1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Updated through the end of the 2001 Session

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Title 59 - Education



SECTION 59-52-10. Short Title.

This chapter is known and may be cited as the "South Carolina School-To-Work Transition Act of 1994".

SECTION 59-52-20. Findings.

The General Assembly finds:

(a) Even though more than half of the state's high school students do not go on to college but seek to enter the job market, South Carolina has no clear system for school-to-work transition. Low-skill jobs are quickly disappearing. The job market increasingly demands that employees enter the work force with middle-skill or high-skill capabilities, but educational experiences typically leave high school graduates ill-prepared for the work place. The absence of a coherent system has harmful effects for both business competitiveness, school effectiveness, and quality of life standards.

Merely "tuning up" the high school "general track" will not be enough to meet these demands. The combination of unchallenging classes, low expectations, and isolation from the adult work place results in too many students lacking the skills, motivation, and connections that lead to successful and productive adult lives.

(b) Nations which compete internationally with the United States help their students acquire academic and occupational skills that are essential for success as we approach the twenty-first century. The specific approaches vary by country but, typically, they include:

(1) quality schooling,

(2) career exploration,

(3) work-site experiences, and

(4) work-based teaching and apprenticeships.

In these countries, schools and employers work together to facilitate a young person's entry into the work force.

(c) South Carolina's secondary education system does not provide these steps in educating and preparing our youth for work. Our nation has traditionally divided students into college-bound and noncollege bound. While college-bound students are required to follow a challenging and clearly defined curriculum, the noncollege bound have entered the "general track" which is less academically challenging and is often cited as preparing students for "nothing in particular". In South Carolina, fifty-two percent of our students are in the "general track" while twenty-eight percent of the students are directed into the academic college-prep track, and the other twenty percent of the students are placed in the vocational track. "General track" students receive little preparation for higher education and little guidance on how to move into a career that can support an acceptable quality of life. Their reading, writing, math, and communications skills are generally inadequate for the demands of today's quality employers and for higher education.

SECTION 59-52-30. Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, unless the context indicates otherwise, the words or phrases listed below are defined as follows:

(1) "Youth apprenticeship" means a program that offers students, beginning in the eleventh grade, a course of study which integrates academic curricula, work-site learning, and work experience leading to high school graduation with post-secondary options and preparation for the world of work.

(2) "Tech Prep" means a program of study designed specifically to prepare students for careers and lives affected by technology. Tech Prep involves applied academic courses, targeted technology study, and specialized career guidance. Tech Prep blends academics and technology education and emphasizes broad-based competencies in career education. Tech Prep links high school and two-year college programs, eliminating gaps and overlaps to provide enhanced academic and vocational preparation for mid-level technology careers.

(3) "Mentoring" means an umbrella term for many forms of formal one-on-one relationships between a community's citizens and their students. The broad types of mentoring programs include:

(a) "Traditional mentor programs" means programs which seek to build a long-lasting relationship during which the mentor and protege work on the protege's personal development and interpersonal skills. The relationship generally lasts a year, with the mentor maintaining occasional contact with the protege for an additional one to two years.

(b) "Shadowing" means a short-term experience to introduce a student to a particular job by pairing the student with a worker. The protege follows or "shadows" the worker for a specified time to better understand the requirements of a particular career.

(c) "Service learning" means an experience for one or more students at a work site or community agency during which the students work on a project each week after school. Under close adult supervision, students develop work skills and learn how to behave in work situations.

(4) "Internship" means a one-on-one relationship to provide "hands on" learning in an area of student interest. A learning contract outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both parties. The protege works regularly after school for three or four hours a week in exchange for the mentor's time in teaching and demonstrating. The internship generally lasts from three to six months.

SECTION 59-52-40. Board of Education to take certain actions to prepare students for employment and lifelong learning; basic components of program.

(A) As a part of the school-to-work system, the State Board of Education shall establish a structure for preparing students for employment and lifelong learning which expands upon the current Tech Prep model to include four components:

(1) quality schooling having a rigorous curriculum,

(2) career counseling,

(3) work exploration and experience, and

(4) structured work-based learning.

In developing the school-to-work system, the emphasis shall be on a structure which is flexible to meet local school needs and available to all students as needed and appropriate. Students and their parents will make the decision as to which track the student will follow and students may transfer between Tech Prep and College Prep tracks within guidelines established by the State Board of Education to allow for transfer up to the senior year of high school. The State Board of Education, for the purpose of successfully establishing and implementing the school-to-work system, shall endeavor to obtain the cooperation of employees, the Commission on Higher Education, post-secondary institutions, and the several school districts.

(B) The State Board of Education shall, beginning with school year 1994-95, establish by regulation quality schooling which, at a minimum shall include:

(1) a rigorous, relevant academic curriculum which shall among other changes or improvements:

(a) include rigorous applied academic methodologies in mathematics, science, and communications skills where appropriate;

(b) increase mathematics instruction to include statistics, logic, measurement, and probability;

(c) incorporate in the curriculum the skills and competencies suggested in the United States Secretary of Labor's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report and those identified in the employer survey report of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce's Business Center for Excellence in Education including an emphasis on the importance of individual achievement as a cornerstone upon which self-respect, academic, and personal success are founded;

(d) eliminate the "general track" for students first enrolling in high school on or after the 1996-97 school year;

(e) develop plans to accelerate the learning of students that are behind their age peers; and

(f) develop plans that take into account student learning style.

(2) Changes in vocational education programs which:

(a) redefine vocational programs so as to expand their content, relevancy, and rigor in preparation for lifelong learning and living in a technological society; and

(b) integrate instruction in academic and occupational courses to ensure a rigorous, relevant, and academic curriculum;

(C) With the advice of the statewide advisory council hereinafter established, the State Board of Education shall, beginning in school year 1996-97, establish regulations for:

(1) career exploration and counseling which includes:

(a) student exposure to career options by integrating career counseling activities into the kindergarten through grade twelve curriculum;

(b) a comprehensive career guidance plan which has a major plan and an alternate plan for each student starting in grade six and is revised each year as the student progresses towards graduation and which requires the districts to seek parental assistance in the development of the plan;

(c) in-service courses to equip guidance counselors with skills necessary to integrate career guidance and career planning.

(2) A range of mentoring opportunities beginning no later than the seventh grade which includes traditional mentoring, shadowing, service-learning, school-based enterprises, and internships as defined in Section 59-52-30. Mentoring activities shall emphasize students' interests, skills, and needs.

(3) Structured work-based learning opportunities and components of these work-based opportunities include:

(a) structured work-based learning to include the establishment of a youth apprenticeship model as defined in Section 59-52-30;

(b) integration of academic and vocational learning;

(c) coordination and integration of school and work-place learning; and

(d) credentials for both academic and occupational skills.

These programs shall be governed by broad coalitions of institutional partners.

SECTION 59-52-50. School district boards to take certain actions; basic aims; steps to be reported in annual updates to plans.

School district boards of trustees shall by school year 1995-96:

(a) implement the rigorous academic changes and changes to vocational education programs as directed by the State Board of Education pursuant to Section 59-52-40;

(b) develop plans for elimination of the general track by school year 1996-97; and

(c) implement career exploration and counseling pursuant to Section 59-52-40 by school year 1996-97.

Districts must report steps taken to integrate these changes in the annual updates of the comprehensive five-year plans mandated by the Early Childhood Development and Academic Assistance Act of 1993.

SECTION 59-52-60. Extension of completion dates.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the stipulated completion dates required in Section 59-52-50 may be extended by one year upon approval from the State Board of Education. Districts requesting such a waiver must outline how the extension will improve the planning and implementation of Sections 59-52-10 through 59-52-150.

SECTION 59-52-70. System to provide for professional development, accountability for student progress.

(A) In establishing a school-to-work system, the State Board of Education shall provide for professional development in applied techniques and integration of curriculum, professional development in career guidance for teachers and guidance counselors, and training for mentors.

(B) The school-to-work system required by Sections 59-52-10 through 59-52-150 as established by the State Board of Education shall include a program of accountability of student progress to ensure quality which shall include a survey of Tech Prep graduates in order to obtain such information as the rate of hire, starting wages or salaries, wages or salary rates five years after graduation, and additional education pursued.

SECTION 59-52-80. Employment Security Commission to take certain actions to provide link between employers and youth seeking employment.

(A) As a part of the school-to-work system, the South Carolina Employment Security Commission shall work with the Department of Education, the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, and the Commission on Higher Education to assist in the planning and promotion of the school-to-work opportunities by:

(1) identifying potential employers to participate in the work-based learning programs sponsored under Sections 59-52-10 through 59-52-150;

(2) serving as a contact point for employers seeking information on school-to-work activities;

(3) providing labor market information relative to supply and demand, and nontraditional jobs for women; and

(4) promoting increased career awareness and career counseling through the management and promotion of the South Carolina Occupational Information System (SCOIS).

(B) The South Carolina Employment Security Commission will provide the link between employers in South Carolina and youth-seeking employment.

SECTION 59-52-90. School-To-Work Advisory Council.

< [Until December 30, 2004, subsection (A) reads as follows:] >

(A) The South Carolina School-To-Work Advisory Council appointed by the Governor representing a broad-based coalition of business and industry and including representatives of the State Department of Education, Employment Security Commission, the Commission on Higher Education, State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the Urban League, Tech Prep Consortia, the State Transition Coordinator for People with Disabilities, and local school districts shall convene no later than July 1, 1994, to guide, encourage, and facilitate actions which enable the school-to-work system to be implemented. The role of the advisory council is to work with the State Board of Education to:

(1) provide input to shape the development and scope of a statewide initiative;

(2) help promote the school-to-work system to key employers and education leaders across the State and encourage active participation of employers across the State; and

(3) identify and recognize exemplary programs and practices and help disseminate general information to interested parties across the State.

The School-To-Work Advisory Council shall report to the House Education and Public Works and the Senate Education Committees by January 1, 1996, as to the progress made in establishing the school-to-work system, difficulties encountered, and any actions required by the General Assembly to ensure success of the system. No state funds shall be expended to support the Advisory Council and the Council shall terminate on December 1, 1999.

< [From and after December 31, 2004, subsection (A) is deleted, as follows:] >

(A) [Deleted.]

(B) Because of the need to link education and labor in the planning and delivery of youth apprenticeship programs and with increasing emphasis on partnerships between labor and education in pending federal school-to-work legislation, the State Department of Education with the South Carolina Employment Security Commission are jointly responsible for implementing the school-to-work transition system.

(C) The school-to-work system established by this chapter shall be coordinated with the South Carolina's Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) delivery system at both the state and local levels. This coordination may include staff directors of JTPA service delivery areas and Private Industry Council (PIC) chairmen participating in ongoing state, regional, and local advisory committees. The Director of the Employment Security Commission with the State Superintendent of Education shall establish an ongoing statewide advisory committee with representation from the agencies designated in subsection (A) and public and private entities involved in the development of South Carolina's work force. The committee shall be charged with the overall coordination activities of a school-to-work plan and the liaison function with other public and private agencies to monitor participation of employers and cooperation of all parties involved. Regional coordination of the plan shall become a function of the sixteen Tech Prep consortium hubs established pursuant to the current Tech Prep system, and these Tech Prep consortium hubs also shall serve as the region advisory committees. Each school district board of trustees shall establish local advisory committees to address unique employment needs of their areas.

SECTION 59-52-95. School to Work Advisory Council report to House and Senate Committees.

The School to Work Advisory Council shall report to the House Education and Public Works Committee and the Senate Education Committee by January 1, 2000, as to the progress made in establishing the school-to-work system, difficulties encountered, and any actions required by the General Assembly to ensure success of the system. No state funds shall be expended to support the continuation of the advisory council and the advisory council shall terminate on December 31, 2004.

SECTION 59-52-100. Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education to take certain actions; articulation to post-secondary institutions; advanced standing in technical programs; prerequisite requirements for precollege curriculum; courses for potential teachers, guidance counselors; reporting.

(A) The State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education in conjunction with the State Board of Education shall develop measures for articulation of high school courses to post-secondary technical institutions including procedures to enable qualified students to achieve advanced standing in technical college programs.

(B) Beginning with the 1995-96 school year, completion of applied academic courses in mathematics, science, and communications skills shall fulfill high school course prerequisite requirements as equivalent to precollege curriculum requirements for applicants to four-year post-secondary institutions, unless by December 1, 1994, a four-year post-secondary institution reports its reasons for not accepting those courses to the House Education and Public Works Committee and the Senate Education Committee. School districts must certify that the applied academic courses offered are equivalent to the precollege curriculum requirements.

(C) The State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education and the Council of College Presidents, or their designees, through the Commission on Higher Education, shall clarify and strengthen articulation agreements between associate degree programs and baccalaureate degree programs.

(D) Actions taken related to all articulation measures must be reported to the School-To-Work Advisory Council no later than July 1, 1995.

(E) Four-year institutions having teacher education programs must offer courses to equip potential teachers and guidance counselors with skills necessary to integrate career guidance and career planning. These institutions must also train potential teachers in how to use applied methodologies for academic courses. Changes in course offering and course curriculum shall be reported to the School-To-Work Advisory Council no later than July 1, 1995.

SECTION 59-52-110. Feasibility study as to tax credits, spending, liability and compensation, other school-to-work related issues; recommendations.

Representatives from the Department of Commerce, the Department of Revenue, Workers' Compensation Commission, the Department of Insurance, and the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation shall be convened by the Department of Commerce to conduct a feasibility study and make recommendations regarding tax credits for work-based programs, maximizing government and private funding spent on education, and issues related to workers' compensation, insurance and liability as each relates to the school-to-work system. Within six months after the effective date of Sections 59-52-10 through 59-52-150, findings from the study and recommendations must be made to the School-To-Work Advisory Council, the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Education and Public Works Committee, the Senate Education Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee.

SECTION 59-52-120. Review of system; report.

Representatives from the Department of Education, the Tech Prep Consortia, local school districts, and businesses involved in mentoring and work-site learning shall be convened by the Department of Education no later than March 1, 1996, for a review to include the following: transportation, staff for the transition system at the district level, training for staff and volunteers, textbook changes, and other issues related to the establishment of the School-to-Work Transition system. No later than October 1, 1996, the results of this review shall be given to the School-To-Work Advisory Council, the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Education and Public Works Committee, Senate Finance Committee, and the Senate Education Committee.

SECTION 59-52-130. Requirements of chapter not applicable to private schools or home schools.

The requirements of this chapter do not apply to private schools or to home schools.

SECTION 59-52-140. Parental permission required.

Students who perform work at a nonschool location pursuant to an apprenticeship or mentoring program under the provisions of this chapter must have the written permission of their parents or legal guardians in order to engage in such work experiences.

SECTION 59-52-150. Instructional materials to be approved and made available.

When the Department of Education or a school district eliminates the general track or implements Tech Prep, appropriate textbooks and instructional materials must be approved by the appropriate authority and must be made available to the district.

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