1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Ferris, Jordan (24th)
Senate Bill 2333
(As Passed the Senate)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-17-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT WHEN A SCHOOL DISTRICT VOLUNTARILY CONSOLIDATES WITH A SURROUNDING SCHOOL DISTRICT WITH A LOWER ACCREDITATION LEVEL, OR A SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNEXES A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE TERRITORY OF AN ADJOINING DISTRICT WITH A LOWER ACCREDITATION LEVEL WITH THE CONSENT OF THE SCHOOL BOARD OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT INVOLVED, THE NEW CONSOLIDATED OR EXPANDED DISTRICT SHALL MAINTAIN THE HIGHER ACCREDITATION STATUS FOR A PERIOD OF AT LEAST TWO YEARS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 37-22-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE ENHANCED GRANTS UNDER THE SECOND LEVEL FUNDING PROGRAM TO SUCH SCHOOL DISTRICTS WHICH CONSOLIDATE OR ANNEX TERRITORY AFTER JULY 1, 1997; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-17-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-17-11. (1) The State Board of Education, in its discretion, may exempt any school district which meets Level 4 or 5 accreditation from any compulsory standard of accreditation. Provided, however, that in the event such standard of accreditation is an educational policy required by statute, any such exemption shall only be made if specifically authorized by law.
(2) If a school district with a Level III accreditation status or above voluntarily consolidates with a surrounding school district with an accreditation level of I or II with the approval of the State Board of Education upon recommendation by the Commission on School Accreditation, then the new consolidated district shall maintain the level of accreditation of the Level III or above school district. This level of accreditation shall remain in place for a period of two (2) years. This level of accreditation may continue for a period of not more than three (3) additional years provided that the new consolidated district begins to show improvement in the deficient areas after year two (2) of the five-year period. The five-year limitation may be extended by the State Board of Education upon recommendation by the Commission on School Accreditation. The new consolidated district shall continue to be subject to the same performance measures and variables as all other school districts and assigned a performance level only for the purpose of monitoring the progress of the district during the five-year period, unless the performance level achieved by the consolidated district shall exceed that of the original Level III school district. Should the performance level of the new district exceed that of the original Level III school district, the district shall be granted higher level of accreditation.
(3) If a school district with a Level III accreditation status or above annexes a substantial portion of an adjoining school district with a lower accreditation level, with the consent of the school board of the school district involved and with the approval of the State Board of Education, then the new district shall maintain the higher level of accreditation in the same manner and under the same conditions as prescribed under subsection (2).
SECTION 2. Section 37-22-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-22-3. There is herein provided a Second Level Funding Program which shall qualify any school district within a county wherein there is only one (1) school district located for additional state funding on an annual basis. The nonparticipation of any line consolidated school district to conform their district administration to receive second level funding under the provisions of this section shall not prohibit the participation of any other school districts located within any of the affected counties in such funding program. In the event the board of trustees of a line consolidated school district elects to participate in second level funding, it shall merge its administration with the county in which the majority of its facilities are located. The State Board of Education shall designate the county in which the majority of such line consolidated district facilities are located in accordance with its established inventory of school district facilities. The school boards in any such county having only one (1) school district on July 1, 1989, and the school boards in any county having more than one (1) school district which hereafter adopts a plan for the transition of all administrative functions into one (1) school district for such county, shall qualify for this Second Level Funding Program. Any uniform millage assistance grant received by an agricultural high school shall not affect the granting of second level funding grants to any school district under the provisions of this section; and any agricultural high school located in such school district shall also be eligible for such second level funding grants. The state funds available to such school district for the Second Level Funding Program shall be Thirty-six Dollars ($36.00) per pupil in average daily attendance. Provided, however, that in the event the school boards of two (2) or more school districts, on or after July 1, 1997, adopt a plan for the voluntary consolidation of the administrative functions of such school districts, or in the event a school district with a Level III accreditation status or above annexes a substantial portion of an adjoining school district with a lower accreditation level with the consent of the school board of the school district involved, which plan is approved by the State Board of Education, the state funds available to such consolidated school district or expanded school district for the Second Level Funding Program shall be determined as follows: One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) per pupil in average daily attendance in the new district for the first school year of such consolidation or expansion, Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per pupil in average daily attendance in the new district for the second school year of such consolidation or expansion, and Thirty-six Dollars ($36.00) per pupil in average daily attendance in the new district for the third and subsequent years of such consolidation or expansion. The total state funds needed for the Second Level Funding Program annually shall be the total of the amounts needed by all of the school districts in the state having one (1) school district within the county or reorganizing boundaries under the conditions of this section. The State Second Level Funding Program Fund is hereby established in the State Treasury which shall be used to distribute the funds to school districts entitled under the provisions of this section. Any such funds shall be transferred to the school district maintenance fund of such district in the manner prescribed in Section 37-19-47, Mississippi Code of 1972, and shall be expended in the manner provided by law for classroom instructional purposes.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.