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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
May 4, 2000
Introduced by Senators Bryan, Setzler, Giese, Reese, Ford, Anderson, Branton, Waldrep, Hayes, Moore, Saleeby, Washington, J. Verne Smith, Courson, Ravenel, Grooms, O'Dell, Holland, Fair, Martin, Matthews, Patterson, Elliott, Alexander, Land, Short, Rankin and McGill
S. Printed 5/4/00--H.
Read the first time March 30, 2000.
TO AMEND TITLE 59, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO EDUCATION, BY ADDING CHAPTER 28 SO AS TO ENACT THE "PARENT INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION ACT" INCLUDING PROVISIONS TO ESTABLISH A FRAMEWORK FOR ENCOURAGEMENT OF INCREASED PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN THE EDUCATION OF THEIR CHILDREN, FOR PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT TRAINING FOR EDUCATORS AND SCHOOL STAFF, FOR PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THEIR CHILD'S ACADEMIC SUCCESS, FOR EFFORTS TO INCREASE PARENT-TEACHER CONTACTS, AND FOR EVALUATION OF PARENT INVOLVEMENT EFFORTS; TO AMEND SECTION 59-1-420, RELATING TO THE LENGTH OF THE SCHOOL TERM, SO AS TO ADD TWO ADDITIONAL SCHOOL DAYS TO BEGIN WITH SCHOOL YEAR 2002-2003 AND TO PROVIDE THAT THESE DAYS MUST BE USED FOR FURTHER PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES; AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL CONSIDER ENACTING EMPLOYER TAX CREDITS TO ENCOURAGE WORKPLACE POLICIES FOR PARENT RELEASE TIME FROM WORK FOR PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES AND PARTICIPATION IN OTHER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. (A) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) parent involvement influences student development and learning and, therefore, should be viewed as an essential component of the public education system;
(2) parent involvement and momentum for parent participation is evident for early childhood and elementary schools but declines in middle and high schools;
(3) there does not appear to be an accountability mechanism in place to ensure support for parent involvement opportunities;
(4) there is no structured system to enable, support, and sustain parent involvement at the various levels of state, district, or school responsibility;
(5) barriers and challenges cited in research and expressed by educators and parents can be overcome through a variety of proven approaches identified in the research; and
(6) there is no state system for providing professional development to teachers and school staff in working with parents and diversity of families, and there is no system for monitoring and assessing parent involvement efforts and results.
(B) The General Assembly has, therefore, determined to enact the provisions of this act in order to:
(1) heighten awareness of the importance of parents' involvement in the education of their children and parental influence on the academic success of their children;
(2) provide state and local leadership to enable schools to implement parent involvement best practices through adoption of policy and establishment of meaningful partnerships through interactions involving family, school, and the community;
(3) provide parent involvement support, training, and resources to enable teachers and school staff to work with parents in the best interests of their children's education;
(4) encourage and induce parents to become more interested and involved in their children's education and provide greater opportunities for parent-teacher contacts;
(5) encourage employers to adopt workplace policies to enable parents to participate more fully in their children's education and in school activities; and
(6) provide for a statewide system to monitor and evaluate the results of parent involvement efforts.
SECTION 2. Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 59-28-100. This chapter may be cited as the 'Parent Involvement in their Children's Education Act'.
Section 59-28-110. It is the purpose of the General Assembly in this chapter to:
(1) heighten awareness of the importance of parents' involvement in the education of their children throughout their schooling;
(2) encourage the establishment and maintenance of parent-friendly school settings; and
(3) emphasize that, when parents and schools work as partners, a child's academic success can best be assured.
Section 59-28-300. The Governor shall require state agencies that serve families and children to collaborate and establish networks with schools to heighten awareness of the importance of parental influence on the academic success of their children and to encourage and assist parents to become more involved in their children's education.
Section 59-28-310. The State Board of Education shall:
(1) require school and district long-range improvement plans required in Section 59-139-10 to include stated goals and objectives for parent involvement and methods for local evaluation of parent involvement efforts; and
(2) recognize those districts and schools where parent involvement significantly increases beyond stated goals and objectives.
Section 59-28-320. The State Superintendent of Education shall:
(1) enroll the Department of Education as a state member of national organizations which promote proven parent involvement frameworks, models, and practices and provide related services to state and local members;
(2) promote and encourage local school districts to join national parent involvement organizations as local members;
(3) through state leadership, promote parent involvement as a priority for all levels from pre-K through grade 12, with particular emphasis at the middle and high school levels where parent involvement is currently least visible;
(4) designate a Department of Education staff position whose specific role is to coordinate statewide initiatives to support school and district parent involvement;
(5) collect and disseminate to districts and schools practices shown by research to be effective in increasing parent involvement, including practices that are specific to grade levels, and other related elements which support parent involvement, such as the National Parent-Teacher Association standards;
(6) sponsor statewide conferences on best practices;
(7) monitor and evaluate parent involvement statewide and report results; and
(8) identify, recommend, and implement ways to integrate programs and funding for maximum benefit to enhance parent involvement.
Section 59-28-330. Each local school board of trustees shall:
(1) consider joining national organizations which promote and provide technical assistance on various proven parent involvement frameworks and models;
(2) incorporate, where possible, proven parent involvement practices into existing policies and efforts;
(3) adopt policies that emphasize the importance of parent involvement and outline clearly defined expectations for the schools in the district;
(4) require an annual briefing on district and school parent involvement programs including findings from state and local evaluations on the success of the district's and schools' efforts;
(5) include parent involvement expectations as part of the superintendent's evaluation; and
(6) provide incentives and formal recognition for schools that significantly improve or increase, or both, parent involvement, as defined by the State Board of Education.
Section 59-28-340. The State Board of Education and Department of Education, in developing the criteria for the new accreditation system mandated by Section 59-18-710 of the 1976 Code, shall consider including as an area the functioning of school improvement councils and other school decision-making groups and their participation in the school planning process in accordance with state requirements.
Section 59-28-350. Each school district superintendent shall consider:
(1) designating staff to serve as parent liaison for the district to coordinate parent involvement initiatives and coordinate community and agency collaboration to support parents and families;
(2) requiring each school to designate a faculty contact for parent involvement efforts to work collaboratively with the district coordinator and network with other school faculty contacts; and
(3) requiring each school principal to designate space within the school specifically for parents which contains materials and resources on the numerous ways parents and schools can and should partner for a child's academic success.
Section 59-28-500. The State Board of Education shall establish criteria for training on school initiatives and activities shown by research to increase parent involvement in their children's education and require all certified and noncertified school staff persons employed by South Carolina school districts and special schools to participate in this on-going training in parent involvement best practices.
Section 59-28-510. The State Superintendent of Education shall:
(1) work with higher education institutions and the pre-K through grade 12 education community, including parent program coordinators, to design the required parent involvement and best practices training programs, which shall include:
(a) practices that are responsive to racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity, and are appropriate to various grade-level needs;
(b) establishment and maintenance of a parent-friendly school setting;
(c) awareness of community resources that strengthen families and assist students to succeed;
(d) other topics appropriate for fostering partnerships between parent and teacher;
(2) provide parent involvement staff development training for district and school liaisons, as needed;
(3) provide other technical assistance relating to parent involvement training to districts and schools; and
(4) work collaboratively with the Commission on Higher Education to incorporate parent involvement training into teacher preparation as a requirement for preservice and student teaching and into principal preparation, with the training to be consistent with the parent involvement training required in Section 59-28-500.
Section 59-28-520. Each local school board of trustees shall provide parent involvement orientation and the training required in Section 59-28-500 through staff development, with an emphasis on unique school and district needs, for all faculty and staff, no later than the 2002-2003 school year, and after that, on an ongoing basis as indicated by results of evaluations of district and school parental involvement practices and as required by the State Board of Education.
Section 59-28-700. The Education Oversight Committee shall promote the importance of parent involvement through the public awareness campaign required by the Education Accountability Act and shall include:
(1) advice for parents on how to help their children be successful in school and the importance of nurturing their children's skills and abilities;
(2) requests to employers, state agencies, entities, community groups, nonprofit organizations, and faith communities that work with children and families to distribute and display parent advice and other pertinent parent information;
(3) promotion of the benefits of increased productivity, loyalty, and sense of community which result from parent-friendly work place policies;
(4) ideas and encouragement to employers to adopt parent-friendly workplace policies and to provide information on the importance of parents to a child's academic success;
(5) recognition of businesses and employers where parent-friendly policies have been adopted; and
(6) recognition of agencies and faith communities that have supported and increased parent involvement in their children's education.
Section 59-28-710. The Education Oversight Committee and the State Superintendent of Education shall develop and publish jointly informational materials for distribution to all parents in the State whose children attend public schools and to all teachers for their use in the classroom and with parents. The informational materials for distribution shall include:
(1) a handbook or multi-media materials, or both, explaining the grade-level academic content standards and advice on how parents can help their children achieve the standards and the relationship of the standards to the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Tests (PACT); and
(2) printed information about the standards and advice relative to parent involvement in their children's education for visible display and use in every public school K-12 classroom.
Section 59-28-720. The Education Oversight Committee shall disseminate the informational materials prepared pursuant to Section 59-28-710 to all districts and schools.
Section 59-28-730. Each local school board of trustees by school year 2001-2002 shall:
(1) establish policies and support actions to increase parent involvement which bring together the teacher, the parent, and the student to discuss the academic progress of the student; and
(2) adopt policies requiring the district and schools to incorporate proven effective practices that enable parents to become more involved in the education of their children.
Section 59-28-900. Each local school district superintendent shall encourage principals to adjust class and school schedules to accommodate parent-teacher conferences at times more convenient to parents and, to the extent possible, accommodate parents in cases where transportation and normal school hours present a hardship.
Section 59-28-1100. The State Superintendent of Education shall monitor and conduct evaluations of school and district parent involvement programs and related components and practices as follows:
(1) design a statewide system to evaluate the effectiveness of parent involvement efforts and to identify best practices;
(2) share evaluation findings and recommendations with schools, districts, state and local agencies, higher education institutions for use in teacher preparation programs, and appropriate other state agencies and entities; and
(3) provide reports of the evaluation findings and implications to the General Assembly, State Board of Education, and Education Oversight Committee.
Section 59-28-1110. Each local school district superintendent shall:
(1) include parent involvement expectations as part of each principal's evaluation; and
(2) include information about parent involvement opportunities and participation in the district's annual report."
SECTION 3. (A) Section 59-1-420 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, Beginning with school year 2002-2003, the statutory school term is one hundred ninety ninety-five days annually and at least one hundred eighty days must be used for student instruction and. Of the remaining ten fifteen days, nine days must be used for collegial professional development based on national professional development standards. This professional development shall address strengthening the knowledge of all teachers in content, teaching techniques, and assessment. Six days may be used for the development of student academic plans and conferencing with parents or the development of curriculum and instructional plans, and no more than three of these days may be used for preparation of opening and closing of schools , for in-service training, and for teacher planning and preparation time. At least three days may be used for the opening and closing of schools and for teacher planning and preparation and two days may be used in teacher-parent conferences with emphasis upon failing and underachieving students. Provided, further, that conferences may be held on Saturday at the direction of the local school board.
For school years 2000-2001 and 2001-2002, the statutory school term is one hundred ninety-three days and at least one hundred eighty days must be used for student instruction. Of the remaining thirteen days, seven days must be used for collegial professional development based on national professional development standards. This professional development shall address strengthening the knowledge of all teachers in content, teaching techniques, and assessment. Six days may be used for the development of student academic plans and conferencing with parents or the development of curriculum and instructional plans, and no more than three of these days may be used for preparation of opening and closing of schools."
SECTION 4. The Education Oversight Committee, in cooperation with representatives of the Department of Commerce, the Department of Revenue, and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, shall develop recommendations for employer tax credits as incentives to:
(1) provide parent employee release time for parent-teacher conferences or attendance at their children's academic-related events without loss of pay; and
(2) develop workplace policies which enable parents to improve their literacy, assist their children with academics, and become more involved in their child's education as a result of employers working with local school officials.
SECTION 5. Except as otherwise stated, this act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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