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Title 59 - Education
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
Composition and organization of State Board of Education.
The State Board of Education shall be composed of one member from each judicial circuit. The members shall serve terms of four years and until their successors are elected and qualify, except of those first elected, the members from the fifth, tenth and fourteenth circuits shall serve terms of one year; the members from the first, sixth, eighth and twelfth circuits shall serve terms of two years and the members from the fourth, seventh, ninth and eleventh circuits shall serve terms of three years. The terms of all members shall commence on January first following their election.
The legislative delegations representing the counties of each judicial circuit shall meet upon written call of a majority of the members of the delegations of each judicial circuit at a time and place to be designated in such call for the purpose of electing a member of the Board to represent such circuit. A majority present, either in person or by written proxy, of the members of the county legislative delegations from a given circuit shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of electing a member, but no person shall be declared elected who shall fail to receive a majority vote of all the members of the county legislative delegations from the circuit. The joint county legislative delegations of each circuit shall be organized by the election of a chairman and a secretary and such joint legislative delegations shall, subject to the provisions herein, adopt such rules as they deem proper to govern the election. Any absentee may vote by written proxy. When the election is completed, the chairman and secretary of the joint county legislative delegations of each circuit shall immediately transmit the name of the person elected to the Secretary of State who shall forthwith issue to such person, after he has taken the usual oath of office, a certificate of election as a member of the State Board of Education. The Governor shall thereupon issue a commission to such person and pending such issuance the certificate of election shall be a sufficient warrant to such person to perform all of the duties and functions of his office.
Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the unexpired portion of the term.
Representation of a given judicial circuit on the State Board of Education shall be rotated among the counties of the circuit, except by unanimous consent of all members of the county legislative delegations from the circuit. No member shall succeed himself in office except by unanimous consent of the members of the county legislative delegations from the circuit. Members of the legislative delegation of any county entitled to a member of the Board shall nominate persons for the office, one of whom shall be elected to the Board.
The Board shall select its chairman and other officers to serve for such terms as the Board may designate. Provided, the Superintendent of Education shall serve as secretary and administrative officer to the Board. The Board shall adopt its own rules and procedures. The chairman and other officers shall have such powers and duties as may be determined by the Board not inconsistent with the law.
At the initial meeting of the legislative delegations representing the counties of each circuit, it shall be determined by lot the sequence in which each county shall be entitled to nominate persons for the office.
Persons eligible for membership; oath.
Any person shall be eligible for membership on the Board who is a registered elector of this State, and each member of the Board shall take the oath prescribed in the Constitution of South Carolina before entering upon the duties of his office.
Compensation of members.
The members of the Board shall receive as compensation a per diem and mileage as is provided for members of the General Assembly.
Meetings of Board; quorum; seal.
The Board shall meet on the call of its chairman or upon the request of a majority of its members at the office of the State Superintendent of Education or at such other place as may be designated in the call. A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum for transacting business. The official seal of the State Superintendent of Education shall be used for the authentication of the acts of the Board.
Records, papers and effects of Board; minutes of proceedings.
The secretary shall be custodian of the records, papers and effects of the Board and shall keep the minutes of its proceedings. Such records, papers and minutes shall be kept in the office of the State Superintendent of Education and shall be open to inspection by the public.
General powers of Board.
The State Board of Education shall have the power to:
(1) Adopt policies, rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of the State for its own government and for the government of the free public schools.
(2) Annually approve budget requests for the institutions, agencies, and service under the control of the Board as prepared by the State Superintendent of Education prior to being submitted to the Budget and Control Board and to the General Assembly.
(3) Adopt minimum standards for any phase of education as are considered necessary to aid in providing adequate educational opportunities and facilities.
(4) Prescribe and enforce rules for the examination and certification of teachers.
(5) Grant State teachers' certificates and revoke them for immoral or unprofessional conduct, or evident unfitness for teaching.
(6) Prescribe and enforce courses of study for the free public schools.
(7) Prescribe and enforce the use of textbooks and other instructional materials for the various subjects taught or used in conjunction within the free public schools of the State, both high schools and elementary schools in accordance with the courses of study as prepared and promulgated by the Board.
(8) Appoint such committees and such members of committees as may be required or as may be desirable to carry out the orderly function of the Board.
(9) Cooperate fully with the State Superintendent at all times to the end that the State system of public education may constantly be improved.
(10) Assume such other responsibilities and exercise such other powers and perform such other duties as may be assigned to it by law or as it may find necessary to aid in carrying out the purpose and objectives of the Constitution of the State.
Secondary occupational vocational education courses for secondary school students in public schools.
The State Board of Education shall through local school districts and area vocational centers establish, maintain, and operate secondary occupational vocational education courses for secondary school students in public schools in accordance with guidelines and standards established by the Board and in accordance with federal laws pertaining to vocational education. The Board shall also approve all secondary occupational vocational education courses.
Duty free lunch periods for teachers.
The State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations directing the principal of each elementary school having grades one through six to develop and implement a plan which shall equitably apportion lunchroom duty among the teachers so that each teacher has as many duty free lunch periods as may be reasonable in order to insure the safety and welfare of students and staff. The implementation of the plan shall not impose additional costs on the school districts. The regulations shall direct that the plan be in effect for the 1984-85 school year.
Powers and responsibilities of State Board of Education.
The State Board of Education shall have the power and responsibility to:
(1) Establish on or before August 15, 1985, regulations prescribing minimum standards of conduct and behavior that must be met by all pupils as a condition to the right of pupils to attend the public schools of the State. The rules shall take into account the necessity of proper conduct on the part of all pupils in order that the welfare of the greatest possible number of pupils shall be promoted notwithstanding that the rules may result in suspension or expulsion of pupils, provided, however, that disciplinary procedures shall be in compliance with Public Law 94-142.
(2) Promulgate on or before August 15, 1985, regulations prescribing a uniform system of minimum enforcement by the various school districts of the rules of conduct and behavior.
(3) Promulgate rules prescribing scholastic standards of achievement. The rules shall take into account the necessity for scholastic progress in order that the welfare of the greatest possible number of pupils shall be promoted. School districts may impose additional standards of conduct and may impose additional penalties for the violation of such standards of behavior, provided, however, that disciplinary procedures shall be in compliance with Public Law 94-142;
(4) Establish on or before July 1, 1985, regulations prescribing a uniform system of enforcement by the various school districts of the state compulsory attendance laws and regulations promulgated pursuant to Section 59-65-90.
(5) Promulgate regulations to ensure that all secondary schools, with the exception of vocational schools and secondary schools whose enrollment is entirely handicapped, offer a clearly defined college preparatory program as specified by the State Board of Education.
(6) Promulgate regulations to ensure that each school district in its secondary school or vocational center shall establish clearly defined vocational programs designed to provide meaningful employment.
(7) By January 1, 1986, establish criteria for promotion of students to the next higher grade.
In grades 1, 2, 3, 6, and 8, a student's performance on the Basic Skills Test of reading shall constitute twenty-five percent of the assessment of his achievement in reading and his performance on the Basic Skills Test of mathematics shall constitute twenty-five percent of the assessment of his achievement in mathematics. The State Board of Education shall specify other measures of student performance in each of these subjects which shall constitute the remaining seventy-five percent of the student's assessment.
Any student who fails to meet the criteria established by the Board for promotion to the next higher grade must be retained in his current grade or assigned to a remedial program in the summer or in the next year. Students assigned to the remedial program must meet the minimum criteria established by the Board for his current grade at the conclusion of the remedial program to be promoted to the next higher grade. All handicapped students as defined by federal and state statutes and regulations are subject to the provisions of this section unless the student's individual education plan (IEP) as required by Public Law 94-142 defines alternative goals and promotion standards.
Nothing in this subitem shall prohibit the governing bodies of the school districts of this State from establishing higher standards for the promotion of students.
(8) Develop and implement regulations requiring all school districts to provide at least one-half day early childhood development programs for four-year-old children who have predicted significant readiness deficiencies and whose parents voluntarily allow participation. The regulations must require intensive and special efforts to recruit children whose participation is difficult to obtain. The school districts may contract with appropriate groups and agencies to provide part or all of the programs. If a local advisory committee exists in a community to coordinate early childhood education and development, school districts shall consult with the committee in planning and developing services. The State Department of Education shall collect and analyze longitudinal data to determine the effects of child development programs on the later achievement of children by tracking four-year-old child development program participants through kindergarten and the first three years of elementary school to examine their performance on appropriate performance measures."
(10) Adopt guidelines whereby the secondary schools of this State shall emphasize teaching as a career opportunity.
(11) Adopt policies and procedures for the local school districts to follow whereby:
(a) Regular conferences between parents and teachers are encouraged.
(b) Each school has active parent and teacher participation on the School Improvement Council and in parent-teacher groups.
(c) Parenting classes and seminars are made readily available in every school district.
(12) Adopt policies and procedures to accomplish the following:
(a) Have school personnel encourage advice and suggestions from the business community.
(b) Have business organizations encourage their members to become involved in efforts to strengthen the public schools.
(c) Encourage all schools and businesses to participate in adopt-a-school programs.
(d) Encourage statewide businesses and their organizations to initiate a Public Education Foundation to fund exemplary and innovative projects which support improvement in the public schools.
(13) Adopt policies and procedures to accomplish the following:
(a) Expand school volunteer programs.
(b) Encourage civic and professional organizations to participate in local adopt-a-school programs.
(14) work with the leadership network established pursuant to Section 59-6-16.
(15) Develop by regulation a model safe schools checklist to be used by school districts on a regular basis to assess their schools' safety strengths and weaknesses. The checklist must include:
(a) the existence of a comprehensive safety plan;
(b) communication of discipline policies and procedures;
(c) intraagency and interagency emergency planning;
(d) recording of disruptive incidents;
(e) training of staff and students;
(f) assessment of buildings and grounds;
(g) procedures for handling visitors;
(h) assignment of personnel in emergencies;
(i) emergency communication and management procedures; and
(j) transportation rules and accident procedures.
(16) consult with the Department of Agricultural Education of Clemson University at all steps in the development of any state plan prepared to satisfy any federal requirement related to the Carl Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology and Education Act or any successor federal law, including, but not limited to, the allocation or distribution of funds under this federal act.
Reduction of paper work; computerization; grants for improving teaching practices and procedures.
(A) The State Department of Education shall provide for continuous training for district personnel to operate the computers provided and for continuous selection and evaluation of software.
(B) The State Board of Education, acting through the State Department of Education, shall establish and administer a competitive grant program whereby teachers will be awarded grants for the purpose of improving teaching practices and procedures within the budgetary limitations authorized by the General Assembly. The respective local school districts shall act as the fiscal agent for the grants. For purposes of this section the term "teacher" includes teachers, librarians, guidance counselors, and media specialists.
Uniform grading scale.
The General Assembly finds that given the fact the State provides substantial financial academic assistance to students of the State based on cumulative grade point averages and districts currently use a variety of grading scales, it is in the best interest of the students of South Carolina for a uniform grading scale to be developed and adopted by the State Board of Education to be implemented in all public schools of the State. Therefore, the State Board of Education is directed to establish a task force comprised of superintendents, principals, teachers, and representatives of school boards and higher education no later than June 30, 1999. The task force shall make recommendations to the board including, but not limited to, the following: consistent numerical breaks for letter grades; consideration of standards to define an honors course; appropriate weighting of courses; and determination of courses and weightings to be used in the calculation of class rank. The task force shall report its findings to the State Board of Education no later than December 1, 1999. The State Board of Education shall then adopt and school districts of the State shall begin using the adopted grading scale no later than the 2000-2001 school year.
Implementation of regulations concerning South Carolina Education Improvement Act.
The State Board of Education and the Commission on Higher Education in performing the duties and responsibilities assigned to them in the South Carolina Education Improvement Act of 1984 are authorized to promulgate regulations necessary to implement these provisions.
(A) The board may, in its discretion, designate one or more of its members to conduct any hearing in connection with any responsibility of the board and to make a report on any such hearing to the board for its determination.
(B) The board in its discretion may also designate a hearing officer for the purpose of hearing matters relating to the suspension or revocation of teacher certificates. The hearing officer shall then make a recommendation to the board for final action.
Uniform beginning date for annual school term; task force to make recommendations.
The General Assembly declares that it is in the best interest of the students of South Carolina for a uniform beginning date for the annual school term to be developed and adopted by the State Board of Education to be implemented in all public schools of the State. Therefore, the State Board of Education is directed to establish a task force comprised of superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, school board members, and representatives of business and industry, including tourism-related industries no later than July 1, 2002. This task force to the extent possible shall be equally divided among proponents of existing or earlier starting dates for schools, proponents of later starting dates for schools, including proponents for dates after Labor Day, and persons who legitimately have no preferences. The task force shall make recommendations to the board including, but not limited to, the desirability of and if agreed upon a suggested uniform beginning date for the annual school term. The task force shall report its findings to the State Board of Education no later than October 15, 2002.
Out-of-field permits and teaching.
The State Board of Education shall review and make any necessary revisions to regulations to define the criteria for an out-of-field permit and for school districts to report out-of-field teaching for teachers who are not teaching one hundred percent of the time in their areas of certification or in a field in which the teachers have twelve or more academic hours from a regionally, state, or nationally accredited program, with special provisions made for phasing in middle level certification.
Teacher evaluation program standards and procedures.
The State Board of Education and the Department of Education shall review and refine, as necessary, the professional performance dimensions in the state's teacher evaluation program (ADEPT) established in Section 59-26-30(B) to ensure the dimensions are consistent with nationally recognized performance-based accreditation standards and certification standards of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification standards. National board certified teachers shall be included in this review. A report on the changes to the dimensions must be provided to the Education and Public Works Committee of the House of Representatives and the Education Committee of the Senate no later than September 1, 2001.The Department of Education shall implement a pilot program to develop procedures and obtain information for including student achievement as a component in the teacher evaluation program (ADEPT). No fewer than five school districts must participate in the development and pilot of the procedures. At least one district designated as impaired is to be included in the pilot if the district chooses. The development of the program is to begin no later than September 1, 2000. A report on the progress of the project and recommendations concerning its implementation is due to the Education Committee of the Senate and the Education and Public Works Committee of the House of Representatives by March 1, 2001.
Further, the Department of Education shall develop guidelines for the teacher induction program, established in Section 59-26-20, which shall include sustained long-term coaching and assistance. Information on best practices in teacher induction programs must be disseminated to school districts. By July 1, 2000, the State Department of Education shall adopt criteria for the selection and training of teachers who serve as mentors for new teachers as a part of the induction program.
Powers and duties of State Educational Finance Commission and State Schoolbook Commission devolved upon Board.
All powers and duties provided by law for the State Educational Finance Commission and the State Schoolbook Commission are hereby devolved upon the State Board of Education.
Panels created to review accreditation requirements; membership; duties.
The State Board of Education and the Commission on Higher Education shall appoint a collegial panel of middle grade classroom teachers and teacher preparation faculty to review the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation requirements and recommend any additional training standards and needs for middle grade teacher preparation and professional development courses. The panel shall be a continuing body, shall include representatives of professional organizations, and shall:
(1) review the state's academic standards in the four core academic areas and current teaching courses;
(2) determine the knowledge and skills needed by teachers at the middle grades level to teach these standards and assess student progress in learning the standards;
(3) establish syllabi to guide the development of high quality teacher preparation courses; and
(4) develop assessments to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum.
Powers and duties of State Educational Finance Commission devolved upon Board; general duties.
The Board of Education, as successor to the State Educational Finance Commission, shall disburse such funds as are provided by the General Assembly and shall have such further powers as are committed to it by this Title. It shall promote the improvement of the school system and its physical facilities. It shall make plans for the construction of necessary public school buildings. It shall make surveys incident to the acquisition of sites for public schools. It shall seek the more efficient operation of the pupil transportation system. It shall effect desirable consolidations of school districts throughout the entire State. And it shall make provision for the acquisition of such further facilities as may be necessary to operate the public school system in an efficient manner.
Powers and duties of State Educational Finance Commission devolved upon Board; survey of school system.
As soon as practicable the Board of Education, as successor to the State Educational Finance Commission, shall make a survey of the entire school system, which shall set forth the needs for new construction, new equipment, new transportation facilities and such other improvements as are necessary to enable all children of the State to have adequate and equal educational advantages.
Powers and duties of State Educational Finance Commission devolved upon Board; rules and regulations.
The Board of Education, as successor to the State Educational Finance Commission, shall prescribe and promulgate, in the manner provided by law, reasonable rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of Sections 59-5-100 and 59-5-110, Chapter 21 of this Title, Article 3 of Chapter 67 of this Title and Articles 1 and 5 of Chapter 71 of this Title and such rules and regulations shall have the full force and effect of law.
Members shall not contract with Board.
It shall be unlawful for any member of the Board to make any contract or to be pecuniarily interested in any contract or otherwise make a profit from any contract with the State Board of Education. Any member violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned not less than three months nor more than twelve months, or both. He shall also forfeit the amount of such claim or of his interest in such claim. The violation of this section shall constitute sufficient cause for removal of the member from office.
Governor's Institute of Reading; functions; funding.
(A) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) reading is the most important academic skill and the basis for success in school and work;
(2) test results indicate that a significant portion of South Carolina students score below the fiftieth percentile on nationally normed achievement tests; and
(3) it is necessary and proper to establish a comprehensive long-term commitment to improve reading as well as overall academic performance.
(B) There is created within the State Department of Education the Governor's Institute of Reading. The purpose of the institute is to create a collaborative effort to mobilize education, business, and community resources to ensure that all children learn to read independently and well by the end of the third grade. The purpose of the institute also is to mobilize efforts to improve the reading abilities of students in the middle grades and accelerate the learning of students reading below grade level. The Governor's Institute of Reading is based upon a collaborative effort of education professionals and reading experts and designed to promote reading in every school district. To accomplish this mission, the institute shall:
(1) review the best practices in the teaching of reading;
(2) provide teachers with professional development and support for implementing best practices in the teaching of reading; and
(3) award competitive grants to school districts for designing and providing a comprehensive approach to reading instruction based on best practices.
The State Board of Education shall develop guidelines for administering and allocating funds for the Governor's Institute of Reading. Grants must be awarded, beginning with fiscal year 1999-2000, to districts for implementing programs designed to achieve exemplary reading. The department may carry forward any unexpended appropriations to be used for this same purpose from fiscal year to fiscal year.
South Carolina Opportunity School, John De La Howe School and South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind required to meet State standards.
Academic and vocational training provided by the South Carolina Opportunity School, the John De La Howe School and the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, shall meet standards prescribed by the State Board of Education based upon standards prescribed by the South Carolina Department of Education for the academic and vocational programs of these schools. The Board may prescribe such additional requirements as it may from time to time deem necessary. The State Superintendent of Education will administer the standards related to the high school and elementary school programs. Reports from the State Department of Education, evaluating the education program at such institutions and indicating whether or not the program meets the standards as prescribed, shall be made directly to the Board of each institution at regularly scheduled meetings. Such State Department of Education supervisory personnel as deemed appropriate shall be utilized for evaluating the programs and reporting to each Board.
Awards for civic contribution to public education.
The State Board of Education shall initiate an award program to recognize business and industries, civic organizations, school improvement councils, and individuals contributing most significantly to public education.