AN ACT RELATING TO UPDATING AND CLARIFYING EDUCATION LAW
The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill as follows:
Sec. 1. 16 V.S.A. § 165(a)(2)(K) is amended to read:
data provided by the commissioner which enable a comparison with other schools,
or school districts if school level data are not available, for
cost-effectiveness. The commissioner shall establish which data are to be
included pursuant to this subdivision and, notwithstanding that the other
elements of the report are to be presented in a format selected by the school
board, shall develop a common format to be used by each school in presenting
the data to community members. The commissioner shall provide the most recent
data available to each school no later than October 1 of each year. Data to be
presented may include student-to-teacher ratio, administrator-to-student ratio,
administrator-to-teacher ratio, and cost per pupil
, cost per square
foot of building, class sizes, course offerings, and other performance data.
Sec. 2. 16 V.S.A. § 426(a) is amended to read:
(a) The town treasurer shall be treasurer of the town school district unless, by vote of the town school district a town school district treasurer is elected. He or she shall keep in a separate bank account all the money appropriated or given for the use of the school district. Within 20 days after the date the school taxes become due and payable or within such other period of time as may be agreed upon in writing by both the board of selectmen and the board of school directors, he or she shall deposit in the school account, payments of the school tax levy received. However, if notification of the amount to be transferred to the school district by the commissioner has not been received within 20 days of the date taxes are due and payable, the transfer shall be effected within 20 days of notification by the commissioner.
Sec. 3. 16 V.S.A. § 559(e)(7) is amended to read:
nothing in this section shall require a school board or supervisory union board
to invite or advertise for bids if it is renewing a contract entered into
pursuant to subsection (a) of this section provided that annual costs will not
increase more than the most recent
Cumulative Price Index New England
Economic Project cumulative price index, as of December 1 November
15, for state and local government purchases of goods and services, the
total amount of the contract does not exceed an increase of 30 percent more
than the total amount of the original contract, and the contract for the
renewal period allows termination by the board following an annual review of
Sec. 4. 16 V.S.A. § 562(8) is amended to read:
vote authorize at each annual school district meeting a
sum of money necessary an amount of money from all revenue sources to be
expended by the board for the support of public schools; and the board
shall determine how the voted authorized funds shall be expended;
Sec. 5. 16 V.S.A. § 563(17) is amended to read:
Shall employ a public accountant at least once in each period of three years to
audit the financial statements of the school district
and the average daily
membership count submitted by the district to the department of education under
subdivisions 4001(1)(A) and (B) of this title. However, if the town has voted
to eliminate the office of auditor under section 2651b of Title 17, the
school board shall employ a public accountant annually to audit the financial
statements of the school district and the average daily membership count
pursuant to that section. The school board may authorize an audit in
conjunction with another school district or a supervisory union.
Sec. 6. 16 V.S.A. § 706m is amended to read:
§ 706m. TERMS OF OFFICE; ELIMINATION OF OFFICE OF AUDITOR
(a) The terms of office of directors and auditors shall be three years after the first term and of all other officers one year. At the first annual meeting one auditor shall be elected for a term of one year, one auditor for a term of two years, and one for a term of three years, or until their successors are chosen and qualified.
(b) At any annual or special meeting warned for the purpose, the electorate may vote to eliminate the office of auditor and to employ instead a public accountant annually to audit the financial statements of the union school district.
Sec. 7. 16 V.S.A. § 823 is amended to read:
§ 823. ELEMENTARY TUITION
Tuition for elementary pupils shall be paid by the district in which the pupil
is a resident.
The tuition paid to a public elementary school shall be at a
rate not greater than the calculated net cost per elementary pupil in average
daily membership in the receiving school district for the year of attendance
The district shall pay the full tuition charged its students attending a
public elementary school. However, if a payment made to a public elementary
school is three percent more or less than the calculated net cost per
elementary pupil in the receiving school district for the year of attendance,
the district shall be reimbursed, credited, or refunded pursuant to section 836
of this title, unless otherwise agreed to by the boards of both the receiving
and sending districts.
The tuition paid to an approved independent elementary school shall not exceed
the lesser of: (1) the average announced tuition of Vermont union
elementary schools for the year of attendance; or (2) the tuition charged by
public elementary independent school attended by the
greatest number of the district’s pupils. However, the electorate of a
school district may authorize the payment of a higher amount at an annual or
special meeting warned for the purpose.
Sec. 8. 16 V.S.A. § 824(b) is amended to read:
Except as otherwise provided for technical students, the district shall pay the
full tuition charged its pupils attending a public high school in Vermont or an
adjoining state, or a public or independent school in Vermont functioning as an
approved area technical center, or an independent school meeting school quality
standards. However, if a payment made to a public high school or an
independent school meeting school quality standards is three percent more or
less than the calculated net cost per secondary pupil
in average daily
membership in the receiving school district for the year of attendance then
the district shall be reimbursed, credited, or refunded pursuant to
section 836 of this title, unless otherwise agreed to by the boards of both the
receiving and sending districts or independent schools.
Sec. 9. 16 V.S.A. § 825(a) is amended to read:
(a) Calculated net cost per pupil for purposes of this chapter shall be defined by the commissioner. Expenditures shall include those for equipment and school building construction, additions or renovations. Expenditures excluded shall be:
(1) Transportation costs incurred by the receiving school district for its resident pupils;
(2) Transportation costs for which the receiving school district receives reimbursement;
(3) That portion of the total cost which is provided by direct grants from state or federal sources for salaries or other specific expenses;
(4) Expenditures for maintenance, and payments of principal and interest for buildings used exclusively for boarding students if any;
(5) Expenditures for special education;
(6) Tuition payments for technical education.
Sec. 10. 16 V.S.A. § 836(a) is amended to read:
(a) Annually, on or before November 1, the commissioner shall inform each school board of a receiving public school, each board of trustees of a receiving approved independent school for which the commissioner has calculated a net cost per pupil, and each sending school district in Vermont of the calculated net cost per elementary or secondary pupil in the receiving schools. Each school board or board of trustees of a receiving school shall then determine whether it overcharged or undercharged any sending district for tuition charges and shall notify the district by December 15 of the same year of the amount due or the amount to be refunded or credited.
Sec. 11. 16 V.S.A. § 1552(c) is amended to read:
For students from a school district within Vermont, funds
subsections subsection 1561 (b) and (c) of
this title shall be subtracted when calculating the tuition charge. For
students who are not Vermont residents, funds received
under subsections 1561(b) and (c) of this title shall not be subtracted when
calculating the tuition charge.
Sec. 12. 16 V.S.A. § 1561(a) is amended to read:
the purpose of reducing the amount of tuition charged to Vermont
residents under section 1552 of this title, technical centers shall receive
assistance as provided in this section. In this section ,:
(1) “Student” means a Vermont secondary student without a diploma regardless of age and regardless of whether the student is enrolled in a high school in Vermont; and
(2) “Full-time equivalent student” means the average of a Vermont school district’s three prior years’ full-time equivalent enrollment of students in the technical center.
Sec. 13. 16 V.S.A. § 1593 is amended to read:
§ 1593. SECONDARY STUDENTS IN POSTSECONDARY TECHNICAL
A secondary technical student may be enrolled in postsecondary technical courses at the expense of the student’s school district of residence if the enrollment is accepted by the postsecondary institution and approved by the district of residence as being in the best interests of the student, and if the enrollment is approved for credit toward high school graduation requirements. The school board awarding graduation credits shall consider the recommendation of the regional advisory board, regional technical center school district board, or any other authorized alternate governing board and shall provide an opportunity for the secondary student also to receive postsecondary credit.
Sec. 14. 16 V.S.A. § 2904 is amended to read:
§ 2904. REPORTS
each superintendent shall report to the commissioner in a form prescribed by
the commissioner, on the status of the educational support systems in each
school in the supervisory union. The report shall describe the services and
supports that are a part of the education support system, how they are funded,
and how building the capacity of the educational support system has been
addressed in the school action plans. The report shall include a description
and justification of how
the following funds were used: (1) as
required under subsection 2959a(e) of this title, funds
received due to Medicaid reimbursement under section 2959a of this title
were used ; (2)
for a school district required to provide learning readiness experiences for
preschool age children or early reading and math experiences for school age
children pursuant to subsection 4011(d) of this title, funds attributable to an
increase in student count due to the poverty ratio of the district and the number
of students with limited English proficiency.
Sec. 15. 16 V.S.A. § 2957(e) is amended to read:
(e) Except as provided in 20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(10)(C) or unless a court or hearing officer determines otherwise, where a unilateral placement has been made without the school district of residence being offered a reasonable opportunity to evaluate the child and to develop an individualized education plan, reimbursement may not be sought for any costs incurred before the school district is offered such an opportunity.
Sec. 16. 16 V.S.A. § 4011(a), (c), and (h) are amended to read:
Annually, the general assembly shall appropriate funds to pay for
adjusted education payment for each equalized pupil statewide education
spending and a portion of a base education payment for each adult diploma
student and student or client in the adult education and literacy program.
Annually, each school district shall receive an
adjusted education spending
payment for support of education costs. Funds distributed under this
section shall be allocated on the basis of the equalized pupils in each school
district, except for unorganized towns and gores. An unorganized town or
gore shall receive an amount equal to its adjusted education payment for that
year for each student based on the weighted average daily membership count
which shall not be equalized. If the district’s adjusted education payment is
less than the base education payment, then in fiscal years 2005 and 2006 only,
the district shall receive its education spending per equalized pupil plus 40
percent of the excess of the base education payment over the district’s
adjusted education payment, but only for deposit in a district’s education
reserve fund, authorized in accord with section 2804 of Title 24, for expenditure
on legitimate items of education expense. In fiscal years 2007 and after, no
district shall receive more than its education spending amount.
(h) Annually, by October 1, the commissioner shall send to school boards for inclusion in town reports and publish on the department website the following information:
calculations for the current year of: (A) the total statewide
district education spending per equalized pupil for the current
fiscal year, minus the portion of that spending that is approved school
capital construction spending, divided by the statewide equalized pupil count,
which yields the statewide average equalized per pupil spending; and (B)
125 percent of that average spending; and
(2) a statewide comparison of student-teacher ratios among schools which are similar in number of students and number of grades.
Sec. 17. 16 V.S.A. § 252(1)(B)(viii) is amended to read:
Drug sales, including
delivery or sale to minors: selling on school grounds,
selling or dispensing under sections 4230(b), 4231(b), 4232(b), 4233(b),
4234(b), 4235(c), 4235a(b), and 4237 of Title 18.
Sec. 18. TUITION OVERCHARGE STUDY; COMMISSIONER OF
The commissioner of education shall study the amounts of announced tuition charged by public schools and how these amounts relate to the calculated net costs per pupil. On or before January 15, 2006, the commissioner shall make a recommendation to the Senate and House committees on education concerning methods to ensure that the announced tuition will more accurately reflect the calculated net cost per pupil. One of the methods considered by the commissioner shall be a cap on the amount that a receiving district may charge to reconcile the difference between the two amounts.
The Vermont General Assembly
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