HOUSE BILL NO. 295
INTRODUCED BY F. ANDERSON, D. BEDEY, R. FITZGERALD, J. FULLER, M. FUNK, F. GARNER, B. GRUBBS, J. KRAUTTER, J. KROTKOV, D. LOGE, W. SALES, S. VINTON, T. WELCH
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT PROMOTING WORK-BASED LEARNING IN MONTANA PUBLIC SCHOOLS; CREATING A TEMPORARY WORK-BASED LEARNING INNOVATION PROGRAM; PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE AND A TERMINATION DATE."
WHEREAS, Montana has a shortage of career and technical education teachers; and
WHEREAS, Montana has a shortage of skilled workers overall; and
WHEREAS, the percentage of young people working has declined in recent decades; and
WHEREAS, a great amount of learning can take place outside classroom walls, and especially in work settings; and
WHEREAS, students applying skills they have learned at school in a work setting reinforces the relevancy of those skills; and
WHEREAS, increased collaboration between school districts and employers creates a win-win situation, more effectively utilizes resources, and most importantly increases opportunities for students; and
WHEREAS, a small number of school districts successfully implementing high-quality work-based learning approaches offers the greatest likelihood of more school districts following their lead.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Work-based learning innovation program -- grants. (1) The purpose of this section is to encourage school districts to collaborate with employers and workforce development entities to implement high-quality work-based learning.
(2) The superintendent of public instruction, in collaboration with workforce development entities, shall create a work-based learning innovation program to stimulate the development of work-based learning in Montana schools.
(3) The work-based learning innovation program must involve:
(a) conducting a statewide awareness campaign to promote understanding and interest in work-based learning for teachers, administrators, parents, students, employers, and policymakers;
(b) providing information, guidance, and technical support to school districts and employers on implementing high-quality work-based learning;
(c) selecting a cohort of no more than 20 school districts that have demonstrated a commitment to implementing high-quality work-based learning in one or more schools to participate in the program. In selecting school districts, the superintendent shall strive to include districts of varying sizes and locations to serve as models for other districts in the future. The superintendent shall include, at a minimum, the following selection criteria:
(i) evidence that the district has begun collaboration with area employers and workforce development entities to identify:
(A) workforce sectors in the area that are experiencing a skilled workforce shortage; and
(B) opportunities for students to engage in work-based learning in the high-need sectors identified in subsection (3)(c)(i)(A); and
(ii) evidence of commitment by area employers to partner in providing work-based learning opportunities for students.
(d) convening representatives of the cohort described in subsection (3)(c) for:
(i) developing sequenced and actionable plans to implement or expand work-based learning;
(ii) identifying barriers and possible solutions in implementing work-based learning;
(iii) sharing insights and disseminating information; and
(iv) any other purpose considered necessary by the superintendent and members of the cohort;
(e) partnering with employers, workforce development entities, and other organizations in any manner that supports work-based learning, as determined by the superintendent and members of the cohort;
(f) providing financial support in the form of equitably distributed grants to districts to support district efforts to implement high-quality work-based learning; and
(g) using the knowledge gained from the experiences of the cohort to develop recommendations and guidance for other districts interested in innovating in a similar manner.
(4) On or before September 15, 2020, the superintendent shall report to the education interim committee on the progress made through the work-based learning innovation program and on any legislative changes that would benefit innovations related to work-based learning.
(5) The legislature acknowledges that innovation is often disruptive to existing systems and urges entities whose current structures may impede work-based learning innovations in Montana's elementary and secondary schools to reexamine those structures and develop flexibilities so that school districts' ability to innovate is not impeded.
(6) For the purposes of this section, "work-based learning" means an approach to education that emphasizes providing students with real-life work experiences during the school year and over the summer in which students can apply academic and technical skills and develop their employability.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Appropriation. There is appropriated $500,000 from the general fund to the office of public instruction for the biennium beginning July 1, 2019, for the work-based learning innovation program established in [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 20, chapter 7, and the provisions of Title 20, chapter 7, apply to [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 2019.
NEW SECTION. Section 5. Termination. [This act] terminates June 30, 2021.
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Prepared by Montana