1998 Regular Session
By: Representative Moore
House Bill 493
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-13-61, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ESTABLISH THE OPENING AND CLOSING DATES OF THE SCHOOL YEAR IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS; TO AMEND SECTION 37-19-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; TO REPEAL SECTION 37-13-63, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF DAYS WHICH THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS MUST BE KEPT IN SESSION EACH YEAR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-13-61, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-13-61. The * * * date for the opening of the school term in all public schools in the state shall be the first Tuesday immediately succeeding the first Monday of September (Labor Day), and the date for the closing of the school term in the public schools shall be the Friday next preceding the last Monday of May (National Memorial Day). The State Board of Education shall promulgate guidelines for an annual school calendar to be observed by all public school districts. The calendar shall specify the minimum number of days between the opening and closing dates of the school term which the schools must be kept in session.
SECTION 2. Section 37-19-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-19-1. As used in this chapter:
(a) The term "minimum education program" shall mean the program of education made possible by the financing plan provided for in this chapter;
(b) The term "teacher" shall include any employee of a school board of a school district who is required by law to obtain a teacher's license from the State Board of Education and who is assigned to an instructional area of work as defined by the State Department of Education the equivalent of a minimum of three (3) normal periods per school day;
(c) The term "principal" shall mean the head of an attendance center or division thereof;
(d) The term "superintendent" shall mean the head of a school district, or the administrative superintendent as defined in Section 37-6-3(4), as the case may be;
(e) The term "teacher unit" means one (1) teacher unit for each twenty-four (24) pupils in average daily attendance in kindergarten and in Grades 1, 2, 3 and 4 and one (1) teacher unit for each twenty-seven (27) pupils in average daily attendance in all other grades;
(f) The term "cost of the minimum program" shall mean the calculated allowance as fixed by law or by regulations of the State Board of Education for teachers' salaries, administrative expense, transportation, the employer's part of the public employees' retirement and Social Security, and "supportive services" as defined elsewhere in this chapter;
(g) The term "school district" shall, for purposes of this chapter, be construed to include any type of school district in the State of Mississippi;
(h) "Minimum school term" shall mean a term of at least the minimum number of days of school in which both teachers and pupils are in regular attendance for scheduled classroom instruction for not less than sixty percent (60%) of the normal school day, as established by the State Board of Education. It is the intent of the Legislature that any tax levies generated to produce additional local funds required by any school district to operate school terms in excess of one hundred seventy-five (175) days shall not be construed to constitute a new program for the purposes of exemption from the limitation on tax revenues as allowed under Sections 27-39-321 and 37-57-107 for new programs mandated by the Legislature;
(i) The term "transportation density" shall mean the number of transported children in average daily attendance per square mile of area served in a county or a separate school district, as determined by the State Department of Education;
(j) The term "transported children" shall mean children being transported to school who live within legal limits for transportation and who are otherwise qualified for being transported to school at public expense as fixed by Mississippi state law;
(k) The term "year of teaching experience" shall mean nine (9) months of actual teaching in the public or private schools of this or some other state. In no case shall more than one (1) year of teaching experience be given for all services in one (1) calendar or school year. In determining a teacher's experience, no deduction shall be made because of the temporary absence of the teacher because of illness or other good cause, and the teacher shall be given credit therefor. The State Board of Education shall fix a number of days, not to exceed twenty-five (25) consecutive school days, during which a teacher may not be under contract of employment during any school year and still be considered to have been in full-time employment for a regular scholastic term. If a full-time school administrator returns to actual teaching in the public schools, the term "year of teaching experience" shall include the period of time he or she served as a school administrator;
(l) The term "average daily attendance" shall be the figure which results when the total aggregate attendance during the period or months counted is divided by the number of days during the period or months counted upon which both teachers and pupils are in regular attendance for scheduled classroom instruction;
(m) The term "local supplement" shall mean the amount paid to an individual teacher over and above the minimum foundation program salary schedule for regular teaching duties;
(n) The term "aggregate amount of support from ad valorem taxation" shall mean the amounts produced by the district's total tax levies for operations;
(o) The term "minimum program funds" shall mean all funds, both state and local, constituting the requirements for meeting the cost of the minimum program as provided for in this chapter.
SECTION 3. Section 37-13-63, Mississippi Code of 1972, which establishes the minimum number of days which the public schools must be kept in session during a scholastic year, is repealed.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.