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ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2007-2008

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NO. 132.  AN ACT RELATING TO ENSURING QUALITY IN PREKINDERGARTEN EDUCATION PROGRAMS OFFERED BY OR THROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

(H.884)

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

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 829(10)(A) is amended to read:

(A)  A provider must The prekindergarten education program, whether offered by or through the district, shall have received:

* * *

Sec. 2.  PREKINDERGARTEN EDUCATION; MINIMUM QUALITY STANDARDS

(a)  For the 2008–2009 school year, any prekindergarten education program operated by a school district or by a private provider on behalf of a school district that is not yet participating in the STARS program shall be granted presumptive eligibility at a three star level if the program is in good regulatory standing with the department for children and families.

(b)  The departments for children and families and of education jointly shall develop and approve rules for the STARS program, applicable respectively to public and private providers, to be adopted by the department for children and families under chapter 25 of Title 3.  The rules shall be in effect no later than April 1, 2009.

Sec. 3.  Sec. 15 of No. 62 of the Acts of 2007 is amended to read:

Sec. 15.  EFFECTIVE DATES

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2007, except that the rules required by Sec. 3 of this act shall apply beginning in the 2008–2009 academic year.  A prekindergarten education program operated by a school district or by a private provider on behalf of a school district that was operating on or before
October 1, 2008 shall have one year from the effective date of the rules required by Sec. 3 of this act to achieve full compliance with provisions in the rules related to conducting child development assessments and governing the manner in which school districts and private providers establish and negotiate contract payments.

Sec. 4.  16 V.S.A. § 4001(1)(C) is amended to read:

(C)  The full-time equivalent enrollment for each prekindergarten child as follows:  If a child is enrolled in 10 or more hours of prekindergarten education per week or receives 10 or more hours of essential early education services per week, the child shall be counted as one full-time equivalent pupil. If a child is enrolled in six or more but fewer than 10 hours of prekindergarten education per week or if a child receives fewer than 10 hours of essential early education services per week, the child shall be counted as a percentage of one full-time equivalent pupil, calculated as one multiplied by the number of hours per week divided by ten.  A child enrolled in prekindergarten education for fewer than six hours per week shall not be included in the district’s average daily membership.  Although there is no limit on the total number of children who may be enrolled in prekindergarten education or who receive essential early education services, the total number of prekindergarten children that a district may include within its average daily membership shall be limited as follows:

(i)  All children receiving essential early education services may be included.

(ii)  Of the children enrolled in prekindergarten education offered by or through a school district who are not receiving essential early education services, the greater of the following may be included:

(I)  ten children; or

(II)  the number resulting from:

(aa)  one plus the average annual percentage increase or decrease in the district’s first grade enrollment average daily membership as counted in the census period of the previous five years; multiplied by

(bb)  the most immediately previous year’s first grade census count average daily membership; or

(III)  the total number of four-year-olds in the district  the total number of children residing in the district who are enrolled in the prekindergarten program or programs and who are eligible to enter kindergarten in the district in the following academic year; or

(IV)  one-fifth of the total number of children in grades 1-5 who were included in the district’s average daily membership for the previous year.   

Sec. 5.  16 V.S.A. § 4001(15) is amended to read:

(15)  “Prekindergarten child” means a three- or four-year-old child who is enrolled in a prekindergarten program offered by or through a public school district pursuant to rules adopted under section 829 of this title or who is receiving essential early education services offered pursuant to section 2956 of this title.  Prekindergarten child also means a five-year-old child who otherwise meets the terms of this definition if that child is not yet eligible for or enrolled in kindergarten.

Approved:  May 12, 2008



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us