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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.812

Introduced by Representative Fisher of Lincoln

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Education; pregnant or parenting pupil; approved educational programs; teen parent education programs

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to support the decision of pregnant and parenting students to continue their secondary or elementary education by remaining enrolled in a public or an approved independent school but, for a period to be determined by the involved parties, receiving academic instruction and other services at a teen parent education program.  The student’s district of residence, or the public or approved independent school in which the student is enrolled if the district of residence does not maintain a school at the student’s grade level, would be responsible for ensuring the quality of the student’s academic program at the teen parent education program and for helping the student to transition back to school. 

For the 2008–2009 academic year: (1)  the state would pay a grant of $30,000.00 to each teen parent education program in the state; (2)  for attendance in the teen parent education program, the district of residence would pay an amount equal to 83 percent of the school’s prior year per pupil spending, prorated; and (3)  if the district of residence did not maintain an elementary or secondary school at the pupil’s grade level, the district of residence would pay the remaining 17 percent of that amount to the school in which the student is enrolled for coordinating the educational program and facilitating the pupil’s subsequent transitional plan. 

Beginning in the 2009–2010 academic year, the grants and other payments outlined above would be paid only to teen parent education programs that received state board of education approval.

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 premature end to pregnancy, 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 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)  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. 

(ii)  The 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 pregnant or parenting pupil’s educational plan while attending the 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.

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. § 4011(i) is added to read:

(i)  Annually, the commissioner shall pay $30,000.00 from the education fund to each teen parent education program that has been recognized by the department for children and families.

Sec. 6.  16 V.S.A. § 4011(i) is amended to read:

(i)  Annually, the commissioner shall pay $30,000.00 from the education fund to each approved teen parent education program that has been recognized by the department for children and families.


Sec. 7.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Sec. 5 shall take effect on July 1, 2008 and apply to the 2008–2009 academic year.

(b)  Sec. 6 shall take effect on July 1, 2009 and apply to the 2009–2010 academic year and after.

* * * Funding; Tuition * * *

Sec. 8.  16 V.S.A. § 4011a is added to read:

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

(a)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, when a pregnant or parenting pupil is attending a teen parent education program, the following provisions shall apply:

(1)  If the pregnant or parenting pupil attending the teen parent education program is enrolled in an approved independent or public school at public expense, the pupil’s district of residence shall pay to the teen parent education program an amount equal to 83 percent of the school’s prior year per pupil spending, prorated on 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 provision 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. 

(2)  If a pregnant or parenting pupil attending a teen parent education program resides in a district that does not maintain an elementary or secondary school at the pupil’s grade level, the district of residence shall pay the school that has assumed responsibility for coordinating the pregnant or parenting pupil’s educational program at the teen parent education program and for planning and facilitating the pupil’s subsequent transitional plan an amount equal to 17 percent of the school’s prior year per pupil spending.

(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, enrolled at a public school or an approved independent school at the district’s expense. 

(2)  The teen parent education program must be recognized by the department for children and families.

(3)  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 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 teen parent education program regarding the pupil’s programs and progress.

Sec. 9.  16 V.S.A. § 4011a is amended to read:

§ 4011a.  APPROVED TEEN PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM;

                PAYMENTS BY DISTRICT OF RESIDENCE

(a)  Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, when a pregnant or parenting pupil is attending a an approved teen parent education program, the following provisions shall apply:

(1)  If the pregnant or parenting pupil attending the approved teen parent education program is enrolled in an approved independent or public school at public expense, the pupil’s district of residence shall pay to the approved teen parent education program an amount equal to 83 percent of the school’s prior year per pupil spending, 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 provision 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. 

(2)  If a pregnant or parenting pupil attending a an approved teen parent education program resides in a district that does not maintain an elementary or secondary school at the pupil’s grade-level, the district of residence shall pay the school that has assumed responsibility for coordinating the pregnant or parenting pupil’s educational program at the approved teen parent education program and for planning and facilitating the pupil’s subsequent transitional plan an amount equal to 17 percent of the school’s prior year per pupil spending.

(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, enrolled at a public school or an approved independent school at the district’s expense. 

(2)  The approved teen parent education program must be recognized by the department for children and families.

(3)  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.

Sec. 10.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Sec. 8 shall take effect on July 1, 2008 and apply to the 2008–2009 academic year.

(b)  Sec. 9 shall take effect on July 1, 2009 and apply to the 2009–2010 academic year and after.

* * * Education Fund * * *

Sec. 11.  16 V.S.A. § 4025(b)(1) is amended to read:

(b)  Moneys in the education fund shall be used for the following:

(1)  To make payments to school districts and supervisory unions for the support of education in accordance with the provisions of section 4028 of this title, other provisions of this chapter, and the provisions of chapter 135 of Title 32 and to make payments to teen parent education programs for the support of education in accordance with section 4011(i) of this title.

Sec. 12.  16 V.S.A. § 4025(b)(1) is amended to read:

(b)  Moneys in the education fund shall be used for the following:

(1)  To make payments to school districts and supervisory unions for the support of education in accordance with the provisions of section 4028 of this title, other provisions of this chapter, and the provisions of chapter 135 of Title 32 and to make payments to approved teen parent education programs for the support of education in accordance with section 4011(i) of this title.


Sec. 13.  EFFECTIVE DATES

(a)  Sec. 11 shall take effect on July 1, 2008 and apply to the 2008–2009 academic year.

(b)  Sec. 12 shall take effect on July 1, 2009 and apply to the 2009–2010 academic year and after.

* * * Effective Dates * * *

Sec. 14.  EFFECTIVE DATE

Except as otherwise provided in this act, all sections of 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