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1 _____________ BILL NO. _____________
2 INTRODUCED BY _________________________________________________
(Primary Sponsor)
3
4 A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: “AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING EDUCATION LAWS RELATED TO
5 PUBLIC PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS; REVISING THE DEFINITION OF "PUPIL"; ALLOWING PRESCHOOL
6 PUPILS TO BE INCLUDED IN AVERAGE NUMBER BELONGING CALCULATIONS; ELIMINATING THE BAR
7 AGAINST USING STATE EQUALIZATION AID TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS;
8 AMENDING SECTIONS 20-1-101, 20-1-301, 20-5-101, 20-7-117, AND 20-9-311, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN
9 EFFECTIVE DATE.”
10
11 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
12
13 Section 1. Section 20-1-101, MCA, is amended to read:
14 "20-1-101. Definitions. As used in this title, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the
15 following definitions apply:
16 (1) "Accreditation standards" means the body of administrative rules governing standards such as:
17 (a) school leadership;
18 (b) educational opportunity;
19 (c) academic requirements;
20 (d) program area standards;
21 (e) content and performance standards;
22 (f) school facilities and records;
23 (g) student assessment; and
24 (h) general provisions.
25 (2) "Aggregate hours" means the hours of pupil instruction for which a school course or program is
26 offered or for which a pupil is enrolled.
27 (3) "Agricultural experiment station" means the agricultural experiment station established at Montana
28 state university-Bozeman.
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1 (4) "At-risk student" means any student who is affected by environmental conditions that negatively
2 impact the student's educational performance or threaten a student's likelihood of promotion or graduation.
3 (5) "Average number belonging" or "ANB" means the average number of regularly enrolled, full-time
4 pupils physically attending or receiving educational services at an offsite instructional setting from the public
5 schools of a district.
6 (6) "Board of public education" means the board created by Article X, section 9, subsection (3), of the
7 Montana constitution and 2-15-1507.
8 (7) "Board of regents" means the board of regents of higher education created by Article X, section 9,
9 subsection (2), of the Montana constitution and 2-15-1505.
10 (8) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of higher education created by Article X, section 9,
11 subsection (2), of the Montana constitution and 2-15-1506.
12 (9) "County superintendent" means the county government official who is the school officer of the
13 county.
14 (10) "District superintendent" means a person who holds a valid class 3 Montana teacher certificate
15 with a superintendent's endorsement that has been issued by the superintendent of public instruction under the
16 provisions of this title and the policies adopted by the board of public education and who has been employed by
17 a district as a district superintendent.
18 (11) (a) "Educational program" means a set of educational offerings designed to meet the program
19 area standards contained in the accreditation standards.
20 (b) The term does not include an educational program or programs used in 20-4-121 and 20-25-803.
21 (12) "K-12 career and vocational/technical education" means organized educational activities that have
22 been approved by the office of public instruction and that:
23 (a) offer a sequence of courses that provide a pupil with the academic and technical knowledge and
24 skills that the pupil needs to prepare for further education and for careers in the current or emerging
25 employment sectors; and
26 (b) include competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-
27 order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and
28 occupation-specific skills of the pupil.
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1 (13) (a) "Minimum aggregate hours" means the minimum hours of pupil instruction that must be
2 conducted during the school fiscal year in accordance with 20-1-301 and includes passing time between
3 classes.
4 (b) The term does not include lunch time and periods of unstructured recess.
5 (14) "Offsite instructional setting" means an instructional setting at a location, separate from a main
6 school site, where a school district provides for the delivery of instruction to a student who is enrolled in the
7 district.
8 (15) "Principal" means a person who holds a valid class 3 Montana teacher certificate with an
9 applicable principal's endorsement that has been issued by the superintendent of public instruction under the
10 provisions of this title and the policies adopted by the board of public education and who has been employed by
11 a district as a principal. For the purposes of this title, any reference to a teacher must be construed as including
12 a principal.
13 (16) "Pupil" means a child who is 5 years of age or older on or before September 10 of the year in
14 which the child is to enroll or has been enrolled by special permission of the board of trustees under 20-5-
15 101(3) but who has not yet reached 19 years of age and an individual who is admitted by the board of trustees
16 pursuant to 20-5-101 and who is enrolled in a school established and maintained under the laws of the state at
17 public expense. For purposes of calculating the average number belonging pursuant to 20-9-311, the definition
18 of pupil includes a person who has not yet reached 19 years of age by September 10 of the year and is enrolled
19 under 20-5-101(3) in a school established and maintained under the laws of the state at public expense. The
20 eligibility of pupils and calculations for average number belonging are governed by 20-9-311.
21 (17) "Pupil instruction" means the conduct of organized instruction of pupils enrolled in public schools
22 while under the supervision of a teacher.
23 (18) "Qualified and effective teacher or administrator" means an educator who is licensed and
24 endorsed in the areas in which the educator teaches, specializes, or serves in an administrative capacity as
25 established by the board of public education.
26 (19) "Regents" means the board of regents of higher education.
27 (20) "Regular school election" or "trustee election" means the election for school board members held
28 on the day established in 20-20-105(1).
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1 (21) "School election" means a regular school election or any election conducted by a district or
2 community college district for authorizing taxation, authorizing the issuance of bonds by an elementary, high
3 school, or K-12 district, or accepting or rejecting any proposition that may be presented to the electorate for
4 decision in accordance with the provisions of this title.
5 (22) "School food services" means a service of providing food for the pupils of a district on a nonprofit
6 basis and includes any food service financially assisted through funds or commodities provided by the United
7 States government.
8 (23) "Special school election" means an election held on a day other than the day of the regular school
9 election, primary election, or general election.
10 (24) "State board of education" means the board composed of the board of public education and the
11 board of regents as specified in Article X, section 9, subsection (1), of the Montana constitution.
12 (25) "State university" means Montana state university-Bozeman.
13 (26) "Student with limited English proficiency" means any student:
14 (a) (i) who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than
15 English;
16 (ii) who is an American Indian and who comes from an environment in which a language other than
17 English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English proficiency; or
18 (iii) who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an
19 environment in which a language other than English is dominant; and
20 (b) whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be
21 sufficient to deny the student:
22 (i) the ability to meet the state's proficiency assessments;
23 (ii) the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
24 (iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.
25 (27) "Superintendent of public instruction" means that state government official designated as a
26 member of the executive branch by the Montana constitution.
27 (28) "System" means the Montana university system.
28 (29) "Teacher" means a person, except a district superintendent, who holds a valid Montana teacher
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1 certificate that has been issued by the superintendent of public instruction under the provisions of this title and
2 the policies adopted by the board of public education and who is employed by a district as a member of its
3 instructional, supervisory, or administrative staff. This definition of a teacher includes a person for whom an
4 emergency authorization of employment has been issued under the provisions of 20-4-111.
5 (30) "Textbook" means a book or manual used as a principal source of study material for a given class
6 or group of students.
7 (31) "Textbook dealer" means a party, company, corporation, or other organization selling, offering to
8 sell, or offering for adoption textbooks to districts in the state.
9 (32) "Trustees" means the governing board of a district.
10 (33) "University" means the university of Montana-Missoula.
11 (34) "Vocational-technical education" means vocational-technical education of vocational-technical
12 students that is conducted by a unit of the Montana university system, a community college, or a tribally
13 controlled community college, as designated by the board of regents."
14
15 Section 2. Section 20-1-301, MCA, is amended to read:
16 "20-1-301. School fiscal year. (1) The school fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. At
17 least the minimum aggregate hours required in subsection (2) must be conducted during each school fiscal
18 year, except that 1,050 aggregate hours of pupil instruction for graduating seniors may be sufficient. The
19 minimum aggregate hours required in subsection (2) are not required for any pupil demonstrating proficiency
20 pursuant to 20-9-311(4)(d).
21 (2) The minimum aggregate hours required by grade are:
22 (a) 360 hours for a half-time preschool or kindergarten program or 720 hours for a full-time preschool
23 or kindergarten program, as provided in 20-7-117;
24 (b) 720 hours for grades 1 through 3; and
25 (c) 1,080 hours for grades 4 through 12.
26 (3) For any elementary or high school district that fails to provide for at least the minimum aggregate
27 hours, as listed in subsections (1) and (2), to any pupil not demonstrating proficiency pursuant to 20-9-
28 311(4)(d), the superintendent of public instruction shall reduce the direct state aid for the district for that school
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1 year by two times an hourly rate, as calculated by the office of public instruction, for the aggregate hours
2 missed by each pupil not demonstrating proficiency pursuant to 20-9-311(4)(d)."
3
4 Section 3. Section 20-5-101, MCA, is amended to read:
5 "20-5-101. Admittance of child to school. (1) The trustees shall assign and admit a child to a school
6 in the district when the child is:
7 (a) 5 years of age or older on or before September 10 of the year in which the child is to enroll but is
8 not yet 19 years of age;
9 (b) a resident of the district; and
10 (c) otherwise qualified under the provisions of this title to be admitted to the school.
11 (2) The trustees of a district may assign and admit any nonresident child to a school in the district
12 under the tuition provisions of this title.
13 (3) The trustees may at their discretion assign and admit to a school in the district:
14 (a) a child to a school in the district who is under 5 years of age or to be enrolled in a preschool or
15 kindergarten program established under 20-7-117 or in a special education program established under 20-7-
16 411;
17 (b) an adult who is 19 years of age or older if there are exceptional circumstances that merit waiving
18 the age provision of this section. The trustees may also admit; and
19 (c) an individual who has graduated from high school but is not yet 19 years of age even though no
20 special circumstances exist for waiver of the age provision of this section.
21 (4) The trustees shall assign and admit a child who is homeless, as defined in the Stewart B.
22 McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (Public Law 100-77), to a school in the district regardless of residence. The
23 trustees may not require an out-of-district attendance agreement or tuition for a homeless child.
24 (5) Except for the provisions of subsection (4), tuition for a nonresident child must be paid in
25 accordance with the tuition provisions of this title.
26 (6) The trustees' assignment of a child meeting the qualifications of subsection (1) to a school in the
27 district outside of the adopted school boundaries applicable to the child is subject to the district's grievance
28 policy. Upon completion of procedures set forth in the district's grievance policy, the trustees' decision regarding
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1 the assignment is final."
2
3 Section 4. Section 20-7-117, MCA, is amended to read:
4 "20-7-117. Kindergarten and preschool programs. (1) The trustees of an elementary district:
5 (a) may establish and operate a free preschool program for children 3 to 5 years of age pursuant to
6 20-5-101(3)(a); and
7 (b) shall establish or make available a kindergarten program capable of accommodating, at a
8 minimum, all the children in the district who will be 5 years old on or before September 10 of the school year for
9 which the program is to be conducted or who have been enrolled by special permission at the discretion of the
10 board of trustees pursuant to 20-5-101(3)(a).
11 (2) (a) The preschool program and the kindergarten program:, which the trustees may designate as
12 either a half-time or full-time program,
13 (i) must be an integral part of the elementary school and must be financed and governed accordingly,
14 provided that to be eligible for inclusion in the calculation of ANB pursuant to 20-9-311, a child must have
15 reached 5 years of age on or before September 10 of the school year covered by the calculation or have been
16 enrolled by special permission of the board of trustees. ;
17 (ii) may be designated as either a half-time or a full-time program; and
18 (iii) A kindergarten program must meet the minimum aggregate hour requirements established in 20-1-
19 301.
20 (b) A preschool program or kindergarten program that is designated as a full-time program must allow
21 a parent, guardian, or other person who is responsible for the enrollment of a child in school, as provided in 20-
22 5-102, to enrol