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750Type of Legislation: Joint Resolution JRIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 20010607Primary Sponsor: WilsonAll Sponsors: Wilson and ThomasDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\dka\4552dw01.docResiding Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Education Committee 04 SEDSubject: Student on short-term out-of-school suspension, pilot program to place in alternative learning program; School DistrictsHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 20010607 Introduced, read first time, 04 SED referred to Committee Versions of This Bill
TO ESTABLISH A PILOT PROGRAM UNDER WHICH PARTICIPATING LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS PLACE ALL STUDENTS WHO ARE ON SHORT-TERM OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION IN ALTERNATIVE LEARNING PROGRAMS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. (A) The State Board of Education, in cooperation with the Department of Juvenile Justice, shall establish a pilot program under which participating local school districts place all students who are on short-term out-of-school suspension in alternative learning programs. These alternative placements may be in alternative learning programs, day reporting centers, and other similar supervised programs for students. The Superintendent of Education and the Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice shall select no more than five local school districts to participate in the program.
(B)(1) The State Board of Education and the Department of Juvenile Justice shall develop an application process that encourages local school districts to apply for inclusion in the program. As a part of the application process, a local district shall indicate how it proposes to address the issues set out in subsection (E). A local board of trustees that applies and is selected by the superintendent and the director to participate in the program shall develop and adopt a plan for placing in alternative learning programs, with the goal of successful reentry into the students' regular school setting, all students who are on short-term out-of-school suspension except that:
(a) a pilot unit may elect not to include in its plan the placement of some or all of the students who are on short-term out-of-school suspension and for whom a recommendation to the local superintendent for long-term suspension is pending; and
(b) the plan shall not require the placement of a student with disabilities in an alternative learning program if it is determined that the placement is inappropriate under the student's individual education plan.
(2) The assignment of a student in an alternative learning program is for the duration of the period of short-term suspension.
(C) The pilot unit shall consult with other interested parties such as local designees of the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Juvenile Justice, educators, parents, local public and private agencies serving juveniles and their families, local business leaders, citizens with an interest in youth problems, and youth representatives on the development of the plan.
(D) A selected pilot unit may delay implementation of its plan until the local board determines that adequate funds are available from federal, State, and local allocations and other sources. If the local board of trustees of a selected pilot unit determines that funds are not adequate to implement the program, the superintendent shall notify the State Board of Education that the program must not be implemented so that another pilot unit may be selected.
(E) The plan must:
(1) include a detailed plan for:
(a) making the alternative placements;
(b) transporting each student to the student's alternative placement;
(c) ensuring that the student is participating in the alternative placement;
(d) facilitating communication between the school from which the student is suspended and the alternative placement;
(e) providing the student an opportunity to complete and receive credit for work missed during the period of suspension and to participate in the State accountability program; and
(f) notifying and providing parents the opportunity to be involved;
(2) identify resources used to implement the plan, the sources of funds, and the process for procuring funds;
(3) state the plan's goals and anticipated outcomes of the pilot program;
(4) include a process for assessing on an annual basis the success of the local school district in implementing the plan and the effectiveness of the plan; and
(5) identify the extent to which the plan includes collaboration with other agencies.
(F) The Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Education may use their programs, employees, funds, and other resources to meet the needs of all students on short-term out-of-school suspension in the pilot units who are placed in alternative learning programs. The pilot unit shall ensure, to the extent reasonable and practicable, that suspended students are in programs or classrooms that are separate from those in which violent adjudicated offenders are placed. The pilot unit shall not send suspended students to programs or classrooms in training schools, detention centers, or other similar facilities.
The pilot unit may contract with nonprofit corporations and other governmental entities to meet the needs of these students and may assign students to programs administered and staffed in whole or in part by these entities. The nonprofit corporation shall maintain adequate liability insurance to cover claims arising from the provision of services by the nonprofit corporation.
(G) Any absences from the alternative learning program is subject to local board policies regarding promotion and course credits. If a pilot unit determines that attendance in the alternative learning program is mandatory for eligible short-term suspended students, the students shall attend in accordance with the compulsory attendance requirements of Article 1, Chapter 65, Title 59 of the 1976 Code.
(H) Except as provided in subsection (E), the pilot programs must be implemented to ensure that the policies and procedures for the discipline of students with disabilities are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations.
(I) The Department of Public Education and the Department of Juvenile Justice shall report to the General Assembly by April 15, 2003, on:
(1) the implementation of the program in the pilot units;
(2) the full cost of implementing the pilot program;
(3) the sources of funds and other resources used to implement the pilot programs;
(4) each unit's assessment of its plan;
(5) instances of effective local collaboration and coordination of services;
(6) innovative or experimental aspects of the plans that are useful models for replication in other local school districts; and
(7) a recommendation as to whether to implement the program statewide, including any legislative recommendations.
(J) The State Board of Education, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and the pilot units shall implement this act, within existing state resources, by redirecting existing state resources and by using nonstate funds.
SECTION 2. This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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