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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 59 TO TITLE 59 SO AS TO ENACT THE SOUTH CAROLINA EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT: TO AMEND SECTION 59-17-135, RELATING TO CHARACTER EDUCATION, SO AS TO INCORPORATE THE CHARACTER TRAITS OF THE FAMILY RESPECT ACT INTO THIS EDUCATIONAL COMPONENT; TO AMEND SECTION 59-18-900, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SCHOOL REPORT CARDS, SO AS TO EXPAND THE CONTENT OF THE REPORT CARD TO INCLUDE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, REPORTS ON COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ACT AND THE CHARACTER EDUCATION ACT AND DROPOUT REDUCTION DATA; AND TO REPEAL ACT 450 OF 1994 AND SECTION 59-52-95 RELATING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA SCHOOL-TO-WORK TRANSITION ACT OF 1994.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 59-59-10. This chapter may be cited as the 'South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act'.
Section 59-59-20. (A) The Department of Education shall develop a curriculum organized around a career cluster system that must provide students with both strong academics and real-world problem solving skills. Students must be provided individualized educational, academic, and career oriented choices and greater exposure to career information and opportunities. This system must promote the involvement and cooperative effort of parents, teachers, and counselors in assisting students in making these choices, in setting career goals, and in developing individual graduation plans to achieve these goals.
(B) School districts must lay the foundation for the clusters of study system in elementary school by providing career awareness activities. In the middle grades programs must allow students to identify career interests and abilities and align them with clusters of study for the development of individual graduation plans. Finally, high school students must be provided guidance and curricula that will enable them to successfully complete their individual graduation plans, preparing them for a seamless transition to relevant employment, further training, or postsecondary study.
Section 59-59-30. There is created within the Department of Education, the Education and Economic Development Project Office to oversee the implementation of this chapter. This chapter must be fully implemented by July 1, 2008 at which time the project office is abolished.
Section 59-59-40. (A) During the 2003-04 school year, the department, in conjunction with selected school districts and schools, shall conduct a pilot project implementing the clusters of study system.
(B) During the 2003-04 school year the department shall conduct a pilot project implementing its Career Guidance Model of the Comprehensive Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program Model in schools in which a pilot project for the clusters of study model is being conducted.
Section 59-59-50. (A) Before July 1, 2004, the Department of Education shall develop state models and prototypes for individual graduation plans and the curriculum framework for career clusters of study. These clusters of study may be based upon the national career clusters and may include, but are not limited to:
(1) agriculture, food, and natural resources;
(2) architecture and construction;
(3) arts, audio-video technology, and communications;
(4) business, management, and administration;
(5) education and training;
(7) health science;
(8) hospitality and tourism;
(9) human services;
(10) information technology;
(11) law, public safety, and security;
(13) government and public administration;
(14) marketing, sales, and service;
(15) science, technology, engineering, and mathematics;
(16) transportation, distribution, and logistics.
Section 59-59-60. Before July 1, 2004 school districts shall:
(1) organize high school curricula around clusters of study and cluster majors. The curricula must be designed to teach academic content, knowledge, and skills that students will use in the workplace, further education, and life;
(2) promote increased awareness and career counseling by providing access to the South Carolina Occupational Information System for all schools. However, if a school chooses another occupational information system, that system must be approved by the Department of Education.
Section 59-59-70. Beginning with the 2003-04 school year, the department shall implement a career development plan for educational professionals in career guidance that provides awareness, training, release time, and preparatory instruction. The plan must include strategies for counselors to effectively involve parents in the career guidance process and in the development of the individual graduation plans of their children. The plan also must include innovative approaches to recruit, train, and certify professionals needed to carry out the career development plan.
Section 59-59-80. During the 2004-05 school year career awareness and exploration activities must be integrated in the curricula for all students in the first through fifth grades, and elementary students must be exposed to career options. By the 2007-08 school year, these guidance models must be fully implemented in all school districts.
Section 59-59-90. During the 2004-05 school year counseling and programs must be provided to students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades on clusters of study, and they must receive career assessments to guide them in the career decision-making process. Before the end of the second semester of the eighth grade, all eighth grade students must have selected their preferred cluster of study and developed individual graduation plans, as provided for in Section 59-59-140.
Section 59-59-100. By the 2006-07 school year, the ratio of students to guidance personnel in middle schools and high schools must be three hundred to one. This ratio must be phased in over a three-year period, beginning with the 2003-04 school year in middle schools. To achieve this ratio, school districts may utilize staffing combinations that include counselors, paraprofessionals, career development facilitators, and administrative support.
Section 59-59-110. During the 2006-07 school year counselors must counsel students during the ninth and tenth grades to further define their career goals and plans, and before the end of the second semester of the tenth grade, tenth grade students must have declared a major within a cluster of study. Throughout high school, students must be provided guidance activities and programs that combine career counseling and experiential learning with academic planning to assist students in fulfilling their individual graduation plans.
Section 59-59-120. By the 2007-08 school year, each high school shall implement the 'High Schools that Work' organizational model or have obtained approval from the Department of Education for another cluster or major organizational model.
Section 59-59-130. Before July 1, 2008, the Department of Education shall revise high school graduation requirements to fit the career cluster system.
Section 59-59-140. An individual graduation plan is a student specific educational plan detailing the courses necessary for the student to prepare for graduation and to successfully transition into the workforce or other post-secondary educational experiences An individual graduation plan must:
(1) align career goals and a student's course of study;
(2) be based on the student's selected cluster of study and a major within that cluster;
(3) include core academic subjects, which must include, but are not limited to, English, math, science, and social studies;
(4) include career-oriented learning experiences including, but not limited to, internships, apprenticeships, mentoring, co-op education, and service learning;
(5) be flexible to allow change in the course of study but be sufficiently structured to meet graduation requirements and admission to postsecondary education.
Section 59-59-150. (A) The department shall develop specific objective criteria for districts to identify all students at risk for being poorly prepared for the next level of study or for dropping out of school. The process for identifying these students must be closely monitored to ensure that students are being properly identified and provided timely, appropriate guidance and assistance and to ensure that no group is disproportionately represented.
(B) By the 2005-06 school year, the department shall implement one or more model programs for at risk students and develop nontraditional curricula that will allow these students to graduate and build skills preparing them to enter the job market successfully. The department shall enlist the business community in developing nontraditional curricula around clusters of study that ensure the coordination of courses of study and workplace skills.
(C) Parents of at risk students must be involved in the decision for their child to pursue a nontraditional curriculum course of study. If a student undertakes such a course of study, the student must be allowed to transition to traditional clusters of study if that becomes appropriate, and the student's individual graduation plan must be designed and closely monitored to assist the student in completing his education, in achieving his career goals, and in developing viable workplace skills.
(D) A student who participates in a nontraditional curriculum program may participate in extracurricular and athletic activities if the student otherwise meets the requirements for participating in the activity.
(E) Students who participate in a nontraditional curriculum program shall continue to be funded through EIA revenue at the state's high school FTE level and may be classified as adult education students for diploma requirements. A student who completes these requirements shall receive a high school credential.
(F) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the department shall make every effort, including, but not limited to, providing remediation and additional services, to keep at-risk students in traditional educational programs from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
Section 59-59-160. Parental participation is an integral component of the clusters of study system. Beginning with students in the sixth grade and continuing through high school, school districts must require annual parent counseling conferences to assist their children in making career choices and plans as their children progress through this system. These conferences must include, but are not limited to assisting the student in identifying career interests and goals, selecting a cluster of study and a major, and developing an individual graduation plan.
Section 59-59-170. (A) There is created the Education and Economic Development Coordinating Council to oversee and facilitate the statewide performance, accountability, and enforcement requirements of this chapter. The council is comprised of:
(1) State Superintendent of Education;
(2) Executive Director of the South Carolina Employment Security Commission;
(3) Executive Director of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education;
(4) These members must be appointed by the Governor:
(a) a school district superintendent;
(b) a school principal;
(c) a school guidance counselor;
(d) a teacher;
(e) the president of a four-year college or university;
(f) the president of a technical college;
(g) the director of a career and technology center; and
(h) ten representatives of business and industry, one of whom the Governor shall appoint as chairman of the council.
(B) The council shall:
(1) advise the Education and Economic Development Project Office on the implementation of this chapter;
(2) establish accountability and performance measures for compliance and enforcement of this chapter;
(3) review school report cards, as required by the Education Accountability Act, and other compliance reports required of schools and school districts;
(4) advise schools and school districts on appropriate and effective measures to ensure compliance with this chapter;
(5) oversee the regional educational service centers established pursuant to Section 59-59-180;
(6) make recommendations to the department for the development and implementation of a communication and marketing plan to promote statewide awareness of the provisions of this chapter;
(7) make recommendations to the department for the promulgation of regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter including, but not limited to, enforcement procedures, which may include monitoring and auditing functions, and penalties for noncompliance.
(C) The council shall report annually to the Governor, the General Assembly, and the State Board of Education on the progress, results, and compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(D) The Department of Education shall provide administrative support and staffing to the council to carry out its responsibilities under this chapter.
Section 59-59-180. (A) Before July 1, 2004, the Education and Economic Development Council shall designate up to twelve regional education service centers to coordinate and facilitate the delivery of information, resources, and services to students, educators, employers, and the community.
(B) The primary responsibilities of these centers are to:
(1) provide services to students and adults for career planning, employment seeking, training, and other support functions;
(2) provide information, resources, and professional development programs to educators;
(3) provide resources to school districts for compliance and accountability under the provisions of this chapter;
(4) provide information and resources to employers including, but not limited to, education partnerships, career-oriented learning, and training services;
(5) facilitate local connections among businesses and those involved in education;
(6) create and coordinate workforce education programs.
(C)(1) By the 2004-05 school year, each regional center must have career development facilitators who shall coordinate career-oriented learning, career development, and post-secondary transitions for the schools in their respective regions.
(2) A career development facilitator must be certified and recognized by the National Career Development Association.
(D) The Education and Economic Development Coordinating Council shall provide oversight to the regional centers, and the centers shall provide such data and reports as the council may request.
Section 59-59-190. (A) The South Carolina Employment Security Commission, in collaboration with the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education and the Commission on Higher Education, shall assist the Department of Education, in planning and promoting the career and employment programs provided for in this chapter and in the establishment of the regional education service centers by:
(1) identifying potential employers to participate in the career-oriented learning programs;
(2) serving as a contact point for employees seeking career information and training;
(3) providing labor market information including, but not limited to, supply and demand and nontraditional jobs for women;
(4) promoting increased career awareness and career counseling through the management and promotion of the South Carolina Occupational Information System; and
(5) collaborating with local agencies and businesses to stimulate funds.
(B) The South Carolina Employment Security Commission shall assist in providing the link between employers in South Carolina and youth seeking employment.
Section 59-59-200. Beginning with the 2004-05 academic year, degree requirements for colleges of education must include content in career guidance, the use of the cluster of study curriculum framework and individual graduation plans, learning styles, the elements of the Career Guidance Model of the South Carolina Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program Model contextual teaching, cooperative learning, and character education. The Department of Education shall develop performance based standards in these areas and include them as criteria for certification and recertification of teachers, counselors, and school administrators. The department also shall develop programs to train educators in contextual teaching.
Section 59-59-210. (A)(1) Before July 1, 2004, all school districts, two-year colleges, and four-year colleges and universities shall enter into articulation agreements.
(2) An articulation agreement must have statewide applicability, and in establishing admission criteria, a two or four-year college or university may not exclude courses that apply to major electives and the high school diploma.
(3) Dual credits recognized by two-year colleges and four-year colleges and universities must be transferable statewide.
(B) The Department of Education, through the Education and Economic Development Coordinating Council, shall convene a committee to assist in developing statewide articulation agreements, to define criteria and guidelines for ensuring that new and revised courses will be accepted under the agreements, and to promote the development of measures to certify genuine equivalency in content and rigor for all courses.
Section 59-59-220. When the Department of Education or a school district implements the clusters of study system, appropriate textbooks and instructional materials must be approved by the appropriate authority and must be made available to the district.
Section 59-59-230. The Department of Education, in collaboration with the Education and Economic Development Council, shall promulgate regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
Section 59-59-240. The requirements of this chapter do not apply to private schools or to home schools.
Section 59-59-250. The implementation of this chapter is contingent upon the appropriation of adequate funding."
SECTION 2. Section 59-17-135(B) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 4 of 2001, is amended to read:
"(B) Each local school board of trustees of the State must develop a policy addressing character education. Any character education program implemented by a district as a result of an adopted policy must, to the extent possible, incorporate character traits including, but not limited to, the following: respect for authority and respect for others, honesty, duty, self-control, cleanliness, courtesy, good manners, cooperation, commitment to others, citizenship, patriotism, courage, fairness, kindness, self-respect, compassion, diligence, good work ethic, sound educational habits, generosity, punctuality, cheerfulness, patience, sportsmanship, loyalty, and virtue. Local school boards must include all sectors of the community, as referenced in subsection (A)(4), in the development of a policy and in the development of any program implemented as a result of the policy. As part of any policy and program developed by the local school board, an evaluation component must be included."
SECTION 3. Section 59-18-900(D) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(D) The report card must include a comprehensive set of performance indicators with information on comparisons, trends, needs, and performance over time which is helpful to parents and the public in evaluating the school. Special efforts are to be made to ensure that the information contained in the report cards is provided in an easily understood manner and a reader friendly format. This information should also provide a context for the performance of the school. Where appropriate, the data should yield disaggregated results to schools and districts in planning for improvement. The report card should include information in such areas as programs and curriculum, school leadership, community and parent support, faculty qualifications, evaluations of the school by parents, teachers, and students. In addition, the report card must contain
other criteria including, but is not limited to, information on Education And Economic And Development Act compliance reports, compliance reports on the implementation of the character education requirements pursuant to Section 59-17-135, promotion and retention ratios, disciplinary climate, dropout ratios, dropout reduction data, student and teacher ratios, and attendance data, disciplinary infractions and punishment, expulsion and suspension reduction data, and data on the reduction of violence and other disciplinary infractions."
SECTION 4. Act 450 of 1994 and Section 59-52-95 of the 1976 Code are repealed.
SECTION 5. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
This web page was last updated on Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 9:52 A.M.