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NO. 119. AN ACT RELATING TO USE OF PUBLIC SCHOOL FACILITIES BY HOME SCHOOLED STUDENTS.

(S.204)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. POLICY; REPORT

(a) It is the policy of the State of Vermont to encourage and facilitate the integration of home study students into the public schools by enabling their enrollment in academic courses, participation in cocurricular and extracurricular activities, and use of public school facilities.

(b) In furtherance of that policy, the state board of education shall, after a collaborative study process involving representatives of home study students, the Vermont Principals Association, the Vermont Superintendents Association, the Vermont School Boards Association, the Vermont National Education Association, the Vermont Independent Schools Association, representatives of the public and the chairs of the Senate and House Education Committees or their designees, report to the House and Senate Committees on Education by December 1, 1998 on the following:

(1) The advisability of developing statewide policies regarding home study students enrollment in public school courses, participation in public school cocurricular and extracurricular activities and the use of public school facilities.

(2) Laws, policies and resources in other states regarding enrollment in, participation in and use of public school courses, activities and facilities.

(3) The cost of continuing to include home study students in the count of average daily membership for enrollment in public school courses and of also including participation in public school cocurricular and extracurricular activities.

(4) Identification of any significant distinctions between integration of home study students into K-8 and 9-12 public education programs.

(5) Appropriate procedures and timelines for school districts to consider regarding a home study student's notification to the public school of intent to enroll in courses, participate in activities or use facilities.

(6) How the policies of the Vermont Principals Association could encourage homestudy student participation in cocurricular and extracurricular activities.

(7) The issues associated with admitting home study students to courses, activities and facilities on the same basis as enrolled students, and recommendations on how to address the issues.

(8) Recommendations on how the state board of education can ensure that school boards adopt and implement policies which integrate students into their courses, activities and facilities.

(c) On or before March 15, 1999, the state board of education, after collaboration with the groups and people listed in subsection (b) of this section, shall adopt rules establishing parameters and minimum standards for school board policies to be adopted under 16 V.S.A. § 563(24). The purpose of the policies shall be to ensure that home study students are able to enroll in courses of study, participate in extracurricular and cocurricular activities, and use school facilities.

Sec. 2. 16 V.S.A. § 563(24) is added to read:

(24) Shall adopt a policy which, in accordance with rules adopted by the state board of education, will integrate home study students into its schools through enrollment in courses, participation in cocurricular and extracurricular activities and use of facilities.

Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on passage, however, school boards are required to adopt policies under Sec. 2 of this act by July 1, 1999.

Approved: April 27, 1998