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House Education Bills 2010

2010 Legislative Session 
April 8, 2010 (10:00 am)

HOUSE BILL 625 – Provides that the appointment of the Deputy Superintendent of Public Education to manage the Mississippi Recovery School District shall be subject to approval by the State Board of Education. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House
  • Passed Senate Committee
  • Passed Senate with Amendment, which provides that conservators and financial advisors assigned to low performing schools in the Mississippi Recovery School District shall be selected by the Deputy Superintendent responsible for the Mississippi Recovery School District and, once approved by the State Board of Education, shall be deemed independent contractors
  • House Concurred in Amendment from Senate
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 626 – Repeals Section 37-23-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provides for a due process hearing regarding an exceptional child's identification, evaluation or educational placement and amends Section 37-23-150, Mississippi Code of 1972, in conformity to the provisions of this act. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House
  • Passed Senate Committee
  • Passed Senate
  • Approved by Governor  

HOUSE BILL 629 – Revises the GED Program entrance requirements for students who are at least one full grade level behind his or her ninth grade cohort. The bill requires those students enrolled in certain subject area courses to take the end-of-course subject area tests for those courses in which they are enrolled. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House
  • Passed Senate Committee
  • Passed Senate
  • Approved by Governor  

HOUSE BILL 630 – Removes the requirement of the State Board of Education to regulate and approve certain local transportation programs. The bill repeals Section 37-41-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, which requires each local school board to submit its proposed transportation plan to the State Board of Education for approval and Section 37-41-19, which prescribes the information to be included in the transportation plan submitted by the local school board. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House
  • Passed Senate Committee with Amendment, which allows the Mississippi Department of Education to monitor proper bus routes in district transfer issues
  • Passed Senate as Amended
  • House Concurred in Amendment from Senate
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 631 – Requires local school districts to use allowable testing accommodations when administering uniform basic skills tests to ensure that the tests are administered in a manner consistent with preserving the integrity and validity of the assessment program. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House with Amendment, which requires local school boards to adopt a uniform grading policy
  • Passed Senate Committee with Amendment, which removes the language requiring the local school boards to adopt a uniform grading policy
  • Passed Senate as Amended
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 632 – Extends the date by which the Office of Compulsory School Attendance is required to submit its Annual Report on the Enforcement of the Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law to the State Board of Education and the Legislature to the last day of January of each year. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House with Amendment, which requires the principal of each school, at the end of each day that school is in session, to notify the compulsory school attendance officer of every absence of a student enrolled in the school, including both excused and unexcused absences
  • Passed Senate Committee with Amendment, which removes language requiring the principal to notify the compulsory attendance officer of every absences of a student enrolled in the school at the end of each day that the school is in session
  • Passed Senate as Amended    
  • House Concurred in Amendment from Senate
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 1047 – Creates the Task Force on Teacher Attrition, Retention and Growth in Mississippi . The bill requires the task force to study certain matters and make recommendations based on its findings. The bill requires the task force to present a report on its findings and recommendations to the Legislature. 
Effective Date: Upon Passage

  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House
  • Passed Senate Education Committee
  • Passed Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Passed Senate with Amendment, which removed the provision for task force members to be reimbursed for travel expenses  
  • House Declined to Concur with Senate Amendments, Invited Conference
  • Conferees named:
    • House: Brown, Thomas, Puckett
    • Senate: Carmichael, Turner, Davis
  • Conference Report Filed, which allows for non-legislative members of the task force to be reimbursed for travel expenses
  • Conference Report Adopted by House
  • Conference Report Adopted by Senate
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 1056 – Authorizes the State Board of Education to select private providers, overseen by the State Department of Education, to administer, manage or operate virtual school programs, including operation of the Mississippi Virtual Public School Program. The bill revises the period of time within which the program must be evaluated to every three years. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House with Amendment, which requires any private provider chosen to be selected through a competitive Request for Proposals process
  • Passed Senate Education Committee
  • Passed Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Passed Senate
  • Approved by the Governor

HOUSE BILL 1078 – Requires the Office of Healthy Schools of the State Department of Education to develop and implement the Healthier School Initiative to promote healthier school environments. The bill requires the office to provide financial incentives to schools receiving recognition through the HealthierUS School Challenge and provide financial awards, subject to legislative appropriation, for schools receiving certain levels of recognition. The bill requires local school districts to include information relevant to the HealthierUS School Challenge on their district Web sites. The bill requires the office to provide technical assistance to schools that elect to participate in the challenge to become a HealthierUS School and establish criteria required to be met by schools participating in the challenge. The bill requires an application for certification as a HealthierUS School to be submitted to the State Department of Education for review by the Office of Healthy Schools. The bill requires the office to forward approved applications to the United States Department of Agriculture for consideration and authorizes schools to modify an application that is not approved by the office. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee as Committee Substitute
  • Passed House as Committee Substitute
  • Passed Senate Committee
  • Passed Senate with Amendments, which would increase the award amounts to $2,000 for Bronze Level Award; $4,000 for Silver Level Award; $6,000 for Gold Level Award; $8,000 for Gold Level of Distinction Award; and to allow schools currently holding certification to receive award
  • House Concurred in Amendment from Senate
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 1079 – Requires the Office of Healthy Schools of the State Department of Education to provide comprehensive training on certain food service practices provided by local school districts, including healthy food and beverage choices, healthy food preparation, marketing of healthy food choices to students and staff, food preparation ingredients and products, minimum and maximum time allotment for students and staff lunch and breakfast periods, the availability of food items during the lunch and breakfast periods of the Child Nutrition School Breakfast and Lunch Programs and methods to increase participation in the Child Nutrition School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. The bill authorizes the Department to determine the time, location and frequency with which the trainings are held. The bill requires certain district personnel, including superintendents, business managers, food service directors, food service managers or their designee, to attend the training. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee as Committee Substitute
  • Passed House Committee as Committee Substitute with Amendment, which deleted a study committee
  • Passed Senate Committee
  • Passed Senate
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 1097 – Requires the State Department of Education to provide technical assistance to certain schools not meeting adequate performance of accreditation standards. The bill requires the Schools At-Risk to be identified by criteria established by the State Board of Education. The bill revises the composition and qualifications of members of evaluation teams to conduct on-site audits and removes the requirement that evaluation reports identify personnel in need of improvement. The bill deletes the provision requiring the Department of Education evaluation team leaders assist certain school officials in the Development of a School Improvement Plan and requires certain actions to be taken by certain school officials in the development of a School Improvement Plan. The bill requires certain actions to be taken by certain entities with regard to the development and approval of School Improvement Action Plans of Schools At-Risk. The bill requires a district with a School At-Risk to establish a community-based pre-kindergarten through higher education council. The bill authorizes the State Board of Education to initiate the conservatorship process when a school district has a School At-Risk for two consecutive full school years. The bill requires all teachers in those schools to fully participate in professional development. The bill authorizes the assignment of mentors who have demonstrated certain expertise to teachers at the School At-Risk. The bill deletes the requirements of certain procedures to be followed by Schools At-Risk. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Committee as Committee Substitute
  • Passed House as Committee Substitute with Amendments, including the following:
    • Defines a School At-Risk as a school that is designated as a failing school or at-risk of failing for two consecutive years and requires the State Department of Education to assist schools that are identified as an academic watch school
    • Prohibits a School At-Risk from hiring as a consultant someone whose last full-time job was with a failing school
    • Requires the State Department of Education to develop and implement a mentoring program for school districts failing to meet accreditation standards by pairing the schools with a high-performing school district
  • Passed Senate Education Committee as Strike-All Amendment, which removed the definition of a School At-Risk, removed the prohibition to hiring a consultant whose last full-time job was with a failing school and the requirement for the State Department of Education to develop and implement a mentoring program for school districts.
  • Passed Senate Appropriations Committee
  • Passed Senate as Amended
  • House Declined to Concur with Senate Amendments, Invited Conference
  • Conferees named:
    • House: Brown, Broomfield , Straughter
    • Senate: Carmichael, Watson, McDaniel
  • Conference Report Filed, which:
    • Revises the composition and qualifications of members of evaluation teams to conduct on-site audits and removes the requirement that evaluation reports identify personnel in need of improvement.
    • Prohibits a School At-Risk from hiring as a consultant someone whose last full-time job was with a failing school
    • Deletes the repealers on the school crisis management program, the authority of local school boards to enter into agreements with other school boards to establish educational service agencies, the school administrator sabbatical program, the authority to expel habitually disruptive students, the requirement of the State Board of Education to develop conflict resolution and peer mediation materials and the requirement of local school districts to provide information on meningococcal disease.
  • Conference Report Adopted by House
  • Conference Report Adopted by Senate
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 1153 – Revises the composition of the membership of the Board of Trustees of a municipal separate school district in municipalities having a population in excess of 100,000 to reflect the number of wards in the municipality. The bill increases the number of board members on the Jackson Public Schools Board to seven members. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed House Education Committee
  • Passed House
  • Passed the Senate Committee with Amendment, which prescribes the method and timeline for selection of members for the board
  • Passed Senate as Amended
  • Held on a Motion to Reconsider
  • House Concurred in Amendement from Senate
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 1170 – Requires the school board of a school district having an ending fund balance in the maintenance fund of the school district which is an amount equal to less than seven percent of the total revenue deposited into the district maintenance fund during that fiscal year to submit a plan for budget cuts to the State Department of Education. The bill applies to the 2010, 2011 and 2012 fiscal years. The bill authorizes the State Board of Education to adopt rules and regulations specifying the required contents of the plan. The bill requires the Department to approve or return the plan to the school district with instructions. 
Effective Date: Upon Passage

  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House
  • Passed Senate Committee
  • Passed Senate with Amendments, which authorize school districts to furlough employees for five non-instructional days in the 2009-2010 school year, provided the State Board shall not require a local school district to be kept in session in order to fill days required for a scholastic year which was lost to the district due to inclement weather; directs school districts to reduce the school calendar by two non-instructional days, with an option to reduce by three additional non-instructional days, in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years; reduces the required minimum number of instructional days from 180 to 175; reduces the required minimum number of licensed personnel contract days from 187 to 182
  • House Declined to Concur with Senate Amendments, Invited Conference
  • Conferees named:
    • House: Brown, Warren, Buck (5th)
    • Senate: Carmichael, Harden, King
  • Conference Report Filed, which:
    • Requires the school board of a school district having an ending fund balance in the maintenance fund of the school district which is an amount equal to less than seven percent of the total revenue deposited into the district maintenance fund during that fiscal year to submit a plan for budget cuts to the State Department of Education.
    • Allows local school boards to furlough all instructional, noninstructional and administrative employees of the school district, including the superintendent, for a maximum of three days during the 2010-2011 school year and three days during the 2011-2012 school year.
    • For every day an instructional, noninstructional or administrative employee with a contract not less than 187 days is furloughed without pay, the employee shall be authorized to take one-half day of personal leave
    • Requires that the furloughs be taken on noninstructional days only
  • Conference Report Adopted by House
  • Conference Report Adopted by Senate
  • Approved by Governor

HOUSE BILL 1349 – Establishes the “Mississippi School District Emergency Bridge Loan Act” for the purpose of assisting school districts that suffer revenue losses as a result of an economic downturn that substantially impacts the state and local revenues available to school districts. The bill provides that the program shall be administered by the State Department of Education. The bill creates the Mississippi School District Emergency Bridge Loan Fund. The bill establishes the maximum amount of any loan from the fund. The bill provides that a school district that receives a loan any part of the Homestead Exemption annual tax loss reimbursement to which it may be entitled. The bill grants the State Department of Education certain powers and duties with regard to this act. The bill authorizes the State Bond Commission to declare the necessity for general funds to fund the loans under this program. The bill authorizes the Department of Finance and Administration to make transfers from the general fund to the loan fund for the purpose of funding the loans under this program. The bill authorizes the Department of Finance and Administration to issue warrants to make loans under this program. The bill provides for the disposition of any unneeded state funds in the local funds. 
Effective Date: Upon Passage

  • Passed House Education Committee
  • Passed House with Amendment, which prohibits any school or district receiving funds from the State of Mississippi which has a policy, whether written or unwritten, which establishes a minimum grade, shall immediately be prohibited from receiving any state resources until all the grades have been corrected and verified by the State Department of Education. The amendment also requires that any principal or administrator who maintains a policy, whether written or unwritten, which establishes a minimum grade, shall be removed immediately from his or her position and prohibited from receiving any state resources for a period of one year.
  • Passed Senate Committee with Strike-All Amendment, which removed the prohibition on a minimum grade policy
  • Passed Senate as Amended
  • House Concurred in Amendment from Senate
  • Approved by Governor