Education Newsletter: Volume 1, Number 2

Author:Ms Amy J. Borman and Adam J. Schira
Profession:Dickinson Wright PLLC
 
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ARIZONA

House Bill 2078 (signed April 17, 2017)

This bill restructures post-secondary credit system for high school students. Unlike dual enrollment programs, a student enrolled in concurrent coursework will attend regular classes at a community college campus. The high school pays the costs of the community college course, provides academic support for the student on the high school campus, and awards high school credit for the course.

Arizona Expands Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

Arizona has also recently expanded its school voucher program to allow all students to be eligible for funding. Previously, only certain students meeting eligibility requirement could get vouchers. This expansion will be incremental over several years and ultimately be available to all students unless otherwise capped. There is a cap of 5,000 additional students per year, which will be topped off at 30,000 students in 2022. Although the bill barely passed the Arizona General Assembly, proponents are still seeking to remove the cap and expand eligibility to all 1.1 million students in Arizona. http://ktar.com/story/1521850/republican-arizona-lawmakers-pass-school-voucher-expansion/

FLORIDA

House Bill 7069 (signed June 15, 2017)

HB 7069 provides a sweeping overhaul of the Florida Charter School program and modifies various charter school provisions, including those related to open enrollment procedures, charter contracts, administrative fees, reporting requirements and the calculation and authorized uses of charter school capital outlay. Chief among the changes are a requirement of school districts to share local millage revenue with charter schools and authorization for high-performing charter schools to establish more than one charter school if it operates near a low-performing school and serves students from that school.

The bill also (a) creates the Schools of Excellence Program to provide administrative flexibility to the state's highest performing schools (b) appropriates $30 million in scholarships to enable students with disabilities to attend private schools (c) requires all public elementary schools to provide 30 minutes of recess (d) creates a "Schools of Hope" program, which would allow charter schools to more easily replace schools that have received consistent Ds or Fs on state report cards, and (e) removes and relaxes some state testing requirements.

INDIANA

House Bill 1382 (signed April 28, 2017)

HB 1382 creates new procedures for renewing a charter where a charter school fails to meet statutory minimum standards. These new procedures allow authorizers to appeal to the State Board of Education for permission to renew in lieu of closing a charter school. The new law also provides that the authority to authorize new charter schools may be suspended if an authorizer renews the charter of, grants a new charter to, or fails to close a school that the State Board ordered closed. Authorizers are now also responsible for ensuring that charter schools are in compliance with legal standards. In addition to authorizer changes, HB 1382 also redefines "virtual charter schools" and requires that these schools adopt student engagement policies, which may permit virtual charter schools to withdraw students who regularly fail to participate in courses.

House Bill 1007 (signed April 20, 2017)

Pursuant to HB 1007, a new course access program has been devised, thus allowing students to choose certain classes to take outside their current public school. The Indiana Department of Education is tasked with establishing an authorization process for course providers and a list of approved courses by June 30, 2018. Negotiations to determine tuition costs will also be left to the Department. Under limited circumstances, such as where the proposed course does not further the student's efforts to meet graduation/certificate requirements or when...

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