Education; Certificates; DOE

Issues certificates to the parents or legal guardians of students
who attend an educationally bankrupt school and who reside in the
school's attendance area.  Allows the certificates to be redeemed
at participating public schools.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  This Act establishes a program which confirms
 2 that the well-being of the State depends on a well-educated
 3 citizenry, and reaffirms the State's commitment to a quality
 4 education for all students.  Under this Act, the department of
 5 education would adopt criteria and standards for assessing school
 6 quality.  If a school fails to meet certain standards to such a
 7 degree that the quality of education is impaired, the department
 8 would refer the matter to a review committee for evaluation.
 9 Following the completion of the committee's evaluation, the
10 department would formulate recommendations for improving the
11 quality of education in the school.  If the school fails to act
12 on the department's recommendations, or if the department
13 determines that the school would be unable to correct the
14 situation, the department would declare the school "educationally
15 bankrupt."  The department would then take immediate and certain
16 steps to address the situation in a prescribed manner.
17      These steps include the issuance of certificates to the
18 parents or legal guardians of school-aged students who attend an
19 educationally bankrupt school and who reside in the school's

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 1 attendance area.  The certificates could be used for educational
 2 services from any participating public school.
 3      SECTION 2.  Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 4 amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and
 5 to read as follows:
 7      302A-A Short title.  This part shall be known and may be
 8 cited as the Education Accountability Act.
 9      302A-B Purpose.  The purpose of this part is to:
10      (1)  Maintain and improve the quality of elementary and
11           secondary education in all schools;
12      (2)  Provide improved methods of measuring and assessing the
13           quality of education in individual schools; and
14      (3)  Provide for the delivery of effective educational
15           services to students in schools where the quality of
16           education is found to be substantially impaired.
17      302A-C Development and application of assessment criteria.
18 (a)  The department, in consultation with persons knowledgeable
19 about educational assessment, shall adopt:
20      (1)  Criteria for evaluating the quality of elementary and
21           secondary education in all schools; and
22      (2)  Minimum standards of educational quality related to the
23           criteria that individual schools must meet.

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 1      (b)  The criteria shall include:
 2      (1)  The results of standardized tests that measure both
 3           minimal competencies and higher order thinking skills;
 4      (2)  Dropout rates;
 5      (3)  Deficiencies in the accreditation of individual
 6           schools;
 7      (4)  Failure rates on examinations given to secondary school
 8           students prior to graduation;
 9      (5)  The incidence of alcohol and drug abuse; and
10      (6)  School discipline and safety.
11      (c)  The department shall publish the criteria and minimum
12 standards throughout the State in accordance with chapter 91 and
13 shall provide a statement of the criteria and standards to each
14 school.
15      (d)  Prior to January 1, 2002, and by January 1 of each
16 following year, the department shall apply the criteria and
17 standards adopted in accordance with subsection (a) to
18 appropriate data.  These data shall be for the most recently
19 completed school year and shall be collected for each school in
20 accordance with rules adopted by the department.  In applying the
21 criteria and standards, the department shall consult with the
22 parents and legal guardians of students residing in the school
23 attendance area served by each school.  The department shall make

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 1 public the results of the process carried out under this
 2 subsection and section 302A-D.
 3      (e)  If the department, in accordance with subsection (d),
 4 determines that a school meets the minimum standards adopted in
 5 accordance with subsection (a), then the department shall so
 6 notify the school and shall make public the finding in accordance
 7 with this part.
 8      (f)  If the department, in accordance with subsection (d),
 9 determines that a school does not meet the minimum standards
10 adopted in accordance with subsection (a) but that the failure
11 does not indicate a substantial impairment of the quality of
12 education in the school, then the department shall so notify the
13 school and shall make public the finding in accordance with this
14 part.  The school, or the department in consultation with the
15 school, shall develop a plan for addressing the problems and
16 shall monitor the implementation of the plan.
17      302A-D Substantial impairment of the quality of education.
18 (a)  If the department, in accordance with section 302A-C(d),
19 determines that a school does not meet the minimum standards
20 adopted in accordance with section 302A-C(a) and that the failure
21 indicates a substantial impairment of the quality of education in
22 the school, then the department shall so notify the school and
23 shall afford the school and all affected persons an opportunity

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 1 to comment on the determination.  The department shall make
 2 public its determination and the comments of the school in
 3 accordance with this part.
 4      (b)  If, after considering the comments of the school, the
 5 department still determines that the quality of education in the
 6 school is substantially impaired, then the department, within
 7 thirty days of reaching this determination, shall appoint a
 8 review committee to study educational programs in the school to
 9 identify the factors contributing to the impairment of the
10 quality of education.  The review committee shall consist of
11 parents, public officials, private-sector representatives, and
12 persons knowledgeable about elementary and secondary education
13 from the school attendance area served by the school.  The review
14 committee, after consultation with the school, shall report to
15 the department within sixty days of its appointment.  The report
16 shall be made available to the public in accordance with this
17 part.
18      (c)  Within thirty days after receiving the report of the
19 review committee, the department shall formulate recommendations
20 for improving the quality of education in a school that is the
21 subject of a determination under subsection (b).  The department
22 shall communicate the recommendations to the school and, in
23 consultation with the school, shall develop a detailed plan for

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 1 the implementation of these recommendations.
 2      (d)  If the department determines that the recommendations
 3 specified in subsection (c) are not satisfactorily implemented by
 4 the beginning of the succeeding school year, or if the department
 5 determines that the impairment of the quality of education
 6 identified in a school in accordance with subsection (b) will not
 7 be remedied within the succeeding school year, then the
 8 department shall declare the school to be in a state of
 9 educational bankruptcy and shall take the steps specified in
10 section 302A-E.
11      302A-E Steps required of the department in cases of
12 educational bankruptcy.(a)  In the case of a declaration of
13 educational bankruptcy under section 302A-D(d), the department
14 shall:
15      (1)  Provide technical assistance to the school;
16      (2)  Provide such additional educational resources to the
17           school in the form of funds, personnel, or other
18           assistance as the department determines to be needed;
19      (3)  Develop and monitor the implementation of an emergency
20           plan to meet the educational needs of students enrolled
21           at the school; and
22      (4)  Institute, for students who attend the school and who
23           reside in the school's attendance area, a program of

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 1           educational certificates as set forth in section
 2           302A-F.
 3      (b)  The department shall take such other steps as may be
 4 appropriate in accordance with its rules.
 5      302A-F Educational certificates.(a)  The purpose of this
 6 section is to enable students who attend a school that is
 7 declared educationally bankrupt under section 302A-D and who
 8 reside in the school's attendance area to benefit from
 9 educational services in educational settings other than the
10 school that they would normally be required to attend.
11      (b)  To achieve the purpose described in subsection (a), the
12 department shall initiate and carry out a program in which the
13 parent or legal guardian of each school-age student who attends a
14 school that is declared educationally bankrupt under section
15 302A-D(d) and who resides in the school's attendance area
16 receives from the department, on request, a certificate that can
17 be used for educational services at a participating public school
18 selected by the student's parent or legal guardian in accordance
19 with this section.
20      (c)  The department shall require each public school within
21 the State to become a participating school unless:
22      (1)  Exceptional circumstances render the participation of a
23           particular school to be contrary to the public

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 1           interest; or
 2      (2)  Any such school has been declared educationally
 3           bankrupt in accordance with section 302A-D(d).
 4      (d)  A participating school shall admit students with
 5 certificates under this section who apply, up to the limit of the
 6 school's capacity, after reserving places for students admitted
 7 in accordance with the school's regular admission practices.
 8      A participating school shall establish criteria for the
 9 admission of students with certificates under this section
10 consistent with the admission criteria that the school regularly
11 applies.
12      The department shall establish criteria, consistent with
13 this section, for the equitable allocation, by each participating
14 public school, of places for students with certificates if there
15 are insufficient places to serve all such students who request a
16 place.
17      (e)  A participating school shall enter into an agreement
18 with the department containing such terms as may be established
19 by the department.  The agreement shall provide that the
20 participating school will furnish a student who is accepted in
21 the school and who tenders a certificate under this section, an
22 education equivalent to that provided to all other students in
23 the school in exchange for the certificate.

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 1      (f)  The department shall publish and make available to each
 2 parent or legal guardian in the State with a child who attends a
 3 school that is declared educationally bankrupt in accordance with
 4 section 302A-D(d) and who resides in the school's attendance
 5 area, a list of all participating schools in the State.
 6      (g)  A parent or legal guardian of a child with a
 7 certificate issued under this section may use the certificate for
 8 educational services at a participating school only if the child
 9 is admitted to the participating school.
10      (h)  The department shall develop a plan to deduct the costs
11 of the certificate program authorized under this section from
12 each school declared educationally bankrupt in accordance with
13 section 302A-D(d).  In developing this plan, the department shall
14 take into account the amount of federal aid (allocated to the
15 school on a per pupil basis) that is attributable to a child with
16 a certificate provided under this section.
17      A parent or legal guardian of a child with a certificate
18 issued under this section shall present the certificate to the
19 participating school that the child attends.  The participating
20 school shall present the certificate for payment to the
21 department.
22      (i)  A child whose parent or legal guardian receives a
23 certificate for a school year, subject to this part, shall

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 1 continue to be eligible for a certificate for a period of three
 2 years following a determination by the department that a
 3 condition of educational bankruptcy has ceased in a school.
 4      302A-G Administrative provisions.(a)  Certificates
 5 received under section 302A-E shall not be deemed income for
 6 state income tax purposes.
 7      (b)  Each participating school shall publish or otherwise
 8 make available information regarding:
 9      (1)  Its participation in the certificate program;
10      (2)  Its program of instruction;
11      (3)  Full and complete achievement data regarding students
12           attending the school, which may be stated in the
13           aggregate;
14      (4)  The incidence of drug and alcohol abuse;
15      (5)  School discipline and safety; and
16      (6)  Other matters as specified by law.
17      (c)  The department may delegate functions under this part
18 to a county and, in carrying out the department's functions under
19 the part, may contract for services with any public or private
20 educational organization, agency, or institution.
21      302A-H Program evaluation.  The department shall arrange
22 for an independent evaluation of the certificate program
23 authorized under section 302A-F, and shall submit the evaluation

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 1 to the governor and the legislature by January 1, 2004, and on
 2 January 1 of each following year."
 3      SECTION 3.  If any provision of this Act, or the application
 4 thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
 5 invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of
 6 the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision
 7 or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are
 8 severable.
 9      SECTION 4.  In codifying the new part added to chapter 302A,
10 Hawaii Revised Statutes, by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of
11 statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the
12 letters used in the new section designations in this Act.
13      SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.
15                           INTRODUCED BY: ________________________