LB1331 LB1331
2024 2024
Introduced by Murman, 38.
Read first time January 17, 2024
Committee: Education
1 A BILL FOR AN ACT relating to education; to amend sections 79-201,
2 79-205, 79-206, 79-207, 79-210, 79-1107, and 79-1108.03, Reissue
3 Revised Statutes of Nebraska, sections 79-209, 79-237, 79-8,150,
4 79-10,141, 79-1108.02, and 79-11,159, Revised Statutes Cumulative
5 Supplement, 2022, and sections 79-101, 79-238, 79-239, 79-729,
6 79-8,145.01, 79-1054, 79-10,150, 79-3501, 79-3602, and 79-3703,
7 Revised Statutes Supplement, 2023; to redefine terms; to change
8 provisions, terminology, duties, and penalties related to truancy
9 and attendance; to change powers and duties relating to the State
10 Department of Education, State Board of Education, and Commissioner
11 of Education; to change provisions relating to applications and
12 requirements for option students, high school graduation
13 requirements, alternative teacher certification programs, student
14 loan repayment assistance, innovation and improvement grant programs
15 established by the State Board of Education, the Summer Food Service
16 Program, special education expenditures, programs for learners with
17 high ability, behavioral health points of contact, state lottery
18 funds used for education, behavioral awareness training, and the
19 College Pathway Program; to harmonize provisions; to eliminate an
20 innovation grant program established by the department and a mental
21 health first aid training program; to repeal the original sections;
22 and to outright repeal section 79-11,160, Revised Statutes
23 Supplement, 2023.
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1 Be it enacted by the people of the State of Nebraska,
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1 Section 1. Section 79-101, Revised Statutes Supplement, 2023, is
2 amended to read:
3 79-101 For purposes of Chapter 79:
4 (1) School district means the territory under the jurisdiction of a
5 single school board authorized by Chapter 79;
6 (2) School means a school under the jurisdiction of a school board
7 authorized by Chapter 79;
8 (3) Legal voter means a registered voter as defined in section
9 32-115 who is domiciled in a precinct or ward in which he or she is
10 registered to vote and which precinct or ward lies in whole or in part
11 within the boundaries of a school district for which the registered voter
12 chooses to exercise his or her right to vote at a school district
13 election;
14 (4) Prekindergarten programs means all early childhood programs
15 provided for children who have not reached the age of five by the date
16 provided in section 79-214 for kindergarten entrance;
17 (5) Elementary grades means grades kindergarten through eight,
18 inclusive;
19 (6) High school grades means all grades above the eighth grade;
20 (7) School year means (a) for elementary grades other than
21 kindergarten, the time equivalent to at least one thousand thirty-two
22 instructional hours and (b) for high school grades, the time equivalent
23 to at least one thousand eighty instructional hours;
24 (8) Instructional hour means a period of time, at least sixty
25 minutes, which is actually used for the instruction of students;
26 (9) Teacher means any certified employee who is regularly employed
27 for the instruction of pupils in the public schools;
28 (10) Administrator means any certified employee such as
29 superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal,
30 school nurse, or other supervisory or administrative personnel who do not
31 have as a primary duty the instruction of pupils in the public schools;
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1 (11) School board means the governing body of any school district.
2 Board of education has the same meaning as school board;
3 (12) Teach means and includes, but is not limited to, the following
4 responsibilities: (a) The organization and management of the classroom or
5 the physical area in which the learning experiences of pupils take place;
6 (b) the assessment and diagnosis of the individual educational needs of
7 the pupils; (c) the planning, selecting, organizing, prescribing, and
8 directing of the learning experiences of pupils; (d) the planning of
9 teaching strategies and the selection of available materials and
10 equipment to be used; and (e) the evaluation and reporting of student
11 progress;
12 (13) Permanent school fund means the fund described in section
13 79-1035.01;
14 (14) Temporary school fund means the fund described in section
15 79-1035.02;
16 (15) School lands means the lands described in section 79-1035.03.
17 Educational lands has the same meaning as school lands;
18 (16) Community eligibility provision means the alternative to
19 household applications for free and reduced-price meals in high-poverty
20 schools enacted in section 104(a) of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free
21 Kids Act of 2010, section 11(a)(1) of the Richard B. Russell National
22 School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1759a(a)(1), as such act and section existed
23 on January 1, 2015, and administered by the United States Department of
24 Agriculture; and
25 (17)(a) Certificate, certificated, or certified, when referring to
26 an individual holding a certificate to teach, administer, or provide
27 special services, also includes an individual who holds a permit issued
28 by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to sections 79-806 to 79-815 or
29 an alternative certificate to teach issued pursuant to section
30 79-8,145.01.
31 (b) Certificate, certificated, or certified, when referring to an
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1 individual holding a certificate to teach, also includes an individual
2 who is granted a certificate in accordance with the Interstate Teacher
3 Mobility Compact and section 79-816.01.
4 The State Board of Education may adopt and promulgate rules and
5 regulations to define school day and other appropriate units of the
6 school calendar.
7 Sec. 2. Section 79-201, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, is
8 amended to read:
9 79-201 (1) For purposes of this section, a child is of mandatory
10 attendance age if the child (a) will reach six years of age prior to
11 January 1 of the then-current school year and (b) has not reached
12 eighteen years of age.
13 (2)(a) (2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section,
14 every person residing in a school district within the State of Nebraska
15 who has legal or actual charge or control of any child who is of
16 mandatory attendance age or is enrolled in a public school shall cause
17 such child to enroll in, if such child is not enrolled, and attend
18 regularly a public, private, denominational, or parochial day school
19 which meets the requirements for legal operation prescribed in Chapter
20 79, or a school which elects pursuant to section 79-1601 not to meet
21 accreditation or approval requirements, each day that such school is open
22 and in session, except when excused by school authorities or when illness
23 or severe weather conditions make attendance impossible or impracticable.
24 (b) A violation of this subsection is a Class III misdemeanor.
25 (3) Subsection (2) of this section does not apply in the case of any
26 child who:
27 (a) Has obtained a high school diploma by meeting the graduation
28 requirements established in section 79-729;
29 (b) Has completed the program of instruction offered by a school
30 which elects pursuant to section 79-1601 not to meet accreditation or
31 approval requirements;
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1 (c) Has reached sixteen years of age and has been withdrawn from
2 school pursuant to section 79-202;
3 (d)(i) Will reach six years of age prior to January 1 of the then-
4 current school year, but will not reach seven years of age prior to
5 January 1 of such school year, (ii) such child's parent or guardian has
6 signed an affidavit stating that the child is participating in an
7 education program that the parent or guardian believes will prepare the
8 child to enter grade one for the following school year, and (iii) such
9 affidavit has been filed by the parent or guardian with the school
10 district in which the child resides;
11 (e)(i) Will reach six years of age prior to January 1 of the then-
12 current school year but has not reached seven years of age, (ii) such
13 child's parent or guardian has signed an affidavit stating that the
14 parent or guardian intends for the child to participate in a school which
15 has elected or will elect pursuant to section 79-1601 not to meet
16 accreditation or approval requirements and the parent or guardian intends
17 to provide the Commissioner of Education with a statement pursuant to
18 subsection (3) of section 79-1601 on or before the child's seventh
19 birthday, and (iii) such affidavit has been filed by the parent or
20 guardian with the school district in which the child resides; or
21 (f) Will not reach six years of age prior to January 1 of the then-
22 current school year and such child was enrolled in a public school and
23 has discontinued the enrollment according to the policy of the school
24 board adopted pursuant to subsection (4) of this section.
25 (4) The board shall adopt policies allowing discontinuation of the
26 enrollment of students who will not reach six years of age prior to
27 January 1 of the then-current school year and specifying the procedures
28 therefor.
29 (5) Each school district that is a member of a learning community
30 shall report to the learning community coordinating council on or before
31 September 1 of each year for the immediately preceding school year the
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1 following information:
2 (a) All reports of violations of this section made to the attendance
3 officer of any school in the district pursuant to section 79-209;
4 (b) The results of all investigations conducted pursuant to section
5 79-209, including the attendance record that is the subject of the
6 investigation and a list of services rendered in the case;
7 (c) The district's policy on excessive absenteeism; and
8 (d) Records of all notices served and reports filed pursuant to
9 section 79-209 and the district's policy on excessive absenteeism
10 habitual truancy.
11 Sec. 3. Section 79-205, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, is
12 amended to read:
13 79-205 Each school district and each private, denominational, or
14 parochial school teacher in the public, private, denominational, and
15 parochial schools of this state shall keep a record showing (1) the name,
16 age, and address of each child enrolled. Each teacher in such school
17 district or school shall record , (2) the number and county of the school
18 district in which the school is located, (3) the number of days each
19 pupil was present and the number of days absent, and (4) the cause of
20 absence. On the third day on which a the public, private, denominational,
21 and parochial school is schools are in session at the beginning of each
22 school year, each teacher shall send to the superintendent of a school
23 district and each or administrator of a private, denominational, or
24 parochial of the school shall compile a list of the pupils enrolled in
25 such district or his or her school with the age, grade, and address of
26 each pupil.
27 Sec. 4. Section 79-206, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, is
28 amended to read:
29 79-206 Each superintendent or administrator of a school district,
30 using upon the receipt of the list specified in section 79-205, shall (1)
31 compare the names of the children enrolled with the last census report on
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1 file in his or her office from such district, (2) prepare a list of all
2 children resident in such district under his or her jurisdiction who are
3 not attending school as provided in section 79-201, and (3) transmit the
4 list to the officer or officers in such district whose duty it is to
5 enforce the provisions of such section.
6 Sec. 5. Section 79-207, Reissue Revised Statutes of Nebraska, is
7 amended to read:
8 79-207 Whenever any child enters or withdraws from any school after
9 the third day in which school is in session, each the teacher shall
10 transmit at once the name of such child to the superintendent as
11 specified in section 79-206 and the superintendent shall use such
12 information in whatever way he or she deems necessary for the purpose of
13 enforcing section 79-201. At the end of each week, each teacher shall
14 report all absences and the cause of absence to the proper
15 superintendent. At the close of each period, each teacher shall transmit
16 to the superintendent a report showing (1) the name, age, and address of
17 each child enrolled, (2) the number of half days each child was absent,
18 (3) the number enrolled and the number attending on the last day of the
19 period, and (4) the average daily attendance for the period. The
20 provisions of this section requiring reports from each teacher shall not
21 apply to individual teachers in schools employing more than one teacher
22 but shall in such case apply to the head teacher, principal, or
23 superintendent, or administrator, who shall obtain the required
24 information from the teachers under his or her supervision or control.
25 All reports and lists required in this section shall be as upon blanks
26 prescribed by the Commissioner State Department of Education.
27 Sec. 6. Section 79-209, Revised Statutes Cumulative Supplement,
28 2022, is amended to read:
29 79-209 (1) In all school districts in this state, any
30 superintendent, principal, teacher, or member of the school board who
31 knows of any violation of subsection (2) of section 79-201 shall within
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1 three days report such violation to the attendance officer of the school,
2 who shall immediately investigate the case. When of his or her personal
3 knowledge or by report or complaint from any resident of the district,
4 the attendance officer believes that there is a violation of subsection
5 (2) of section 79-201, the attendance officer shall immediately
6 investigate such alleged violation.
7 (2) All school boards shall have a written policy on attendance
8 developed and annually reviewed in collaboration with the county attorney
9 of the county in which the principal office of the school district is
10 located. The policy shall include a provision indicating how the school
11 district will hand