SENATE BILL NO. 11
INTRODUCED BY D. SALOMON
BY REQUEST OF THE EDUCATION INTERIM COMMITTEE
AN ACT REVISING PUPIL MINIMUM AGE LAWS TO CLARIFY THAT A 5-YEAR-OLD CHILD ENROLLED IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL IS CONSIDERED A PUPIL; AND AMENDING SECTIONS 20-1-101, 20-5-101, AND 20-7-411, MCA.
WHEREAS, school districts are required to make available at least a half-day kindergarten program to all resident 5-year-olds pursuant to 20-7-117, MCA; and
WHEREAS, 5-year-old kindergarten students currently generate ANB funding pursuant to 20-9-311, MCA, and the clarifications in this bill will have no fiscal impact; and
WHEREAS, neither school districts' obligations in providing special education nor parents' rights in determining when to enroll their child in school will be impacted by the clarifications in this bill; and
WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Montana intends no substantive change in current practice, obligations, or funding with these changes and intends only to provide additional clarity to existing practices, obligations, and funding.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
"20-1-101. Definitions. As used in this title, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Accreditation standards" means the body of administrative rules governing standards such as:
(a) school leadership;
(b) educational opportunity;
(c) academic requirements;
(d) program area standards;
(e) content and performance standards;
(f) school facilities and records;
(g) student assessment; and
(h) general provisions.
(2) "Aggregate hours" means the hours of pupil instruction for which a school course or program is offered or for which a pupil is enrolled.
(3) "Agricultural experiment station" means the agricultural experiment station established at Montana state university-Bozeman.
(4) "At-risk student" means any student who is affected by environmental conditions that negatively impact the student's educational performance or threaten a student's likelihood of promotion or graduation.
(5) "Average number belonging" or "ANB" means the average number of regularly enrolled, full-time pupils physically attending or receiving educational services at an offsite instructional setting from the public schools of a district.
(6) "Board of public education" means the board created by Article X, section 9, subsection (3), of the Montana constitution and 2-15-1507.
(7) "Board of regents" means the board of regents of higher education created by Article X, section 9, subsection (2), of the Montana constitution and 2-15-1505.
(8) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of higher education created by Article X, section 9, subsection (2), of the Montana constitution and 2-15-1506.
(9) "County superintendent" means the county government official who is the school officer of the county.
(10) "District superintendent" means a person who holds a valid class 3 Montana teacher certificate with a superintendent's endorsement that has been issued by the superintendent of public instruction under the provisions of this title and the policies adopted by the board of public education and who has been employed by a district as a district superintendent.
(11) (a) "Educational program" means a set of educational offerings designed to meet the program area standards contained in the accreditation standards.
(b) The term does not include an educational program or programs used in 20-4-121 and 20-25-803.
(12) "K-12 career and vocational/technical education" means organized educational activities that have been approved by the office of public instruction and that:
(a) offer a sequence of courses that provide a pupil with the academic and technical knowledge and skills that the pupil needs to prepare for further education and for careers in the current or emerging employment sectors; and
(b) include competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills of the pupil.
(13) (a) "Minimum aggregate hours" means the minimum hours of pupil instruction that must be conducted during the school fiscal year in accordance with 20-1-301 and includes passing time between classes.
(b) The term does not include lunch time and periods of unstructured recess.
(14) "Offsite instructional setting" means an instructional setting at a location, separate from a main school site, where a school district provides for the delivery of instruction to a student who is enrolled in the district.
(15) "Principal" means a person who holds a valid class 3 Montana teacher certificate with an applicable principal's endorsement that has been issued by the superintendent of public instruction under the provisions of this title and the policies adopted by the board of public education and who has been employed by a district as a principal. For the purposes of this title, any reference to a teacher must be construed as including a principal.
(16) "Pupil" means a child who is 6 5 years of age or older on or before September 10 of the year in which the child is to enroll or has been enrolled by special permission of the board of trustees under 20-5-101(3) but who has not yet reached 19 years of age and who is enrolled in a school established and maintained under the laws of the state at public expense. For purposes of calculating the average number belonging pursuant to 20-9-311, the definition of pupil includes a person who has not yet reached 19 years of age by September 10 of the year and is enrolled under 20-5-101(3) in a school established and maintained under the laws of the state at public expense.
(17) "Pupil instruction" means the conduct of organized instruction of pupils enrolled in public schools while under the supervision of a teacher.
(18) "Qualified and effective teacher or administrator" means an educator who is licensed and endorsed in the areas in which the educator teaches, specializes, or serves in an administrative capacity as established by the board of public education.
(19) "Regents" means the board of regents of higher education.
(20) "Regular school election" or "trustee election" means the election for school board members held on the day established in 20-20-105(1).
(21) "School election" means a regular school election or any election conducted by a district or community college district for authorizing taxation, authorizing the issuance of bonds by an elementary, high school, or K-12 district, or accepting or rejecting any proposition that may be presented to the electorate for decision in accordance with the provisions of this title.
(22) "School food services" means a service of providing food for the pupils of a district on a nonprofit basis and includes any food service financially assisted through funds or commodities provided by the United States government.
(23) "Special school election" means an election held on a day other than the day of the regular school election, primary election, or general election.
(24) "State board of education" means the board composed of the board of public education and the board of regents as specified in Article X, section 9, subsection (1), of the Montana constitution.
(25) "State university" means Montana state university-Bozeman.
(26) "Student with limited English proficiency" means any student:
(a) (i) who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;
(ii) who is an American Indian and who comes from an environment in which a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English proficiency; or
(iii) who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment in which a language other than English is dominant; and
(b) whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the student:
(i) the ability to meet the state's proficiency assessments;
(ii) the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
(iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.
(27) "Superintendent of public instruction" means that state government official designated as a member of the executive branch by the Montana constitution.
(28) "System" means the Montana university system.
(29) "Teacher" means a person, except a district superintendent, who holds a valid Montana teacher certificate that has been issued by the superintendent of public instruction under the provisions of this title and the policies adopted by the board of public education and who is employed by a district as a member of its instructional, supervisory, or administrative staff. This definition of a teacher includes a person for whom an emergency authorization of employment has been issued under the provisions of 20-4-111.
(30) "Textbook" means a book or manual used as a principal source of study material for a given class or group of students.
(31) "Textbook dealer" means a party, company, corporation, or other organization selling, offering to sell, or offering for adoption textbooks to districts in the state.
(32) "Trustees" means the governing board of a district.
(33) "University" means the university of Montana-Missoula.
(34) "Vocational-technical education" means vocational-technical education of vocational-technical students that is conducted by a unit of the Montana university system, a community college, or a tribally controlled community college, as designated by the board of regents."
"20-5-101. Admittance of child to school. (1) The trustees shall assign and admit a child to a school in the district when the child is:
(a) 6 5 years of age or older on or before September 10 of the year in which the child is to enroll but is not yet 19 years of age;
(b) a resident of the district; and
(c) otherwise qualified under the provisions of this title to be admitted to the school.
(2) The trustees of a district may assign and admit any nonresident child to a school in the district under the tuition provisions of this title.
(3) The trustees may at their discretion assign and admit a child to a school in the district who is under 6 5 years of age or an adult who is 19 years of age or older if there are exceptional circumstances that merit waiving the age provision of this section. The trustees may also admit an individual who has graduated from high school but is not yet 19 years of age even though no special circumstances exist for waiver of the age provision of this section.
(4) The trustees shall assign and admit a child who is homeless, as defined in the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77), to a school in the district regardless of residence. The trustees may not require an out-of-district attendance agreement or tuition for a homeless child.
(5) Except for the provisions of subsection (4), tuition for a nonresident child must be paid in accordance with the tuition provisions of this title.
(6) The trustees' assignment of a child meeting the qualifications of subsection (1) to a school in the district outside of the adopted school boundaries applicable to the child is subject to the district's grievance policy. Upon completion of procedures set forth in the district's grievance policy, the trustees' decision regarding the assignment is final."
"20-7-411. Regular classes preferred -- obligation to establish special education program. (1) A child with a disability in Montana is entitled to a free appropriate public education provided in the least restrictive environment. To the maximum extent appropriate, a child with a disability, including a child in a public or private institution or other care facility, must be educated with children who do not have disabilities. Separate schooling or other removal of a child with a disability from the regular educational environment may occur only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
(2) The board of trustees of every school district or a state-operated adult health care facility providing special education services to its residents shall provide or establish and maintain a special education program for each child with a disability who is 6 5 years of age or older and under 19 years of age.
(3) The board of trustees of each elementary district shall provide or establish and maintain a special education program for each preschool child with a disability who is 3 years of age or older and under 7 years of age.
(4) (a) The board of trustees of a school district or a state-operated adult health care facility providing special education services to its residents may provide or establish and maintain a special education program for a child with a disability who is 2 years of age or under or who is 19 years of age or older and under 22 years of age.
(b) Programs established pursuant to subsection (4)(a) do not obligate the state, a school district, or a state-operated adult health care facility providing special education services to its residents to offer regular educational programs to a similar age group unless specifically provided by law.
(5) The board of trustees of a school district or a state-operated adult health care facility providing special education services to its residents may meet its obligation to serve persons with disabilities by establishing its own special education program, by establishing a cooperative special education program, by participating in a regional services program, or by contracting for services from qualified providers. A state-operated adult health care facility providing special education services to its residents may also meet its obligation by coordinating appropriate services with the resident's school district of residence, the local high school district, or both.
(6) The trustees of a school district or a state-operated adult health care facility providing special education services to its residents shall ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services, or both, are made available to a child with a disability if required as a part of the child's special education services, related services, or supplementary aids."
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Prepared by Montana Legislative Services