§ 1521. Purpose
(a) It is the policy of the state of Vermont that all Vermonters should receive educational services that enable them to master the skills essential for further education and training or for successful entry into or advancement in the workplace.
(b) It is further the policy of the state of Vermont that Vermont's technical education system shall be based on clear standards for student performance and technical education program performance and that achievement of these standards shall be measured on a regular and ongoing basis. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. April 27, 1998.)
§ 1522. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(1) "Secondary technical student" means a resident of this state, of any age, who has not completed high school and is enrolled in a secondary technical education program.
(2) "Adult student" means a resident of this state, of any age, who has completed high school and who needs additional technical education for entry into the labor force or who needs to upgrade skills to qualify for higher pay or for more dependable employment.
(3) "Secondary technical education" means an educational program leading to a high school diploma, designed to provide students with technical knowledge, skills and attitudes that will prepare them for further education, enhance their employment options, or lead to an industry-recognized credential.
(4) "Regional technical center" means any of the 16 regional technical centers operating with state support on January 1, 1984, and any other centers so designated thereafter by rule of the state board.
(5) "Sending district" means a school district paying tuition on behalf of a pupil to a school district which furnishes technical courses.
(6) "Receiving district" means a school district, inside or outside of this state, receiving tuition on behalf of a pupil to whom it furnishes technical education. The classification of a school district as a receiving district is not altered by reason of the participation of that district in a contract for management of the regional technical center under section 1543 of this title.
(7) "Service region" means, for each regional technical center, a region surrounding it so designated by rule of the state board under section 1531 of this title. The state board may designate a service region for two or more comprehensive high schools if that region is not served by a technical center.
(8), (9) [Repealed.]
(10) "Technical tuition" means the amount calculated by subtracting from total regional technical center costs all expenditures from state and federal grants (but not incentive grants, adult education grants, or other state grants as defined by the state board by rule), then dividing the result by the sum of the actual number of full-time equivalent out-of-state students and the average of the full-time equivalent Vermont students for the three prior years.
(11) "Adult technical education" means an educational program or course of study, not part of a postsecondary degree program and which does not award postsecondary credit, which provides students with technical knowledge, skills and attitudes that will prepare them for further education, enhance their employment options, or lead to an industry-recognized credential.
(12) "Postsecondary technical education" means an educational program or course of study which awards postsecondary credit, designed to provide students with technical knowledge, skills and attitudes that will prepare them for further education, enhance their employment options, or lead to an industry-recognized credential.
(13) "Postsecondary technical student" means a resident of this state, of any age, who desires to enroll in, or is enrolled in, a postsecondary technical education program.
(14) "Comprehensive high school" means a public or independent school other than a technical center that provides secondary technical education approved under section 1533 of this title. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1993, No. 233 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 49a, 49b, eff. June 21, 1994; 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 24, eff. July 1, 1999; 2001, No. 63, § 164d, eff. July 1, 2002.)
§ 1531. Responsibility of state board
(a) The state board has overall responsibility for the effectiveness of technical education. This requires the board to collect suitable information and to take appropriate steps within its legal, financial and personnel resources to ensure that:
(1) technical education is equally available to students and is of consistent quality in all parts of the state, including areas remote from technical centers;
(2) the timing and content of technical education is properly and flexibly coordinated with academic instruction;
(3) technical education is available to adult students, particularly in areas where unemployment is high or occupational retraining needs are great. This includes entering into contracts with postsecondary educational institutions or with any resource supplier to provide adult programs at technical centers;
(4) technical education programs and courses of study are demonstrably useful to their graduates in obtaining employment or improving the quality of their employment;
(5) technical education programs are well coordinated with related state programs in education and training. This includes ensuring that technical education graduates receive appropriate credit toward requirements in apprenticeship programs and professional licensing programs.
(b) In order to provide regional technical education services efficiently, the state board shall designate a service region for each technical center. However, the board may designate a service region for two or more comprehensive high schools if that region is not served by a technical center.
(c) For a school district which is geographically isolated from a Vermont technical center, the state board may approve a technical center in another state as the technical center which district students may attend. In this case, the school district shall receive transportation assistance pursuant to section 1563 of this title and tuition assistance pursuant to section 1561(c) of this title. Any student who is a resident in the Windham Southwest supervisory union and who is enrolled in the Charles H. McCann Technical School at public expense shall be considered to be attending an approved technical center in another state pursuant to this subsection, and, if the student is from a school district eligible for a small schools support grant pursuant to section 4015 of this title, the student's full-time equivalency shall be computed according to time attending the school. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 14; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7;
1993, No. 233 (Adj. Sess.), § 49c, eff. June 21, 1994; 1999, No. 10, § 1; No. 29, § 49, eff. May 19, 1999; 2001, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 188a; 2003, No. 66, § 183a.)
§ 1532. Minimum standards; measurement of standards
(a) The state board shall adopt by rule:
(1) minimum standards for the operation and performance of technical centers which include the school quality standards adopted by the state board under subdivision 164(9) and section 165 of this title;
(2) standards for student performance based on the standards adopted by the state board under subdivision 164(9) of this title and standards for industry recognized credentials;
(3) the minimum number of days of technical instruction for each academic year;
(4) the minimum number of hours of instruction for each course of study within technical education;
(5) the availability of remedial programs offered to technical students by technical centers or by another school, agency or program;
(6) accounting procedures and standards, including methods for calculating tuition for technical education;
(7) a system of equipment inventory, amortization and maintenance; and
(8) procedures and requirements for measurement of student knowledge and skill upon entry into and exit from the technical program. The purpose of the measurement shall be to determine student achievement in relation to the standards for academic and technical competence as adopted under subdivision (2) of this subsection. Aggregate results shall be reported to the communities in the service region along with other items reported pursuant to subdivision 165(a)(2) of this title.
(b) The following shall be adopted by procedure or rule:
(1) competencies which graduates of each kind of technical program should be able to demonstrate, including technical competencies necessary for the student's intended employment;
(2) minimum admissions competencies for entrance into each technical course of study;
(3) procedures by which the commissioner or designee will review and comment on the employment qualifications of candidates for positions at technical centers for whom state salary assistance will be requested;
(4) requirements for technical centers to provide programs designed to acquaint prospective students with technical courses of study;
(5) procedures by which the commissioner will review and approve use of course of study credits in technical education to meet state graduation requirements;
(6) procedures, including communications with the sending school districts, to identify unique or specific circumstances relative to a student's progress or safety. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 1a; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.); 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. April 27, 1998.)
§ 1533. Technical center evaluation
(a) At least once in each period of five years, and in coordination with the Vermont advisory council on technical education, the commissioner or his designee shall evaluate the effectiveness of each technical center in the state. The state board by rule shall prescribe the method for conducting these evaluations.
(b) Evaluations of technical centers shall consider at least the following areas:
(1) compliance with this chapter and the rules of the state board;
(2) the condition and suitability of the facility and its equipment;
(3) the quality of the course of study, including faculty development policies and instruction;
(4) the overall success of the center at combining academic education, skill training and employability trait development into its program;
(5) the overall success of the center in providing regionwide services and a flexible response to student needs, integrating its courses of study into a coherent program, and coordinating its program with postsecondary technical education services;
(6) the satisfaction of the center's customer groups, including graduates, sending schools and local industry;
(7) the adequacy and effectiveness of the center in meeting the educational and employment needs of all its eligible students, including its success in taking steps to encourage each student to consider enrolling in courses not traditional for that student's sex.
(c) [Repealed.] (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 7; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294w.)
§ 1534. Course of study evaluation
(a) At least once in each period of five years, and in coordination with the Vermont advisory council on technical education, the commissioner or designee shall evaluate the effectiveness of each course of study offered by any technical center in the state. The state board by rule shall prescribe the method for conducting these evaluations.
(b) Evaluations of courses of study shall consider at least the following areas as they apply in every center offering that course:
(1) the content and quality of the program, including the scope of instruction and the academic and practical competencies required for completion;
(2) the length of the course;
(3) the adequacy of equipment used in the course;
(4) the appropriateness of the program and its content in light of later career and higher education choices made by recent graduates;
(5) the usefulness of the program to recent graduates;
(6) coordination with other state programs, especially licensing, job training and apprenticeship programs;
(7) possibilities for decentralization of the program.
(c) [Repealed.] (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2003, No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 294w.)
§ 1541. Responsibility of local boards which manage centers
(a) A school board which operates a technical center has responsibility for providing secondary and adult technical education services within its service region.
(b) A school board which operates a technical center shall establish a regional advisory board. It shall give due regard to the policy and financial recommendations of its regional advisory board. When the school board rejects a written recommendation of a regional advisory board, or fails to adopt such a recommendation after 30 days, it shall so notify the advisory board and the commissioner or designee in writing, stating its reasons. If the state board designates a service region for two or more comprehensive high schools, the boards of the high schools shall establish a joint regional advisory board.
(c) In consultation with its regional advisory board, a school board which operates a regional technical center shall:
(1) annually set the budget for operation of the center;
(2) establish the secondary and adult curriculum of the regional center, including courses of study offered;
(3) whenever advantageous to the service region, provide for the decentralization of its technical programs, including the creation of rotating and satellite programs;
(4) employ and, as need requires, dismiss an assistant director for adult education and, subject to section 243 of this title, a director of technical education;
(5) establish admission and program completion policies;
(6) periodically evaluate the success of the center in serving all parts of its service area and in offering useful adult training and education programs;
(7) periodically evaluate the quality of each course of study offered by the center;
(8) coordinate use of the center with the Vermont state colleges, other state programs, including licensing, job training and apprenticeship programs, and with other approved institutions, for the provision of postsecondary technical education programs and charge fees not exceeding actual direct and indirect costs of the use of the center;
(9) offer programs designed to acquaint prospective students with technical programs, but which do not require an enrollment commitment;
(10) After giving due consideration to efficient and cost effective use of the center, establish fees for building and equipment use.
(d) A school board which operates a technical center:
(1) Shall establish a technical tuition.
(2) Shall make the center's facilities and equipment available for providing technical education to adults.
(3) Shall use and maintain all facilities designed and constructed for technical education in a manner consistent with that purpose, except when those facilities are not needed for technical education and the commissioner or his designee so consents. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 2, 3; 1989, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 4, 7; 1993, No. 233 (Adj. Sess.), § 49d, eff. June 21, 1994; 2007, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.004, eff. June 7, 2008.)
§ 1541a. Responsibility of local boards in sending districts
(a) A school board of a sending district which offers public education in grades 11 or 12 shall:
(1) provide students enrolled in grades 11 and 12 with a genuine opportunity to participate fully and to benefit from technical education;
(2) provide students enrolled in programs at technical centers transportation between its high school building and the technical center or centers in its designated service region or regions; and
(3) if the technical center for the region does not offer a course of study desired by a student, pay tuition on behalf of that student who applies and is accepted to another technical center which does offer such a course of study. The district of residence is not responsible for providing transportation for a student attending a technical center under this subdivision.
(b) School boards that maintain secondary schools shall provide the names and addresses of students to the technical center for its region for the limited purpose of the technical center providing information to students and their parents about technical center offerings. (Added 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. April 27, 1998.)
§ 1542. Regional advisory board
(a) Each regional advisory board shall consist of:
(1) one member from each public high school in the center's service region, elected by and from among the members of that high school board for a term determined by that high school board; and
(2) the superintendent or his or her designee of each supervisory district or union within the center's service region; and
(3) one member elected for a term of three years by the school board of each sending district in the center's service region which does not have a public high school represented on the advisory board under subdivision (1) of this section; except, that if there are more than three such districts in the center's service area, the advisory board shall select three school boards to represent the interests of all such districts, shall rotate its selections among the districts, and shall stagger the expiration of initial terms; and
(4) one member of each independent comprehensive high school board of trustees within a service region, elected by the members of that high school board for a term determined by that high school board; and
(5) once constituted, the regional advisory board shall elect three additional members for terms of three years to represent the interests of employers or employees, provided that no two terms shall expire in any year.
(b) A regional advisory board, with the consent of the workforce investment board, may delegate its responsibilities to the regional workforce investment board. In this case, the workforce investment board shall become the regional advisory board unless and until the school board which operates the technical center requests that the regional advisory board be reconstituted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; 1993, No. 233 (Adj. Sess.), § 49e, eff. June 21, 1994; 2001, No. 33, § 2.)
§ 1543. Repealed. 2001, No. 33, § 6.
§ 1544. Technical courses in other schools
High schools may include within their courses of study, in accordance with such direction and regulations as to courses, teachers or equipment as the state board may prescribe by rule, pretechnical or technical courses or both. Before establishing such a program, a high school shall consult with the regional advisory board for its technical service region. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 6; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)
§ 1545. Credits and grades earned
(a) Grades earned in a technical education course offered within a technical education program approved by the state board shall not be altered by any public or independent school in Vermont and shall be applied by the school toward any state graduation requirements in accordance with rules adopted by the state board. Any state board rules regarding earning of credits shall allow flexibility with respect to the integration of technical education and other academic courses.
(b) The credits earned for a technical education program approved by the state board shall be honored by any public or independent school within Vermont. If necessary to enable a student to participate in technical education and graduate with his or her class, the credits earned shall be applied toward any school district or independent school graduation requirements exceeding the minimum number of credits required by the state board. The school board of the high school from which the student wishes to graduate shall make a determination as to whether the credits shall be applied toward graduation requirements. A decision of the board may be appealed to the commissioner who shall construe this section to favor participation in technical education.
(c) For any student attending the Vermont academy for science and technology pursuant to subsection 4011(e) of this title, the credits and grades earned shall, upon request of the student or the student's parent or guardian, be applied toward graduation requirements at the Vermont high school which the student attended prior to enrolling in the academy. (Added 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; amended 2001, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 68, eff. June 27, 2002; 2003, No. 36, § 20.)
§ 1546. Comprehensive high schools
(a) In the sections referenced in this section, when applied to an independent comprehensive high school, "school board" or "school district" means "the school's board of trustees."
(b) A comprehensive high school shall charge and receive tuition pursuant to section 824 of this title. A comprehensive high school shall be a technical center for the purposes of receiving funding for grants per full-time equivalent student under 16 V.S.A. § 1561, for tryout classes under 16 V.S.A. § 1562, for equipment replacement under 16 V.S.A. § 1564, for incentive grants under 16 V.S.A. § 1566, and for reporting requirements under 16 V.S.A. § 1568. Funds received under this section shall be used for support of technical education programs within the comprehensive high school.
(c) In addition, two or more comprehensive high schools for which the state board has designated a service region shall be a technical center for the purposes of accountability to the state board of education under subchapter 2 of this chapter, responsibilities of the technical center under subchapter 3 of this chapter, and receiving state financial assistance under subchapter 5, excluding the per equalized pupil general state support grant under subsection 1561(b), of this chapter. The regional advisory board shall determine how funds received under subchapter 5 shall be distributed. A comprehensive high school aggrieved by a decision of the board may appeal to the commissioner who, after opportunity for hearing, may affirm or modify the decision. (Added 1999, No. 10, § 2; amended 2001, No. 63, § 164a, eff. July 1, 2002.)
§ 1551. Secondary student eligibility
(a) A secondary student shall be enrolled in a program of part-time or full-time technical education at a technical center if he:
(1) applies for the program; and
(2) is accepted into the program by the technical center.
(b) A secondary student who is eligible to enroll in a technical center, but who resides in a sending school district, and who so applies, shall be enrolled for academic education in the high school associated with the technical center if:
(1) the sending school district operates a high school but does not provide daily transportation at its expense to and from the technical center; or
(2) the sending school district does not operate a high school.
(c) A secondary student who enrolls in a technical center may enroll part-time in any school to which he would otherwise be entitled to enroll for full-time attendance. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)
§ 1551a. Secondary students not enrolled in a high school
(a) Enrollment in a high school shall not be a precondition for enrollment in a technical center for a student of any age without a diploma. For the purposes of this section a general education development credential shall not be considered a high school diploma.
(b) A school district may establish reasonable procedures to require its resident students to discuss educational opportunities within technical centers or the high school. Procedures shall not interfere with enrollment in a technical center. If a student without a diploma who is not enrolled in a high school enrolls in a technical center, within 10 days of enrollment, the technical center shall notify the school district of residence of the enrollment. (Added 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 9.)
§ 1552. Secondary student tuition
(a) Each technical center shall establish a tuition charge for secondary technical education. The amount shall reflect the actual cost, as defined by rule of the state board, of attendance in the technical courses offered by the center. The tuition charge shall be reduced proportionally for pupils enrolled in a part-time program.
(b) Secondary students are eligible for tuition assistance in technical education provided in another state when the state board determines that such technical education can properly serve the needs of Vermont students.
(c) For students from a school district within Vermont, funds received under subsection 1561(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.
(d) The tuition charged to a school district within Vermont shall be based on the average of the district's three prior years' full-time equivalent student enrollment in the technical center. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 10, 25, eff. July 1, 1999, eff. July 1, 1999; 2005, No. 54, § 11.)
§ 1553. Adult students
An adult student who is academically qualified for technical education, who applies and for whom space is available shall be enrolled in a program of secondary technical education at a technical center at a rate not to exceed 40 percent of the announced tuition. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. April 27, 1998.)
§ 1561. Tuition reduction
(a) 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.
(b) On behalf of a sending school district within Vermont, a technical center shall receive from the education fund for each full-time equivalent student from the district 87 percent of the base education amount and an equivalent amount shall be subtracted from the amount due to the sending district under section 4011 of this title. The amount sent to the technical center and subtracted from the sending district shall be considered a revenue and an expenditure of the district and shall be reported as such in appropriate accounts and in the district's annual budget.
(c) Annually, the general assembly shall appropriate funds to pay for a supplemental assistance grant per full-time equivalent student. The amount of the grant shall be equal to 35 percent of the base education amount for that year.
(d) In any year following a year in which fall semester full-time equivalent enrollment of students at a technical center increased by 20 percent or more over the previous fall semester, in addition to other aid, the technical center shall receive an extra supplemental assistance grant equal to two-thirds of the 35 percent of the base education amount for that year, multiplied by the actual full-time equivalent enrollment increase. The next year, if the increase in fall semester full-time equivalent enrollment is less than 20 percent, in addition to other aid, the technical center shall receive an extra supplemental assistance grant equal to one-third of the 35 percent of the base education amount for the year multiplied by the actual full-time equivalent increase of the previous fall semester. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 46, § 3, eff. May 13, 1987; 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 10, 10a; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 6, 7; 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.),
§ 12, eff. July 1, 1999; 2001, No. 63, § 164b; 2003, No. 68, § 18, eff. June 18, 2003; 2003, No. 76 (Adj. Sess.), § 26, eff. Feb. 17, 2004; No. 122 (Adj. Sess.), § 188; 2005, No. 54, § 12; 2009, No. 44, §§ 18, 19, eff. May 21, 2009.)
§ 1562. Tryout classes
From the monies annually available for use in technical education, the state board may reimburse part of the program cost attributable to programs designed to assist students in deciding whether to enroll in technical courses. As a condition of such assistance, the program shall demonstrate that it has taken steps to encourage each student to consider enrolling in courses not traditional for that student's sex. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)
§ 1563. Transportation assistance
(a) It is the policy of the general assembly to encourage Vermont students to enroll in technical education courses. In furtherance of that policy, transportation assistance is provided for in this section to facilitate the enrollment of Vermont students in technical education programs.
(b) Transportation assistance shall be paid from the education fund to school districts which provide transportation to and from technical education programs, regardless of whether the program is offered in a technical center in the district's designated service region or regions or is offered within the technical center region at a location other than at a technical center. Assistance shall be $1.50 per mile for actual number of miles traveled, in 1998 dollars adjusted annually by the annual price index for state and local government purchases of goods and services. Payments shall be made on or before December 10 and June 10. Requests submitted on or following May 15 shall be reimbursed in the next payment.
(c) The state board may adopt rules necessary to implement this section. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 13, eff. July 1, 1999; 2007, No. 66, § 7.)
§ 1564. Repealed. 2009, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.), § E.511.1.
§ 1565. Salary assistance
(a) The state board shall reimburse a school district operating a technical center for a portion of its cost in paying the salary of the following persons:
(1) the director of technical education;
(2) a person whose principal duty is to provide guidance services for technical students;
(3) a person whose principal duty is to find job training opportunities for students during the time they are enrolled at the technical center;
(4) an assistant director for adult education;
(5) an assistant director of technical education, if the technical center has full-time equivalent enrollment of at least 150 and the sending school population is at least 30 percent of the technical center's total full-time equivalent enrollment.
(b) Assistance under this section shall be determined by a formula and standards established by rule of the state board. The formula and those standards:
(1) shall provide different levels of support for different positions as follows:
(A) Directors and guidance coordinators' salary assistance shall be 50 percent of the state average salary and benefits for each position, or 50 percent of the actual salary and benefits for each individual, whichever is less;
(B) Assistant directors, except for assistant directors for adult education, if the district is eligible, and co-op teachers' salary assistance shall be 35 percent of the state average salary and benefits for each position, or 35 percent of the actual salary and benefits for each individual, whichever is less;
(C) Salary assistance for assistant directors for adult education shall be up to 50 percent of the state average salary and benefits paid to full-time assistant directors for adult education; salary assistance shall be prorated for part-time assistant directors. Salary assistance under this subdivision (1)(C) shall not be paid from the education fund to the extent that the obligation is not fully funded from the general fund. State general fund assistance shall be divided so that each district employing an assistant director receives the same base amount of state salary support. The base support shall be pro-rated for part-time assistant directors. Payment under this subsection does not preclude a district from using other state and federal grants to supplement the actual salaries and benefits of assistant directors for adult education.
(2) shall require as a condition of assistance that the director:
(A) is responsible for the overall administration of all technical programs; and
(B) reports administratively to the superintendent of schools for the supervisory union of the school district which operates the center, or to a headmaster if the technical center is not managed by a school board. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 12; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; 2007, No. 46, § 5a, eff. May 23, 2007; 2007, No. 66, § 8; 2007, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.004.1.)
§ 1566. Incentive grants
(a) Of the monies annually appropriated for overhead costs under section 1567 of this title, five percent shall be distributed to receiving school districts through competitive grants established by rule of the state board.
(b) The commissioner shall solicit proposals and award grants of not less than $20,000.00 and not more than $25,000.00.
(c) The commissioner shall be advised by an advisory group including at least five members representing Vermont business, industrial, agricultural and natural resources interests.
(d) The grants shall provide financial incentives for innovative, exemplary and effective educational practices to school districts that show evidence of having achieved one or more of the following:
(1) increased enrollment of secondary students from sending schools;
(2) increased enrollment of adults;
(3) the successful integration of academic education, skill training and employability trait development;
(4) a flexible response to meeting the technical education needs in the service region;
(5) successful placement of program graduates in jobs related to their technical education programs or in postsecondary institutions;
(6) increased enrollment in programs not traditional for the sex of the student;
(7) awarding appropriate credit toward requirements in apprenticeship programs and professional licensing programs;
(8) contracts between centers and postsecondary institutions to provide adult education and training at center sites;
(9) significant improvements in technical programs to meet emerging needs of employers; or
(10) effective scheduling practices to make better use of available instructional time, transportation systems and the integration of secondary and adult learners. (Added 1983, No. 247 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1985, No. 47; 1987, No. 238 (Adj. Sess.), § 12a; 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)
§ 1567. Repealed. 2001, No. 63, § 164d, eff. July 1, 2002.
§ 1568. Reporting of information
(a) Annually, in accordance with a time line, format and process established by the state board by rule, each technical center shall report its costs and student enrollment, achievement and performance measures to the commissioner. Technical center financial accounts shall be kept separately from those of the host high school in accordance with rules adopted by the state board which shall establish clear delineation of relevant costs and revenues.
(b) If a technical center fails to file financial or student information required under this section within the time lines established by rule of the state board, the commissioner may withhold funds due under this chapter and shall subtract $100.00 per business day from funds due the center under this chapter. The commissioner may waive the $100.00 penalty upon appeal by the center for good cause. (Added 1997, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.), § 14; amended 1999, No. 10, § 4; 2001, No. 63, § 164c, eff. July 1, 2002.)
§ 1571. Definitions
In this subchapter:
(1) "Regional technical center school district" means a district which maintains a regional technical center under a governance structure approved by vote of the electorate pursuant to this subchapter.
(2) "School district" means a school district which maintains a high school. (Added 2001, No. 33, § 3.)
§ 1572. Formation of a planning committee
(a) Any two or more of the following may establish a committee to plan the formation of a regional technical center school district with an alternative governance structure for governance of the regional technical center: either the school board of a school district which operates a regional technical center or all the school boards which operate a comprehensive high school which have been designated as the regional technical center; the majority of the school boards of the other school districts in the technical center region; or a workforce investment board in a technical center region. The planning committee shall consist of representatives of the school district which operates a regional technical center, the school districts which send students to the regional technical center, regional employers, and residents of the technical center region.
(b) The planning committee may determine that no change to the governance structure is needed, or it may prepare a report in the form of an agreement between the school districts which are located in the technical center region. The report shall describe:
(1) The makeup of the governing board. At least 60 percent of the board members shall be elected by direct vote of the voters, or chosen from member school district boards by the member school district boards, or a combination of the two. If the board is to have additional members, who may constitute up to 40 percent of the board, the additional members shall be appointed by the elected and chosen members from member school district boards for the purpose of acquiring expertise in areas they consider desirable. The appointed members may be selected from nominations submitted by the regional workforce investment board or other workforce organizations, or may be chosen without nomination by an organization. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a resident of an unorganized town, grant, or gore that sits within the regional technical center school district who is otherwise eligible to vote under 17 V.S.A. § 2121 may vote for the board members and may be elected to
or appointed as a member of the governing board;
(3) Proposed bylaws;
(4) A plan for transition from the existing governance structure;
(5) The disposition of the existing technical center land and facilities;
(6) How existing collective bargaining agreements and employee contracts will be addressed;
(7) Transportation to be provided;
(8) The term of office of the board members and other officers, how other officers are selected, and how board members will be replaced when a vacancy occurs;
(9) The date on which the proposal will be submitted to the voters and whether the votes will be commingled;
(10) A process for amending or dissolving the governance structure; and
(11) Any other matter which the committee considers pertinent. (Added 2001, No. 33, § 3; amended 2005, No. 32, § 3; 2005, No. 130 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2011, No. 129 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. May 11, 2012.)
§ 1573. Approval by state board of education
The planning committee shall transmit the report to the commissioner who, after consultation with the chair of the human resources investment council, shall submit the report with his or her recommendations to the state board of education. That board, after notice to the planning committee and after giving the committee and other interested parties an opportunity to be heard, shall consider the report and the commissioner's recommendations, and decide whether the establishment of an alternative governance structure will be in the best interests of the students and the region. The board may request the commissioner or the planning committee, or both, to make further investigation, and may consider any other information deemed by it to be pertinent. If, after due consideration and any further meetings as it may deem necessary, the board finds that establishment of the alternative governance structure is in the best interests of the students and the region involved, it shall approve th
e report submitted by the committee, together with any amendments, as a final report of the planning committee, and shall give notice of its action to the committee. The chair of the planning committee shall file a copy of the final report with the clerk of each town school district, incorporated school district, unified union school district and city school district in the region at least 20 days prior to the vote to adopt the alternative governance structure. (Added 2001, No. 33, § 3.)
§ 1574. Vote to adopt the alternative structure
Each town school district, incorporated school district, unified union school district and city school district within the technical center region shall vote on adoption of the alternative governance structure and formation of a regional technical center school district. The vote shall be held on the date specified in the final report. The vote shall be by Australian ballot at separate school district meetings held on the same day and during the same hours. The polls shall remain open at least eight hours. Absentee voting as provided by sections 2531-2550 of Title 17 shall be permitted. Ballots may be commingled. The meetings shall be warned as a special meeting of each school district voting on the proposal. (Added 2001, No. 33, § 3.)
§ 1575. Certification
Within ten days of any vote held in accordance with this subchapter, the clerks of the participating school districts shall certify the results of the vote to the commissioner of education, or, if the ballots are to be commingled, each municipal clerk shall appoint a member of the board of civil authority to transport the uncounted ballots to a predetermined location where the appointed members of each participating school district shall count the commingled ballots. If a majority of the voters vote to approve the formation of the governance system and creation of a regional technical center district, the commissioner shall declare the existing governance structure of the technical center to be void, the region to be designated a technical center school district, and the new governance system to be authorized, all as of the date specified in the application, and shall certify the declaration to the secretary of state. (Added 2001, No. 33, § 3.)
§ 1576. Effect of certification; application of other laws
(a) Upon certification under section 1575 of this title, the technical center region shall become a public school district and shall constitute a body politic and corporate, with all the rights and responsibilities pertaining thereto, as specified in this subchapter, and as specified in the approval granted by the state board. The technical center school district shall also be a supervisory district for the purpose of providing the planning and administrative functions of a supervisory union for the programs offered.
(b) The provisions of this subchapter are intended to be in addition to the general provisions of law pertaining to schools and school districts, including any laws relating to school choice, and not a limitation upon them, and, in the event there is no provision in this subchapter to cover a situation and the situation is covered by the general school law or municipal law, the provisions of the general school law or municipal law apply.
(c) A technical center governed under a structure adopted under this subchapter, except with respect to inconsistent provisions related to methods of governance, shall be subject to all other provisions of this chapter and any other state or federal laws related to the operations of technical centers and provision of secondary and adult technical education. (Added 2001, No. 33, § 3.)
§ 1577. Duties and authority of alternative governance board
The governance board of a technical center authorized under this subchapter, in addition to other duties and authority specifically assigned by law to the governing authority of a technical center, shall have the following duties and authority:
(1) To determine the educational policies of the technical center. Policies shall be of general application to the center, shall be in writing, codified, and made available to the public. Board policies shall be adopted at regular or special meetings. A board shall give public notice of its intent to adopt a board policy, stating the substance of the proposed policy, at least ten days prior to its adoption. A board may also approve or disapprove rules and regulations proposed by the director for the conduct and management of the center.
(2) To take any action required for the sound administration of the center. The commissioner, with the advice of the attorney general, upon application by a board, shall decide whether any action contemplated or taken under this subdivision is required for the sound administration of the center and is consistent with law. The commissioner's decision shall be final.
(3) To have the possession, care, control and management of the property of the center, subject to the provisions of any agreement between the former board of the center and the alternative governing board.
(4) To keep the center buildings and grounds in good repair, suitably equipped, insured, and in safe and sanitary condition at all times. The center shall regulate or prohibit firearms or other dangerous or deadly weapons on school premises. A board's policies in this regard shall be, at minimum, consistent with section 1166 of this title and 13 V.S.A. § 4004, relating to a student who brings a firearm to or possesses a firearm at school.
(5) To lease or purchase real and personal property, and to sell, relocate, or discontinue use of real and personal property, subject to the terms and conditions of the approval granted to it by the state board.
(6) To establish and maintain a system for receipt, deposit, disbursement, accounting, control, and reporting procedures that meets the criteria established by the state board pursuant to subdivision 164(15) of this title and that ensures all payments are lawful and in accordance with the budget adopted pursuant to terms approved by the state board. The board may authorize a subcommittee, a superintendent of schools, or a designated employee of the board to examine claims against the district for center expenses, and draw orders for such as shall be allowed by it payable to the party entitled thereto. Such orders shall state definitely the purpose for which they are drawn, and shall serve as full authority to the treasurer to make such payments. It shall be lawful for a board to submit to its treasurer a certified copy of those portions of the board minutes, properly signed by the clerk and chair, or a majority of the board, showing to whom, and for what purpose, each payment
is to be made by the treasurer, and such certified copy shall serve as full authority to the treasurer to make the payments as thus approved.
(7) To establish, with the advice and consent of the auditor of accounts and the commissioner, a system of accounts for the proper control and reporting of center finances, and for stating the annual financial condition of the center.
(8) To sue and be sued.
(9) To execute contracts on behalf of the center, including contracts providing for binding arbitration, by its chair or any person designated whose appointment is recorded in the minutes of the board.
(11) To employ such persons as may be required to carry out the work of the center, and dismiss any employee when necessary. The board shall consider the recommendation of the director or superintendent before employing or dismissing any person.
(12) To provide, at the expense of the center, subject to the approval of the director or superintendent, all textbooks, learning materials, equipment and supplies.
(13) To employ a public accountant every year to audit the financial statements of the regional technical center school district.
(14) To establish policies and procedures designed to avoid the appearance of board member conflict of interest.
(15) To borrow money by issuance of bonds or notes, not in excess of anticipated revenue for the school year.
(16) To apply for grants and to accept and expend grants and gifts.
(17) To present informational materials, at the expense of the center, to the electorate on any matter to be voted. However, such materials shall be limited to those that are reasonably designed to inform, educate and explain to the electorate the board's position on the matter. (Added 2001, No. 33, § 3; amended 2003, No. 107 (Adj. Sess.), § 9; 2005, No. 130 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2005, No. 182 (Adj. Sess.), § 6.)
§ 1578. Regional technical center school district meetings
The checklist for a regional technical center school district and records of proceedings shall be made and maintained in the same manner as those functions are carried out in a union school district under sections 706u and 706v of this title. (Added 2001, No. 33, § 3.)
§ 1578a. Establishment of a regional technical center budget
(a) The board of directors of the regional technical center school district shall at each annual meeting present an estimate of the expenses for the ensuing year, and the district shall appropriate that sum which it deems necessary for the expenses, together with the amount required to pay any balance left unpaid from the preceding year, expressing the sum in dollars in its vote. If a budget for the operation of the district is not approved, a subsequent meeting or meetings shall be warned.
(b) If a budget has not been approved on or before June 30 of any year, the school board may borrow funds pursuant to the authority granted under section 566 of this title.
(c) Following adoption of a budget, the board shall calculate each member district's share pursuant to section 1552 of this title. Upon receipt of the notice of the amount, the share shall become a legal obligation of the member district without need for further vote of the member district electorate and shall be included in the member district's education spending amount. (Added 2005, No. 130 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 1579. Incurring debt
(a) If authorized by a majority of the qualified voters voting on the question in accordance with this section, a regional technical center school district may incur indebtedness for improvements or the acquisition of capital assets for the purposes for which the district is established as provided in this chapter.
(b) Each town school district, incorporated school district, unified union school district and city school district within the regional technical center school district shall vote on a decision to incur indebtedness for improvements as provided by chapter 53, subchapter 1 of Title 24. The vote shall be determined by Australian ballot or voting machine on the same day and during the same hours at each regular polling place in each town school district, incorporated school district, unified union school district and city school district within the regional technical center school district. Absentee voting in accordance with chapter 51, subchapter 6 of Title 17 shall be permitted. The board of civil authority of each town within the regional technical center school district shall be responsible for determining the eligibility of persons to vote, the supervision of the election and the transportation of ballots in its district to a central point designated by the governing board of the
regional technical center school district. The ballots shall be commingled. Counting of ballots by representatives of the boards of civil authority of the towns in the regional technical center school district shall be supervised by the regional technical center school district clerk or his or her designee.
(c) Obligations incurred under chapter 53, subchapter 1 of Title 24 shall be the joint and several obligations of the regional technical center school district and of each of the town school districts, incorporated school districts, the member towns of unified union school districts and city school districts within the technical center region. Any joint or several liability incurred by a town school district, incorporated school district, the member towns of a unified union school district or city school district within the technical center region under the provisions of this subchapter shall not be considered in determining its debt limit for its own separate purposes. (Added 2001, No. 33, § 3.)
§ 1591. Governance
The governing body for the provision of postsecondary technical education shall be the board of trustees of the Vermont State Colleges pursuant to chapter 72 of this title. However, nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to diminish or interfere with the rights and responsibilities of students in postsecondary degree-granting programs or the public or private institutions offering such programs. (Added 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 5.)
§ 1592. Powers and responsibilities of board of trustees
With respect to the provision of postsecondary technical education programs, in addition to those powers and responsibilities set forth in chapter 72 of this title, the Vermont State Colleges board of trustees shall:
(1) Provide on a statewide basis, subject to the payment of fees by enrolled students, postsecondary technical education programs and establish policies and determine curriculum for the provision of such education.
(2) Coordinate such programs with secondary regional technical education centers and, to the maximum extent possible, contract with such centers for the use of the center's facilities.
(3) Coordinate such programs with other employment and training programs such as those offered by the department of employment and training, the department of labor, the department for children and families, the agency of commerce and community development, independent colleges, and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.
(4) Possess all other necessary and implied powers to carry out such responsibilities. (Added 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 1995, No. 190 (Adj. Sess.), § 1(a); 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 5, 2006; No. 174 (Adj. Sess.), § 34.)
§ 1593. Secondary students in postsecondary technical programs
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. (Added 1991, No. 204 (Adj. Sess.), § 5; amended 2005, No. 54, § 13.)