Sb 268 – as amended by the senate




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SB 268 – AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

03/16/06 1291s

03/22/06 1459s

2006 SESSION

06-2801

04/03


SENATE BILL 268

AN ACT raising the age of required attendance of children in school and establishing a 2-year pilot program for increasing vocational education opportunities in the Manchester and Nashua school districts and making an appropriation therefor.

SPONSORS: Sen. Green, Dist 6; Sen. Estabrook, Dist 21; Sen. Gallus, Dist 1; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Foster, Dist 13; Sen. Odell, Dist 8; Sen. Gottesman, Dist 12; Sen. Larsen, Dist 15; Sen. Hassan, Dist 23; Sen. Martel, Dist 18; Rep. Weyler, Rock 8; Rep. S. L’Heureux, Merr 9; Rep. Craig, Hills 9; Rep. Snyder, Straf 2

COMMITTEE: Education

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill raises from 16 to 18 the age for compulsory school attendance and provides a procedure for a pupil who is at least 16 years of age to obtain an attendance waiver from school. The bill also establishes a 2-year pilot program in the Manchester and Nashua school districts to increase opportunities for interested pupils in those school districts to attend vocational education programs and making an appropriation therefor.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/16/06 1291s

03/22/06 1459s

06-2801

04/03


STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Six

AN ACT raising the age of required attendance of children in school and establishing a 2-year pilot program for increasing vocational education opportunities in the Manchester and Nashua school districts and making an appropriation therefor.



Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 School Attendance; Compulsory Attendance by Pupil. Amend RSA 193:1, I to read as follows:

I. A parent of any child at least 6 years of age and under [16] 18 years of age shall cause such child to attend the public school to which the child is assigned in the child’s resident district. Such child shall attend full time when such school is in session unless:

(a) The child is attending a public school outside the district to which the child is assigned or an approved private school for the same time;

(b) The child is receiving home education and is therefore exempt from this requirement; [or]

(c) The relevant school district superintendent has excused a child from attendance because the child is physically or mentally unable to attend school, or has been temporarily excused upon the request of the parent for purposes agreed upon by the school authorities and the parent. Such excused absences shall not be permitted if they cause a serious adverse effect upon the student’s educational progress. Students excused for such temporary absences may be claimed as full-time pupils for purposes of calculating state aid under RSA 186-C:18 and equitable education grants under RSA 198:41;



(d) The pupil has been exempted from attendance pursuant to RSA 193:5;

(e) The pupil has successfully completed all requirements for graduation and the school district is prepared to issue a diploma or the pupil has successfully achieved the equivalent of a high school diploma;

(f) The pupil has been accepted into an accredited postsecondary education program; or

(g) The pupil obtains a waiver from the superintendent, which shall only be granted upon proof that the pupil is 16 years of age or older and has an alternative learning plan for obtaining either a high school diploma or its equivalent.

(1) Alternative learning plans shall include age-appropriate academic rigor and the flexibility to incorporate the pupil’s interests and manner of learning. These plans may include, but are not limited to, such components or combination of components of extended learning opportunities as independent study, private instruction, performing groups, internships, community service, apprenticeships, and on-line courses.

(2) Alternative learning plans shall be developed, and amended if necessary, in consultation with the pupil, a school guidance counselor, the school principal and at least one parent or guardian of the pupil, and submitted to the school district superintendent for approval.

(3) If the superintendent does not approve the alternative learning plan, the parent or guardian of the pupil may appeal such decision to the local school board. A parent or guardian may appeal the decision of the local school board to the state board of education consistent with the provisions of RSA 21-N:11, III.

2 School Attendance; Bylaws as to Nonattendance. Amend RSA 193:16 to read as follows:

193:16 Bylaws as to Nonattendance. Districts may make bylaws, not repugnant to law, concerning habitual truants and children between the ages of 6 and [16] 18 years not attending school [and not having a regular and lawful occupation,] or who are not participating in an alternative learning plan under RSA 193:1, I(g), and to compel the attendance of such children at school; failure to comply with such bylaws shall constitute a violation for each offense.

3 Truant Officers; Duties. Amend RSA 189:36 to read as follows:

189:36 Duties. Truant officers shall, when directed by the school board, enforce the laws and regulations relating to truants and children between the ages of 8 and [16] 18 years not attending school [and without any regular and lawful occupation] or who are not participating in an alternative learning plan under RSA 193:1, I(g); and the laws relating to the attendance at school of children between the ages of 8 and 18 years; and shall have authority without a warrant to take and place in school any children found employed contrary to the laws relating to the employment of children, or violating the laws relating to the compulsory attendance at school of children under the age of 18 years, and the laws relating to child labor.

4 Home Education; Definitions. Amend RSA 193-A:1, I to read as follows:

I. “Child” means a child or children at least 6 years of age and under [16] 18 years of age who is a resident of New Hampshire.

5 Vocational Education Programs; Manchester and Nashua School Districts; Pilot Program. There is hereby established a 2-year pilot program to be conducted in the Manchester and Nashua school districts to identify pupils in those school districts who are interested in vocational education programs and to establish procedures for increasing opportunities for such pupils to participate in vocational education programs. The commissioner of the department of education, or designee, shall work with the superintendents of the Manchester and Nashua school administrative units, the relevant school principals and teachers, and any other individuals who the commissioner and superintendents jointly determine are necessary for accomplishing the purpose of the pilot program.

6 Appropriation. There is hereby appropriated the sum of $600,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007 and the sum of $600,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, to the department of education for the purposes of section 5 of this act. The governor shall draw a warrant for such sums out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.

7 Repeal. The following are repealed:

I. RSA 193:1, IV, relative to withdrawal from school for children who are at least 16 years of age but under 18 years of age.

II. Section 5 of this act, relative to the pilot project in the Manchester and Nashua school districts.

8 Effective Date.

I. Sections 5, 6, and 8 of this act shall take effect January 1, 2007.

II. Paragraph II of section 7 of this act shall take effect January 1, 2009.

III. The remainder of this act shall take effect July 1, 2008.

LBAO

06-2801


3/30/06

SB 268 FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT raising the age of required attendance of children in school and establishing a 2-year pilot program for increasing vocational education opportunities in the Manchester and Nashua school districts and making an appropriation therefore.



FISCAL IMPACT:

The Department of Education states this bill, as amended by the Senate (Amendment #2006-1459s), will increase state expenditures by $600,000 in FY 2007 and $600,000 in FY 2008. There will be an indeterminable fiscal impact on local expenditures and revenues in FY 2007 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on state and county revenue or county expenditures.

This bill appropriates $600,000 from the general fund to the Department of Education in each of fiscal years 2007 and 2008 to fund vocational education pilot programs in Manchester and Nashua.

METHODOLOGY:

The Department indicated that raising the compulsory age of attendance to 18 years of age would increase the high school population by less than 1,500 students. Based on dropout data from the 2004-2005 school year, 966 students who dropped out of school were under the age of 18. The Department further indicated that 1,500 students represent approximately 2% of current high school enrollment, and such an increase should not require additional facilities or teachers. The Department made the following assumptions concerning the fiscal impact of this bill:

• Students covered by catastrophic aid do not drop out of school before the age of 18.

• Fourteen percent of the total student population is special education students. The dropout rate for special education students is 2.5 times the overall rate but most of these students are over 18 years old. The Department’s best estimate is that 30% of 16 and 17 year old dropouts are special education students.

• The rate of free or reduced lunch eligibility last year was 13%. The Department estimates that 30% of the 16 and 17 year old dropouts are eligible for free or reduced lunch.

• Last year 700 students received one or more hour per day of limited English proficiency. The Department estimates fewer than 200 of these students were 16 or 17, and less than 40 dropped out.

• The inflation adjustment used for determining equitable education grants will be at the cap of 3% in each of the next three biennia.

• With an effective date of July 1, 2008, the first year in which enrollment will be impacted is FY 2009. This enrollment will be used for FY 2012 equitable education aid.



The Department does not expect there will be any fiscal impact to school districts before FY 2012 since the small increase in enrollment will not increase the need for additional facilities or teachers. Based on the assumptions above and beginning in FY 2012, state expenditures for equitable education grants and local revenue will both increase by an estimated $4,200,000 per year.

The Department assumes section 5 of this bill establishes programs to identify students at risk of dropping out. These students will be provided with alternative education programming at the Manchester and Nashua Regional Career and Technical Centers. The appropriation will cover costs associated with identification, books, supplies, equipment, tutors, aides, furniture and possibly additional teaching staff. The local impact cannot be determined as it is uncertain if the appropriation will cover all of the costs.


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