2003 Regular Session
To: Education; Universities and Colleges
By: Senator(s) Harden
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-3-93, 37-4-11, 37-9-77, 37-11-18.1, 37-11-54 AND 37-15-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DELETE THE AUTOMATIC REPEALER ON THOSE STATUTES PROVIDING FOR THE SCHOOL CRISIS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, THE TRANSFER OF INDUSTRIAL TRAINING AND ADULT SHORT-TERM TRAINING PROGRAMS TO THE STATE BOARD FOR COMMUNITY AND JUNIOR COLLEGES, THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR SABBATICAL LEAVE PROGRAM, THE EXPULSION AUTHORITY FOR HABITUALLY DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS, THE CONFLICT RESOLUTION-PEER MEDIATION CURRICULA REQUIREMENT AND THE EVIDENCE OF DATE OF BIRTH FOR ENROLLMENT IN KINDERGARTEN OR GRADE 1; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-3-93, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-3-93. (1) Subject to the availability of funding specifically appropriated for such purpose, there is established a School Crisis Management Program under the State Department of Education. This program is to be initiated and executed by the department using only existing staff and resources. Under this program, the State Department of Education shall create an office making available a quick response team of personnel trained in school safety and crisis management to respond to traumatic or violent situations that impact students and faculty in the public schools in Mississippi. The School Crisis Management Program shall operate in accordance with the following:
(a) The basic response team shall consist of those personnel designated by the State Superintendent of Public Education, or their designees, depending on the size of the school and the nature of the event.
(b) In order to access the services of a response team, the request must be made by the local school principal or the superintendent of schools, who shall make the request to the State Department of Education, or its contact designee.
(c) A response team shall enter a school to work with students and faculty for a period of no more than three (3) days, unless otherwise requested by the school district.
(d) The State Department of Education, or its designee, shall operate a toll-free incoming wide area telephone service for the purpose of receiving reports of suspected cases of school violence and other traumatic situations impacting on students and faculty in the public schools.
(e) The request made by a school district to access the services of a response team following a school safety incident may seek a review of the local school district's safety plan, and the results of this evaluation may be published by the local school board in a newspaper with wide circulation in the district.
(f) Subject to the availability of funds specifically appropriated therefor by the Legislature, the expenses of the quick response teams and their administrative support shall be provided from state funds. The State Department of Education may apply for and expend funds for the support and maintenance of this program from private and other funding sources.
(2) Local school districts, school superintendents and principals may request and utilize the services of quick response teams provided for under this section; however, this section does not require school officials to request the services of quick response teams.
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SECTION 2. Section 37-4-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-4-11. (1) The purpose of this section is to insure the uniform management, oversight and accountability of the state-funded Industrial Training Programs, and postsecondary Adult Short-Term Training Programs and Workforce Education Programs administered by the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges for adults provided to the citizens of Mississippi.
(2) Effective July 1, 1999, all state-funded Industrial Training Programs and postsecondary Adult Short-term Training Programs administered by and through the State Department of Education on June 30, 1999, shall be transferred to the Workforce Education Program of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges. The Legislature shall appropriate annually to the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges funds necessary to administer these programs.
(3) Effective July 1, 1999, all funds, unexpended balances, assets, liabilities and property of the State Department of Education which are used in the delivery of postsecondary Adult Short-term Training Programs and Industrial Training Programs, excluding funds, unexpended balances, assets, liabilities and property associated with the Research and Curriculum Unit at Mississippi State University, shall be transferred to the Workforce Education Program funds of the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges. The State Department of Education also shall transfer to the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges all positions and funds employed by the State Department of Education and community colleges which render industrial training, postsecondary adult short-term training or workforce education services, including the seven (7) administrative and support positions providing support to these programs. Sufficient staff positions shall be transferred from the State Department of Education, which will have a reduction in training and educational responsibilities by virtue of this act, to the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges to assure that the transferred responsibilities will be properly managed and administered. Any funds available to the State Department of Education for Industrial Training Programs and state-funded postsecondary Adult Short-term Training Programs which are subject to carryover shall be transferred to the Work Force Carryover Fund established by Chapter 498, Laws of 1995, for use by the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, on or before August 15, 1999.
(4) The State Board for Community and Junior Colleges shall develop an accountability system that shall report and describe all classes taught in the area of workforce education, the number of persons taught in these classes, and the location and cost of each class taught. To assess the impact of these programs, the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges also shall report:
(a) Whether the needs of industry have been met through training program offerings;
(b) Any changes in the income of trainees between the completion of training and the date of the report;
(c) The number of jobs created and the number of jobs retained through the programs; and
(d) Trainee success in passing proficiency tests, where applicable.
This information shall be reported on a fiscal year basis and shall be provided to the House and Senate Education Committees before December 15 of each year.
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SECTION 3. Section 37-9-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-9-77. (1) There is established the Mississippi School Administrator Sabbatical Program which shall be available to licensed teachers employed in Mississippi school districts for not less than three (3) years, for the purpose of allowing such teachers to become local school district administrators under the conditions set forth in this section. The State Board of Education, in coordination with the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, shall develop guidelines for the program. Application shall be made to the State Department of Education for the Mississippi School Administrator Sabbatical Program by qualified teachers meeting the criteria for a department-approved administration program and who have been recommended by the local school board. Administration programs that are eligible for the administrator sabbatical program shall be limited to those that have been approved by the department by the January 1 preceding the date of admission to the program. Admission into the program shall authorize the applicant to take university course work and training leading to an administrator's license.
(2) The salaries of the teachers approved for participation in the administrator sabbatical program shall be paid by the employing school district from nonminimum education program funds. However, the State Department of Education shall reimburse the employing school districts for the cost of the salaries and paid fringe benefits of teachers participating in the administrator sabbatical program for one (1) contract year. Reimbursement shall be made in accordance with the then current minimum education program salary schedule under Section 37-19-7, except that the maximum amount of the reimbursement from state funds shall not exceed the minimum education program salary for a teacher holding a Class A license and having five (5) years' experience. The local school district shall be responsible for that portion of a participating teacher's salary attributable to the local supplement and for any portion of the teacher's salary that exceeds the maximum amount allowed for reimbursement from state funds as provided in this subsection, and the school board may not reduce the local supplement payable to that teacher. Any reimbursements made by the State Department of Education to local school districts under this section shall be subject to available appropriations and may be made only to school districts determined by the State Board of Education as being in need of administrators.
(3) Such teachers participating in the program on a full-time basis shall continue to receive teaching experience and shall receive the salary prescribed in Section 37-19-7, including the annual experience increments. Such participants shall be fully eligible to continue participation in the Public Employees Retirement System and the Public School Employees Health Insurance Plan during the time they are in the program on a full-time basis.
(4) As a condition for participation in the School Administrator Sabbatical Program, such teachers shall agree to employment as administrators in the sponsoring school district for not less than five (5) years following completion of administrator licensure requirements. Any person failing to comply with this employment commitment in any required school year, unless the commitment is deferred as provided in subsection (5) of this section, shall immediately be in breach of contract and become liable to the State Department of Education for that amount of his salary and paid fringe benefits paid by the state while the teacher was on sabbatical, less twenty percent (20%) of the amount of his salary and paid fringe benefits paid by the state for each year that the person was employed as an administrator following completion of the administrator licensure requirements. In addition, the person shall become liable to the local school district for any portion of his salary and paid fringe benefits paid by the local school district while the teacher was on sabbatical that is attributable to the local salary supplement or is attributable to the amount that exceeds the maximum amount allowed for reimbursement from state funds as provided in subsection (2) of this section, less twenty percent (20%) of the amount of his salary and paid fringe benefits paid by the school district for each year that the person was employed as an administrator following completion of the administrator licensure requirements. Interest on the amount due shall accrue at the current Stafford Loan rate at the time the breach occurs. If the claim for repayment of such salary and fringe benefits is placed in the hands of an attorney for collection after default, then the obligor shall be liable for an additional amount equal to a reasonable attorney's fee.
(5) If there is not an administrator position immediately available in the sponsoring school district after a person has completed the administrator licensure requirements, or if the administrator position in the sponsoring school district in which the person is employed is no longer needed before the completion of the five-year employment commitment, the local school board shall defer any part of the employment commitment that has not been met until such time as an administrator position becomes available in the sponsoring school district. If such a deferral is made, the sponsoring school district shall employ the person as a teacher in the school district during the period of deferral, unless the person desires to be released from employment by the sponsoring school district and the district agrees to release the person from employment. If the sponsoring school district releases a person from employment, that person may be employed as an administrator in another school district in the state that is in need of administrators as determined by the State Board of Education, and that employment for the other school district shall be applied to any remaining portion of the five-year employment commitment required under this section. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent a school district from not renewing the person's contract before the end of the five-year employment commitment in accordance with the School Employment Procedures Law (Section 37-9-101 et seq.). However, if the person is not employed as an administrator by another school district after being released by the sponsoring school district, or after his contract was not renewed by the sponsoring school district, he shall be liable for repayment of the amount of his salary and fringe benefits as provided in subsection (4) of this section.
(6) All funds received by the State Department of Education from the repayment of salary and fringe benefits paid by the state from program participants shall be deposited in the Mississippi Critical Teacher Shortage Fund.
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SECTION 4. Section 37-11-18.1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-11-18.1. (1) For the purposes of this section:
(a) The term "disruptive behavior" means conduct of a student that is so unruly, disruptive or abusive that it seriously interferes with a school teacher's or school administrator's ability to communicate with the students in a classroom, with a student's ability to learn, or with the operation of a school or school-related activity, and which is not covered by other laws related to violence or possession of weapons or controlled substances on school property, school vehicles or at school-related activities. Such behaviors include, but are not limited to: foul, profane, obscene, threatening, defiant or abusive language or action toward teachers or other school employees; defiance, ridicule or verbal attack of a teacher; and willful, deliberate and overt acts of disobedience of the directions of a teacher; and
(b) The term "habitually disruptive" refers to such actions of a student which cause disruption in a classroom, on school property or vehicles or at a school-related activity on more than two (2) occasions during a school year, and to disruptive behavior that was initiated, willful and overt on the part of the student and which required the attention of school personnel to deal with the disruption. However, no student shall be considered to be habitually disruptive before the development of a behavior modification plan for the student in accordance with the code of student conduct and discipline plans of the school district.
(2) Any student who is thirteen (13) years of age or older for whom a behavior modification plan is developed by the school principal, reporting teacher and student's parent and which student does not comply with the plan shall be deemed habitually disruptive and subject to automatic expulsion on the occurrence of the third act of disruptive behavior during a school year. After the second act of disruptive behavior during a school year by a student who is younger than thirteen (13) years of age, a psychological evaluation shall be performed upon the child.
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SECTION 5. Section 37-11-54, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-11-54. The State Board of Education, using only existing staff and resources, shall annually develop a list of recommended conflict resolution and mediation materials, models and curricula that address responsible decision making, the causes and effects of school violence and harassment, cultural diversity, and nonviolent methods for resolving conflict, including peer mediation, and shall make the list available to local school administrative units and school buildings before the beginning of the * * * school year. However, no monies from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant may be used for developing this list. In developing this list, the board shall emphasize materials, models and curricula that currently are being used in Mississippi and which the board determines to be effective. The board shall include at least one (1) model that includes instruction and guidance for the voluntary implementation of peer mediation programs and one (1) model that provides instruction and guidance for teachers concerning the integration of conflict resolution and mediation lessons into the existing classroom curriculum.
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SECTION 6. Section 37-15-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-15-1. The State Board of Education shall prepare and provide necessary forms for keeping permanent records and cumulative folders for each pupil in the public schools of the state. In the permanent record and cumulative folders, the teachers and principals shall keep information concerning the pupil's date of birth, as verified by the documentation authorized in this section, record of attendance, grades and withdrawal from the school, including the date of any expulsion from the school system and a description of the student's act or behavior resulting in the expulsion. The records also shall contain information pertaining to immunization and such other information as the State Board of Education may prescribe. The cumulative folder, in addition to that information maintained in the permanent records, also shall contain such other information as the State Board of Education shall prescribe. It shall be the responsibility of the person in charge of each school to enforce the requirement for evidence of the age of each pupil before enrollment. If the first prescribed evidence is not available, the next evidence obtainable in the order set forth below shall be accepted:
(a) A certified birth certificate;
(b) A duly attested transcript of a certificate of baptism showing the date of birth and place of baptism of the child, accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by a parent, grandparent or custodian;
(c) An insurance policy on the child's life which has been in force for at least two (2) years;
(d) A bona fide contemporary Bible record of the child's birth accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the parent, grandparent or custodian;
(e) A passport or certificate of arrival in the United States showing the age of the child;
(f) A transcript of record of age shown in the child's school record of at least four (4) years prior to application, stating date of birth; or
(g) If none of these evidences can be produced, an affidavit of age sworn to by a parent, grandparent or custodian. Any child enrolling in Kindergarten or Grade 1 shall present the required evidence of age upon enrollment. Any child in Grades 2 through 12 not in compliance at the end of sixty (60) days from enrollment shall be suspended until in compliance.
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SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after June 30, 2003.