED) Tests within five years shall be considered graduated.
(f) (e) The state board shall promulgate a rule to support the operation of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program operated by the Adjutant General and known as the "Mountaineer Challenge Academy" which is designated as a special alternative education program pursuant to section twenty-four, article one-b, chapter fifteen of this code, for students who are at risk of not succeeding in the traditional school structure. The rule shall set forth policies and procedures applicable only to the Mountaineer Challenge Academy that provide for, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) Implementation of provisions set forth in section twenty-four, article one-b, chapter fifteen of this code;
(2) Precedence of the policies and procedures designated by the National Guard Bureau for the operation of the Mountaineer Challenge Academy special alternative education program;
(3) Consideration of a student participating in the Mountaineer Challenge Academy special alternative education program at full enrollment status in the referring county for the purposes of funding and calculating attendance and graduation rates, subject to the following:
(A) The student shall only be considered at full enrollment status for the purposes of calculating attendance and graduation rates to the extent that this is not in conflict with any provision of federal law relating to attendance or graduation rates;
(B) If the state board determines that this is in conflict with a provision of federal law relating to attendance or graduation rates, the state board shall request a waiver from the United States Department of Education;
(C) If the waiver is granted, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (A) of this subdivision, the student shall be considered at full enrollment status in the referring county for the purposes of calculating attendance and graduation rates; and
(D) Consideration of the student at full enrollment status in the referring county is for the purposes of funding and calculating attendance and graduation rates only. For any other purpose, a student participating in the academy is considered withdrawn from the public school system;
(4) Articulation of the knowledge, skills and competencies gained through alternative education so that students who return to regular education may proceed toward attainment or attain the standards for graduation without duplication; and
(5) Consideration of eligibility to take the General Educational Development (GED) Tests by qualifying within the extraordinary circumstances provisions established by state board rule of a student participating in the Mountaineer Challenge Academy special alternative education program who does not meet any other criteria for eligibility.
(g) (f) Nothing in this section or the rules promulgated hereunder under this section compels the Mountaineer Challenge Academy to be operated as a special alternative education program or to be subject to any other laws governing the public schools except by its consent.
(h) (g) The state board shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability on or before January 1 of each year on its efforts to cooperate with and support the Mountaineer Challenge Academy pursuant to this section and section twenty-four, article one-b, chapter fifteen of this code.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide uniformity in alternative schools and to require a pilot program that will allow alternative schools in elementary and middle schools.

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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