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2019 CT S 1018
Author: Joint Committee on Education
Version: Enacted - Final
Version Date: 07/12/2019

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

Substitute Senate Bill No. 1018

Public Act No. 19-130

AN ACT CONCERNING THE OPPORTUNITY GAP.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 10-266q of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2019):

(a) On or before September fifteenth of each fiscal year in which payment is to be made, the State Board of Education shall authorize grant awards. Grant awards A grant award shall be authorized only after (1) proposals a proposal for such grants have grant has been submitted to the commissioner Commissioner of Education by the local board of education for a school districts district described in section 10-266p, as amended by this act, at such time and in such manner as the commissioner shall prescribe, and after the commissioner and each such school district have reached agreement regarding how such grant shall be utilized expended, or (2) for the school years commencing July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2024, inclusive, the commissioner has developed a plan for the expenditure of such grant for a local board of education described in subdivision (3) of subsection (c) of this section in accordance with the provisions of said subdivision. Each proposal or plan shall be based on a three-year project plan and include, but not be limited to, an explanation of project goals, objectives, evaluation strategies and budget which shall identify local funding and other resource contributions for the three-year period. provided proposals shall give priority to the development or expansion of extended-day kindergarten programs.

(b) A Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this section, for the school year commencing July 1, 2019, and each school year thereafter, a priority school district grant shall be payable to the local board of education for the a school districts district described in section 10-266p, as amended by this act, which shall use the funds expend such grant for any of the following uses: (1) The creation or expansion of programs or activities related to dropout prevention, (2) alternative and transitional programs for students having difficulty succeeding in traditional educational programs, (3) academic enrichment, tutorial and recreation programs or activities in school buildings during nonschool hours and during the summer, (4) development or expansion of extended-day kindergarten programs, (5) development or expansion of early reading intervention programs scientifically-based reading research and instruction, as defined in section 10-14u, including summer and after-school programs, (6) enhancement of the use of technology to support instruction or improve parent and teacher communication, (7) initiatives to strengthen parent involvement in the education of children, and parent and other community involvement in school and school district programs, activities and educational policies, which may be in accordance with the provisions of section 10-4g, or (8) for purposes of obtaining accreditation for elementary and middle schools from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, (9) numeracy instruction, or (10) support to chronically absent children, as defined in section 10-198c, and reducing the district chronic absenteeism rate, as defined in section 10-198c. Each such board of education shall use at least twenty per cent of its grant for early reading intervention programs scientifically-based reading research and instruction, as defined in section 10-14u. Each such board of education shall use its grant to supplement existing programs or create new programs. If the State Board of Education finds that any such grant is being used for other purposes expended for uses other than those described in subdivisions (1) to (10), inclusive, of this subsection or is being used to decrease the local share of support for schools, it may require repayment of such grant to the state.

(c) (1) Not later than March 1, 2022, the Commissioner of Education shall determine whether the accountability index, as defined in section 10-223e, for each local board of education for a school district described in section 10-266p, as amended by this act, has improved during the school years commencing July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020, inclusive.

(2) For the school years commencing July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2024, inclusive, any such board whose accountability index has improved during the school years commencing July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020, inclusive, shall (A) submit a proposal to the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section, and (B) expend the priority school district grant for any of the uses described in subdivisions (1) to (10), inclusive, of subsection (b) of this section.

(3) For the school years commencing July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2024, inclusive, if the accountability index for any such board has not improved during the school years commencing July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020, inclusive, then the commissioner shall (A) develop a three-year plan for the expenditure of the priority school district grant for such board, and (B) expend such grant for any of the following uses: (i) Scientifically-based reading research and instruction, as defined in section 10-14u, (ii) numeracy instruction, and (iii) support to chronically absent children, as defined in section 10-198c, and reducing the district chronic absenteeism rate, as defined in section 10-198c.

(c) (d) Each priority school district grant shall be awarded by the State Board of Education on an annual basis. Funding in subsequent years shall be based on funds available, annual application and program evaluation.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 10-266p of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2019):

(a) The State Board of Education shall administer a priority school district grant program to assist certain school districts to improve student achievement and enhance educational opportunities. The grant program shall include the priority school district portions of the grant programs established pursuant to sections 10-265f, 10-265m and 10-266t. The priority school district grant program and its component parts shall be for school districts in (1) the eight towns in the state with the largest population, based on the most recent federal decennial census, (2) towns which rank for the first fiscal year of each biennium from one to eleven when all towns are ranked in descending order from one to one hundred sixty-nine based on the number of children under the temporary family assistance program, as defined in subdivision (17) of section 10-262f, plus the mastery count of the town, as defined in subdivision (13) of section 10-262f, and (3) towns which rank for the first fiscal year of each biennium one to eleven when all towns are ranked in descending order from one to one hundred sixty-nine based on the ratio of the number of children under the temporary family assistance program as so defined to the resident students of such town, as defined in subdivision (22) of section 10-262f, plus the grant mastery percentage of the town, as defined in subdivision (12) of section 10-262f. The State Board of Education shall utilize the categorical grant program established under this section and sections 10-266q and 10-266r, as amended by this act, and other educational resources of the state to work cooperatively with such school districts during any school year to improve their educational programs or early reading intervention programs. The component parts of the grant shall be allocated according to the provisions of sections 10-265f, 10-265m and 10-266t. Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of section 10-276a, the State Board of Education shall allocate one million dollars to each of the eight towns described in subdivision (1) of this subsection and five hundred thousand dollars to each of the towns described in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection, except the towns described in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not receive any additional allocation if they are also described in subdivision (2) or (3) of this subsection.

Sec. 3. Section 10-266r of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2019):

(a) The State Board of Education shall prepare an evaluation of the priority school district grant program not later than December 15, 1990 July 1, 2020, and triennially annually thereafter.

(b) Each school district participating in the project priority school district grant program shall prepare an annual project program evaluation, which shall include a description of program activities and documentation of program improvement and student achievement whether such program is (1) improving student achievement and enhancing educational opportunities in the school district, and (2) achieving the objectives and performance targets approved by the Commissioner of Education as stated in the proposal submitted by the school district pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 10-266q, as amended by this act, or the plan developed by the commissioner pursuant to subdivision (3) of subsection (c) of section 10-266q, as amended by this act. Each such evaluation shall be submitted to the commissioner on or before August fifteenth of the fiscal year following each fiscal year in which the school district participated in the priority school district program.

(c) Within Not later than sixty days after the close of the school year, each local board of education which received a priority school district grant shall file with the commissioner a financial statement of expenditures in such form as the commissioner shall prescribe. The State Board of Education shall periodically review grant payments made pursuant to this section in order to determine that such state funds received are being used for the purposes specified in the application. On or before December thirty-first of the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which payment was received, each local board which received a priority school district grant shall file with the commissioner a financial audit in such form as prescribed by the commissioner.

Sec. 4. Subsection (c) of section 10-95i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2019):

(c) The board shall consider the addition of new trade programs. Decisions by the board to add such programs shall at a minimum be based on the (1) projected employment demand for graduates of the program, the (2) cost of establishing the program, the (3) availability of qualified instructors, the (4) existence of similar programs at other educational institutions, and the (5) interest of students in the trade, (6) need to diversify the trade with workers from underrepresented populations, and (7) workforce training needs of (A) students, graduates and residents of alliance districts, as defined in section 10-262u, and priority school districts, as described in section 10-266p, as amended by this act, and (B) students and graduates of priority schools, as defined in section 10-265e. The board shall authorize new trade programs for a maximum of five years. The board shall provide a process for the public, including, but not limited to, employers, parents, students or teachers, to request consideration of the establishment of a new trade program.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2019) (a) Not later than October 1, 2019, the Technical Education and Career System board, in consultation with the Labor Department, shall identify and develop a list of careers in critical construction trades that are essential to the construction workforce needs of the state. The board shall consider the factors described in subdivisions (1) to (7), inclusive, of subsection (c) of section 10-95i of the general statutes, as amended by this act, when identifying such critical construction trades. The board may subsequently identify, as necessary, additional critical construction trades, and shall revise the list of critical construction trades identified pursuant to this subsection.

(b) Not later than July 1, 2020, the board shall, within available appropriations, develop a plan to create new or expand existing programs in critical construction trades identified pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Upon the subsequent identification of additional critical construction trades, the board shall develop a plan to create new or expand existing programs for such additional critical construction trades.

(c) The board shall post, and update as necessary, a list of the critical construction trades and all programs in critical construction trades offered at technical education and career schools on the Internet web site of the Technical Education and Career System.


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