2004 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Senator(s) Burton
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE COLLECTION OF REED ACT FUNDS TO SECONDARY AND POST-SECONDARY VOCATIONAL CENTERS FOR THE PURPOSE OF MEASURING AND BUILDING BASIC WORKPLACE SKILLS IN STUDENTS ENROLLED IN VOCATIONAL/TECHNICAL PROGRAMS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Beginning with the 2004-2005 school year, a portion of Mississippi's Reed Act Funds, Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($2,500,000.00), shall be allocated for that school year to the Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Vocational/Technical Education to purchase a workforce development system that measures specific workplace skills and comprehensive software that will target instruction for building students' skills with the following restrictions:
(a) The workforce development system will allow communication on a common scale among individuals (students, job applicants, current employees), employers, educators and trainers.
(b) The assessment will measure students' workplace skills as they enter vocational/technical programs and again as they complete these programs. This assessment package will include at a minimum these basic components: reading for information, applied mathematics and locating information.
(c) The assessment will identify workplace skills required for specific jobs and will assist teachers and trainers with targeted instruction where skill gaps occur. Students will be able to build skill areas needing improvement during the two-year vocational/technical programs as they prepare for Mississippi's job opportunities.
(d) The comprehensive targeted instructional software program will be designed for the building of workplace skills and maintain the common scale and language of the assessment package.
(e) The comprehensive instructional software program shall include skill ranges to assist students whose skill achievement levels are very low. The software shall assist special populations' students such as: individuals with disabilities, economically disadvantaged, single parents, displaced homemakers, those preparing for nontraditional training and employment and students with other barriers to educational achievement such as limited English proficiency.
SECTION 2. Beginning with the school year 2005-2006, a portion of Reed Act Funds, One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00), shall be allocated each year for the next five (5) years to continue providing a uniform process for measuring students' skill levels within vocational programs and to update the software designed to build skills each year with these expected outcomes:
(a) Students can improve workplace skills as well as improve state test scores and college entrance test scores during the two-year program.
(b) Teacher techniques and strategies can improve with each year of targeted administration and instruction resulting in better student performance.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.