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Senate Education Bills 2010

2010 Legislative Session 
April 28, 2010 (12:30 pm)

SENATE BILL 2015 – Prohibits bullying or harassing behavior in the public schools. The bill requires all local school districts to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and harassing behavior. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed Senate Committee as Committee Substitute
  • Passed Senate
  • Passed House Committee with Strike-All Amendment, which clarifies the definition of bullying and includes written, electronic or verbal communication
  • Passed House as Amended
  • Senate Declined to Concur with House Amendments, Invited Conference  
  • Conferees named:
    • Senate: Carmichael, Wilemon, Flowers
    • House: Brown, Hines, Gardner
  • Conference Report Filed, which:
    • Prohibits bullying or harassing behavior, including written, electronic or verbal communications, in the public schools, including school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus
    • Requires each local school district to include in its personnel policies, discipline policies and code of student conduct a prohibition against bullying or harassing behavior and adopt procedures for reporting, investigating and addressing such behavior
    • Requires the policies to recognize the fundamental right of every student to take reasonable actions as may be necessary to defend himself or herself from an attack by another student who has evidenced menacing or threatening behavior through bullying or harassing
  • Conference Report Adopted by Senate
  • Conference Report Adopted by House
  • Approved by Governor

SENATE BILL 2293 – Provides authorization for new open-enrollment public charter schools and for conversion charter schools under which existing public schools meeting certain criteria may convert to charter school status. The bill requires that open-enrollment public charter schools be organized as nonprofit tax exempt organizations and allows petitions be made to either local school boards or the State Board of Education. The bill includes criteria for academic achievements at the public charter schools and provides preference for the establishment of public charter schools. The bill allows certain state funds to be distributed to the newly established public charter schools on a per-pupil expenditure basis. The bill allows public charter schools to use a weighted lottery system to fill enrollment seats. The bill provides for the governance of public charter schools and that the teachers are the employees of the public charter schools. The bill requires the State Board of Education to issue regulations and provide for reporting, the transportation of students attending public charter schools. The bill provides for the probation and revocation of public charter schools by the State Superintendent of Education. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed Senate Committee as Committee Substitute
  • Passed Senate as Committee Substitute with Amendment, which increases from two to three the number of years a conversion public charter school has to outperform to a statistically significant degree similar students in the local district in which the charter is located and increases from two to five the number of years an open-enrollment public charter school has to outperform to a statistically significant degree similar students in the local district in which the charter is located.
  • Passed House Committee with Strike-All Amendment, which creates the Innovative School Act of 2010 as a means of providing an alternative option to charter schools, which allows the parents or guardians for students enrolled in a public school designated as at-risk of failing or failing, as determined by the State Department of Education, to petition the State Board of Education for conversion of the school to innovative school status.
  • Passed House as Amended
  • Senate Declined to Concur with House Amendments, Invited Conference
  • Conferees named:
    • Senate: Carmichael, Burton , Watson
    • House: Brown, Warren, Burnett
  • Conference Report Filed, which:
    • Creates the New Start School Program
      • Requires the Mississippi Recovery School District within the State Department of Education to administer the New Start School Program for schools that are failing, as determined by the State Board of Education, for three consecutive years, beginning with the results from the 2009-2010 school year
      • Requires the deputy superintendent responsible for the Mississippi Recovery School District, after the second consecutive year a school receives a failing school designation, to provide written notice to the principal and each licensed and nonlicensed school employee, informing them that the school will be transformed into a new start school and their employment with the district terminated if the school receives a failing classification the succeeding year
      • Requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules and regulations that ensure that all students who were in the attendance area of the school district before the new start school is instituted shall continue being eligible for the same district for the new start school without any required application process for the school
      • Requires a community advisory committee of parents, guardians and community leaders to assist in the selection of the new principal
      • Requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules and regulations to evaluate the performance of all licensed and non-licensed employees in schools that are to be transformed into a new start school. A teacher terminated under this paragraph may be reemployed by the school district in the new start school, subject to the approval of the Deputy Superintendent of Education in charge of the Recovery School District
      • Requires the State Board of Education to prescribe the circumstances under which a new start school shall cease to be designated as such Restricts the travel of superintendents and board members of districts that have one or more schools designated as failing for two consecutive years to travel that is mandated by law or prescribed by the State Department of Education and reduces the amount of the per diem paid to school board members by one-half
      • Exempts the applicability of the Education Employment Procedures Law to any category of employee employed in any new start school
      • Excludes the employment of noninstructional employees in a new start school from the employment recommendation and hiring practices of the superintendent of the local school district
    • Creates Conversion Charter Schools
      • Allows the parents or guardians for students enrolled in a public school designated as low-performing, at-risk of failing or failing for three consecutive years, as determined by the State Department of Education, to petition the State Board of Education for conversion of the school to charter school status
      • Requires the selection of a local management board for the conversion charter school after the approval of the petition for conversion in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board
      • Outlines the components of the conversion plan to be attached to the petition to the State Board
      • Allows the local management board of the conversion charter school to contract with a non-profit organization which has operated a successful charter school in any state or the District of Columbia
      • Requires that all functions of and decision of the local management board impacting academics, student assessment and accountability to be subject to the approval of the State Board of Education and all administrative functions impacting the financial and managerial operations to be subject to the approval of the local board
      • Allows the State Board of Education to establish a timeline for accepting petitions for conversion and requires the Board and Commission on School Accreditation to review and rate all petitions.
      • Authorizes the State Board, with a recommendation from the Commission, to approve or deny petitions and provide a written response to each sponsor submitting a petition within 45 days after the closing date
      • Allows the Board to exercise the option to transform a failing school, for which a petition for conversion was submitted and rejected, into a New Start School
      • Requires that students enrolled in the attendance zone of a public school when a petition for conversion is submitted for conversion charter school status shall be deemed enrolled in the conversion charter school when the petition is approved by the State Board of Education
      • Prohibits the enrollment of transfer students, but allows students who reside in the local school district but outside the attendance zone of the school converted to charter status to apply for enrollment in a conversion charter school if any openings are available, provided that, if admitted, the parent of the child residing outside the attendance zone will be responsible for the transportation of the student
      • Requires the local school board to permit students who elect not to attend the conversion charter school to attend another public school in the local public school district or, if there is not another school in the local school district serving the student's current grade level, to grant release to students to seek enrollment in another school district
      • Provides that the initial term of a contract for conversion charter school status will be for a minimum term of three years and may be renewed on a one-year or multi-year basis, not to exceed three years
      • Requires the State Board of Education to prescribe circumstances under which a conversion charter school shall cease to be designated as a conversion charter school
      • Provides that all employees of a conversion charter school will be deemed employees of the school district for purposes of receiving certain state-funded employee benefits
      • Allows the State Board to approve up to 12 conversion charter school during a 12-year period, with a limit of three conversion charter schools in each of the four congressional districts
      • Requires the State Board to evaluate the process of conversion to conversion charter school status after the first conversion charter school is eligible to begin operations and report to the Legislature on the feasibility of increasing the number of conversion charter schools
      • Prohibits unlawful reprisal against an employee of the local school district who is directly or indirectly involved in a petition to convert a public school to conversion charter school status
      • Exempts the application of the Education Employment Procedure Law to any category of employees of a conversion charter school
      • Provides a means of allowing conversion charter schools to receive additional funding through the acceptance of bequests, devises, donations and grants from any public or private source and allowing schools to apply for federal funding under the federal “Race to the Top” program
      • Provides for the July 1, 2016 repeal of the act
  • Conference Report Adopted by Senate
  • Conference Report Adopted by House
  • Approved by Governor

SENATE BILL 2389 – Provides for high school career option programs and career track curricula for students not wishing to pursue a baccalaureate degree. The bill authorizes dual enrollment and dual credit for students pursuing a career track and provides certain conditions for students to enroll in career track programs. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed Senate Committee as Committee Substitute
  • Passed Senate with Amendment, which allows the development of a dual enrollment program with a technical college so long as an individual school district, with approval from the State Department of Education, agrees to implement such a program in connection with a technical college and the agreement is also approved by the proprietary school's commission.
  • Passed House Education Committee with Strike-All Amendment, which clarifies that the local school district may provide transportation for students enrolled in a dual enrollment program and removes some of the specific courses required to meet the 20 course unit requirements for the career track
  • Passed House as Amended
  • Senate Concurred in Amendment from House
  • Approved by Governor

SENATE BILL 2393 – Clarifies the policy for the possession and self-administration of prescription asthma and/or anaphylaxis medication by public and nonpublic school students while on school property or at school activities. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed Senate Committee
  • Passed Senate with Amendment, which requires the State Department of Education to require school districts to take certain actions relating to children with asthma
  • Passed House Committee with Amendment, which requires the cost of the training required for school nurses to be paid by the American Lung Association
  • Passed House as Amended  
  • Senate Concurred in Amendment from House
  • Upon Reconsideration, Senate Declined to Concur with Amendment from House, Invited Conference
  • Conferees named:
    • Senate: Carmichael , Jordan , King
    • House: Brown, Ward, Holland
  • Conference Report Filed, which:
    • Clarifies the policy for the possession and self-administration of prescription asthma and/or anaphylaxis medication by public and nonpublic school students while on school property or at school activities
    • Requires the State Department of Education to require school districts to take certain actions relating to children with asthma
    • Requires the cost of the training required for school nurses to be paid by the American Lung Association
    • Provides for the July 1, 2014 repeal of the act
  • Conference Report Adopted by Senate
  • Conference Report Adopted by House
  • Approved by Governor 

SENATE BILL 2520 – Clarifies requirement of making appropriate accommodations for testing instruments and procedures for students with disabilities. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

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

SENATE BILL 2644 – Prohibits smoking or the use of chewing tobacco or other tobacco products in any indoor or outdoor public facility in Mississippi during any time that persons under 18 years of age are engaged in an organized athletic even in the facility. The bill provides that the person, agency or entity having jurisdiction or supervision over a public facility shall not allow smoking or the use of chewing tobacco or other tobacco products in the facility and shall designate a separate are to which smoking or the use of chewing tobacco or other tobacco products shall be restricted. The bill provides for civil fines for violations of this act. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed Senate Committee
  • Passed Senate
  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House with Amendments, which limits the bill to prohibitions on smoking and sets a repealer for June 30, 2010
  • Conferees named:
    • Senate: Brown, Nunnelee, Hopson
    • House: Brown, Clarke, Mayo
  • Conference Report Filed, which:
    • Prohibits smoking in any enclosed facility or within 100 feet of any non-enclosed facility, including any building, gymnasium, athletic field, recreational area or park to which the public is invited, whether there is charge for admission or not, during any time that persons under 18 years of age are engaged in an organized athletic event
    • Provides that the person, agency or entity having jurisdiction or supervision over a public facility shall not allow smoking in the facility and shall designate a separate area to which smoking or the use of chewing tobacco or other tobacco products shall be restricted
    • Provides for civil fines for violations of this act
  • Conference Report Adopted by Senate
  • Conference Report Adopted by House
  • Approved by Governor

SENATE BILL 2989 – Authorizes and empowers a local school board to convey school buildings not used for school purposes to a nonprofit entity that has made substantial improvements to the property without the necessity of advertising for competitive bids. 
Effective Date: July 1, 2010

  • Passed Senate Committee as Committee Substitute
  • Passed Senate as Committee Substitute
  • Passed House Committee with Amendment, which provides for credit to be given to the non-profit entity for improvements made to the facility in the bidding process
  • Passed House with Amendments, which allow school boards to reserve all oil, gas and minerals in, on or under the land and all proceeds derived from royalties from the reserved mineral interests and requires school boards to adopt a uniform grading policy
  • Senate Declined to Concur with House Amendments, Invited Conference
  • Conferees named:
    • Senate: Carmichael, Tollison, Harden
    • House: Brown, Dickson, Evans
  • Conference Report Filed, which:
    • Allows the Kemper County School Board to transfer and sell the buildings of the school district and the real property upon which the buildings are located which are not used as school facilities or for school-related purposes and are not needed in the operation of the schools, after advertising for and receiving competitive bids for the sale of such property
    • Provides that, if any bid is offered by a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity that has made substantial improvements to the buildings, then the fair market value of the improvements shall be deemed to be consideration for, a part of, the bid offered by the entity
    • Allows school boards to reserve all oil, gas and minerals in, on or under the land and all proceeds derived from royalties from the reserved mineral interests
  • Conference Report Adopted by Senate
  • Conference Report Adopted by House
  • Approved by Governor

SENATE BILL 3072 – Prescribes the membership of the Council on Education Technology and revises the responsibilities of the Council. The bill replaces the position held by the Director of Educational Technology at the Department of Education with the State Superintendent of Education. The bill deletes the Council's duty of developing and updating annually a long-range master plan for the efficient and equitable use of technology at all levels from primary school through higher education, including vocational and adult education. The bill provides that the Council will serve as an advisory group to the chairs of the Appropriations Committees in the Mississippi House of Representatives and the Mississippi Senate on issues related to education technology. The bill provides that the Council will review technology plans, including current and future activities, and appropriations requests of state-funded entities. 
Effective Date: Upon Passage

  • Passed Senate Committee with amendment, which removed language requiring Senate confirmation of task force appointments
  • Passed Senate As Committee Substitute
  • Passed House Committee
  • Passed House with Amendment, which requires school districts to adopt a uniform grading policy
  • Senate Declined to Concur with House Amendments, Invited Conference
  • Conferees named:
    • House: Brown, Barker, Buck (72nd)
    • Senate: Carmichael, Yancey, Wilemon
  • Conference Report Filed, which prescribes the membership of the Council on Education Technology and revises the responsibilities of the Council
  • Conference Report Adopted by Senate
  • Conference Report Adopted by House
  • Approved by Governor