Substitute Senate Bill No. 1122

Public Act No. 01-173

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE EDUCATION STATUTES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 4-37h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any person soliciting funds or any other thing of value for donation to a foundation by a person, firm, corporation or other entity shall, at the time of such solicitation [and] or in any receipt for or other written confirmation of such donation, clearly and conspicuously disclose to the person, firm, corporation or other entity that the funds or other things of value donated are to be provided to the foundation and that the person, firm, corporation or other entity may request in writing that its identity be confidential, and upon such request, the identity of the person, firm, corporation or other entity shall not be publicly disclosed.

Sec. 2. Section 4d-47 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

With respect to any state employee whose position is eliminated or who is laid off as a result of any contract or amendment to a contract which is subject to the provisions of this chapter and subsection (e) of section 1-205, subsection (c) of section 1-211, subsection (b) of section 1-212, section 4-5, 4a-50, 4a-51, subsection (b) of section 4a-57, subsection (a) of section 10a-151b, subsection (a) of section 19a-110 or subsection (b) of section 32-6i, or any subcontract for work under such contract or amendment, (1) the contractor shall hire the employee, upon application by the employee, unless the employee is hired by a subcontractor of the contractor, or (2) the employee may transfer to any vacant position in state service for which [he] such employee is qualified, to the extent allowed under the provisions of existing collectively bargained agreements and the general statutes. If the contractor or any such subcontractor hires any such state employee and does not provide the employee with fringe benefits which are equivalent to, or greater than, the fringe benefits that the employee would have received in state service, the state shall, for two years after the employee terminates from state service, provide to the employee either (A) the same benefits that [he] such employee received from the state, or (B) compensation in an amount which represents the difference in the value of the fringe benefits that [he] such employee received when in state service and the fringe benefits that [he] such employee receives from the contractor or subcontractor.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 4d-80 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There is established a Commission for Educational Technology [,] within the Department of Information Technology [,] for administrative purposes only. The commission shall consist of: (1) The Chief Information Officer of the Department of Information Technology, or the Chief Information Officer's designee, the Commissioners of Education and Higher Education, or their designees, the State Librarian, or the State Librarian's designee, the chairperson of the Department of Public Utility Control, or the chairperson's designee, the chief executive officers of the constituent units of the state system of higher education, or their designees, (2) one member each representing the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, the Connecticut Educators Computer Association, and the Connecticut Library Association, (3) a secondary school teacher designated by the Connecticut Education Association and an elementary school teacher designated by the Connecticut Federation of Educational and Professional Employees, and (4) four members who represent business and have expertise in information technology, one each appointed by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate. The Lieutenant Governor shall convene the first meeting of the commission on or before September 1, 2000.

Sec. 4. Subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of section 4d-80 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(2) Develop, oversee and direct the attainment of state-wide technology goals including:

(A) Connecting all institutions of higher education, libraries, public elementary and secondary schools, regional educational service centers and other parties through a state-wide high speed, flexible network that will allow for video, voice and data transmission.

(B) Wiring all school classrooms and connecting them to the Internet and to the state-wide high speed network through wired, wireless, or any other digital transmission technology providing high speed connectivity.

(C) Providing access for all public schools, public libraries and libraries at institutions of higher education to a core set of on-line full text resources and to the ability to purchase collaboratively for other collections in order to maximize buying power.

(D) Ensuring, in cooperation with the State Board of Education, competency in computing skills by the sixth grade for all students.

(E) Ensuring competency in specific computing skills and the integration of technology into the curriculum for all public school teachers.

(F) Ensuring that institutions of higher education offer a wide range of course and degree programs via the Internet and through other synchronous and asynchronous methods.

Sec. 5. Subsection (b) of section 4d-82 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) The commission shall oversee the preparation and submission of a state-wide application to the federal Universal Service Fund to enhance connectivity to the Connecticut Education Network, maximize participation and grant attainment rates, and reduce overly burdensome administrative requirements which discourage local involvement. The commission shall prepare a feasibility report which sets forth (1) a review of how and under what circumstances other states have successfully submitted state-wide applications to the Universal Service Fund, (2) an analysis of what should specifically be incorporated into this state's application, and (3) an outline of necessary actions to be taken by the commission for completion of a state-wide Universal Service Fund application. The commission shall work, in consultation with the Departments of Education [,] and Higher Education and the regional educational service centers on the feasibility report. No later than March 31, 2001, and for every subsequent universal service funding cycle, the commission shall submit a state-wide application for universal service funds.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 10-4o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Department of Education, in conjunction with the Department of Social Services, shall coordinate a family resource center program to provide comprehensive child care services, remedial educational and literacy services, families-in-training programs and supportive services to parents who are recipients of temporary family assistance and other parents in need of such services. The family resource centers shall be located in or associated with public schools, and [,] any family resource center established on or after July 1, 2000, shall be located in a public elementary school unless the Commissioner of Education waives such requirement. The commissioner shall determine the manner in which the grant recipients of such program, such as municipalities, boards of education and child care providers shall be selected. The family resource center shall provide: (1) Quality full-day child care and school readiness programs for children age three and older who are not enrolled in school and child care for children enrolled in school up to the age of twelve for before and after regular school hours and on a full-day basis during school holidays and school vacation, in compliance with all state statutes and regulations governing child day care and, in the case of the school readiness programs, in compliance with the standards set for such programs pursuant to section 10-16p; (2) support services to parents of newborn infants to ascertain their needs and provide them with referrals to other services and organizations and, if necessary, education in parenting skills to such parents; (3) support and educational services to parents whose children are participants of the child care services of the program and who are interested in obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent. Parents and their preschool age children may attend classes in parenting and child learning skills together so as to promote the mutual pursuit of education and enhance parent-child interaction; (4) training, technical assistance and other support by the staff of the center to family day care providers in the community and serve as an information and referral system for other child care needs in the community or coordinate with such systems as may already exist in the community; (5) a families-in-training program to provide, within available appropriations, community support services to expectant parents and parents of children under the age of three. Such services shall include, but not be limited to, providing information and advice to parents on their child's language, cognitive, social and motor development, visiting a participant's home on a regular basis, organizing group meetings at the center for neighborhood parents of young children and providing a reference center for parents who need special assistance or services. The program shall provide for the recruitment of parents to participate in such program; and (6) a sliding scale of payment, as developed in consultation with the Department of Social Services, for child care services at the center. The center shall also provide a teen pregnancy prevention program for adolescents emphasizing responsible decision-making and communication skills.

Sec. 7. Subsection (a) of section 10-19o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Commissioner of Education shall establish a program to provide grants to youth service bureaus in accordance with this section. Only youth service bureaus which were eligible to receive grants pursuant to this section for the fiscal year ending June 30, [2000] 2001, or which applied for a grant by [May 15, 2000] June 30, 2001, with prior approval of the town's contribution pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, shall be eligible for a grant pursuant to this section for any fiscal year commencing on or after July 1, [2000] 2001. Each such youth service bureau shall receive a grant of fourteen thousand dollars. The Department of Education may expend an amount not to exceed two per cent of the amount appropriated for purposes of this section for administrative expenses. If there are any remaining funds, each such youth service bureau that was awarded a grant in excess of fifteen thousand dollars in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, shall receive a percentage of such funds. The percentage shall be determined as follows: For each such grant in excess of fifteen thousand dollars, the difference between the amount of the grant awarded to the youth service bureau for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, and fifteen thousand dollars shall be divided by the difference between the total amount of the grants awarded to all youth service bureaus that were awarded grants in excess of fifteen thousand dollars for said fiscal year and the product of fifteen thousand dollars and the number of such grants for said fiscal year.

Sec. 8. Section 10-27 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) It shall be the policy of the state to encourage its students, teachers, administrators and educational policy makers to participate in international studies, international exchange programs and other activities that advance cultural awareness and promote mutual understanding and respect for the citizens of other countries.

(b) The Commissioner of Education shall establish an international education advisory committee to explore international opportunities for learning, exchange programs and the availability of curriculum materials for students, teachers, administrators and educational policy makers. The advisory committee shall investigate and compile information concerning international education programs and opportunities. The committee shall make recommendations to the commissioner on the expansion of international education opportunities and shall consider ways to encourage participation in such programs. The committee shall advise the Department of Education and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education on international program opportunities and the availability of federal or nonprofit agency funding for such programs. The department shall provide information on international education opportunities to local and regional boards of education.

(c) State agencies, including the educational institutions, may exchange a limited number of professional personnel and students with institutions of other states and other countries and may pay the salaries of such personnel and may assign scholarships and grants-in-aid to the exchangees. The authorized exchange of personnel and students need not be parallel and simultaneous nor specific with regard to the assignment of persons between institutions. If a vacancy exists on the staff of any state agency, including the educational institutions, because a leave of absence without pay has been granted, such agency may engage the services of professional personnel of other countries, and may pay such personnel so engaged from the funds which otherwise would have been paid to such personnel on leave of absence without pay.

Sec. 9. Subsection (b) of section 10-51 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) For the purposes of this section, "net expenses" means estimated expenditures, including estimated capital expenditures, less estimated receipts as presented in a regional school district budget. On the date or dates fixed by the board, each town in the district shall pay a share of the cost of capital outlay, including costs for school building projects under chapter 173, and current expenditures necessary for the operation of the district. The board shall determine the amount to be paid by each member town. Such amount shall bear the same ratio to the net expenses of the district as the number of pupils resident in such town in average daily membership in the regional school district during the preceding school year bears to the total number of such pupils in all the member towns, provided that the board may recalculate such amount based on the number of pupils in average daily membership in the regional school district for the current school year and may adjust each member town's payment to the regional school district for the following fiscal year by the difference between the last such payment and the recalculated amount. Until the regional school district has been in operation for one year, such amounts shall be based on the average daily membership of pupils in like grades from each of such towns at any school at which children were in attendance at the expense of such towns during the preceding school year.

Sec. 10. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 10-74d of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Department of Education shall, within available appropriations and after payments made pursuant to section 10-266j, maintain a competitive grant program for the purpose of assisting local and regional boards of education, [and] regional educational service centers and nonsectarian nonprofit organizations approved by the Commissioner of Education with the establishment and operation of interdistrict cooperative programs. [, including] Such programs may include programs pursuant to section 10-266bb, [and] lighthouse schools, as defined in section 10-266cc, [but excluding interdistrict magnet school programs] and programs conducted by interdistrict magnet schools, provided such magnet school programs (1) are conducted at the magnet school, (2) primarily serve children not enrolled in the magnet school, and (3) are not programs for which a local or regional board of education or a regional educational service center receives funds pursuant to section 10-264h or 10-264l.

(b) To be eligible for a grant under this section, each application shall be submitted pursuant to a cooperative arrangement on behalf of two or more local or regional boards of education, by a regional educational service center solely or pursuant to a cooperative arrangement with one or more local or regional boards of education, by a nonsectarian nonprofit organization approved by the commissioner or, in the case of a lighthouse school, by a local or regional board of education or regional educational service center. Applications shall be submitted annually to the Commissioner of Education at such times and in such manner as the commissioner prescribes. In determining whether an application shall be approved and funds awarded pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall consider, but such consideration shall not be limited to, the following factors: (1) The specific objectives and description of the proposed program; (2) the cost; (3) the number of school districts and students that will benefit, provided on and after July 1, 1998, the commissioner shall not award a grant for a program, other than a lighthouse school, in which more than eighty per cent of the students are from one school district; (4) the relative wealth of the participating school districts; and (5) whether the proposed program is likely to (A) increase student achievement, and (B) reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation.

Sec. 11. Subsection (d) of section 10-65 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) (1) If there are any remaining funds after the amount of the grants described in subsections (a) and (c) of this section are calculated, within available appropriations, each local or regional board of education operating a vocational [agricultural] agriculture center shall be eligible to receive a grant in an amount equal to one hundred dollars for each student enrolled in such center on October first of the previous school year. (2) If there are any remaining funds after the amount of the grants described in subdivision (1) of this subsection are calculated, within available appropriations, each local or regional board of education operating a vocational [agricultural] agriculture center that had more than one hundred and fifty out-of-district students enrolled in such center on October first of the previous school year shall be eligible to receive a grant based on the ratio of the number of out-of-district students in excess of one hundred and fifty out-of-district students enrolled in such center on said date to the total number of out-of-district students in excess of one hundred and fifty out-of-district students enrolled in all vocational [agricultural] agriculture centers that had in excess of one hundred and fifty out-of-district students enrolled on said date.

Sec. 12. Subsection (a) of section 10-76i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There shall be an Advisory Council for Special Education which shall advise the General Assembly, State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education, and which shall engage in such other activities as described in this section. Said advisory council shall consist of the following members: (1) Two appointed by the Commissioner of Education, one of whom shall be an official of the Department of Education and one of whom shall be a representative of an institution of higher education in the state that prepares teacher and related services personnel; (2) two appointed by the Commissioner of Mental Retardation, one of whom shall be an official of the department and one of whom shall be a person with disabilities or a parent of such a person; (3) two appointed by the Commissioner of Children and Families, one of whom shall be an official of the department and one of whom shall be a person with disabilities or a parent or foster parent of such a person; (4) one appointed by the Commissioner of Correction; (5) four who are members of the General Assembly, one appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, one appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate and one appointed by the minority leader of the Senate; (6) three appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one of whom shall be a member of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, one of whom shall be a member of the Connecticut Speech-Language-Hearing Association and one of whom shall be a person with disabilities or the parent of such a person; (7) two appointed by the majority leader of the Senate one of whom shall be a person with disabilities or the parent of such a person and one of whom shall be a regular education teacher; (8) four appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, one of whom shall be a representative of a vocational, community or business organization concerned with the provision of transitional services to children with disabilities, one of whom shall be a member of the Connecticut Association of Private Special Education Facilities and two of whom shall be persons with disabilities or the parents of such persons; (9) three appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be a member of the Connecticut Association of School Administrators and a local education official, one of whom shall be a person with disabilities or the parent of such a person and one of whom shall be a member of the literacy coalition and a person with disabilities or the parent of such a person; (10) two appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be a person working in the field of special-education-related services and one of whom shall be a person with disabilities or the parent of such a person; (11) four appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, two of whom shall be persons with disabilities or the parents of such persons, one of whom shall be a member of the Connecticut Association of Pupil Personnel Administrators and an administrator of a program for children who require special education, and one of whom shall be a special education teacher; and (12) eight appointed by the Governor, all of whom shall be persons with disabilities or parents of such persons and one of whom shall also be associated with a charter school. The terms of the present members shall expire on June 30, 1998. Appointments shall be made to the council by July 1, 1998. Members shall serve two-year terms, except that members appointed pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (4), inclusive, and (12) of this subsection whose terms commenced July 1, 1998, shall serve three-year terms and the successors to such members appointed pursuant to said subdivisions [,] shall serve two-year terms.

Sec. 13. Section 10-99 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The State Board of Education shall use the industrial account within the Vocational Education Extension Fund, established in connection with its administration of vocational, technical and technological education and training as a revolving account in securing personal services, contractual services and materials and supplies, with such equipment as may be chargeable to the cost of a specific production contract or equipment of a nature which may be properly chargeable to the account in general, provided the account shall not incur a deficit in securing equipment which may be properly chargeable to the account in general, in the establishment and continuance of such productive work as such schools perform in connection with the board's educational program for such schools. Claims against the state in behalf of said board shall be paid by order of the Comptroller drawn against said account. The proceeds of all sales resulting from the productive work of the schools shall be paid into the State Treasury and credited to said account. Within ten months after the close of each fiscal period any balance, as of the close of such fiscal period, in excess of [three hundred fifty] five hundred thousand dollars, as shown by the inventory of manufactured articles, material on hand or in process of being manufactured, bills receivable and cash balance, after deduction of obligations, in the industrial account shall revert to the General Fund.

Sec. 14. Subsection (b) of section 10-144d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) There is established the Connecticut Advisory Council for Teacher Professional Standards. The council shall be composed of seventeen members appointed as follows: The Governor shall appoint one public member who shall represent business and industry; the State Board of Education shall appoint two members, one of whom shall be a member of the faculty or administration of a State Board of Education approved teacher preparation program and one of whom shall be a public member who shall represent business and industry; the president pro tempore of the Senate shall appoint one member who shall represent business and industry; the speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint one member who shall be a parent of a child attending a public elementary or secondary school; the majority leader of the Senate shall appoint one member who shall be a member of a local or regional board of education; the majority leader of the House of Representatives shall appoint one member who shall be a school superintendent; the minority leader of the Senate shall appoint two members, one of whom shall be a public member and one of whom shall be a parent of a child attending a public elementary or secondary school; the minority leader of the House of Representatives shall appoint two members, one of whom shall be a public member and one of whom shall be a school administrator; the Connecticut Education Association shall appoint four members who shall be classroom teachers at the time of their appointment and during the term of their membership on the council, two of whom shall be elementary school teachers; and the Connecticut [State] Federation of [Teachers] Educational and Professional Employees shall appoint two members who shall be classroom teachers at the time of their appointment and during the term of their membership on the council, one of whom shall be an elementary school teacher. All appointments shall be made and the names of the persons appointed shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Education not later than October 1, 1990.

Sec. 15. Subdivision (1) of subsection (l) of section 10-145b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(l) (1) For certified employees of local and regional boards of education, except as provided in this subdivision, each professional educator certificate shall be valid for five years and continued every five years thereafter upon the successful completion of professional development activities which shall consist of not less than ninety hours of continuing education, as determined by the local or regional board of education in accordance with this section, or documented completion of a national board certification assessment in the appropriate endorsement area, during each successive five-year period. (A) Such continuing education completed by certified employees with an early childhood nursery through grade three or an elementary endorsement who hold a position requiring such an endorsement shall include at least fifteen hours of training in the teaching of reading and reading readiness and assessment of reading performance, including methods of teaching language skills necessary for reading, reading comprehension skills, phonics and the structure of the English language during each five-year period. (B) Such continuing education requirement completed by certified employees with elementary, [or] middle grades or secondary academic endorsements who hold a position requiring such an endorsement shall include at least fifteen hours of training in the use of computers in the classroom during each five-year period unless such employees are able to demonstrate technology competency, in a manner determined by their local or regional board of education, based on state-wide standards for teacher competency in the use of technology for instructional purposes adopted pursuant to section 4d-85. (C) Such continuing education completed by (i) the superintendent of schools, and (ii) employees employed in positions requiring an intermediate administrator or supervisory certificate, or the equivalent thereof, and whose administrative or supervisory duties equal at least fifty per cent of the assigned time of such employee, shall include at least fifteen hours of training in the evaluation of teachers pursuant to section 10-151b during each five-year period. (D) In the case of certified employees with a bilingual education endorsement who hold positions requiring such an endorsement (i) in an elementary school and who do not hold an endorsement in elementary education, such continuing education taken on or after July 1, 1999, shall only count toward the ninety-hour requirement if it is in language arts, reading and mathematics, and (ii) in a middle or secondary school and who do not hold an endorsement in the subject area they teach, such continuing education taken on or after July 1, 1999, shall only count toward the ninety-hour requirement if it is in such subject area or areas. During each five-year period in which a professional educator certificate is valid, a holder of such certificate who has not completed the ninety hours of continuing education required pursuant to this subdivision, and who has not been employed while holding such certificate by a local or regional board of education for all or part of the five-year period, shall, upon application, be reissued such certificate for five years minus any period of time such holder was employed while holding such certificate by a local or regional board of education, provided there shall be only one such reissuance during each five-year period in which such certificate is valid. A certified employee of a local or regional board of education who is a member of the General Assembly and who has not completed the ninety hours of continuing education required pursuant to this subdivision for continuation of [his] a certificate, upon application, shall be reissued a professional educator certificate for a period of time equal to six months for each year [he] the employee served in the General Assembly during the previous five years. Continuing education hours completed during the previous five years shall be applied toward such ninety-hour requirement which shall be completed during the reissuance period in order for such employee to be eligible to have [his] a certificate continued. The cost of the professional development activities required under this subsection for certified employees of local or regional boards of education shall be shared by the state and local or regional boards of education, except for those activities identified by the State Board of Education as the responsibility of the certificate holder. Each local and regional board of education shall make available, annually, at no cost to its certified employees not fewer than eighteen hours of professional development activities for continuing education credit. Such activities may be made available by a board of education directly, through a regional educational service center or cooperative arrangement with another board of education or through arrangements with any continuing education provider approved by the State Board of Education. Local and regional boards of education shall grant continuing education credit for professional development activities which the certified employees of the board of education are required to attend, professional development activities offered in accordance with the plan developed pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-220a, or professional development activities which the board may approve for any individual certified employee. Each board of education shall determine the specific professional development activities to be made available with the advice and assistance of the teachers employed by such board, including representatives of the exclusive bargaining unit for such teachers pursuant to section 10-153b. The time and location for the provision of such activities shall be in accordance with either an agreement between the board of education and the exclusive bargaining unit pursuant to said section 10-153b or, in the absence of such agreement or to the extent such agreement does not provide for the time and location of all such activities, in accordance with a determination by the board of education.

Sec. 16. Subsection (d) of section 10-151 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) The contract of employment of a teacher who has attained tenure shall be continued from school year to school year, except that it may be terminated at any time for one or more of the following reasons: (1) Inefficiency or incompetence, provided, if a teacher is notified on or after July 1, 2000, that termination is under consideration due to incompetence, the determination of incompetence is based on evaluation of the teacher using teacher evaluation guidelines established pursuant to section 10-151b; (2) insubordination against reasonable rules of the board of education; (3) moral misconduct; (4) disability, as shown by competent medical evidence; (5) elimination of the position to which the teacher was appointed or loss of a position to another teacher, if no other position exists to which such teacher may be appointed if qualified, provided such teacher, if qualified, shall be appointed to a position held by a teacher who has not attained tenure, and provided further that determination of the individual contract or contracts of employment to be terminated shall be made in accordance with either (A) a provision for a layoff procedure agreed upon by the board of education and the exclusive employees' representative organization, or (B) in the absence of such agreement, a written policy of the board of education; or (6) other due and sufficient cause. Nothing in this section or in any other section of the general statutes or of any special act shall preclude a board of education from making an agreement with an exclusive bargaining representative which contains a recall provision. Prior to terminating a contract, the superintendent shall give the teacher concerned a written notice that termination of such teacher's contract is under consideration and, upon written request filed by such teacher with the superintendent, within seven days after receipt of such notice, shall within the next succeeding seven days give such teacher a statement in writing of the reasons therefor. Within twenty days after receipt of written notice by the superintendent that contract termination is under consideration, such teacher may file with the local or regional board of education a written request for a hearing. A board of education may designate a subcommittee of three or more board members to conduct hearings and submit written findings and recommendations to the board for final disposition in the case of teachers whose contracts are terminated. Such hearing shall commence within fifteen days after receipt of such request, unless the parties mutually agree to an extension, not to exceed fifteen days (A) before the board of education [,] or a subcommittee of the board, (B) if indicated in such request or if designated by the board before an impartial hearing panel, or [,] (C) if the parties mutually agree, before a single impartial hearing officer chosen by the teacher and the superintendent. If the parties are unable to agree upon the choice of a hearing officer within five days after their decision to use a hearing officer, the hearing shall be held before the board or panel, as the case may be. The impartial hearing panel shall consist of three members appointed as follows: The superintendent shall appoint one panel member, the teacher shall appoint one panel member, and those two panel members shall choose a third, who shall serve as chairperson. If the two panel members are unable to agree upon the choice of a third panel member within five days after the decision to use a hearing panel, the third panel member shall be selected with the assistance of the American Arbitration Association using its expedited selection process and in accordance with its rules for selection of a neutral arbitrator in grievance arbitration. If the third panel member is not selected with the assistance of such association within five days, the hearing shall be held before the board of education or a subcommittee of the board. Within seventy-five days after receipt of the request for a hearing, the impartial hearing panel, subcommittee of the board or hearing officer, unless the parties mutually agree to an extension not to exceed fifteen days, shall submit written findings and a recommendation to the board of education as to the disposition of the charges against the teacher [,] and shall send a copy of such findings and recommendation to the teacher. The board of education shall give the teacher concerned its written decision within fifteen days of receipt of the written recommendation of the impartial hearing panel, subcommittee or hearing officer. Each party shall pay the fee of the panel member selected by it and shall share equally the fee of the third panel member or hearing officer and all other costs incidental to the hearing. If the hearing is before the board of education, the board shall render its decision within fifteen days after the close of such hearing [,] and shall send a copy of its decision to the teacher. The hearing shall be public if the teacher so requests or the board, subcommittee, hearing officer or panel so designates. The teacher concerned shall have the right to appear with counsel at the hearing, whether public or private. A copy of a transcript of the proceedings of the hearing shall be furnished by the board of education, upon written request by the teacher within fifteen days after the board's decision, provided the teacher shall assume the cost of any such copy. Nothing herein contained shall deprive a board of education or superintendent of the power to suspend a teacher from duty immediately when serious misconduct is charged without prejudice to the rights of the teacher as otherwise provided in this section.

Sec. 17. Subsection (a) of section 10-153f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There shall be in the Department of Education an arbitration panel of not less than twenty-four [nor] or more than twenty-nine persons to serve as provided in subsection (c) of this section. The Governor shall appoint such panel, with the advice and consent of the General Assembly, as follows: (1) Seven members shall be representative of the interests of local and regional boards of education and shall be selected from lists of names submitted by such boards; (2) seven members shall be representative of the interests of exclusive bargaining representatives of certified employees and shall be selected from lists of names submitted by such bargaining representatives; and (3) not less than ten [nor] or more than fifteen members shall be impartial representatives of the interests of the public in general and shall be residents of the state of Connecticut, experienced in public sector collective bargaining interest impasse resolution and selected from lists of names submitted by the State Board of Education. The lists of names submitted to the Governor pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of this subsection shall, in addition to complying with the provisions of section 4-9b, include a report from the State Board of Education certifying that the process conducted for soliciting applicants made adequate outreach to minority communities and documenting that the number and make-up of minority applicants considered reflect the state's racial and ethnic diversity. Each member of the panel shall serve a term of two years, provided each arbitrator shall hold office until a successor is appointed and, provided further, any arbitrator not reappointed shall finish to conclusion any arbitration for which such arbitrator has been selected or appointed. Arbitrators may be removed for good cause. If any vacancy occurs in such panel, the Governor shall act within forty days to fill such vacancy in the manner provided in section 4-19. Persons appointed to the arbitration panel shall serve without compensation but each shall receive a per diem fee for [each] any day during which [he] such person is engaged in the arbitration of a dispute pursuant to this section. The parties to the dispute so arbitrated shall pay the fee in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

Sec. 18. Subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of section 10-153f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(2) The chairperson of the arbitration panel or the single arbitrator shall set the date, time and place for a hearing to be held in the school district between the fifth and twelfth day, inclusive, after such chairperson or such single arbitrator is selected. At least five days prior to such hearing, a written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing shall be sent to the board of education and the representative organization which are parties to the dispute, and, if a three-member arbitration panel is selected or designated, to the other members of such panel. Such written notice shall also be sent, by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the fiscal authority having budgetary responsibility or charged with making appropriations for the school district, and a representative designated by such body may be heard at the hearing as part of the presentation and participation of the board of education. At the hearing each party shall have full opportunity to submit all relevant evidence, to introduce relevant documents and written material [,] and to argue on behalf of its positions. At the hearing a representative of the fiscal authority having budgetary responsibility or charged with making appropriations for the school district shall be heard regarding the financial capability of the school district, unless such opportunity to be heard is waived by the fiscal authority. The nonappearance of the representative shall constitute a waiver of the opportunity to be heard unless there is a showing that proper notice was not given to the fiscal authority. The chairperson of the arbitration panel or the single arbitrator shall preside over such hearing.

Sec. 19. Subsection (a) of section 10-220 of the general statutes, as amended by public act 00-157, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Each local or regional board of education shall maintain good public elementary and secondary schools, implement the educational interests of the state as defined in section 10-4a and provide such other educational activities as in its judgment will best serve the interests of the school district; provided any board of education may secure such opportunities in another school district in accordance with provisions of the general statutes and shall give all the children of the school district as nearly equal advantages as may be practicable; shall provide an appropriate learning environment for its students which includes (1) adequate instructional books, supplies, materials, equipment, staffing, facilities and technology, (2) equitable allocation of resources among its schools, and (3) a safe school setting; shall have charge of the schools of its respective school district; shall make a continuing study of the need for school facilities and of a long-term school building program and from time to time make recommendations based on such study to the town; shall report annually to the Commissioner of Education on the condition of its facilities and the action taken to implement its long-term school building program, which report the commissioner shall use to prepare an annual report that [he] said commissioner shall submit in accordance with section 11-4a to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education; shall advise the Commissioner of Education of the relationship between any individual school building project pursuant to chapter 173 and such long-term school building program; shall have the care, maintenance and operation of buildings, lands, apparatus and other property used for school purposes and at all times shall insure all such buildings and all capital equipment contained therein against loss in an amount not less than eighty per cent of replacement cost; shall determine the number, age and qualifications of the pupils to be admitted into each school; shall develop and implement a written plan for minority staff recruitment for purposes of subdivision (3) of section 10-4a; shall employ and dismiss the teachers of the schools of such district subject to the provisions of sections 10-151 and 10-158a; shall designate the schools which shall be attended by the various children within the school district; shall make such provisions as will enable each child of school age, residing in the district to attend some public day school for the period required by law and provide for the transportation of children wherever transportation is reasonable and desirable, and for such purpose may make contracts covering periods of not more than five years; may place in an alternative school program or other suitable educational program a pupil enrolling in school who is nineteen years of age or older and cannot acquire a sufficient number of credits for graduation by age twenty-one; may arrange with the board of education of an adjacent town for the instruction therein of such children as can attend school in such adjacent town more conveniently; shall cause each child five years of age and over and under eighteen years of age who is not a high school graduate and is living in the school district to attend school in accordance with the provisions of section 10-184, and shall perform all acts required of it by the town or necessary to carry into effect the powers and duties imposed by law.

Sec. 20. Section 10-220d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Each local and regional board of education shall provide full access to regional vocational-technical schools, regional vocational [agricultural] agriculture centers, interdistrict magnet schools, charter schools and interdistrict student attendance programs for the recruitment of students attending the schools under the board's jurisdiction, provided such recruitment is not for the purpose of interscholastic athletic competition.

Sec. 21. Subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 10-261 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(2) "Average daily membership" means the number of all pupils of the local or regional board of education enrolled in public schools at the expense of such board of education on October first or the full school day immediately preceding such date, provided the number so obtained shall be decreased by the Department of Education for failure to comply with the provisions of section 10-16 and shall be increased by one one-hundred-eightieth for each full-time equivalent school day of at least five hours of actual school work in excess of one hundred eighty days and nine hundred hours of actual school work and be increased by the full-time equivalent number of such pupils attending the summer sessions immediately preceding such date at the expense of such board of education; "enrolled" shall include pupils who are scheduled for vacation on the above dates and who are expected to return to school as scheduled. Pupils participating in the program established pursuant to section 10-266aa shall be counted in accordance with the provisions of subsection [(f)] (g) of section 10-266aa.

Sec. 22. Subdivision (22) of section 10-262f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(22) "Resident students" means the number of pupils of the town enrolled in public schools at the expense of the town on October first or the full school day immediately preceding such date, provided the number shall be decreased by the Department of Education for failure to comply with the provisions of section 10-16 and shall be increased by one-one-hundred-eightieth for each full-time equivalent school day in the school year immediately preceding such date of at least five hours of actual school work in excess of one hundred eighty days and nine hundred hours of actual school work and be increased by the full-time equivalent number of such pupils attending the summer sessions immediately preceding such date at the expense of the town; "enrolled" shall include pupils who are scheduled for vacation on the above date and who are expected to return to school as scheduled. Pupils participating in the program established pursuant to section 10-266aa shall be counted in accordance with the provisions of subsection [(f)] (g) of section 10-266aa.

Sec. 23. Section 10-265l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Each local and regional board of education for a priority school district pursuant to section 10-266p shall, within available appropriations, require the schools under its jurisdiction to provide additional instruction, unless the school principal determines that such instruction is not necessary based on the recommendations of the student's teacher, (1) for the 2000-2001 school year, and each school year thereafter, to each student who fails to meet the state-wide standard for remedial assistance on the reading component of the fourth grade mastery examination under section 10-14n, and (2) for the 2001-2002 school year, and each school year thereafter, to each student who fails to meet the state-wide standard for remedial assistance on the sixth grade mastery examination under section 10-14n. The instruction shall be designed to address the student's deficiencies and may include tutoring, an after school or school vacation program, or a week-end school program that is funded in accordance with section 10-265m.

(b) Subject to the provisions of this subsection, each local and regional board of education for a priority school district shall require (1) for the 2000-2001 school year, and each school year thereafter, students in the schools under its jurisdiction who fail to reach the state-wide standard for remedial assistance on the reading component of such fourth grade mastery examination to attend school the summer following the examination on which they failed to reach such standard, and (2) for the 2001-2002 school year, and each school year thereafter, students in the schools under its jurisdiction who fail to reach the state-wide standard for remedial assistance on such sixth grade mastery examination to attend school the summer following the examination on which they failed to reach such standard. The superintendent of schools may exempt an individual student from such requirement, upon the recommendation of the school principal, based on the student's progress with the additional instruction provided pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. If a student does not receive such an exemption, has been offered the opportunity to attend a summer school program and fails to attend summer school, the local or regional board of education shall not promote the student to the next grade.

Sec. 24. Subsection (b) of section 10-265m of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

[(b) In order to receive a grant, an eligible board of education shall submit a plan for the expenditure of grant funds to the Department of Education, at such time and in such manner as the commissioner prescribes.]

(b) The plan shall include: (1) Criteria for student participation in the program, including provision for priority to students who are determined to be substantially deficient in reading, (2) criteria for teacher selection that emphasize the skills needed for teaching the summer program and criteria for establishment of the curriculum for the summer program, and (3) a system for reporting, by school and grade, on the number of students who attend the program, for assessing the performance of such students in the program and for tracking their performance during the school year. In deciding where to establish a summer school program, eligible boards of education shall give preference to elementary and middle schools with the highest number of students who are substantially deficient in reading.

Sec. 25. Subdivision (3) of section 10-282 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(3) "School building project", except as used in section 10-289, means (A) the construction, purchase, extension, replacement, renovation or major alteration of a building to be used for public school purposes, including the equipping and furnishing of any such construction, purchase, extension, replacement, renovation or major alteration, the improvement of land therefor, or the improvement of the site of an existing building for public school purposes, but shall not include the cost of a site, except as provided in subsection (b) of section 10-286d; (B) the construction and equipping and furnishing of any such construction of any building which the towns of Norwich, Winchester and Woodstock may provide by lease or otherwise for use by the Norwich Free Academy, Gilbert School and Woodstock Academy, respectively, in furnishing education for public school pupils under the provisions of section 10-34; and (C) the addition to, renovation of and equipping and furnishing of any such addition to or renovation of any building which may be leased, upon the approval of the [State Board] Commissioner of Education, to any local or regional board of education for a term of twenty years or more for use by such local or regional board in furnishing education of public school pupils.

Sec. 26. Subsection (b) of section 10-283 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Notwithstanding the application date requirements of this section, the Commissioner of Education may approve applications for grants to assist school building projects to remedy damage from fire and catastrophe, to correct safety, health and other code violations, [or] to replace roofs, or to purchase and install portable classroom buildings at any time within the limit of available grant authorization and make payments thereon within the limit of appropriated funds, provided portable classroom building projects shall not create a new facility or cause an existing facility to be modified so that the portable buildings comprise a substantial percentage of the total facility area, as determined by the commissioner.

Sec. 27. Subsection (c) of section 10-286 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) In the computation of grants pursuant to this section for any school building project authorized by the General Assembly pursuant to section 10-283 after January 1, 1993, any maximum square footage per pupil limit established pursuant to this chapter or any regulation adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to this chapter shall be increased by twenty-five per cent for a building constructed prior to 1950, except that a board of education may apply to the department by June 30, 2002, for use of such increased percentage for a building constructed prior to July 1, 1951.

Sec. 28. Subsection (b) of section 10-292 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a town or regional school district may submit final plans and specifications for oil tank replacement, roof replacement, asbestos abatement, code violation, [or] energy conservation, network wiring projects or projects for which state assistance is not sought, to the local officials having jurisdiction over such matters for review and written approval. The total costs for an asbestos abatement, code violation, [or] energy conservation, or network wiring project eligible for review and approval under this subsection shall not exceed one million dollars. Except for projects for which state assistance is not sought and projects for which the town or regional school district is using a state contract pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, no school building project described in this subsection shall go out for bidding purposes prior to the receipt and acceptance by the state Department of Education of such written approval.

Sec. 29. (NEW) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 173 of the general statutes, a local or regional board of education may design and construct a central kitchen facility to provide food services to its public schools and shall be eligible for a school construction grant at the rate of reimbursement pursuant to subsection (a) of section 10-285a of the general statutes. Such project may also include costs for alterations, expansions or creation of existing or new kitchen facilities in its schools to accommodate the new method of centralized food service preparation. Such projects shall not be subject to the standard space specification requirements for school construction projects, but shall be of reasonable size and scope as approved by the Commissioner of Education.

Sec. 30. The Commissioners of Education and Public Health shall convene a task force to study the relationship between illness and the performance of children in school. The task force shall consider policies and programs that would assist ill children in improving their school performance. On or before February 1, 2002, said commissioners shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education and public health on any recommendations for statutory changes needed to implement such policies or programs.

Sec. 31. Subsection (d) of section 10a-77 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) Said board of trustees shall waive the payment of tuition at any of the regional community-technical colleges (1) for any dependent child of a person whom the armed forces of the United States has declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in such armed forces after January 1, 1960, which child has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time such child is accepted for admission to such institution, (2) for any veteran having served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, or who served in either a combat or combat support role in the invasion of Grenada, October 25, 1983, to December 15, 1983, the invasion of Panama, December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990, or the peace-keeping mission in Lebanon, September 29, 1982, to March 30, 1984, who has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time such veteran is accepted for admission to such institution, (3) for any resident of Connecticut sixty-two years of age or older, provided, at the end of the regular registration period, there are enrolled in the course a sufficient number of students other than those persons eligible for waivers pursuant to this subdivision to offer the course in which such person intends to enroll and there is space available in such course after accommodating all such students, (4) for any student attending the Connecticut State Police Academy who is enrolled in a law enforcement program at said academy offered in coordination with a regional community-technical college which accredits courses taken in such program, (5) for any active member of the Connecticut Army or Air National Guard who (A) is a resident of Connecticut, (B) has been certified by the Adjutant General or such Adjutant General's designee as a member in good standing of the guard, and (C) is enrolled or accepted for admission to such institution on a full-time or part-time basis in an undergraduate degree-granting program, and (6) for any dependent child of a (A) police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, or a supernumerary or auxiliary police officer, (B) firefighter, as defined in section 7-323j, or member of a volunteer fire company, (C) municipal employee, or (D) state employee, as defined in section 5-154, killed in the line of duty. If any person who receives a tuition waiver in accordance with the provisions of this subsection also receives educational reimbursement from an employer, such waiver shall be reduced by the amount of such educational reimbursement. Veterans described in subdivision (2) of this subsection and members of the National Guard described in subdivision (5) of this subsection shall be given the same status as students not receiving tuition waivers in registering for courses at regional community-technical colleges.

Sec. 32. Subsection (d) of section 10a-99 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) Said board shall waive the payment of tuition fees at the Connecticut State University system (1) for any dependent child of a person whom the armed forces of the United States has declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in such armed forces after January 1, 1960, which child has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time such child is accepted for admission to such institution, (2) for any veteran having served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, or who served in either a combat or combat support role in the invasion of Grenada, October 25, 1983, to December 15, 1983, the invasion of Panama, December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990, or the peace-keeping mission in Lebanon, September 29, 1982, to March 30, 1984, who has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time such veteran is accepted for admission to such institution, (3) for any resident of Connecticut sixty-two years of age or older who has been accepted for admission to such institution, provided such person is enrolled in a degree-granting program or, provided, at the end of the regular registration period, there are enrolled in the course a sufficient number of students other than those persons eligible for waivers pursuant to this subdivision to offer the course in which such person intends to enroll and there is space available in such course after accommodating all such students, (4) for any student attending the Connecticut Police Academy who is enrolled in a law enforcement program at said academy offered in coordination with the university which accredits courses taken in such program, (5) for any active member of the Connecticut Army or Air National Guard who (A) is a resident of Connecticut, (B) has been certified by the Adjutant General or such Adjutant General's designee as a member in good standing of the guard, and (C) is enrolled or accepted for admission to such institution on a full-time or part-time basis in an undergraduate degree-granting program, and (6) for any dependent child of a (A) police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, or a supernumerary or auxiliary police officer, (B) firefighter, as defined in section 7-323j, or a member of a volunteer fire company, (C) municipal employee, or (D) state employee, as defined in section 5-154, killed in the line of duty. If any person who receives a tuition waiver in accordance with the provisions of this subsection also receives educational reimbursement from an employer, such waiver shall be reduced by the amount of such educational reimbursement. Veterans described in subdivision (2) of this subsection and members of the National Guard described in subdivision (5) of this subsection shall be given the same status as students not receiving tuition waivers in registering for courses at Connecticut state universities.

Sec. 33. Subsection (b) of section 10a-99a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) For the purposes of this section: (1) "Endowment fund eligible gift" means a gift to or for the benefit of any of the state universities of the Connecticut State University system or the system as a whole of cash or assets which may be reduced to cash or which has the value that is ascertainable by the state universities or the system as a whole and which the donor has specifically designated for deposit in the endowment fund or which explicitly or implicitly by the terms of the gift, the universities or the system as a whole may and does deposit or permit to be deposited in the endowment funds. (2) "Endowment fund state grant" means moneys transferred by the Department of Higher Education from the fund established pursuant to section 10a-8b to the endowment fund established pursuant to this section in an aggregate amount not exceeding the endowment fund state grant maximum commitment. (3) "Endowment fund state grant maximum commitment" means an amount not exceeding two and one-half [millions] million dollars in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000, five million dollars for each of the fiscal years ending June 30, 2001, June 30, 2002, June 30, 2008, and June 30, 2009, and seven million five hundred thousand dollars for each of the fiscal years ending June 30, 2003, June 30, 2004, June 30, 2005, June 30, 2006, and June 30, 2007.

Sec. 34. (NEW) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 59 or 60 of the general statutes, for the period from July 1, 2001, to June 30, 2007, The University of Connecticut may plan, design, and construct any project on any of the campuses of the university in accordance with the procedures specified in section 10a-109n of the general statutes.

Sec. 35. Section 10a-104 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (c) as follows:

(NEW) (c) The board of trustees may create a board of directors for the governance of The University of Connecticut Health Center and may delegate such duties and authority as it deems necessary and appropriate to said board of directors. The board of directors shall include members of the board of trustees designated by the chairperson of the board of trustees and such other persons as the board of trustees deems appropriate.

Sec. 36. Subsection (e) of section 10a-105 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) Said board of trustees shall waive the payment of tuition fees at The University of Connecticut (1) for any dependent child of a person whom the armed forces of the United States has declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in such armed forces after January 1, 1960, which child has been accepted for admission to The University of Connecticut and is a resident of Connecticut at the time such child is accepted for admission to such institution, (2) for any veteran having served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, or who served in either a combat or combat support role in the invasion of Grenada, October 25, 1983, to December 15, 1983, the invasion of Panama, December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990, or the peace-keeping mission in Lebanon, September 29, 1982, to March 30, 1984, who has been accepted for admission to said institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time such veteran is accepted for admission to said institution, (3) for any resident of Connecticut sixty-two years of age or older who has been accepted for admission to said institution, provided such person is enrolled in a degree-granting program or, provided, at the end of the regular registration period, there are enrolled in the course a sufficient number of students other than those persons eligible for waivers pursuant to this subdivision to offer the course in which such person intends to enroll and there is space available in such course after accommodating all such students, (4) for any active member of the Connecticut Army or Air National Guard who (A) is a resident of Connecticut, (B) has been certified by the Adjutant General or such Adjutant General's designee as a member in good standing of the guard, and (C) is enrolled or accepted for admission to such institution on a full-time or part-time basis in an undergraduate degree-granting program, and (5) for any dependent child of a (A) police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, or a supernumerary or auxiliary police officer, (B) firefighter, as defined in section 7-323j, or a member of a volunteer fire company, (C) municipal employee, or (D) state employee, as defined in section 5-154, killed in the line of duty. If any person who receives a tuition waiver in accordance with the provisions of this subsection also receives educational reimbursement from an employer, such waiver shall be reduced by the amount of such educational reimbursement. Veterans described in subdivision (2) of this subsection and members of the National Guard described in subdivision (4) of this subsection shall be given the same status as students not receiving tuition waivers in registering for courses at The University of Connecticut.

Sec. 37. Subsection (e) of section 10a-168a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) For the fiscal years ending [June 30, 1999, and June 30, 2000] June 30, 2001, and June 30, 2002, the Department of Higher Education may use up to [five] two per cent of the funds appropriated for purposes of this section for program administration, promotion, recruitment and retention activities that are designed to increase the number of minority students pursuing teaching careers at Connecticut institutions of higher education.

Sec. 38. Subsection (b) of section 10a-169a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Within available appropriations, the program shall provide grants for students entering or enrolling in an information technology related degree or certification program at any public or independent institution of higher education in this state. The scholarship shall not exceed three thousand dollars per student per year. The scholarship shall not exceed the combined costs of tuition and fees of an institution at which a recipient is or will be enrolled. The Department of Higher Education shall develop eligibility requirements for recipients. Such requirements may include income guidelines. Students shall be eligible for such scholarships for each year they are enrolled in an information technology related degree or certification program for a total of not more than four years per student. Students may apply for such scholarships to the Department of Higher Education at such time and in such manner as the Commissioner of Higher Education prescribes.

Sec. 39. Subsection (b) of section 10a-169b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Within available appropriations, the program shall provide a student loan reimbursement grant for persons who (1) attended any institution of higher education, (2) majored in an information technology related field, and (3) are newly employed on or after January 1, 2001, by an electronic commerce or information technology intensive company [,] that has registered with or otherwise been qualified by the Department of Economic and Community Development pursuant to section 32-8a in an information technology intensive occupation verified by the department and identified in the strategic plan produced pursuant to section 31-11v.

Sec. 40. Subsection (a) of section 10a-203 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Said corporation shall be governed and all of its corporate powers exercised by a board of directors which shall consist of thirteen members, as follows: The [chairman] chairperson of the Board of Governors of Higher Education and the Commissioner of Higher Education; seven public members appointed by the Governor, at least one of whom shall represent the private colleges, and commencing with the next regular appointments made on and after July 1, 1984, at least one shall be a financial aid officer at an eligible institution and at least one shall be a person having a favorable reputation for skill, knowledge and experience in management of a private company or lending institution at least as large as the corporation and all of whom shall be electors of this state; and two members from the House of Representatives, one appointed by the speaker of the House and one appointed by the minority leader of the House; two members from the Senate, one appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate and one appointed by the minority leader of the Senate. Those members who are appointed by the Governor shall serve for terms of four years each from July first in the year of their appointment and until their successors have been appointed. Those members who are appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the House, the president pro tempore of the Senate and the minority leader of the Senate shall be appointed for terms of two years from January fifteenth in the year of their appointment. The term of each appointed member of the board shall be coterminous with the term of the appointing authority or until a successor is chosen, whichever is later. The board of directors shall elect, from its own members each year, a [chairman] chairperson and a [vice-chairman] vice-chairperson who shall serve for terms of one year and who shall be eligible for reelection for successive terms. Vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as original appointments. Directors shall receive no compensation for their services but shall be reimbursed for their expenses actually and necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties under this chapter. Any member may designate in writing to the chairperson of the board of directors a representative to act in the place of such member at a meeting or meetings, with all rights and obligations at such meeting as the member represented would have had at the meeting.

Sec. 41. Section 11-1a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The State Library Board may institute and conduct programs of state-wide library service which may include, but need not be limited to, (1) a cataloging and processing service to be available to libraries, (2) the creation and maintenance of current and retrospective union catalogs of books, union lists of serials and similar cooperative listings of library materials, (3) a program of coordinated acquisitions, storage and deposit of library materials, (4) the support and encouragement of the transfer, as loans or copies, of library materials between libraries and to nonresident library patrons, (5) the provision of suitable high-speed communications facilities, (6) the creation and maintenance of bibliographic and regional reference centers, (7) the provision of traveling collections of library materials and of book examination centers, and (8) the provision of a publicity and public relations service for libraries.

(b) The State Library Board shall create and maintain one or more library research centers which shall utilize any appropriate sources of information, both within and outside of the state, to meet the needs of those making inquiries.

(c) The State Library Board shall maintain the state's principal law library which shall be located in the State Library and Supreme Court Building. The State Library Board shall distribute state documents, statutes and public acts to the law libraries established pursuant to section 11-10b.

(d) The State Library Board shall create and maintain a library service for the blind and other persons with disabilities, as provided for in 2 USC Sections 135a, 135a-1 and 135b.

[(e) The State Library shall plan and develop a computer-based and telecommunications-based network which shall be known as the "Connecticut Library Network". This network shall (1) be an expansion of the State Library's existing state-wide database, (2) have the potential to link all school, public and academic libraries and municipal government offices, and (3) for the purpose of making the State Library's information resources accessible through the state via the network, incorporate the linkage of the State Library to the library automation system at the Connecticut State University.]

Sec. 42. Section 11-1d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

[Commencing with the first appointment made on or after July 1, 1984, the trustees]

(a) The Board of Trustees of The University of Connecticut, shall appoint an appropriate history scholar to serve as State Historian, who shall serve at the pleasure of the board of trustees.

(b) The State Historian shall: (1) Be a member of the Connecticut Historical Commission pursuant to section 10-320b, (2) edit or supervise the editing and publication of the public records of the state, (3) provide information and advice to members of the government at all levels, (4) assist the State Board of Education in efforts to promote the teaching of history in schools and teacher preparation programs, (5) respond to requests for advice from historical societies, (6) respond to requests for information on the state's history, (7) make public appearances and addresses on the state's history, (8) prepare bibliographies and other research aids relating to the history of the state, and (9) promote by appropriate informative and educational programs the celebration or commemoration of significant historical events.

Sec. 43. Subsection (a) of section 17a-101i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, after an investigation has been completed and the Commissioner of Children and Families, based upon the results of the investigation, has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused by a school employee who holds a certificate, permit or authorization issued by the State Board of Education, the commissioner shall notify the employing superintendent of such finding and shall provide records, whether or not created by the department, concerning such investigation to the superintendent who shall suspend such school employee. Such suspension shall be with pay and shall not result in the diminution or termination of benefits to such employee. Within seventy-two hours after such suspension the superintendent shall notify the local or regional board of education and the Commissioner of Education, or [his] the commissioner's representative, of the reasons for and conditions of the suspension. The superintendent shall disclose such records to the Commissioner of Education and the local or regional board of education or its attorney for purposes of review of employment status or the status of such employee's certificate, permit or authorization. The suspension of a school employee employed in a position requiring a certificate shall remain in effect until the board of education acts pursuant to the provisions of section 10-151. If the contract of employment of such certified school employee is terminated, the superintendent shall notify the Commissioner of Education, or [his] the commissioner's representative, within seventy-two hours after such termination. Upon receipt of such notice from the superintendent, the Commissioner of Education may commence certification revocation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of subsection (m) of section 10-145b. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 1-210 and 1-211, information received by the Commissioner of Education, or [his] the commissioner's representative, pursuant to this section shall be confidential subject to regulations adopted by the State Board of Education under section 10-145g.

Sec. 44. Subsection (d) of section 17a-101i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) For the purposes of receiving and making reports, notifying and receiving notification, or investigating, pursuant to the provisions of sections 17a-101a to 17a-101h, inclusive, and 17a-103, a superintendent of a school district or a supervisory agent of a nonpublic school may assign a designee to act on [his] such superintendent's or agent's behalf.

Sec. 45. Subsection (c) of section 17b-749 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) The commissioner shall establish eligibility and program standards including, but not limited to: (1) A priority intake and eligibility system with preference given to serving teen parents, low-income working families, adoptive families of children who were adopted from the Department of Children and Families and who are granted a waiver of income standards under subdivision (2) of subsection (b), and working families who are at risk of welfare dependency; (2) health and safety standards for child care providers not required to be licensed; (3) a reimbursement system for child care services which account for differences in the age of the child, number of children in the family, the geographic region and type of care provided by licensed and unlicensed caregivers, the cost and type of services provided by licensed and unlicensed caregivers, successful completion of fifteen hours of annual in-service training or credentialing of child care directors and administrators, and program accreditation; (4) supplemental payment for special needs of the child and extended nontraditional hours; (5) an annual rate review process which assures that reimbursement rates are maintained at levels which permit equal access to a variety of child care settings; (6) a sliding reimbursement scale for participating families; (7) an administrative appeals process; (8) an administrative hearing process to adjudicate cases of alleged fraud and abuse and to impose sanctions and recover overpayments; and (9) a waiting list for the child care subsidy program that reflects the priority and eligibility system set forth in subdivision (1) of [subsection (c) of this section] this subsection, which is reviewed periodically, with the inclusion of this information in the annual report required to be issued annually by the Department of Social Services to the Governor and the General Assembly in accordance with subdivision (10) of section 17b-733. Such action will include, but not be limited to, family income, age of child, region of state and length of time on such waiting list.

Sec. 46. Section 31-11aa of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Connecticut Employment and Training Commission within the Office of Workforce Competitiveness shall produce, within available appropriations, a report [, including a long-range strategic plan, for] on information technology workforce development, including a long-range strategic plan, that addresses Connecticut's workforce and research needs as they relate to information technology and electronic commerce. The commission shall work with the Commissioners of Economic and Community Development, Education and Higher Education and any business-related association or organization that the commission deems appropriate in creating a planning structure, no later than July 5, 2000, to develop the plan. The planning structure shall include representation from the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission, the General Assembly, the Departments of Education, Higher Education and Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated, information technology and software companies, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, the Connecticut Technology Council, The University of Connecticut, the Connecticut State University System, the community-technical colleges, Charter Oak State College, the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium, the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges and any other representatives including regional and state-wide business and technology associations the Connecticut Employment and Training Commission and commissioners deem necessary.

(b) The report shall specify: (1) The number and job descriptions of workers in information technology intensive occupations and the associated occupational codes for those occupations as identified through the Standard Occupational Code classification system of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor, (2) a [forecasted] forecast assessment of demand by Connecticut employers in those occupations for two, five and ten years from July 1, 2000, (3) methods to generate a sufficient number of information technology graduates to fill identified needs, including, but not limited to, scholarship, school-to-career and internship programs, (4) methods to effectively link appropriate and trained graduates to information technology jobs in this state, including, but not limited to, loan reimbursement programs, (5) what programmatic and curricular emphasis should be developed to support the growth of electronic commerce, software and information technology industries, (6) methods secondary and higher education and private industry can use to continue to address information technology workforce needs as they change and evolve over time, and (7) an assessment of existing state initiatives directed at improving workforce development in Connecticut's information technology and software industries and a method for ensuring such industries are informed, on a continual basis, of these and other workforce development options as they are implemented.

(c) The commission shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the General Assembly and the Governor by October 16, 2000. The report shall include the specifications of the plan. The commission may, prior to the completion of the report, release findings, data, conclusions or other content on an ongoing basis.

Sec. 47. Section 52-434d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The Chief Court Administrator may establish a pilot program for the resolution of special education administrative contested cases. If the Chief Court Administrator establishes a pilot program, the Department of Education may refer up to twenty special education administrative contested cases which shall not be jury trials and shall be heard by judge trial referees or senior judges. The entry fee established by section 52-259 shall not apply to such cases. Any [cases] case certified by the Department of Education as being part of the pilot program shall be heard as a de novo case in the Superior Court and shall be appealable directly to the Appellate Court.

(b) The Department of Education shall provide necessary funding for the pilot program to the judicial branch.

Sec. 48. Subsection (j) of section 10-16p of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(j) Children enrolled in school readiness programs funded pursuant to this section shall not be counted (1) as resident students for purposes of subdivision (22) of section 10-262f, or (2) in the determination of average daily membership pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 10-261.

Sec. 49. Subsection (c) of section 10-76i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) The advisory council shall: (1) Advise the state Department of Education of unmet needs in educating children with disabilities and on the administration of the provisions of sections 10-94f to 10-94k, inclusive; (2) review periodically the laws, regulations, standards and guidelines pertaining to special education and recommend to the General Assembly and the State Board of Education any changes which it finds necessary; (3) comment on any new or revised regulations, standards and guidelines proposed for issuance; (4) participate with the State Board of Education in the development of any state [plan] eligibility documents for provision of special education; (5) comment publicly on any procedures necessary for distributing federal funds received pursuant to the [Education of the Handicapped Act, 89 Stat. 774 (1975)] Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC 1400 et seq., as from time to time amended; (6) assist the state Department of Education in developing and reporting such data and evaluations as may be conducted pursuant to the provisions of said act; [and] (7) report to the General Assembly not later than January fifteenth in the odd-numbered years and not later than February fifteenth in the even-numbered years, concerning recommendations for effecting changes in the special education laws; and (8) perform any other such activity that is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC 1400, et seq., as from time to time amended.

Sec. 50. Subsection (b) of section 10-285a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) The percentage of school building project grant money a regional board of education may be eligible to receive under the provisions of section 10-286 shall be determined by its ranking. Such ranking shall be determined by (1) multiplying the total population, as defined in section 10-261, of each town in the district by such town's ranking, as determined in subsection (a) of this section, (2) adding together the figures determined under (1), and (3) dividing the total computed under (2) by the total population of all towns in the district. The ranking of each regional board of education shall be rounded to the next higher whole number and each such board shall receive the same reimbursement percentage as would a town with the same rank [. In the case of a school building project (A) in a secondary regional school district, such reimbursement percentage shall be increased by five per cent and (B) in a regional school district accommodating pupils in kindergarten to grade twelve, inclusive, such reimbursement percentage shall be increased by ten per cent] plus ten per cent, except that no such percentage shall exceed eighty-five per cent.

Sec. 51. Subsection (b) of section 4d-80 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) The commission shall elect a chairperson from among its members. Subject to the provisions of chapter 67, and within available appropriations, the commission may appoint an executive director and such other employees as may be necessary for the discharge of the duties of the commission. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, the executive director shall have the option to elect participation in the State Employees Retirement System, or the alternate retirement program established for eligible employees in higher education or the Teachers' Retirement System.

Sec. 52. Section 10a-6b of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (g) as follows:

(NEW) (g) Each constituent unit of higher education shall submit an accountability report to the Commissioner of Higher Education annually, by January first. The commissioner shall compile the reports and shall submit, in accordance with section 11-4a, a consolidated accountability report for the state system of higher education to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education annually, by February first. The report shall contain accountability measures for each constituent unit and public institution of higher education pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this section. The report shall include updated baseline and peer comparison data, performance improvement targets for each measure, and other information as determined by the commissioner.

Sec. 53. Subsection (m) of section 10-145b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(m) (1) The State Board of Education may revoke any certificate, authorization or permit issued pursuant to sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, for any of the following reasons: [(1)] (A) The holder of the certificate, authorization or permit obtained such certificate, authorization or permit through fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact; [(2)] (B) the holder has persistently neglected to perform the duties for which [certification] the certificate, authorization or permit was granted; [(3)] (C) the holder is professionally unfit to perform the duties for which [certification] the certificate, authorization or permit was granted; [(4)] (D) the holder is convicted in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any other crime of such nature that in the opinion of the board continued [certification] holding of a certificate, authorization or permit by the person would impair the standing of certificates, authorizations or permits issued by the board; or [(5)] (E) other due and sufficient cause. The State Board of Education shall revoke any certificate, authorization or permit issued pursuant to said sections if the holder is found to have intentionally disclosed specific questions or answers to students or otherwise improperly breached the security of any administration of a state-wide examination pursuant to section 10-14n. In any revocation proceeding pursuant to this section, the State Board of Education shall have the burden of establishing the reason for such revocation by a preponderance of the evidence. Revocation shall be in accordance with procedures established by the State Board of Education pursuant to chapter 54.

(2) When the Commissioner of Education is notified, pursuant to section 17a-101i that a person holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, has been convicted of [a crime involving an act of child abuse or a violation of section 53a-71 or section 53a-73a] (A) a capital felony, pursuant to section 53a-54b, (B) arson murder, pursuant to section 53a-54d, (C) a class A felony, (D) a class B felony, except a violation of section 53a-122, 53a-252 or 53a-291, (E) a crime involving an act of child abuse or neglect as described in section 46b-120, or (F) a violation of section 53-21, 53-37a, 53a-60b, 53a-60c, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b, 53a-73a, 53a-88, 53a-99, 53a-103a, 53a-181c, 53a-191, 53a-196, 53a-196c, 53a-216, 53a-217b or 21a-278 or subsection (a) of section 21a-277, any certificate, permit or authorization issued by the State Board of Education and held by such person shall be deemed revoked and the commissioner shall notify such person of such revocation, provided such person may request reconsideration pursuant to regulations adopted by the State Board of Education, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54.

(3) The State Board of Education may deny an application for [certification] a certificate, authorization or permit for any of the following reasons: (A) The applicant seeks to obtain a certificate, authorization or permit through fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact; (B) the applicant has been convicted in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any other crime of such nature that in the opinion of the board issuance of a certificate, authorization or permit would impair the standing of certificates, authorizations or permits issued by the board; or (C) other due and sufficient cause. Any applicant denied a certificate, authorization or permit shall be notified in writing of the reasons for denial. Any applicant denied a certificate, authorization or permit may request a review of such denial by the State Board of Education.

Sec. 54. Section 10-145i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-146b, inclusive, and 10-149, the State Board of Education shall not issue or reissue any certificate pursuant to said sections if (1) the applicant for such certificate has been convicted of any of the following: (A) A capital felony, as defined in section 53a-54b; (B) arson murder, as defined in section 53a-54d; (C) any Class A felony; (D) any Class B felony except a violation of section 53a-122, 53a-252 or [53a-292] 53a-291; (E) a crime involving an act of child abuse or neglect as described in section 46b-120; or [(E)] (F) a violation of section 53-21, 53-37a, 53a-60b, 53a-60c, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b, 53a-73a, 53a-88, 53a-99, 53a-103a, [53a-181b,] 53a-181c, 53a-191, 53a-196, 53a-196c, 53a-216, 53a-217b or 21a-278 or a violation of subsection (a) of section 21a-277, and (2) the applicant completed serving the sentence for such conviction within the five years immediately preceding the date of the application.

Sec. 55. Section 10-221d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) On and after July 1, 1994, each local and regional board of education shall (1) require each applicant for a position in a public school to state whether such person has ever been convicted of a crime or whether criminal charges are pending against such person at the time of [his] application, [and] (2) require, subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, each person hired by the board after July 1, 1994, to submit to state and national criminal history records checks within [ninety] thirty days from the date of employment [. Any local or regional board of education] and may require, subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, any person hired prior to said date to submit to state and national criminal history records checks, and (3) require each worker placed within a school under a public assistance employment program who performs a service involving direct student contact to submit to state and national criminal history records checks within thirty days from the date such worker begins to perform such service. The board or a regional educational service center pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall request the state criminal history records check for each such person from the State Police Bureau of Identification. The board or such regional educational service center shall arrange for the fingerprinting of each such person and forward the fingerprints to said bureau which shall submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history records check. The board or the regional educational service center may charge each such person a fee for the national criminal history records check which shall not exceed the fee charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for performing the check. If the local or regional board of education receives notice of a conviction of a crime which has not previously been disclosed by such person to the board, the board may (A) terminate the contract of a certified employee, in accordance with the provisions of section 10-151, and (B) dismiss a noncertified employee provided such employee is notified of the reason for such dismissal, is provided the opportunity to file with the board, in writing, any proper answer to such criminal conviction and a copy of the notice of such criminal conviction, the answer and the dismissal order are made a part of the records of the board. In addition, if the local or regional board of education receives notice of a conviction of a crime by a person holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education, the local or regional board of education shall send such notice to the State Board of Education. The supervisory agent of a private school may require any applicant for a position in such school or any employee of such school to submit to state and national criminal history records checks in accordance with the procedures described in this subsection.

(b) If a local or regional board of education requests, a regional educational service center shall arrange for fingerprinting pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and forward such fingerprints for state and national criminal history records checks. Such regional educational service centers shall provide the results of such checks to such local or regional board of education. Such regional educational service centers shall provide such results to any other local or regional board of education or regional educational service center upon the request of the person fingerprinted.

(c) State and national criminal history records checks for substitute teachers completed within one year prior to the date of employment with a local or regional board of education and submitted to the employing board of education shall meet the requirements of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section. A local or regional board of education shall not require substitute teachers to submit to state and national criminal history records checks pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section if they are continuously employed by such local or regional board of education. For purposes of this section, substitute teachers shall be deemed to be continuously employed by a local or regional board of education if they are employed at least one day of each school year by such local or regional board of education.

(d) (1) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a person required to submit to a criminal history records check pursuant to the provisions of subsection (d) of section 14-44.

(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a student employed by the local or regional school district in which the student attends school.

(3) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section requiring state and national criminal history records checks shall, at the discretion of a local or regional board of education, apply to a person employed by a local or regional board of education as a teacher for a noncredit adult class or adult education activity, as defined in section 10-67, who is not required to hold a teaching certificate pursuant to section 10-145b for his or her position.

(e) The State Board of Education shall submit, periodically, a database of applicants for an initial issuance of certificate, authorization or permit pursuant to sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, to the State Police Bureau of Identification. The State Police Bureau of Identification shall conduct a state criminal history records check against such database and notify the State Board of Education of any such applicant who has a criminal conviction. The State Board of Education shall not issue a certificate, authorization or permit until it receives and evaluates the results of such check and may deny an application in accordance with the provisions of subsection (m) of section 10-145b, as amended by this act.

(f) The State Board of Education shall submit, periodically, a database of all persons who hold certificates, authorizations or permits to the State Police Bureau of Identification. The State Police Bureau of Identification shall conduct a state criminal history records check against such database and shall notify the State Board of Education of any such person who has a criminal conviction. The State Board of Education may revoke the certificate, authorization or permit of such person in accordance with the provisions of subsection (m) of section 10-145b, as amended by this act.

Sec. 56. (NEW) Prior to hiring any person, a local or regional board of education shall make a documented good faith effort to contact previous employers of the person in order to obtain information and recommendations which may be relevant to the person's fitness for employment.

Sec. 57. Section 8-265pp of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority shall develop and administer a program of mortgage assistance to certified teachers (1) employed by priority school districts pursuant to section 10-266p, (2) employed by transitional school districts pursuant to section 10-263c, (3) employed by regional vocational-technical schools located in such priority or transitional school districts, or [(3)] (4) who teach in a subject matter shortage area pursuant to section 10-8b. Such assistance shall be available to eligible teachers for the purchase of a house as their principal residence, provided, in the case of a teacher employed by a priority or a transitional school district, or by a regional vocational-technical school located in a priority or transitional school district, the house is located in such district. In making mortgage assistance available under the program, the authority shall utilize downpayment assistance or any other appropriate housing subsidies. The terms of any mortgage assistance shall allow the mortgagee to realize a reasonable portion of the equity gain upon sale of the mortgaged property. For purposes of this section, "minorities" means those whose racial ancestry is defined as other than white by the Bureau of Census of the United States Department of Commerce.

Sec. 58. (NEW) (a) The Department of Education shall conduct a study of the relationship between admissions scores and performance within the regional vocational technical school system using the classes graduating in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

(b) The department shall report periodically, in accordance with this subsection and section 11-4a of the general statutes, on the study to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education.

(1) On or before January 1, 2002, the department shall describe (A) the number and distribution of students by class in each of the regional vocational-technical schools, (B) the format and contents of the initial data base developed to carry out the study, (C) the measures, such as the scores on the state-wide tenth grade mastery examination under section 10-14n of the general statutes, grade point average, class rank, dropout rates, or trade specific assessment tests, selected to assess the ability of the individual components of the admissions score to predict success in the vocational-technical school, and (D) any other factors the department deems relevant to conducting the study or understanding the results of the study;

(2) On or before January 1, 2003, the department shall present preliminary results of the study based on data analysis through the first quarter of the school year commencing in 2002, including the relevance of the individual components of the admissions score to the assessment measures, and shall provide statistics on the number of students from each class for the classes graduating in 2003, 2004 and 2005 who have withdrawn from a vocational-technical school;

(3) On or before January 1, 2004, the department shall (A) present final results for the class of 2003, including graduation rates and the results of the post graduation survey, (B) using such results, predict the probability of a vocation-technical school student being successful based on the components of the student's admissions score, and (C) evaluate the results and discuss whether it feels any changes are needed in the admissions policies;

(4) On or before January 1, 2005, the department shall present the final results for the class of 2004, and explain any differences between said class and the class of 2003; and

(5) On or before January 1, 2006, the department shall submit its final report, including (A) final results for the class of 2005, (B) using such results, predict the probability of a vocational-technical school student being successful based on the elements of the student's admissions score, and (C) describe any changes it intends to make in the system's admissions policies.

Sec. 59. Section 10-95 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The State Board of Education may establish and maintain a state-wide system of regional vocational-technical schools offering full-time, part-time and evening programs in vocational, technical and technological education and training. The board may make regulations controlling the admission of students to any such school. The Commissioner of Education, in accordance with policies established by the board, may appoint and remove members of the staffs of such schools and make rules for the management of and expend the funds provided for the support of such schools. The board may enter into cooperative arrangements with local and regional boards of education, private occupational schools, institutions of higher education, job training agencies and employers in order to provide general education, vocational, technical or technological education or work experience.

(b) If the New England Association of Schools and Colleges places a regional vocational-technical school on probation or otherwise notifies the superintendent of the vocational-technical school system that a regional vocational-technical school is at risk of losing its accreditation, the Commissioner of Education shall notify the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education of such placement or problems relating to accreditation.

(c) The State Board of Education shall establish specific achievement goals for students at the vocational-technical schools at each grade level. The board shall measure the performance of each vocational-technical school and shall identify a set of quantifiable measures to be used. The measures shall include factors such as performance on the state-wide tenth grade mastery examination under section 10-14n, trade-related assessment tests, dropout rates and graduation rates.

Sec. 60. (NEW) The director of each regional vocational-technical school shall meet with members of the business community within the geographic area the regional vocational-technical school to develop a plan to assess workforce needs and implement curriculum modifications to address those needs.

Sec. 61. The Department of Education shall apply for funding and participation in the Troops to Teachers Program sponsored by the federal government. Upon receipt of funding, the Department of Education shall establish a program in conformance with federal requirements and encourage participation in the program.

Sec. 62. Subsection (d) of section 10-262j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) (1) For the year ending June 30, 1994, the regular program expenditures of a town shall be not less than the greater of the foundation for such year multiplied by the total need students of the town for the prior school year or an amount equal to the sum of (A) the regular program expenditures for the town for the prior fiscal year, and (B) the amount of the aid increase paid to the town as calculated pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, except that no town shall be required to spend more on regular program expenditures than one hundred five per cent of the product of the foundation for such year and the total need students of the town for the prior school year.

(2) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, the regular program expenditures of a town shall be not less than the greater of the foundation for such year multiplied by the total need students of the town for the prior school year or an amount equal to the sum of (A) the regular program expenditures for the town for the prior fiscal year, and (B) the amount of the aid increase paid to the town as calculated pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, except that no town shall be required to spend more on regular program expenditures than one hundred ten per cent of the product of the foundation for such year and the total need students of the town for the prior school year.

(3) For the fiscal years ending June 30, 1996, and June 30, 1997, the regular program expenditures of a town shall not be less than the lesser of (A) the sum of the regular program expenditures for the town for the prior fiscal year, and the amount of the aid increase paid to a town pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, or (B) the sum of the town's minimum expenditure requirement cap as determined by the Department of Education for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, and the sum of any aid increases paid to a town pursuant to subsection (b) of this section after the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995.

(4) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1998, the regular program expenditures of a town shall be the lesser of the sum of (A) its minimum expenditure requirement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1997, (B) its aid increase pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and (C) the result obtained by multiplying the difference between the town's resident student count for October 1996, using the data of record as of December 1, 1996, and its final audited resident student count for October 1993, by one-half of the foundation, or the sum of (i) its minimum expenditure requirement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1997, and (ii) its aid increase pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(5) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1999, the regular program expenditures of a town shall be the lesser of the sum of (A) its minimum expenditure requirement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1998, (B) its aid increase pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and (C) the result obtained by multiplying the difference between the town's resident student count for October 1997, using the data of record as of December 1, 1997, and the town's resident student count for October 1996, using the data of record as of December 1, 1996, by one-half of the foundation, or the sum of (i) its minimum expenditure requirement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1998, and (ii) its aid increase pursuant to subsection (b) of this section.

(6) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000, the regular program expenditures of a town shall be no less than the sum of (A) its minimum expenditure requirement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1999, (B) its aid increase pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and (C) the result obtained by multiplying the difference between the town's resident student count for October 1998, using the data of record as of December 1, 1998, and the town's resident student count for October 1997, using the data of record as of December 1, 1997, by one-half of the foundation.

(7) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001, the regular program expenditures of a town shall be no less than the sum of (A) its minimum expenditure requirement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000, (B) its aid increase pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and (C) if the resident student count for October 1999, is less than the resident student count for October 1998, the result obtained by multiplying the difference between the town's resident student count for October 1999, using the data of record as of December 1, 1999, and the town's resident student count for October 1998, using the data of record as of December 1, 1998, by one-half of the foundation.

(8) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002, the regular program expenditures of a town shall be no less than the sum of (A) its minimum expenditure requirement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001, (B) its aid increase pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and (C) if the resident student count for October 2000, is less than the resident student count for October 1999, the result obtained by multiplying the difference between the town's resident student count for October 2000, using the data of record as of December 1, 2000, and the town's resident student count for October 1999, using the data of record as of December 1, 1999, by one-half of the foundation.

(9) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003, the regular program expenditures of a town shall be no less than the sum of (A) its minimum expenditure requirement for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002, (B) its aid increase pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, and (C) if the resident student count for October 2001, is less than the resident student count for October 2000, the result obtained by multiplying the difference between the town's resident student count for October 2001, using the data of record as of December 1, 2001, and the town's resident student count for October 2000, using the data of record as of December 1, 2000, by one-half of the foundation.

Sec. 63. Subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 10-283 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) (1) Each town or regional school district shall be eligible to apply for and accept grants for a school building project as provided in this chapter. Any town desiring a grant for a public school building project may, by vote of its legislative body, authorize the board of education of such town to apply to the Commissioner of Education and to accept or reject such grant for the town. Any regional school board may vote to authorize the supervising agent of the regional school district to apply to the Commissioner of Education for and to accept or reject such grant for the district. Applications for such grants under this chapter shall be made by the superintendent of schools of such town or regional school district on the form provided and in the manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Education. The application form shall require the superintendent of schools to affirm that the school district considered the maximization of natural light in projects for new construction and alteration or renovation of a school building. Grant applications for school building projects shall be reviewed by the Commissioner of Education on the basis of categories for building projects and standards for school construction established by the State Board of Education in accordance with this section, provided grant applications submitted for purposes of subsection (a) of section 10-65 or section 10-76e shall be reviewed annually by the commissioner on the basis of the educational needs of the applicant.

Sec. 64. Subsection (b) of section 10-76g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Any local or regional board of education which provides special education pursuant to the provisions of sections 10-76a to 10-76g, inclusive, for any exceptional child described in subparagraph (A) of subdivision (5) of section 10-76a, under its jurisdiction, excluding (1) children placed by a state agency for whom a board of education receives payment pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (2) of subsection (e) of section 10-76d, and (2) children who require special education, who reside on state-owned or leased property or in permanent family residences, as defined in section 17a-154, and who are not the educational responsibility of the unified school districts established pursuant to sections 17a-37, 17a-240 and 18-99a, shall be financially responsible for the reasonable costs of special education instruction, as defined in the regulations of the State Board of Education, in an amount equal to five times the average per pupil educational costs of such board of education for the prior fiscal year, determined in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of section 10-76f. The State Board of Education shall pay on a current basis any costs in excess of the local or regional boards' basic contribution paid by such board in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. Any amounts paid by the State Board of Education on a current basis pursuant to this subsection shall not be reimbursable in the subsequent year. Application for such grant shall be made by filing with the Department of Education, in such manner as prescribed by the commissioner, annually on or before December first a statement of the cost of providing special education pursuant to this subsection, provided a board of education may submit, not later than [February] March first, claims for additional children or costs not included in the December filing. Payment by the state for such excess costs shall be made to the local or regional board of education as follows: Seventy-five per cent of the cost in February and the balance in [April] May. The amount due each town pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall be paid to the treasurer of each town entitled to such aid, provided the treasurer shall treat such grant, or a portion of the grant, which relates to special education expenditures incurred in excess of such town's board of education budgeted estimate of such expenditures, as a reduction in expenditures by crediting such expenditure account, rather than town revenue. Such expenditure account shall be so credited no later than thirty days after receipt by the treasurer of necessary documentation from the board of education indicating the amount of such special education expenditures incurred in excess of such town's board of education budgeted estimate of such expenditures.

Sec. 65. Section 10-264l of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (i) as follows:

(NEW) (i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the enrollment of nonpublic school students in an interdistrict magnet school program that operates less than full-time, provided (1) such students constitute no more than five per cent of the full-time equivalent enrollment in such magnet school program, and (2) such students are not counted for purposes of determining the amount of grants pursuant to this section and section 10-264i.

Sec. 66. Subsection (a) of section 29-315 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) (1) When any building is to be built having more than four stories and is to be used for human occupancy, such building shall have an automatic fire extinguishing system approved by the State Fire Marshal on each floor.

(2) When any building is (A) to be built as an educational occupancy, (B) eligible for a school building project grant pursuant to chapter 173, and (C) put out to bid on or after July 1, 2004, such building shall have an automatic fire extinguishing system approved by the State Fire Marshal on each floor. "Educational occupancy" shall have the same meaning as in the Fire Safety Code.

Sec. 67. This act shall take effect from its passage, except that sections 1 to 6, inclusive, and 8 to 36, inclusive, and 38 to 48, inclusive, and 50 to 66, inclusive, shall take effect July 1, 2001.

Approved July 6, 2001