Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Additional Changes Made to Public Act12-116 in June 12, 2012 Special Session


SB 501

Commissioner’s Network:

· Changes the definition of an “approved not-for-profit educational management organization,” which can be chosen to manage a network school by removing the restriction that a not-for-profit organization with experience and a record of success in improving student achievement for low-income or low-performing students must be located out of the state. (done for New Haven Federation of Teachers).

· Permits the commissioner to approve a turnaround plan for another network school for the 2012-2013 school year that assigns the school management, administration or governance to an approved not-for-profit organization (done for New Haven Federation of Teachers).

· The original bill bans a not-for-profit educational management organization chosen to manage a network school from employing the school's principal, administrators, and teachers. SB 501 expands this to prohibiting them from employing any person who works at the school. (done for PSRP members)

Teacher Evaluation:

· Requires districts to adopt teacher evaluation programs consistent with the new SBE-approved guidelines (PEAC) by September 1, 2013, unless they receive a waiver from SBE.

Connecticut Technical High Schools:

· Removes interim budget process for CTHSS and instead allows the new CTHSS board to review and amend proposed budgets from the superintendent. Retains original provisions to require proposed school budgets to be forwarded to the General Assembly.

· Technical and clarifying language on collective bargaining timelines in network schools, the payment of state charter school grants and the payment of ECS grant increases for Alliance Districts.

HB 6001

School Based Health Centers:

· Requires each school-based health center (SBHC) that receives funding from the Department of Public Health to enter into an agreement with the board of education to establish minimum standards for the frequency and content of communications between the SBHC and the school's nurses or nurse practitioners.

Teachers’ Retirement Board:

· Requires the federal subsidies Teachers’ Retirement Board (TRB) receives under Medicare Part D to offset the state's required contribution to the cost of the TRB basic plan premium.

Common Core:

· Requires boards of education, in collaboration with the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) and the UConn Board of Trustees, to develop a plan to align Connecticut's common core state standards with college-level programs at Connecticut public higher education institutions.

· Requires the State Department of Education, in collaboration with BOR and the UConn Board of Trustees, to develop a pilot program to incorporate the common core standards into priority school district curricula.

Grant Programs for Educational Reform Districts:

· Health: Requires the education commissioner to establish a pilot program to provide grants to 2 educational reform districts the commissioner selects to coordinate school health, education, and wellness and reduce childhood obesity.

· Wrap Around Services: Requires the education commissioner, within available appropriations, to establish a program to provide grants to educational reform for: (1) social-emotional behavioral supports, (2) family involvement and support, (3) student engagement, (4) physical health and wellness, and (5) social work and case management. It allows an educational reform district's school board to apply for a grant when and how the commissioner prescribes.

· Parent Engagement: Requires SDE to provide grants for a parent university pilot program in two educational reform districts the education commissioner selects. Each parent university must provide educational opportunities for parents both district-wide and for those whose children attend certain schools and who live in certain neighborhoods. Allows SDE to accept private donations for the program as long as they do not limit the scope of the grants.

· Science: Requires the education commissioner to establish a grant program, within available appropriations, for educational reform districts to improve the academic performance of students in kindergarten through 8th grade in science, reading, and numeracy.

· Nutrition: Requires the education commissioner to establish a school nutritional rating system pilot grant program to be implemented in school districts for the school years commencing July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013. The commissioner may accept private donations for purposes of the nutritional rating system grant program.

Professional Development:

· Authorizes up to $ 500,000 in unexpended school readiness funds from each fiscal year to be used for the provision of early childhood professional development offered by a professional development and program improvement system within the Connecticut State University System.

Alliance Districts:

· Requires alliance districts to maintain a minimum level of annual local funding for education and establishes a separate minimum budget requirement (MBR) for such districts.

Bridgeport Loan:

· Allows the education commissioner to loan up to $ 3. 5 million to Bridgeport . The city must include the money in its budgeted appropriation for education for FY 12 and use it to cover education expenses incurred during that year. As conditions of the loan, the education commissioner:

o Must require board of education to select the school district's superintendent from a pool of up to three candidates approved by the commissioner and

o May require the district to include additional process or outcome targets in its alliance district improvement plan

o The city must repay the loan by June 30, 2015, but the education commissioner may:

§ Allow repayment through reductions in Bridgeport 's ECS grant in each year of the loan's three-year term and

§ Forgive all or part of the loan if (a) the city complies with the loan conditions and (b) the commissioner has approved its alliance district improvement plan.

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