Current Status Introducing Body:
SenateBill Number: 329Ratification Number: 185Act Number: 135Primary Sponsor: SetzlerType of Legislation: GBSubject: Early Childhood Development and Academic Assistance ActCompanion Bill Number: 3612Date Bill Passed both Bodies: 19930601Computer Document Number: CYY/15084SD.93Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 19930614Introduced Date: 19930128Date of Last Amendment: 19930601Last History Body: ------Last History Date: 19930614Last History Type: Act No. 135Scope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: Setzler Bryan Moore Washington Matthews Stilwell Patterson Land Lander Rankin Martin Giese ShortType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN Leg Involved ---- ------ ------------ ------------------------------ --- ------------ 329 ------ 19930614 Act No. 135 329 ------ 19930614 Signed by Governor 329 ------ 19930610 Ratified R 185 329 House 19930601 Conference Committee Report 98 received, adopted, enrolled for ratification 329 Senate 19930601 Conference Committee Report 98 received, adopted 329 House 19930526 Conference powers granted, 98 Jaskwhich appointed Reps. to Committee Townsend of Conference McTeer 329 Senate 19930525 Conference powers granted, 98 Setzler appointed Senators to Macauley Committee of Conference Washington 329 Senate 19930525 Insists upon amendment 329 House 19930525 Non-concurrence in Senate amendment 329 Senate 19930520 House amendments amended, returned to House 329 House 19930520 Read third time, returned to Senate with amendment 329 House 19930519 Amended, read second time 329 House 19930505 Committee Report: Favorable 21 with amendment 329 House 19930303 Introduced, read first time, 21 referred to Committee 329 Senate 19930302 Read third time, sent to House 329 Senate 19930225 Amended, read second time, ordered to third reading with notice of general amendments 329 Senate 19930224 Committee Report: Favorable 04 with amendment 329 Senate 19930128 Introduced, read first time, 04 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A135, R185, S329)
AN ACT TO ENACT THE EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1993 BY AMENDING TITLE 59, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO EDUCATION, BY ADDING CHAPTER 139 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND ACADEMIC ASSISTANCE; BY AMENDING SECTION 59-1-450, RELATING TO PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAMS, SO AS TO REVISE THE PROGRAMS, PROVIDE FOR PARENTING/FAMILY LITERACY PROGRAMS, AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THESE PROGRAMS ARE ESTABLISHED AND FUNDED; BY ADDING SECTION 59-1-454 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL DEVELOP A PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT PROGRAM FOR USE IN GRADES FOUR THROUGH EIGHT; BY AMENDING SECTION 59-3-90, RELATING TO IN-SERVICE TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR TEACHERS, SO AS TO INCLUDE REFERENCES TO EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND ASSISTANCE TRAINING AND REVISE CERTAIN IMPLEMENTATION DATES; BY AMENDING SECTION 59-5-65, RELATING TO THE POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, SO AS TO REVISE THESE POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN REGARD TO DEVELOPING CERTAIN ONE-HALF DAY EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS FOR FOUR-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN, AND DELETE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS PERTAINING TO COMPENSATORY AND REMEDIAL INSTRUCTION PROGRAMS; BY AMENDING SECTION 59-19-340, RELATING TO CHILD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS FOR THREE AND FOUR-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THESE PROGRAMS AND THE DATES ON WHICH CHILDREN ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THESE PROGRAMS; BY AMENDING SECTION 59-20-40, RELATING TO THE DETERMINATION OF ANNUAL ALLOCATIONS TO SCHOOL DISTRICTS, SO AS TO REVISE THE WEIGHTINGS USED FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT AND ASSISTANCE, AND DELETE PROVISIONS PERTAINING TO THE ANNUAL DETERMINATION OF THE APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF COMPENSATORY AND REMEDIAL PROGRAMS AND THEIR FUNDING; BY AMENDING SECTION 59-20-60, RELATING TO SPENDING PRIORITIES UNDER THE EDUCATION FINANCE ACT, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THESE PRIORITIES AND THE PROCEDURES FOR THEIR DETERMINATION; TO PROVIDE FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH AN ADEQUATE NUMBER OF SITES FOR DROPOUT PREVENTION AND REMEDIAL PROJECTS MUST BE FUNDED; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 59-18-20 RELATING TO COMPETITIVE GRANT PROGRAMS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF INSTRUCTION AND SECTIONS 59-65-410 THROUGH 59-65-460 RELATING TO DROPOUT PREVENTION AND RECOVERY PROGRAMS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. This act is known and may be cited as the Early Childhood Development and Academic Assistance Act of 1993.
Childhood Development and Assistance
SECTION 2. Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 59-139-05. It is the purpose of the General Assembly in this chapter:
(1) to place an emphasis on early childhood education and prevention while promoting assistance for students at every grade level which is more flexible and tailored to individual needs and learning styles;
(2) to focus the state's resources on academic success and prevention of academic problems;
(3) to establish the expectation that by providing extra assistance and learning time that enables young students to attain essential skills and success all children will be prepared for the fourth grade and all students will graduate from high school with their peers;
(4) to promote the advancement of developmentally appropriate curriculum and coordinated programs from preschool through grade three which are supportive of the curriculum for grades four through twelve; and
(5) to allow districts and schools greater flexibility in providing targeted, coordinated programs of student assistance.
Section 59-139-10. (A) The State Board of Education, through the Department of Education and in consultation with the Select Committee, shall develop and implement regulations requiring that beginning in school year 1993-94 and by school year 1994-95, each school district, in coordination with its schools, and each school in the district shall design a comprehensive, long-range plan with annual updates to carry out the purposes of this chapter. To that end, the plans shall:
(1) establish an early childhood initiative which integrates the planning and direction of the half-day program for four-year-olds established in Section 59-19-65, the parenting program established in Section 59-1-450, the early childhood assistance program established in Section 59-139-20, school practices in kindergarten through grade three, and any other federal, state, or district programs for preschool children in the district in order to better focus on the needs of this student population;
(2) develop an academic assistance initiative to support students with academic difficulties in grades four through twelve so they are able to progress academically and move through school with their peers; and
(3) provide staff training, upon appropriation of funds by the General Assembly for this purpose, to prepare and train teachers and administrators in the teaching techniques and strategies needed to implement the district and school plan.
(B) The State Board of Education, through the Department of Education, shall establish criteria by regulation for the comprehensive plan and the annual updates to be prepared by each district and school so that the plans address, but are not limited to, the interrelationship of the various components of the early child development initiative and the academic assistance initiative, strategies to be implemented for expanding and improving early child development activities, plans for accelerating the performance of students performing below their peers, methods of assessing the efficacy of these strategies, and the coordination of the strategies with federally-funded programs. However, in every instance, district and school plans should be derived from strategies found to be effective in education research.
The plans must contain performance goals, interim performance goals, and time lines for progress. The methods of assessing the efficacy of the strategies must provide data regarding the impact of the strategies and whether they should be continued, modified, or terminated.
(C) The design for the early child development initiative must include:
(1) the formation and implementation of the parenting/family literacy component which addresses, but is not limited to, collaboration in each district with health and human service agencies, and adult education programs, as well as the other components of the early child development initiative;
(2) the development and implementation of a developmentally appropriate curriculum from early childhood education through grade three. Options available to districts and schools in designing the early childhood assistance component include:
(a) expanded kindergarten day;
(b) reduction in kindergarten pupil-teacher ratio;
(c) floating teachers in grades one through three assigned to work with students with academic difficulties;
(d) multiage grouping for four and five-year-olds;
(e) multiage grouping in the primary grades;
(f) extended day and/or weekend programs, or summer programs;
(g) additional slots in the half-day program for four-year-olds, and programs for three-year-olds; and
(h) alternatives to the listed options; and
(3) the establishment of activities for assisting children and their parents with the transitions between the various levels of schooling and phases of education.
(D) The design for the academic assistance component must address alternatives to year-long and pull-out remediation of students. Options available to districts and schools include:
(a) extended day and/or weekend programs;
(b) extended school year;
(c) tutorial programs;
(d) floating teachers assigned to work with students with academic difficulties;
(f) class acceleration; and
(g) alternatives to the listed options.
Districts and schools may choose to target resources in certain grade levels or areas of learning but must have academic assistance plans both for preschool through grade three and for grades four through twelve.
(F) If alternatives to the listed options are chosen, it should be based on the needs assessment performed as a part of the district and school improvement plans and on strategies found to be effective in research.
(G) The school improvement council established in Section 59-20-60 shall assist in the development of the school plan required by this section and the plan and the annual updates must be a part of the school improvement report.
(H) Prior to implementation in 1994-95, the plan must be submitted to the State Department of Education to be subjected to a peer review process. The department shall implement a process whereby groups of peers are selected and provided appropriate reviewer training. Teams of peers must be convened for the purpose of reviewing the plans.
The peer review committee may approve, provisionally approve upon revisions of the plan in accordance with recommendations, or disapprove the plans. If the peer review committee disapproves the plan, the committee, in consultation with the State Department of Education staff, shall return the plan with specific recommendations and identify resources for technical assistance. Schools under deregulated status are exempt from the peer review process.
(I) Districts desiring to use the funds available to begin implementing an early childhood initiative and the academic assistance initiative for school year 1993-94 may request approval from the State Board of Education and for needed waivers from regulation, if the district has implemented a planning process consistent with the intent of this chapter and the district plan meets the criteria established for this section.
Section 59-139-20. Beginning in fiscal year 1994-95 in the annual general appropriations act, the General Assembly shall determine an appropriation level for the academic assistance initiative. The State Board of Education through the Department of Education shall promulgate regulations to implement a system to provide a pro rata matching of the weighted pupil units pursuant to Section 59-20-40 to the pupils in the districts of the State as follows:
(1) early childhood assistance for students in kindergarten through grade three who are eligible for the federal free- and reduced-price lunch program at a weight of .26;
(2) grade four through twelve academic assistance for students in these grades who score below minimum basic skills act standards in reading, mathematics, or writing, or their equivalent, at a weight of .114.
Funds generated by kindergarten through grade three students must be used by the districts and schools to provide to any student in these grades needed academic assistance. The assistance may be for short, intensive periods or for longer, on-going assistance as needed by each student. Based upon the district and school plans provided for in Section 59-139-10, a portion of these funds may be used to support other components of the early child development initiative in order to better prepare children for entering school. Further, districts may request a waiver from the State Board of Education to use a portion of the funds generated by students in kindergarten through grade three for students in grades four through twelve, if such a change promotes better coordination of state and federal funds provided for programs for these children.
Funds generated by students in grades four through twelve must be used to provide any student with needed academic assistance with an emphasis on assistance at the time of need and on accelerating the progress of students performing below their peers. The assistance may be for short, intensive periods or for longer, on-going assistance as needed by the student. Enhanced opportunities for learning must be emphasized. In reviewing the districts' plans, provided for in Section 59-139-10, the State Board of Education shall stress district and school flexibility in addressing student needs.
Section 59-139-30. For fiscal year 1993-94, funds must be allocated to districts on the same percentage as they received funds for the Compensatory and Remedial Programs for 1992-93. By January 1, 1995, the Joint Legislative Committee to Study Formula Funding in Education Programs shall review and approve the allocation formula.
Section 59-139-40. By December, 1993, the State Board of Education, through the Department of Education and in consultation with the Select Committee, shall develop criteria for the monitoring of the district and school plans and the implementation of the plans required in this chapter.
Section 59-139-50. By September, 1993, the Department of Education, in consultation with the State Board of Education and the Select Committee, shall develop a written plan outlining the process for providing technical assistance to districts in designing their overall plans and implementing those plans, including compiling and disseminating research on effective practice and contracting with recognized groups for providing expertise to the districts and schools in the areas addressed by this chapter.
Section 59-139-60. The State Board of Education, through the State Department of Education and in consultation with the Select Committee, shall establish an assessment system to evaluate the degree to which the purposes of this chapter are met. To that end, the State Board of Education, through the Department of Education shall:
(1) develop or adapt a developmentally appropriate assessment program to be administered to all public school students by the end of grade three that is designed to measure a student's strengths and weaknesses in skills required to perform academic work considered to be at the fourth grade level. Information on each student's progress and on areas in need of improvement must be provided to the student's parent and fourth grade teacher. Aggregated information on student progress must be given to the students' kindergarten through third grade schools so that deficiencies in the schools' academic programs can be addressed;
(2) review the performance of students on the eighth grade basic skills assessment test and performance on the exit examination pursuant to Section 59-30-10, or their equivalent, for progress in meeting the skill levels required by these examinations. Student data must be aggregated by the schools the students attended so that programs' deficiencies can be addressed;
(3) review the data on students overage for grade in each school at grades four and nine;
(4) monitor the performance of schools and districts so that continuing weaknesses in the programs preparing students for the fourth grade, ninth grade, and exit examination shall receive special assistance from the Department of Education; and
(5) propose other methods or measures for assessing how well the purposes of this chapter are met.
Section 59-139-70. The half-day program for four-year-old children established in Section 59-19-340, must be maintained at no less than the 1993-94 level in each school district as funded by the General Assembly.
Section 59-139-80. If a review of a district's comprehensive plan indicates the goals and time lines established by the district are not being met, the Department of Education, after consultation with the district's administration, shall provide targeted technical assistance. If after two consecutive years, the district is not making progress toward achieving its goals, the State Board of Education, through the State Department of Education, shall enter into a partnership with the district board of trustees to review implementation of the district's comprehensive plan, make recommendations for improvement, and provide assistance in implementing the recommendations."
Programs and funding revised
SECTION 3. Section 59-1-450 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-1-450. The State Board of Education, through the Department of Education and in consultation with the Select Committee, shall promulgate regulations for establishing parenting/family literacy programs to support parents in their role as the principal teachers of their preschool children. The programs must provide parent education to parents and guardians who have children ages birth through five years and who choose to participate in the programs and must include intensive and special efforts to recruit parents or guardians whose children are at risk for school failure. The program or programs also should include developmental screening for children and offer parents of children from birth through five years opportunities to improve their education if the parents do not possess a high school diploma or equivalent certificate.
The State Board of Education, through the Department of Education and after consultation with the Select Committee, shall promulgate regulations to implement parenting/family literacy programs in all school districts or consortia of school districts. Priority must be given to serving those parents whose children are considered at risk for school failure according to criteria established by the State Board of Education. From funds appropriated for the programs, an adequate number of those parenting programs funded under the Target 2000 Act shall receive priority in funding for fiscal years 1993-94 and 1994-95 and must be funded at no less than the level received in fiscal year 1992-93 contingent upon their agreeing to provide technical assistance to other districts and schools planning and implementing parenting/family literacy programs in concert with the Department of Education's technical assistance process required in this chapter. Only those projects whose evaluations show them to be most effective may be selected based on criteria developed by the State Department of Education in consultation with the Select Committee. Beginning in fiscal year 1995-96 for districts with Target 2000 Act parenting programs and in fiscal year 1993-94 for all other school districts and district consortia, funding must be allocated to districts and consortia serving more than two thousand pupils on a base amount of not less than forty thousand dollars with any additional appropriation to be distributed based on the number of free and reduced-price lunch-eligible students in grades one through three in a district or consortium relative to the total free and reduced-price lunch-eligible students in grades one through three in the State. The programs developed in each district and consortium may draw upon lessons learned from parenting programs funded under this section.
The State Board of Education, through the Department of Education, in developing the regulations for this program shall consult with representatives of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, Department of Social Services, the South Carolina State Library, and Health and Human Services Finance Commission, and with adult education and early childhood specialists. In developing the regulations, the State Board and State Department of Education shall consider the guidelines developed for the Target 2000 Act parenting programs and any available evaluation data.
By December, 1993, the chairman of the Human Services Coordinating Council shall convene a committee consisting of supervisors of programs dealing with early childhood and parenting from the Department of Education, Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Department of Social Services, the South Carolina State Library, and the Health and Human Services Finance Commission; at least one representative from each of these agencies who administer these programs at the county and district level; and adult education and early childhood specialists. The Executive Director of the Finance Commission shall chair this committee. By July 1, 1994, this committee shall report to the Select Committee and the Joint Committee on Children ways to better coordinate programs for parenting and literacy and recommend changes to each agency's state regulations or provisions of law which would better promote coordination of programs. The Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Department of Social Services, and the Health and Human Services Finance Commission shall direct their employees at the county and district levels to cooperate with school district officials in establishing parenting/family literacy programs."
Parental involvement programs
SECTION 4. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 59-1-454. (A) The State Department of Education shall develop a parental involvement program for use in elementary and secondary schools with grades four through eight. The purpose of the program is to improve parental participation in their child's school progress, ensure a smooth transition between the various levels of schooling and phases of education, increase communication between the school, parent, and child, provide greater accountability between the parent, school, and child, and lessen the possibility on all levels that parents are only provided opportunity to react to problems involving their child after such problems occur.
(B) The parental involvement program should include such activities as regular visitation by parents to their child's school, involving parents, teachers, and administrators in school training sessions on such issues as communication between the school, parent, and child, student discipline, importance of homework, the taking and understanding of standardized testing and test scores, and general literacy.
(C) Teachers shall maintain a record signed by the parent and teacher of parent conferences annually that identify the date, time, and response of parent/teacher conferences."
Training requirements and dates revised
SECTION 5. Section 59-3-90 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-3-90. The State Department of Education shall provide recommendations and assist districts in conducting in-service training programs for teachers based on the findings and research it derives from the study of effective schools and classrooms and from district plans developed in accordance with Section 59-139-10. All of the school districts of this State must have implemented an on-going, long-range professional development training program in support of effective schools and classrooms and as indicated by district plans no later than the 1994-95 school year."
One-half day programs for four-year-olds revised
SECTION 6. Section 59-5-65(8) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(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."
SECTION 7. Section 59-5-65 of the 1976 Code is amended by deleting item (9).
Eligibility for programs revised
SECTION 8. Section 59-19-340 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-19-340. The board of trustees of each school district may establish and provide for the education of children who will attain the age of four on or before September first of the applicable school year in child development programs. The board of trustees of school districts may establish and provide programs serving three and four-year-old children."
SECTION 9. Section 59-20-40(1)(c) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(c) Weightings, used to provide for relative cost differences, between programs for different students are established in order that funds may be equitably distributed on the basis of pupil needs. The criteria for qualifications for each special classification must be established by the State Board of Education according to definitions established in this article and in accordance with Sections 59-21-510, 59-35-10, 59-53-1860, and 59-53-1900. Cost factors enumerated in this section must be used to fund programs approved by the State Board of Education. Pupil data received by the Department of Education is subject to audit by the department. Cost factors or weightings are as follows:
Pupil Classification Weightings
(1) Kindergarten pupils 1.30
(2) Primary pupils
(grades 1 through 3) 1.24
(3) Elementary pupils
(grades 4 through 8)
base students 1.00
(4) High school pupils
(grades 9 through 12) 1.25
Special Programs for
Exceptional Students Weightings
(5) Handicapped 1.74
a. Educable mentally
b. Learning disabilities
(6) Handicapped 2.04
a. Trainable mentally
b. Emotionally handicapped pupils
c. Orthopedically handicapped pupils
(7) Handicapped 2.57
a. Visually handicapped pupils
b. Hearing handicapped pupils
(8) Speech handicapped pupils 1.90
(9) Homebound pupils 2.10
Vocational Technical Programs Weightings
(10) Pre-vocational 1.20
(11) Vocational 1.29
Add-on Weights for
Early Childhood Development
and Academic Assistance Weightings
(12) Early Childhood Assistance 0.26 (13) Grades 4-12 Academic
(14) Adult education 0.15
No local match is required for adult education and the number of weighted pupil units funded depends on funding available from the general fund of the State and the Education Improvement Act of 1984 Fund.
Each student in the State must be counted in only one of the first eleven pupil classifications. Students shall generate funds for early childhood assistance and grades 4-12 academic assistance in accordance with Section 59-139-20. The State Board of Education must determine the qualifications for each classification in accordance with Sections 59-21-510, 59-35-10, 59-53-1860, 59-53-1900, and Chapter 30 of this title. The program for each classification must meet specifications approved by the State Board of Education.
School districts may count each student who is instructed at home under the provisions of Section 59-65-40 in the district's weighted pupil units at a weighting of .25 for supervising, overseeing, or reviewing the student's program of home instruction. No local match is required for students instructed at home under the provisions of Section 59-65-40."
SECTION 10. Section 59-20-40 of the 1976 Code is amended by deleting item (7).
Spending priorities and procedures revised
SECTION 11. Section 59-20-60 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 59-20-60. (1) School districts shall give first spending priority of funds allocated under this chapter to full implementation of the defined minimum program.
(2) The State Board of Education shall audit the programmatic and fiscal aspects of this chapter, including the degree to which a school meets all prescribed standards of the defined minimum program and shall report the results in the Annual Report of the State Superintendent of Education. Schools which have been classified as `dropped' by the defined minimum program accreditation procedures are not eligible for funding in the following fiscal year until an acceptable plan to eliminate the deficiencies is submitted and approved by the State Board of Education.
(3) Each school district board of trustees shall cause the district and each school in the district to develop comprehensive five-year plans with annual updates to outline the District and School Improvement Plans. Districts which have not begun a strategic planning cycle must do so and develop a plan no later than the 1994-95 school year. Districts which have undertaken such a planning process may continue in their planning cycle as long as the process meets the intent of this section and the long-range plans developed or under development can be amended to encompass the requirements of this section. For school year 1993-94, districts may submit either the improvement plan consistent with State Department guidelines or their five-year comprehensive plan.
The State Board of Education shall recommend a format for the plans which will be flexible and adaptable to local planning needs while encompassing certain state mandates, including the early childhood and academic assistance initiative plans pursuant to Section 59-139-10. All district and school plans must be reviewed and approved by the board of trustees. The District Plan should integrate the needs, goals, objectives, strategies, and evaluation methods outlined in the School Plans. Measures of effectiveness must include outcome and process indicators of improvement and must provide data regarding what difference the strategies have made. Staff professional development must be a priority in the development and implementation of the plans and must be based on an assessment of needs. Long and short-range goals, objectives, strategies, and time lines need to be included.
(4) Each plan shall provide for an Innovation Initiative, designed to encourage innovative and comprehensive approaches based on strategies identified in the research literature to be effective. The Innovation Initiative must be utilized by school districts to implement innovative approaches designed to improve student learning and accelerate the performance of all students. Funds may be expended on strategies in one or more of the following four categories:
(a) new approaches to what and how students learn by changing schooling in ways that provide a creative, flexible, and challenging education for all students, especially for those at risk. Performance-based outcomes which support a pedagogy of thinking and active approaches for learning must be supported;
(b) applying different teaching methods permitting professional educators at every level to focus on educational success for all students and on critical thinking skills and providing the necessary support for educational successes are encouraged;
(c) redefining how schools operate resulting in the decentralization of authority to the school site and allowing those closest to the students the flexibility to design the most appropriate education location and practice;
(d) creating appropriate relationships between schools and other social service agencies by improving relationships between the school and community agencies (health, social, mental health), parents and the business community, and by establishing procedures that cooperatively focus the resources of the greater community upon barriers to success in school, particularly in the areas of early childhood and parenting programs, after-school programs, and adolescent services.
Funds for the Innovation Initiative must be allocated to districts based upon a fifty percent average daily membership and fifty percent pursuant to the Education Finance Act formula. At least seventy percent of the funds must be allocated on a per school basis for school based innovation in accord with the District-School Improvement Plan. Up to thirty percent may be spent for district-wide projects with direct services to schools. District and school administrators must work together to determine the allocation of funds.
For 1993-94, districts and schools may use these funds for designing their Innovation Initiatives to be submitted to the peer review process established in Section 59-139-10 prior to implementation of the innovations in 1994-95. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, districts may carry over all unexpended funds in 1993-94, and up to twenty-five percent of allocated funds each year thereafter in order to build funds for an approved program initiative.
(5) An annual district programmatic report to the parents and constituents of the school district must be developed by the local school board. Each report shall include the goals and objectives of the school district, the strategies implemented to meet the goals and objectives, and an evaluation of the outcomes. An annual school report to the parents and constituents of the school must be developed by the School Improvement Council and shall provide information on the school's progress on meeting the school and district goals and objectives. These reports shall be provided by November fifteenth of each year.
(6) Each school board of trustees shall establish an improvement council at each school in the district and this council is to be involved in improvement and innovation efforts at the school. The council shall be composed of at least two parents, elected by the parents of the children enrolled in the school; at least two teachers, elected by the faculty; at least two students in schools with grades nine and above elected by the students; other representatives of the community and persons appointed by the principal. The elected members of the council shall comprise at least a two-thirds majority of the elected and appointed membership of the council. The council should also include ex-officio members such as the principal and others holding positions of leadership in the school or school organizations, such as parent-teacher groups, booster clubs, and federal program advisory groups. Each council shall assist in the preparation of the five-year plan and annual updates required in this section, assist with the development and monitoring of school improvement and innovation, provide advice on the use of school incentive grant awards, and provide assistance as the principal may request as well as carrying out any other duties prescribed by the local school board. The local school board shall make provisions to allow any council to file a separate report to the local school board if the council considers it necessary. However, no council has any of the powers and duties reserved by law or regulation to the local school board. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this subsection, an area vocational center's school improvement council must be composed as defined exclusively by federal law. The council shall perform all duties and responsibilities provided for in any state or federal law which applies to these councils.
In order to provide additional accountability for funds expended under statutory requirements, the elected members of the school improvement council shall serve a minimum term of two years. Parents of students or students in their last year of enrollment at an individual school may serve terms of one year only. The terms must be staggered and initially determined by lot. Elections of members to school improvement councils shall occur no later than October fifteenth of the school year. The elections must be organized to ensure that every parent and faculty member has an opportunity to vote each year. Within thirty days following the election, the names, addresses, terms of service, and status of all council members as a parent, teacher, student, or representative of the community must be provided to the School Improvement Council Assistance at the University of South Carolina for the purpose of sharing information. The district board of trustees shall include in its annual district report a summary of the training opportunities provided or to be provided for school improvement council members and professional educators in regard to council-related tasks and a summary of programs and activities involving parents and citizens in the school.
(7) Each school district board of trustees shall:
(a) review each school improvement plan and the annual updates for integration with district plans and objectives and school progress in meeting those goals and objectives;
(b) cause to be prepared an annual written report to account for funds expended in each pupil classification as prescribed by the State Board of Education;
(c) participate in the statewide testing program as prescribed by the State Board of Education;
(d) maintain an ongoing systematic evaluation of the educational program needs in the district and shall develop a comprehensive annual and long-range plan for meeting these program needs. These plans shall include an assessment of needs. At minimum, the process of assessing needs and establishing goals and objectives must be carried out for each of the program classifications specified in Section 59-20-40(1)(c). Each school district board of trustees shall develop and execute a method of evaluating the extent to which the goals and objectives specified in its comprehensive plan are being achieved and shall annually report the results of its evaluation to the people of the school district and to the State Board of Education.
(e) provide a program for staff development for all educational personnel. A portion of the funds in the foundation program must be used for this staff development that may include, but not be limited to:
(1) college courses in education, subject area of certification or management;
(2) teaching center offerings;
(3) State Department of Education workshops; and
(4) district-wide or in-school training for the purpose of fostering professional growth or improving the competency of all educational personnel.
(f) in accordance with the format approved by the State Board of Education, annually submit to the State Board of Education and to the people of the district that district's fiscal report.
(8) The State Department of Education shall:
(a) develop, by September, 1993, a plan for offering help to districts and schools in designing and implementing the district and school comprehensive improvement plan;
(b) develop, by December, 1993, with approval by the State Board of Education, criteria for monitoring the district and school plans;
(c) review each district's annual fiscal report;
(d) provide assistance to school districts in improving the programs, correcting the deficiencies, and in carrying out its staff development program;
(e) develop or select and field test a competency-based student assessment program;
(f) prepare an annual fiscal and programmatic report to the Governor and the General Assembly each year to assess compliance with this chapter and to make recommendations concerning necessary changes in this chapter;
(g) in compliance with the intent of the chapter, waive the prescribed reporting practices if considered necessary by the State Board of Education and authorize the substitution of alternate reporting practices which accomplish the objectives implied in this section. This waiver may not be utilized to avoid full accountability and implementation of this chapter.
(9) The Legislative Audit Council shall audit to assess compliance with this chapter as requested by the General Assembly. On the basis of these audits, the Legislative Audit Council shall make recommendations to the General Assembly concerning necessary changes in this chapter.
(10) A twelve-member Education Finance Review Committee must be established to advise the General Assembly and review its implementation of this chapter. This advice and review may include, but not be limited to:
(a) the cost of the defined minimum program;
(b) provisions included in the defined minimum program;
(c) the pupil classification weights in Section 59-20-40;
(d) the formula for computing required local effort;
(e) the ongoing evaluation of the education program needs of the school districts.
The committee must be made up of three representatives from each of the following committees of the General Assembly--Senate Education, Senate Finance, House Education and Public Works, and House Ways and Means--appointed by each respective chairman. The committee shall seek the advice of professional educators and all other interested persons when formulating its recommendations."
Sites for technical assistance
SECTION 12. Of the Target 2000 Act Dropout Prevention and Retrieval Projects, an adequate number of sites shall continue to be funded for fiscal years 1993-94 and 1994-95 in order to provide technical assistance to districts and schools in developing their comprehensive long-range plan for providing academic assistance to students. The emphasis of the technical assistance should be on strategies for implementing programs which are successful in providing academic assistance at the time of need and increasing the rate of progress of students performing below their peers. Those projects whose evaluations show them to be most effective and agree to serve as technical assistance sites may be selected based on criteria developed by the State Department of Education in consultation with the Select Committee.
SECTION 13. Section 59-18-20 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 14. Sections 59-65-410 through 59-65-460 of the 1976 Code are repealed.
SECTION 15. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 14th day of June, 1993.