Senate Bill No. 165
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act providing for the superintendent of public instruction to grant education payments for youth in licensed youth detention facilities from an account funded by tuition payments from counties; clarifying the county superintendent's responsibility for tuition payments for youth placed in youth detention facilities; providing a grant and reimbursement process; amending section
20-5-321, MCA; and providing an effective date."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. State grant program -- purpose. (1) There is a state program to provide education funding for youths who are placed in a youth detention facility, as defined in 41-5-103, for 10 days or more.
(2) The purpose of this program is to provide funding on a regular basis for youth who are placed in youth detention facilities as the facilities incur the costs to educate these youth. Because tuition payments are not immediately available for the youth detention facility where the youth is receiving education services, the superintendent of public instruction is directed to maintain an account from which the education services can be funded on a regular basis and to which tuition payments from each county superintendent can be made at regular intervals.
(3) The youth in youth detention facilities are entitled to receive education services, and it is the responsibility of the county of the youth's residence to provide the means for those services, even when a youth is placed in a youth detention facility that is in a different county. It is in the best interest of the state and the youth to provide continuity with the education that the youth had been receiving or to provide access to education to encourage a youth to participate in appropriate activities and as a means for future self-sufficiency.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. State, county, and youth detention facility responsibilities. (1) Each county of residence is responsible to pay the cost of educating a youth who is placed in a youth detention facility, as defined in 41-5-103, for 10 days or more.
(2) When a youth is placed, for any reason, in a youth detention facility, and it appears that the youth will be detained or has been detained for 10 days or more, the youth detention facility shall determine the youth's district of residence on the basis of the provisions of 1-1-215 and shall make application to the county superintendent for the district of residence for an out-of-district attendance agreement. Approval of the agreement is mandatory as provided in 20-5-321(1)(d).
(3) The county superintendent of the resident district shall forward a copy of the out-of-district attendance agreement with a tuition rate calculation, as provided in 20-5-323(2) or (3), to the youth detention facility making the application and to the superintendent of public instruction.
(4) The youth detention facility shall forward a statement of the total number of youth who are in the youth detention facility who have out-of-district attendance agreements in place, the appropriate tuition calculation for each youth, and the total number of days of instruction for each youth to the superintendent of public instruction.
(5) The superintendent of public instruction shall grant an education payment to the youth detention facility on a monthly basis in an amount determined by the total number of youth who are in the youth detention facility who have an out-of-district attendance agreement, the tuition calculation for each youth, and the total number of days of instruction for each youth.
(6) The superintendent of public instruction shall maintain a state special revenue account for the purposes of granting education payments and receiving tuition payments from the county superintendents.
(7) The county of residence is responsible for including the out-of-district attendance agreement in its tuition report pursuant to 20-5-324. The county superintendent of the county of residence shall make the tuition payments that are owed under 20-5-324 for the education of a youth in a youth detention facility to the superintendent of public instruction to be placed in the special revenue account for education payments to youth detention facilities.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Education for youth in youth detention facility. (1) When a youth is placed in a youth detention facility, as defined in 41-5-103, for any reason and has been in detention for 10 days, the youth detention facility shall provide education services.
(2) The youth detention facility shall provide education services to the youth according to the youth's needs. Tuition payments may be used for, but are not limited to being used for, the following purposes:
(a) contracting for services with an accredited education program;
(b) contracting for services with a person who is certified and qualified to provide appropriate education services; or
(c) providing for courses towards a general education degree.
(3) To qualify for an education grant, a youth detention facility must provide a description of an education plan to the superintendent of public instruction on an annual basis. The education plan must include a description of the types of education services that are available, including any combination of the following:
(a) an accredited program, as provided in 20-7-102;
(b) a contract with a person certified under Title 20, chapter 4, part 1; or
(c) an adult basic education program.
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Special revenue account. There is an account in the state special revenue fund. Money in the account is allocated to the superintendent of public instruction to administer the provisions of [sections 1 through 4].
Section 5. Section 20-5-321, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-5-321. Attendance with mandatory approval -- tuition and transportation. (1) An out-of-district attendance agreement that allows a child to enroll in and attend a school in a Montana school district that is outside of the child's district of residence or in a public school district of a state or province that is adjacent to the county of the child's residence is mandatory whenever:
(a) the child resides closer to the school that the child wishes to attend and more than 3 miles from the school the child would attend in the resident district and:
(i) the resident district does not provide transportation; or
(ii) the district of residence provides transportation and is not within the same county as the child's school district of choice;
(b) the child resides in a location where,
due to because of road or geographic conditions, it is impractical to attend the
school nearest the child's residence;
(c) the child is a member of a family that is required to send another child outside of the elementary district to attend high school and the child of elementary age may more conveniently attend an elementary school where the high school is located, provided that the child resides more than 3 miles from an elementary school in the resident district or that the parent is required to move to the elementary district where the high school is located to enroll another child in high school;
(d) the child has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to be an abused or neglected child, as defined in 41-3-102, or a youth in need of supervision or a delinquent youth, as defined in 41-5-103, and has been placed in a licensed youth care facility that is approved by the department of public health and human services or is placed in a youth detention facility, as defined in 41-5-103, and, as a result of the placement, is required to attend school outside of the child's district of residence; or
(e) the child is required to attend school outside of the district of residence as the result of a placement by a state agency or parent in a group home licensed by the state or an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) (a) Whenever a parent or guardian of a child, an agency of the state, or a court wishes to have a child attend a school under the provisions of this section, the parent or guardian, agency, or court shall complete an out-of-district attendance agreement in consultation with an appropriate official of the district the child will attend.
(b) The attendance agreement must set forth the financial obligations, if any, for costs incurred for tuition and transportation as provided in 20-5-323 and Title 20, chapter 10.
(c) The trustees of the district of choice may waive any or all of the tuition rate, but any waiver must be applied equally to all students.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4), the trustees of the resident district and the trustees of the district of choice shall approve the out-of-district attendance agreement and notify the county superintendent of schools of the county of the child's residence of the approval of the agreement within 10 days. The county superintendent shall approve the agreement for payment under 20-5-324(5).
(4) Unless the child is a child with disabilities who resides in the district, the trustees of the district where the school to be
attended is located may disapprove an out-of-district attendance agreement whenever they find that,
due to because of
insufficient room and overcrowding, the accreditation of the school would be adversely affected by the acceptance of the
Section 6. Section 20-7-424, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-7-424. No tuition when attending state institution. (1) Whenever a child is attending a state-funded institution in Montana, the resident district or county is not required to pay tuition to the state institution for the child, but whenever at the recommendation of institution officials the child attends classes conducted by a school within a local district, the district or county where the parents or guardian of the child maintains legal residence shall pay tuition to the district operating the school in accordance with the provisions of 20-5-321 or 20-7-421, whichever section applies to the circumstances of the child. Transportation payments must be made for students enrolled in any school district classes or receiving training, including summer sessions, at the state institution. The schedule of transportation payments must be approved in accordance with existing transportation payment schedules and must be approved by the county transportation committee and the superintendent of public instruction.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the term "state-funded institution" does not include a licensed youth detention facility, as defined in 41-5-103."
NEW SECTION. Section 7. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 through 4] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 20, chapter 5, part 3, and the provisions of Title 20, chapter 5, part 3, apply to [sections 1 through 4].
NEW SECTION. Section 8. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1997.