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Sponsors: Reps. Rice, Owens, Loftis, Vaughn, G.R. Smith, Hinson, Viers and Clark
Document Path: l:\council\bills\pt\2227sj05.doc
Introduced in the House on January 11, 2005
Introduced in the Senate on May 16, 2006
Last Amended on May 11, 2006
Currently residing in the Senate Committee on Education
Summary: Establish the SC Virtual Charter School District
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12/22/2004 House Prefiled 12/22/2004 House Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works 1/11/2005 House Introduced and read first time HJ-118 1/11/2005 House Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works HJ-118 2/2/2005 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Viers 5/10/2006 House Committee report: Favorable with amendment Education and Public Works HJ-7 5/11/2006 House Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Clark 5/11/2006 House Amended HJ-65 5/11/2006 House Read second time HJ-69 5/15/2006 Scrivener's error corrected SJ-7 5/16/2006 House Read third time and sent to Senate HJ-7 5/16/2006 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-10 5/16/2006 Senate Referred to Committee on Education SJ-10
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VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
May 11, 2006
Introduced by Reps. Rice, Owens, Loftis, Vaughn, G.R. Smith, Hinson, Viers and Clark
S. Printed 5/11/06--H. [SEC 5/15/06 11:16 AM]
Read the first time January 11, 2005.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 16 TO TITLE 59 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE SOUTH CAROLINA VIRTUAL CHARTER SCHOOL DISTRICT, PROVIDE THAT IT MUST BE GOVERNED BY A BOARD OF TRUSTEES, PROVIDE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES, PROVIDE FOR THE STUDENTS' SUPERVISION AND THE STUDENTS' DUTIES, PROVIDE FOR THE DISTRICT'S TEACHERS AND FUNDING, PROVIDE A TAX CREDIT FOR AN INDIVIDUAL OR A CORPORATION THAT MAKES A DONATION TO THE DISTRICT, PROVIDE THAT THE DISTRICT MAY NOT LEVY ADDITIONAL TAXES OR ISSUE BONDS WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AND PROVIDE THAT THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE DISTRICT MAY PROMULGATE REGULATIONS.
Amend Title To Conform
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 59-16-10. The General Assembly finds that:
(1) through the use of technology South Carolina can create educational opportunities for the students of this State that may not exist without such technology; and
(2) using technology to deliver instruction can provide effective alternatives for credit recovery, meeting graduation requirements, resolving scheduling conflicts, delivering curriculum content when there is a shortage of certified personnel, providing a more flexible and individualized instructional pace, and offering low-incidence courses.
It is the purpose of the General Assembly in this chapter to establish the South Carolina Virtual School Program to ensure consistent high quality education for the students of South Carolina utilizing technology-delivered courses.
Section 59-16-15. (A) The State Board of Education is authorized to establish the South Carolina Virtual School Program to provide South Carolina students access to distance, online, or virtual learning courses offered for Carnegie credit. The South Carolina Virtual School Program shall not award a South Carolina High School diploma.
(B) Any public, private, or home school student residing in South Carolina who is twenty-one years of age or younger shall be eligible to enroll in the South Carolina Virtual School Program. However, public school students shall be given enrollment priority. A private school or home school student enrolled in the South Carolina Virtual School Program shall not be entitled to any rights, privileges, courses, activities, or services available to a public school student other than receiving appropriate Carnegie credit for a completed course.
(C) Students may be awarded a maximum of two online Carnegie credits in a school year, and no more than ten online Carnegie credits throughout high school. However, the State Board of Education may establish an appeals process whereby students may be granted a waiver to exceed the established limit.
(D) Local school districts shall accurately transcribe a student's final numeric grade to the student's permanent record and transcript. Home school students and private school students shall receive a certificate of completion indicating date, course, and final numeric grade from the South Carolina Virtual School Program or an entity approved by the State Board of Education.
(E) Students enrolled in an on-line course for Carnegie credit shall be administered appropriate state assessments in a proctored environment.
(F) It is not the responsibility of the school, district, or State to provide home computer equipment and Internet access for enrollment in courses provided by the South Carolina Virtual School Program. However, nothing in this section shall prohibit a school or district from providing home computer equipment or Internet access to students enrolled in the South Carolina Virtual School Program.
Section 59-16-20. (A) The South Carolina Virtual School Program shall be housed in and managed by the State Department of Education. The department may contract for distance learning courses, develop courses, or approve courses submitted by entities.
(B) Each course offered for Carnegie credit shall be reviewed for correlation with the state adopted academic standards prior to being offered.
(C) All distance, online, or virtual learning courses offered for Carnegie credit must be aligned with the state adopted academic standards, include appropriate course materials, and be approved by the State Board of Education.
(D) Instructors must hold a valid teaching certificate in each course being taught or receive approval from the State Department of Education to teach the course.
(E) All Virtual School teachers must receive appropriate pre-service and in-service training pertaining to the organization, classroom management, technical aspects, monitoring of student assessment, and other pertinent training from the State Department of Education.
Section 59-16-30. As used in this chapter:
(1) 'Distance learning' means the acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction, encompassing all technologies and other forms of learning at a distance. Distance learning includes online and virtual courses.
(2) 'Online learning' means learning delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies.
(3) 'Proctored' means directly monitored by an adult authorized by the South Carolina Virtual School.
(4) 'Virtual classroom' means the online learning space where students and instructors interact.
Section 59-16-40. The State Board of Education shall develop guidelines and promulgate regulations to include, but may not be limited to, the following:
(1) procedures and criteria to be used for the selection of online courses to be offered for Carnegie credit;
(2) qualifications and registration requirements of students who may enroll in online courses;
(3) procedures for private and home school students to enroll in courses offered;
(4) teacher qualifications and the student-to-teacher ratio for online courses;
(5) appropriateness and provisions for charging tuition and fees;
(6) procedures for establishing uniform evaluation of student progress and awarding of the final grade;
(7) process for maintaining student records and reporting and recording grades on the student's transcript;
(8) procedures and requirements for employment, supervision, and evaluation of teachers;
(9) procedures and requirements for supervision, monitoring, assessment, and evaluation of enrolled students; and
(10) student expectations.
Section 59-16-50. The State Department of Education shall examine the feasibility of providing services of the South Carolina Virtual School Program to students enrolled in adult education programs and shall make recommendations to the General Assembly no later than January 1, 2007.
Section 59-16-60. Annually the State Board of Education shall provide the General Assembly a report that shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) list of courses offered through the Virtual School;
(2) number of local school districts and number of the district students participating in the Virtual School;
(3) private schools and number of the private school students participating in the Virtual School;
(4) number of home school students participating in the Virtual School;
(5) student success rates for students by courses enrolled in the Virtual School;
(6) number of students who dropped a course and reasons for dropping;
(7) Expenditures made for the Virtual School; and
(8) number of students unable to enroll because of space limitations."
SECTION 2. Chapter 40, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 59-40-65. (A) If the governing body of a charter school offers as part of its curriculum a program of online or computer instruction this information shall be included in the application and the governing body shall be required to:
(1) provide each student enrolled in the program with a course or courses of online or computer instruction approved by the State Board of Education that must meet or exceed the South Carolina content and grade specific standards. Students enrolled in the program of online or computer instruction must receive all instructional materials required for the student's program;
(2) ensure that the persons who operate the program on a day-to-day basis comply with and carry out all applicable requirements, statutes, regulations, rules, and policies of the charter school;
(3) ensure that each course or courses offered through the program shall be taught by a teacher meeting the requirements of Section 59-40-50;
(4) ensure that a parent or legal guardian of each student verifies the number of hours of educational activities completed by the student each school year;
(5) adopt a plan by which it will provide frequent, ongoing monitoring to ensure and verify that each student is participating in the program, including at least two proctored assessments per semester in core subjects administered in the charter school, verification of ongoing student attendance in the program, and verification of ongoing student progress and performance in each course as documented by ongoing assessments and examples of student coursework; and
(6) administer to all students in a proctored setting at the charter school all applicable assessments as required by the South Carolina Education Accountability Act.
(B) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a charter school that provides a program of online or computer instruction from reimbursing families of enrolled students for costs associated with their Internet connection for use in the program.
(C) A charter school shall provide no more than seventy-five percent of a student's core academic instruction in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade via an online or computer instruction program.
(D) Charter school students may enroll in the South Carolina Virtual School Program pursuant to program requirements."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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