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BILL AS PASSED BY HOUSE 2007-2008

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H.812

AN ACT RELATING TO ENSURING EDUCATIONAL CONTINUITY FOR PREGNANT AND PARENTING STUDENTS

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

* * * Definitions * * *

Sec. 1.  16 V.S.A. § 11(a) is amended to read: 

§ 11.  CLASSIFICATIONS AND DEFINITIONS

(a)  For the purposes of this title, unless the context otherwise clearly requires:

* * *

(28)  “State-placed student” means:

* * *

(B)  a Vermont pupil who:

* * *

(iii)  resides in a school district other than the district of the pupil’s parent or parents; or but

(C)  a pregnant or postpartum pupil attending school at an approved education program in a residential facility or outside the school district of residence pursuant to subsection 1073(b) of this title.

“State-placed student” does not include pupils

(iv)  is not a pupil placed within a correctional facility or in the Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center or The Eldred School operated by the Vermont State Hospital.

* * *

(33)(A)  “Pregnant or parenting pupil” means a legal pupil of any age who is not a high school graduate and who:

(i)  is pregnant; or

(ii)  has given birth, has placed a child for adoption, or has experienced a miscarriage, if any of these has occurred within one year before the public or approved independent school or the approved education program receives a request for enrollment or attendance; or

(iii)  is the parent of a child.

(B)  “Pregnant or parenting pupil” does not include a person whose parental rights have been terminated, except if the pupil has placed the child for adoption or has voluntarily relinquished parental rights, within one year before the public or approved independent school or the approved education program receives a request for enrollment or attendance.

(34)  “Approved education program” means a program that is evaluated and approved by the state board pursuant to written standards, that is neither an approved independent school nor a public school, and that provides educational services to one or more pupils in collaboration with the pupil’s or pupils’ school district of residence.  An “approved education program” includes an “approved teen parent education program.”

(35)  “Teen parent education program” means a program designed to provide educational and other services to pregnant pupils, parenting pupils, or both.

* * * Authority to Pay Tuition * * *

Sec. 2.  16 V.S.A. § 828 is amended to read: 

§ 828.  TUITION TO APPROVED SCHOOLS, AGE, APPEAL

A school district shall not pay the tuition of a pupil except to a public or school, an approved independent school or, an approved tutorial program approved by the state board, nor shall payment, or an approved education program.  Payment of tuition on behalf of a person shall not be denied on account of age.  Unless otherwise provided, a person who is aggrieved by a decision of a school board relating to eligibility for tuition payments, the amount of tuition payable, or the school he or she may attend, may appeal to the state board and its decision shall be final.

* * * Attendance at a Teen Parent Education Program * * *

Sec. 3.  16 V.S.A. § 1073 is amended to read: 

§ 1073.  “LEGAL PUPIL” DEFINED; ACCESS TO SCHOOL

* * *

(b)  Access to school. 

(1)  Right to a public education.  No legal pupil attending school at public expense, including a married, pregnant, or postpartum parenting pupil, shall be deprived of or denied the opportunity to participate in or complete an elementary and secondary a public school education.  Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 822 and 1075 of this title, for reasons related to the pregnancy or birth, a

(2)  Right to enroll in a public or independent school.  A pregnant or postpartum parenting pupil may attend any approved public school in Vermont or an adjacent state, enroll in any public school or approved independent school in Vermont, or other educational program approved by the state board in which any other legal pupil in the pregnant or parenting pupil’s district of residence may enroll.

(3)  Teen parent education program. 

(A)  Residential teen parent education programs.  The commissioner shall pay the educational costs for a pregnant or postpartum parenting pupil attending a state board approved educational teen parent education program in a 24-hour residential facility for up to eight months after the birth of the child.  The commissioner may approve extension of payment of educational costs based on a plan for reintegration of the student into the community or for exceptional circumstances as determined by the commissioner.  The district of residence of a pupil in a 24-hour residential facility shall remain responsible for coordination of the pupil’s educational program and for planning and facilitating her subsequent educational program.

(B)  Nonresidential teen parent education programs. 

(i)  The pregnant or parenting pupil’s district of residence, or the approved independent or public school to which that district pays tuition for its students, shall be responsible for planning and coordinating the pupil’s educational plan while attending a teen parent education program and for planning and facilitating the pupil’s subsequent educational plan, including the pupil’s transition back to the public or approved independent school.

(ii)  A pregnant or parenting pupil may attend a nonresidential teen parent education program for a length of time to be determined by agreement of the pupil’s district of residence, the school in which the pupil is enrolled, the teen parent education program, and the pupil.  If these parties cannot reach agreement as to the duration of attendance, one or more of the parties may petition the commissioner for a review and determination of duration.  The commissioner’s decision shall be final. 

Sec. 4.  16 V.S.A. § 1121 is amended to read: 

§ 1121.  ATTENDANCE BY CHILDREN OF SCHOOL AGE REQUIRED

A person having the control of a child between the ages of six and 16 years shall cause the child to attend a public school, an approved or recognized independent school, an approved education program, or a home study program for the full number of days for which that school is held, unless the child:

* * *

* * * Funding; Grants * * *

Sec. 5.  16 V.S.A. § 4011a is added to read:

§ 4011a.  APPROVED TEEN PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM; PAYMENTS BY DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE

(a)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, for each pregnant or parenting pupil who is attending an approved teen parent education program and is enrolled in an approved independent school or a public school at public expense, the commissioner shall reimburse the pupil’s district of residence for amounts paid to an approved teen parent education program for educational services.  Reimbursement shall be in an amount equal to the prior year’s net cost per pupil, as calculated under section 825 of this title minus debt service, prorated by the pupil’s full-time equivalent enrollment in academic courses at the teen parent education program in the year services are provided.  For those programs operating during 12 months of the year, the

full-time equivalent enrollment will be prorated based on 18.5 hours for 52 weeks rather than 27.5 hours for a 35-week school year.  This subsection applies without regard to whether the pupil is enrolled in a public school within the district of residence or in an approved independent or public school to which the district pays tuition. 

(b)(1)  The pregnant or parenting pupil must be enrolled in a school maintained by the school district of residence or, if the district does not maintain a school, in a public school or an approved independent school at the expense of the district of residence. 

(2)  As determined by the district of residence or by the enrolling school if the district does not maintain a school, the pupil must be taking academic courses at the approved teen parent education program that are the substantial equivalent of the courses required by the district of residence or enrolling school, as applicable, leading to a high school diploma.  The sending district or enrolling school, as applicable, will collaborate with the approved teen parent education program regarding the pupil’s programs and progress.

(c)  An approved independent or public school to which the district of residence pays tuition shall receive and retain tuition for a pregnant or parenting pupil for the full academic year in which the pupil is enrolled, regardless of whether the pupil attends a teen parent education program for all or part of the academic year in lieu of attending the school.  

Sec. 6.  TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

During the 2008–2009 academic year only, the provisions of Sec. 5 of this act shall apply both to approved teen parent education programs and to teen parent education programs that have been recognized by the department for children and families.

Sec. 7.  EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect on July 1, 2008.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us