Senate Bill No. 241
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act authorizing the department of justice to deny an instruction permit or driver's license to a person who is less than 18 years of age and who has not received a high school diploma or its equivalent and who is not enrolled and attending a public, private, or parochial school or a home school or adult education program; authorizing the department of justice to suspend the driver's license of a student who is 15 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age upon notification that the student is no longer attending school; requiring a county superintendent to notify the department of justice when a student has graduated or is no longer attending school; requiring school district trustees to provide information to the superintendent of public instruction; providing an exception in cases of demonstrated financial hardship; prohibiting the issuance of a probationary license; changing the requirements for compulsory attendance at school to 18 years of age or receipt of a high school diploma or its equivalent; amending sections 20-3-205, 20-3-324, 20-5-102, 20-5-103, 61-5-105, 61-5-107, and 61-5-206, MCA; and providing an immediate effective date and an applicability date."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 20-3-205, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-3-205. Powers and duties. The county superintendent has general supervision of the schools of the county within the limitations prescribed by this title and shall perform the following duties or acts:
(1) determine, establish, and reestablish trustee nominating districts in accordance with the provisions of 20-3-352, 20-3-353, and 20-3-354;
(2) administer and file the oaths of members of the boards of trustees of the districts in the county in accordance with the provisions of 20-3-307;
(3) register the teacher or specialist certificates or emergency authorization of employment of any person employed in the county as a teacher, specialist, principal, or district superintendent in accordance with the provisions of 20-4-202;
(4) act on each tuition and transportation obligation submitted in accordance with the provisions of 20-5-323 and 20-5-324;
(5) file a copy of the audit report for a district in accordance with the provisions of 20-9-203;
(6) classify districts in accordance with the provisions of 20-6-201 and 20-6-301;
(7) keep a transcript and reconcile the district boundaries of the county in accordance with the provisions of 20-6-103;
(8) fulfill all responsibilities assigned under the provisions of this title regulating the organization, alteration, or abandonment of districts;
(9) act on any unification proposition and, if approved, establish additional trustee nominating districts in accordance with 20-6-312 and 20-6-313;
(10) estimate the average number belonging (ANB) of an opening school in accordance with the provisions of 20-6-502, 20-6-503, 20-6-504, or 20-6-506;
(11) process and, when required, act on school isolation applications in accordance with the provisions of 20-9-302;
(12) complete the budgets, compute the budgeted revenues and tax levies, file final budgets and budget amendments, and fulfill other responsibilities assigned under the provisions of this title regulating school budgeting systems;
(13) submit an annual financial report to the superintendent of public instruction in accordance with the provisions of 20-9-211;
(14) monthly, unless otherwise provided by law, order the county treasurer to apportion state money, county school money, and any other school money subject to apportionment in accordance with the provisions of 20-9-212, 20-9-334, 20-9-347, 20-10-145, or 20-10-146;
(15) act on any request to transfer average number belonging (ANB) in accordance with the provisions of 20-9-313(3);
(16) calculate the estimated budgeted general fund sources of revenue in accordance with the general fund revenue provisions of the general fund part of this title;
(17) compute the revenues and the district and county levy requirements for each fund included in each district's final budget and report the computations to the board of county commissioners in accordance with the provisions of the general fund, transportation, bonds, and other school funds parts of this title;
(18) file and forward bus driver certifications, transportation contracts, and state transportation reimbursement claims in accordance with the provisions of 20-10-103, 20-10-143, or 20-10-145;
(19) for districts that do not employ a district superintendent or principal, recommend library book and textbook selections in accordance with the provisions of 20-7-204 or 20-7-602;
(20) notify the superintendent of public instruction of a textbook dealer's activities when required under the provisions of 20-7-605 and otherwise comply with the textbook dealer provisions of this title;
(21) act on district requests to allocate federal money for indigent children for school food services in accordance with the provisions of 20-10-205;
(22) perform any other duty prescribed from time to time by this title, any other act of the legislature, the policies of the board of public education, the policies of the board of regents relating to community college districts, or the rules of the superintendent of public instruction;
(23) administer the oath of office to trustees without the receipt of pay for administering the oath;
(24) keep a record of official acts, preserve all reports submitted to the superintendent under the provisions of this title, preserve all books and instructional equipment or supplies, keep all documents applicable to the administration of the office, and surrender all records, books, supplies, and equipment to the next superintendent;
(25) within 90 days after the close of the school fiscal year, publish an annual report in the county newspaper stating the following financial information for the school fiscal year just ended for each district of the county:
(a) the total of the cash balances of all funds maintained by the district at the beginning of the year;
(b) the total receipts that were realized in each fund maintained by the district;
(c) the total expenditures that were made from each fund maintained by the district; and
(d) the total of the cash balances of all funds maintained by the district at the end of the school fiscal year;
(26) provide to the department of justice by each November 15 and March 15 a list containing the name of each student who is 15 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age and:
(a) was enrolled in the previous enrollment count but is not enrolled in the current enrollment count; or
(b) has received a high school diploma or its equivalent since the last required enrollment count;
(27) upon request from the department of justice, cooperate with trustees to provide verification that a student meets the requirements of 61-5-107 or 61-5-206; and
(28) hold meetings for the members of the trustees from time to time at which matters for the good of the districts must be discussed."
Section 2. Section 20-3-324, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-3-324. Powers and duties. As prescribed elsewhere in this title, the trustees of each district shall:
(1) employ or dismiss a teacher, principal, or other assistant upon the recommendation of the district superintendent, the county high school principal, or other principal as the board considers necessary, accepting or rejecting any recommendation as the trustees in their sole discretion determine, in accordance with the provisions of Title 20, chapter 4;
(2) employ and dismiss administrative personnel, clerks, secretaries, teacher aides, custodians, maintenance personnel, school bus drivers, food service personnel, nurses, and any other personnel considered necessary to carry out the various services of the district;
(3) administer the attendance and tuition provisions and otherwise govern the pupils of the district in accordance with the provisions of the pupils chapter of this title;
(4) call, conduct, and certify the elections of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school elections chapter of this title;
(5) participate in the teachers' retirement system of the state of Montana in accordance with the provisions of the teachers' retirement system chapter of Title 19;
(6) participate in district boundary change actions in accordance with the provisions of the districts chapter of this title;
(7) organize, open, close, or acquire isolation status for the schools of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school organization part of this title;
(8) adopt and administer the annual budget or a budget amendment of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school budget system part of this title;
(9) conduct the fiscal business of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school financial administration part of this title;
(10) establish the ANB, BASE budget levy, over-BASE budget levy, additional levy, operating reserve, and state impact aid amounts for the general fund of the district in accordance with the provisions of the general fund part of this title;
(11) establish, maintain, budget, and finance the transportation program of the district in accordance with the provisions of the transportation parts of this title;
(12) issue, refund, sell, budget, and redeem the bonds of the district in accordance with the provisions of the bonds parts of this title;
(13) when applicable, establish, financially administer, and budget for the tuition fund, retirement fund, building reserve fund, adult education fund, nonoperating fund, school food services fund, miscellaneous federal programs fund, building fund, lease or rental agreement fund, traffic education fund, impact aid fund, and interlocal cooperative agreement fund in accordance with the provisions of the other school funds parts of this title;
(14) when applicable, administer any interlocal cooperative agreement, gifts, legacies, or devises in accordance with the provisions of the miscellaneous financial parts of this title;
(15) hold in trust, acquire, and dispose of the real and personal property of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school sites and facilities part of this title;
(16) operate the schools of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school calendar part of this title;
(17) establish and maintain the instructional services of the schools of the district in accordance with the provisions of the instructional services, textbooks, vocational education, and special education parts of this title;
(18) establish and maintain the school food services of the district in accordance with the provisions of the school food services parts of this title;
(19) make reports from time to time as the county superintendent, superintendent of public instruction, and board of public education may require;
(20) retain, when considered advisable, a physician or registered nurse to inspect the sanitary conditions of the school or the general health conditions of each pupil and, upon request, make available to any parent or guardian any medical reports or health records maintained by the district pertaining to the child;
(21) for each member of the trustees, visit each school of the district not less than once each school fiscal year to examine its management, conditions, and needs, except trustees from a first-class school district may share the responsibility for visiting each school in the district;
(22) procure and display outside daily in suitable weather on school days at each school of the district an American flag that measures not less than 4 feet by 6 feet;
(23) provide that an American flag that measures approximately 12 inches by 18 inches be prominently displayed in each classroom in each school of the district, except in a classroom in which the flag may get soiled. This requirement is waived if the flags are not provided by a local civic group.
(24) adopt and administer a district policy on assessment for placement of any child who enrolls in a school of the district
from a nonpublic school that is not accredited, as required in 20-5-110;
(25) upon request from the county superintendent, provide information necessary to verify that a student meets the requirements of 61-5-107 or 61-5-206; and
(25)(26) perform any other duty and enforce any other requirements for the government of the schools prescribed by this
title, the policies of the board of public education, or the rules of the superintendent of public instruction."
Section 3. Section 20-5-102, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-5-102. Compulsory enrollment and excuses. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), any parent, guardian, or other person who is responsible for the care of any child who is 7 years of age or older prior to the first day of school in any school fiscal year shall cause the child to be instructed in the program prescribed by the board of public education pursuant to 20-7-111 until the later of the following dates:
(a) the child's
16th 18th birthday;
(b) the date of completion of the work of the 8th grade.
(2) A parent, guardian, or other person shall enroll the child in the school assigned by the trustees of the district within the
first week of the school term or when
he the parent, guardian, or other person establishes residence in the district unless the
(a) enrolled in a school of another district or state under any of the tuition provisions of this title;
(b) provided with supervised correspondence study or supervised home study under the transportation provisions of this title;
(c) excused from compulsory school attendance upon a determination by a district judge that attendance is not in the best interest of the child;
(d) excused by the board of trustees upon a determination that attendance by a child who has attained
the age of 16 18
years of age is not in the best interest of the child and the school; or
(e) enrolled in a nonpublic or home school that complies with the provisions of 20-5-109. For the purposes of this
subsection (2) (e), a home school is the instruction by a parent of
his a child, stepchild, or ward in his the parent's residence
and a nonpublic school includes a parochial, church, religious, or private school.
(f) less than 18 years of age and has received a high school diploma or its equivalent."
Section 4. Section 20-5-103, MCA, is amended to read:
"20-5-103. Compulsory attendance and excuses. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), any parent, guardian, or other
person who is responsible for the care of any child who is 7 years of age or older prior to the first day of school in any
school fiscal year shall cause the child to attend the school in which
he the child is enrolled for the school term and each
school day therein in the school term prescribed by the trustees of the district until the later of the following dates:
(a) the child's
16th 18th birthday;
(b) the date of completion of the work of the 8th grade.
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) do not apply in the following cases:
(a) The child has been excused under one of the conditions specified in 20-5-102.
(b) The child is absent because of illness, bereavement, or other reason prescribed by the policies of the trustees.
(c) The child has been suspended or expelled under the provisions of 20-5-202."
Section 5. Section 61-5-105, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-5-105. Who may not be licensed. The department may not issue a license under this chapter to a person:
(1) who is under 16 years of age unless:
(a) the person is at least 15 years of age and has passed a driver's education course approved by the department and the superintendent of public instruction; and
(b) meets the requirements in 61-5-107; or
(b)(c) the person is at least 13 years of age and, because of individual hardship, to be determined by the department, needs
a restricted license;
(2) whose license or driving privilege is currently suspended or revoked in this or any state;
(3) who is addicted to the use of alcohol or narcotic drugs;
(4) who has previously been adjudged to be afflicted with or suffering from any mental disability or disease and who, at the time of application, has not been restored to competency by the methods provided by law;
(5) who is required by this chapter to take an examination;
(6) who has not deposited proof of financial responsibility when required under the provisions of chapter 6 of this title; or
(7) who has any condition characterized by lapse of consciousness or control, either temporary or prolonged, that is or may become chronic. However, the department may in its discretion issue a license to an otherwise qualified person suffering from a condition if the afflicted person's attending physician attests in writing that the person's condition has stabilized and would not be likely to interfere with that person's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely and, if a commercial driver's license is involved, the person is physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle under applicable state or federal regulations."
Section 6. Section 61-5-107, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-5-107. Application for license, instruction permit, or motorcycle endorsement. (1) Each application for an instruction permit, driver's license, or motorcycle endorsement must be made upon a form furnished by the department. A motorcycle endorsement is required for the operation of a quadricycle.
(2) Each application must be accompanied by the proper fee, and payment of the fee entitles the applicant to not more than three attempts to pass the examination within a period of 6 months from the date of application. A voter registration form for mail registration as prescribed by the secretary of state must be attached to each driver's license application. If the applicant wishes to register to vote, the department shall accept the registration and forward the form to the election administrator.
(2)(3) Each application must state the full name, date of birth, sex, and residence address of the applicant, must briefly
describe the applicant, and must state whether:
(a) the applicant has previously been licensed as a driver or commercial vehicle operator
, and, if so, when and by what
state or country;
(b) any commercial operator license has ever been suspended or revoked; or
(c) an application has ever been refused
, and, if so, the date of and reason for suspension, revocation, or refusal. (3)(4) When an application is received from an applicant who was previously licensed by another jurisdiction, the
department shall request a copy of the applicant's driving record from the previous licensing jurisdiction. The driving
record may be transmitted manually or by electronic medium. When received, the driving records become a part of the
driver's record in this state with the same force and effect as though entered on the driver's record in this state in the original
(5) In addition to the information required in subsection (2), an application for an instruction permit or for a driver's license by a person who is less than 18 years of age on October 1 of any year must be accompanied by:
(a) proof that the person has received a high school diploma or its equivalent or is enrolled in and regularly attending an adult education program, a public, private, or parochial school, or a home school program pursuant to 20-5-109; and
(b) proof that a student enrolled in a program or school has at least a "C" average for the previous semester or grading period. A student with disabilities receiving special education or related services or a student enrolled in an adult education program shall present proof that the student is successfully completing an individual education plan to be issued a license.
(6) If necessary, the department may contact the county superintendent of the resident district of the student to verify that the student meets the requirements of this section.
(7) If a person who is less than 18 years of age is unable to meet the requirements of this section but can demonstrate that financial hardship would result from the failure to issue a permit or license, the department may grant an exception only to the extent necessary to ameliorate the hardship. If the department determines that the conditions for granting a hardship were fraudulent, the parent or guardian of the minor may be charged with perjury."
Section 7. Section 61-5-206, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-5-206. Authority of department to suspend license or driving privilege or issue probationary license. (1)
Except as provided in subsection (5), the department may suspend the driver's license or driving privilege of a driver
without preliminary hearing upon a showing by its records or other sufficient evidence that the licensee:
(a) has been involved as a driver in any accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another or serious property damage;
(b) has been convicted with such frequency of serious offenses against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles as to indicate a disrespect for traffic laws and a disregard for the safety of other persons on the highways;
(c) is an habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle;
(d) is incompetent to drive a motor vehicle;
(e) has committed or permitted an unlawful or fraudulent use of the license as specified in 61-5-302;
(f) has committed an offense in another state
which that if committed in this state would be grounds for suspension or
(g) has falsified the licensee's date of birth on the application for a driver's license;
(h) is under 21 years of age and has altered the licensee's or another's driver's license or identification card to obtain
(i) has authorized another to use the licensee's driver's license or identification card to obtain alcohol; or
(j) is 15 years of age or older but is less than 18 years of age and has been determined by a public, private, or parochial school as no longer enrolled and attending school.
However Except when a license is suspended pursuant to subsection (1)(j), the department may, in its discretion and in
lieu of suspending the license or driving privilege, issue a probationary license to a driver, without preliminary hearing,
upon a showing by its records or other sufficient evidence that the licensee's driving record is such as would authorize
suspension as provided in subsection (1). Upon issuance of When a probationary license is issued, the licensee is subject to
the restrictions set forth in the probationary license. The licensee's driving privilege may be suspended upon conviction or
forfeiture of bail not vacated of any traffic violation during the period of probation. The licensee shall surrender to the
department all driver's licenses that have been issued to the licensee before the probationary license may be issued. The
licensee's refusal or neglect to surrender the licenses upon demand is grounds for suspending all licenses. Probationary
licenses may be issued for a period not to exceed 12 months.
(3) Upon suspending the license of any person or upon placing the person on probation, as authorized in this section, the
department shall immediately notify the licensee in writing and upon the licensee's request shall afford the licensee an
opportunity for a hearing as early as practical within not to exceed 20 days after receipt of the request in the county in
which the licensee resides unless the department and the licensee agree that the hearing may be held in some other county.
At the hearing the department through its authorized agent may administer oaths
and may, issue subpoenas for the
attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant books and papers, and may require a reexamination of the licensee.
At Following the hearing, the department shall either rescind its order of suspension or probation , or , for good cause, may
for good cause affirm, reduce, or extend the period of probation or suspension of the license.
(4) A student whose license is suspended pursuant to subsection (1)(j) may retain or regain the license from the department by providing evidence that the licensee:
(a) is 18 years of age;
(b) is attending school or an adult education program;
(c) is enrolled in a nonpublic or home school program pursuant to 20-5-109; or
(d) has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent.
(5) If a student who is 15 years of age or older but less than 18 years of age is not attending school but provides convincing evidence that a financial hardship would result from the suspension of the student's license, the department may grant an exception only to the extent necessary to ameliorate the hardship."
NEW SECTION. Section 8. Effective date -- applicability. [This act] is effective on passage and approval, and applies to applications for licenses or licenses issued on or after [the effective date of this act].