Engrossed Senate Bill (S)

DIGEST

Various education matters. Provides that the department of education (department) shall make random visits to at least 5% of schools that are eligible to receive choice scholarships during a particular school year. (Current law provides that the department shall make random visits to at least 5% of eligible schools and charter schools.) Specifies that if a choice scholarship student changes schools during the school year after the December 1 count of special education pupils, any choice scholarship amounts paid to the choice scholarship student for the remainder of the school year after the choice scholarship student enrolls in a different Various education matters. Provides that the department of education (department) shall make random visits to at least 5% of schools that are eligible to receive choice scholarships during a particular school year. (Current law provides that the department shall make random visits to at least 5% of eligible schools and charter schools.) Specifies that if a choice scholarship student changes schools during the school year after the December 1 count of special education pupils, any choice scholarship amounts paid to the choice scholarship student for the remainder of the school year after the choice scholarship student enrolls in a different eligible school shall not include amounts that a school corporation would receive as a special education grant for the choice scholarship student. Removes a provision that provides that if the eligible choice scholarship student leaves the eligible school for which the eligible choice scholarship student was awarded a choice scholarship and enrolls in another eligible school, the eligible choice scholarship student is responsible for the payment of any tuition required for the remainder of that school year. Provides that the department shall accept applications for choice scholarship students from September 2 through January 15 for the spring semester of the current school year. Provides that, for the distribution to be valid, the eligible choice scholarship student (or the parent of the eligible choice scholarship student) and the eligible school providing educational services to the eligible choice scholarship student must annually sign a form, prescribed by the state board of education (state board) to endorse distributions for the particular school year. Provides that if a choice scholarship student who is receiving a choice scholarship for a school year changes schools after signing the form to endorse distributions for that school year, the choice scholarship student (or the parent of the choice scholarship student) and the eligible school in which the choice scholarship student enrolls must sign the form to endorse distributions for the particular school year. Removes references to charter schools and public schools from the provisions relating to the choice scholarship program. Provides that, beginning with the state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2016, the state board shall fix a second count date in the spring semester to count eligible pupils enrolled in special education programs. Provides that the count is used for informational purposes. Establishes a dual credit teacher stipend matching grant program. Provides that, notwithstanding a confidentiality agreement, a school that receives a request for an employment reference for a current or former employee, from another school, shall disclose to the requesting school any incident, known by the school, in which the employee has committed an act resulting in a substantiated report of abuse or neglect. Provides that a school shall not disclose any identifying information concerning a student. Provides that a confidentiality agreement entered into by a school and an employee is not enforceable against the school if the employee committed an act resulting in a substantiated report of abuse or neglect. Provides that the individual in charge of an institution, school, facility, or agency that receives a report of child abuse or neglect shall immediately report the allegation to the department of child services or local law enforcement. Provides that a judge shall provide notification to the state superintendent of instruction and certain school administrators if a person is convicted of certain crimes and is a teacher. Requires schools to conduct checks whether applicants have been the subject of reports of committing child abuse or neglect or had a teacher's license suspended or revoked in another state. Provides that a nonpublic school with one or more employees is required to adopt and implement a policy for applicants to obtain a background check. Urges the legislative council to assign to the appropriate study committee the following topics: (1) Ways to reduce school sexual misconduct violations and methods of improving the reporting requirements of sexual misconduct violations in schools. (2) The effect of the time at which students start the school day. Makes technical corrections. ... View more