Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6691

Public Act No. 03-76

AN ACT CONCERNING TECHNICAL REVISIONS TO THE EDUCATION STATUTES.

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

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 10-76g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) (1) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1984, and each fiscal year thereafter, in any case in which special education is being provided at a private residential institution, including the residential components of regional educational service centers, to a child for whom no local or regional board of education can be found responsible under subsection (b) of section 10-76d, the Department of Children and Families shall pay the costs of special education to such institution pursuant to its authority under sections 17a-1 to 17a-26, inclusive, 17a-28 to 17a-50, inclusive, and 17a-52. (2) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1993, and each fiscal year thereafter, any local or regional board of education which provides special education and related services for any child (A) who is placed by a state agency in a private residential facility or who is placed in a facility or institution operated by the Department of Children and Families and who receives such special education at a program operated by a regional education service center or program operated by a local or regional board of education, and (B) for whom no local or regional board of education can be found responsible under subsection (b) of section 10-76d, shall be eligible to receive one hundred per cent of the reasonable costs of special education for such child as defined in the regulations of the State Board of Education. Any such board eligible for payment shall file with the [state] Department of Education, in such manner as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, annually, on or before December first a statement of the cost of providing special education for such child, provided a board of education may submit, not later than February first, claims for additional children or costs not included in the December filing. Payment by the state for such 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.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 10-4h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The [state] Department of Education, in consultation with the Commission for Educational Technology, shall establish a competitive grant program, within the limit of the bond authorization for purposes of this section, to assist (1) local and regional school districts, (2) regional educational service centers, (3) cooperative arrangements among one or more boards of education, and (4) endowed academies approved pursuant to section 10-34 that are eligible for school building project grants pursuant to chapter 173, to upgrade or install wiring, including electrical wiring, cable or other distribution systems and infrastructure improvements to support telecommunications and other information transmission equipment to be used for educational purposes.

Sec. 3. Section 10-5a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The [state] Department of Education shall, within available appropriations, assist and encourage local and regional boards of education to use and integrate educational technology in the courses required for high school graduation pursuant to section 10-221a in order to promote proficiency in the use of educational technology by each student who graduates from high school.

Sec. 4. Section 10-20f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The [state] Department of Education may retain up to one per cent of the amount appropriated for programs established pursuant to section 10-20a for purposes of administration and coordination, technical assistance, information dissemination and program evaluation.

Sec. 5. Section 10-28b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The [state] Department of Education shall (1) provide information and technical assistance to local and regional boards of education regarding the involvement of volunteers and other partners, including parents and representatives from business and the community, in public school programs and activities, (2) designate an employee of the department as state-wide school volunteer coordinator, and (3) not later than January 15, 1991, in consultation with the Connecticut Association of Partners in Education, Inc. , develop a state plan to encourage, enhance and support the involvement of school volunteers and other partners in education and submit such plan to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education. The provisions of this section shall be carried out within the limits of available appropriations.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 10-66n of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The [state] Department of Education shall establish a grant program in each fiscal year in which funds are appropriated to identify and disseminate information regarding exemplary classroom projects.

Sec. 7. Subsection (h) of section 10-66bb of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(h) The Commissioner of Education may at any time place a charter school on probation if (1) the school has failed to (A) adequately demonstrate student progress, as determined by the commissioner, (B) comply with the terms of its charter or with applicable laws and regulations, (C) achieve measurable progress in reducing racial, ethnic and economic isolation, or (D) maintain its nonsectarian status, or (2) the governing council has demonstrated an inability to provide effective leadership to oversee the operation of the charter school or has not ensured that public funds are expended prudently or in a manner required by law. If a charter school is placed on probation, the commissioner shall provide written notice to the charter school of the reasons for such placement, not later than five days after the placement, and shall require the charter school to file with the [department] Department of Education a corrective action plan acceptable to the commissioner not later than thirty-five days from the date of such placement. The charter school shall implement a corrective action plan accepted by the commissioner not later than thirty days after the date of such acceptance. The commissioner may impose any additional terms of probation on the school that the commissioner deems necessary to protect the educational or financial interests of the state. The charter school shall comply with any such additional terms not later than thirty days after the date of their imposition. The commissioner shall determine the length of time of the probationary period, which may be up to one year, provided the commissioner may extend such period, for up to one additional year, if the commissioner deems it necessary. In the event that the charter school does not file or implement the corrective action plan within the required time period or does not comply with any additional terms within the required time period, the Commissioner of Education may withhold grant funds from the school until the plan is fully implemented or the school complies with the terms of probation, provided the commissioner may extend the time period for such implementation and compliance for good cause shown. Whenever a charter school is placed on probation, the commissioner shall notify the parents or guardians of students attending the school of the probationary status of the school and the reasons for such status. During the term of probation, the commissioner may require the school to file interim reports concerning any matter the commissioner deems relevant to the probationary status of the school, including financial reports or statements. No charter school on probation may increase its student enrollment or engage in the recruitment of new students without the consent of the commissioner.

Sec. 8. Subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 10-71 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(1) The percentage of the eligible costs for adult education a local board of education shall receive, under the provisions of this section, shall be determined as follows: (A) Each town shall be ranked in descending order from one to one hundred sixty-nine according to such town's adjusted equalized net grand list per capita, as defined in section 10-261. [; ] (B) [based] Based upon such ranking, a percentage of not less than zero nor more than sixty-five shall be determined for each town on a continuous scale, except that the percentage for a priority school district pursuant to section 10-266p shall not be less than twenty. Any such percentage shall be increased by seven and one-half percentage points but shall not exceed sixty-five per cent for any local board of education which provides basic adult education programs for adults at facilities operated by or within the general administrative control and supervision of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, provided such adults reside at such facilities. Any such percentage shall be increased by one and one-half percentage points but shall not exceed sixty-five per cent for any local board of education which served four thousand or more students who were enrolled at least twelve hours in the fiscal year two years prior to the year of the grant and whose ratio of students served in the fiscal year two years prior to the year of the grant to persons in the town who were twenty-five years of age or older and did not have a high school diploma according to the most recent federal decennial census is greater than fifteen one-hundredths. (C) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, any local board of education which served two thousand or more students who were enrolled at least twelve hours in the fiscal year two years prior to the year of the grant shall receive a grant in the amount determined pursuant to subparagraph (B) of this subdivision or the amount obtained by multiplying the number of such students served in the fiscal year two years prior to the year of the grant by twenty-five, whichever is greater.

Sec. 9. Subsection (b) of section 10-71 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision (6) of section 10-67, [to the contrary,] a local or regional board of education or regional educational service center shall be eligible to receive an amount to be paid pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section. The amount shall equal the eligible expenditures from funds received from private sources by the local or regional board of education, regional educational service center or cooperating eligible entity multiplied by the appropriate percentage, as determined under subsection (a) of this section, provided such amount shall not exceed twenty per cent of the amount received by the local or regional board of education or regional educational service center pursuant to subsection (a) of this section for the previous fiscal year. For payments from private sources to be eligible for reimbursement pursuant to this subsection, (1) based upon estimated eligible costs approved by the [state] Department of Education, the eligible expenditures from local taxes in a fiscal year shall not be less than seventy per cent of the eligible expenditures from local taxes for the previous fiscal year, and (2) the local or regional board of education, regional educational service center or cooperating eligible entity shall provide, not later than a date to be determined by the Commissioner of Education, evidence satisfactory to the commissioner of a written commitment of a payment from a private source. Evidence of actual payment shall be submitted to the commissioner not later than a date established by the commissioner. Upon receipt by a board of education or regional educational service center of state funds pursuant to this subsection attributable to expenditures of a cooperating eligible entity, the board or center shall provide for the distribution of such funds to the cooperating eligible entity for the provision of adult education programs and services pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 10-69.

Sec. 10. Subsection (a) of section 10-76g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) (1) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1984, and each fiscal year thereafter, in any case in which special education is being provided at a private residential institution, including the residential components of regional educational service centers, to a child for whom no local or regional board of education can be found responsible under subsection (b) of section 10-76d, the Department of Children and Families shall pay the costs of special education to such institution pursuant to its authority under sections 17a-1 to 17a-26, inclusive, 17a-28 to 17a-50, inclusive, and 17a-52. (2) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1993, and each fiscal year thereafter, any local or regional board of education which provides special education and related services for any child (A) who is placed by a state agency in a private residential facility or who is placed in a facility or institution operated by the Department of Children and Families and who receives such special education at a program operated by a regional education service center or program operated by a local or regional board of education, and (B) for whom no local or regional board of education can be found responsible under subsection (b) of section 10-76d, shall be eligible to receive one hundred per cent of the reasonable costs of special education for such child as defined in the regulations of the State Board of Education. Any such board eligible for payment shall file with the [state] Department of Education, in such manner as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, annually, on or before December first a statement of the cost of providing special education for such child, provided a board of education may submit, not later than February first, claims for additional children or costs not included in the December filing. Payment by the state for such 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.

Sec. 11. Section 10-76h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) (1) A parent or guardian of a child requiring special education and related services pursuant to sections 10-76a to 10-76g, inclusive, a pupil if such pupil is an emancipated minor or eighteen years of age or older requiring such services, a surrogate parent appointed pursuant to section 10-94g, or the Commissioner of Children and Families, or a designee of said commissioner, on behalf of any such child in the custody of said commissioner, may request, in writing, a hearing of the local or regional board of education or the unified school district responsible for providing such services whenever such board or district proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such child or pupil, provided no issue may be raised at such hearing unless it was raised at a planning and placement team meeting for such child or pupil and provided further, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the right of such parent, guardian, emancipated minor or surrogate parent to initiate a planning and placement team meeting at any time. The local or regional board of education or the unified school district shall, not later than seven calendar days after receipt of a request for a hearing, notify the [state] Department of Education of such request. The local or regional board of education or the unified school district responsible for providing special education and related services for a child or pupil requiring such services under sections 10-76a to 10-76g, inclusive, may request, upon written notice to the parent or guardian of such child, the pupil if such pupil is an emancipated minor or is eighteen years of age or older, the surrogate parent appointed pursuant to section 10-94g, or the Commissioner of Children and Families, or a designee of said commissioner, on behalf of any such child or pupil in the custody of said commissioner, a hearing concerning the decision of the planning and placement team established pursuant to section 10-76d, whenever such board or district proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement of or the provision of a free appropriate public education placement to such child or pupil, including, but not limited to, refusal of the parent or guardian, pupil if such pupil is an emancipated minor or is eighteen years of age or older or the surrogate parent appointed pursuant to section 10-94g, to give consent for preplacement evaluation or initial placement in special education or the withdrawal of such consent, provided no issue may be raised at such hearing unless it was raised at a planning and placement team meeting for such child or pupil and provided further, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the right of such board or district to initiate a planning and placement team meeting. In the event a planning and placement team proposes private placement for a child or pupil who requires or may require special education and related services and the parent, guardian, pupil if such pupil is an emancipated minor or is eighteen years of age or older or surrogate parent appointed pursuant to section 10-94g withholds or revokes consent for such placement, the local or regional board of education shall request a hearing in accordance with this section and may request mediation pursuant to subsection (f) of this section. For purposes of this section, a "local or regional board of education or unified school district" includes any public agency which is responsible for the provision of special education and related services to children requiring special education and related services.

(2) The request for a hearing shall contain a statement of the specific issues in dispute.

(3) A party shall have two years to request a hearing from the time the board of education proposed or refused to initiate or change the identification, evaluation or educational placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education placement to such child or pupil provided, if such parent, guardian, pupil or surrogate parent is not given notice of the procedural safeguards, in accordance with regulations adopted by the State Board of Education, including notice of the limitations contained in this section, such two-year limitation shall be calculated from the time notice of the safeguards is properly given.

(b) Upon receipt of a written request for a special education hearing made in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the [state] Department of Education shall schedule a hearing which shall be held and the decision written and mailed within forty-five days of the receipt of the request for the hearing. An extension of the forty-five-day time limit may be granted by the hearing officer at the request of either party to the hearing.

(c) (1) The [state] Department of Education shall, upon receipt of a request for a special education hearing made in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, appoint an impartial hearing officer or hearing board. The [state] Department of Education shall provide training to hearing officers in administrative hearing procedures, including due process, and in the special educational needs of children. Hearing officers and members of hearing boards shall not be employees of the [state] Department of Education or any local or regional board of education, unified school district or public agency involved in the education or care of the child. A person who is paid to serve as a hearing officer is not deemed to be an employee of the [state] Department of Education. No person who participated in the previous identification, evaluation or educational placement of or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child or pupil nor any member of the board of education of the school district under review, shall be a hearing officer or a member of a hearing board.

(2) Both parties shall participate in a prehearing conference, at least ten days prior to the date the hearing is scheduled to commence, to resolve the issues in dispute, if possible and narrow the scope of the issues. Each party to the hearing shall disclose, not later than five business days prior to the date the hearing commences, (A) documentary evidence such party plans to present at the hearing and a list of witnesses such party plans to call at the hearing, and (B) all completed evaluations and recommendations based on the offering party's evaluations that the party intends to use at the hearing. Except for good cause shown, the hearing officer shall limit each party to such documentary evidence and witnesses as were properly disclosed and are relevant to the issues in dispute. A hearing officer may bar any party who fails to comply with the requirements concerning disclosure of evaluations and recommendations from introducing any undisclosed evaluation or recommendation at the hearing without the consent of the other party.

(3) The hearing officer or board shall hear testimony relevant to the issues in dispute offered by the party requesting the hearing and any other party directly involved, and may hear any additional testimony the hearing officer or board deems relevant. The hearing officer or board may require a complete and independent evaluation or prescription of educational programs by qualified persons, the cost of which shall be paid by the board of education or the unified school district. The hearing officer or board shall cause all formal sessions of the hearing and review to be recorded in order to provide a verbatim record.

(d) (1) The hearing officer or board shall have the authority to confirm, modify, or reject the identification, evaluation or educational placement of or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child or pupil, to determine the appropriateness of an educational placement where the parent or guardian of a child requiring special education or the pupil if such pupil is an emancipated minor or eighteen years of age or older, has placed the child or pupil in a program other than that prescribed by the planning and placement team, or to prescribe alternate special educational programs for the child or pupil. In the case where a parent or guardian, or pupil if such pupil is an emancipated minor or is eighteen years of age or older, or a surrogate parent appointed pursuant to section 10-94g, has refused consent for evaluation or placement in special education, the hearing officer or board may order special education evaluation or placement without the consent of such parent, guardian, pupil or surrogate parent except that if the parent, guardian, pupil or surrogate parent appeals such decision pursuant to subdivision (4) of this subsection, the child or pupil may not be evaluated or placed pending the disposition of the appeal. The hearing officer or board shall inform the parent or guardian, or the emancipated minor or pupil eighteen years of age or older, or the surrogate parent appointed pursuant to section 10-94g, or the Commissioner of Children and Families, as the case may be, and the board of education of the school district or the unified school district of the decision in writing and mail such decision within forty-five days after receipt by the board of the request for a hearing made in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section except that a hearing officer or board may grant specific extensions of such forty-five-day period in order to comply with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section. The hearing officer may include in his decision a comment on the conduct of the proceedings. The findings of fact, conclusions of law and decision shall be written without personally identifiable information concerning such child or pupil, so that such decisions may be available for public inspections pursuant to sections 4-167 and 4-180a.

(2) If the local or regional board of education or the unified school district responsible for providing special education for such child or pupil requiring special education does not take action on the findings or prescription of the hearing officer or board within fifteen days after receipt thereof, the State Board of Education shall take appropriate action to enforce the findings or prescriptions of the hearing officer or board. Such action may include application to the Superior Court for injunctive relief to compel such local or regional board or school district to implement the findings or prescription of the hearing officer or board without the necessity of establishing irreparable harm or inadequate remedy at law.

(3) If the hearing officer or board upholds the local or regional board of education or the unified school district responsible for providing special education and related services for such child or pupil who requires or may require special education on the issue of evaluation or placement, such board or district may evaluate or provide such services to the child or pupil without the consent of the parent or guardian, pupil if such pupil is an emancipated minor or is eighteen years of age or older, or the surrogate parent appointed pursuant to section 10-94g, subject to an appeal pursuant to subdivision (4) of this subsection.

(4) Appeals from the decision of the hearing officer or board shall be taken in the manner set forth in section 4-183, except, upon application made to the court to present evidence at the hearing on such appeal, the court, after reviewing the record of the proceedings of the hearing officer or board, may grant such application if, after a hearing and the presentation of oral argument on such application, the court finds (A) that the record does not contain a complete transcript of the entire proceedings and of the evidence presented before said hearing officer or board, or (B) that the taking of evidence is necessary for the equitable disposition of the appeal, or (C) probable cause to believe that reliable, probative and substantial evidence was overlooked or ignored by the findings and conclusions of said hearing officer or board. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 4-183, such appeal shall be taken to the judicial district wherein the child or pupil resides. In the event of an appeal, upon request and at the expense of the State Board of Education, said board shall supply a copy of the transcript of the formal sessions of the hearing officer or board to the parent or guardian or the emancipated minor or pupil eighteen years of age or older or surrogate parent or said commissioner and to the board of education of the school district or the unified school district.

(e) Hearing officers and members of the hearing board shall be paid reasonable fees and expenses as established by the State Board of Education.

(f) (1) In lieu of proceeding directly to a hearing, pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the parties may agree in writing to request the Commissioner of Education to appoint a state mediator. Upon the receipt of a written request for mediation, signed by both parties, the commissioner shall appoint a mediator knowledgeable in the fields and areas significant to the review of the special educational needs of the child or pupil. The mediator shall attempt to resolve the issues in a manner which is acceptable to the parties within thirty days from the request for mediation. The mediator shall certify in writing to the [state] Department of Education and to the parties, within the thirty-day period, whether the mediation was successful or unsuccessful.

(2) If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, either party may proceed to a hearing.

Sec. 12. Section 10-76t of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

As used in sections 10-76u to 10-76x, inclusive, "department" means the [state] Department of Education and "mental health professionals" include guidance counselors, school social workers, school psychologists, school nurses and child mental health specialists in community mental health centers and child guidance clinics.

Sec. 13. Subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 10-145f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(3) (A) On and after July 1, 1992, any teacher who held a valid teaching certificate but whose certificate lapsed and who had completed all requirements for the issuance of a new certificate pursuant to section 10-145b, except for filing an application for such certificate, prior to the date on which the lapse occurred, may file, within one year of the date on which the lapse occurred, an application with the Commissioner of Education for the issuance of such certificate. Upon the filing of such an application, the commissioner may grant such certificate and such certificate shall be retroactive to the date on which the lapse occurred, provided the commissioner finds that the lapse of the certificate occurred as a result of a hardship or extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the applicant. If such teacher has attained tenure and is reemployed by the same board of education in any equivalent unfilled position for which the person is qualified as a result of the issuance of a certificate pursuant to this subdivision, the lapse period shall not constitute a break in employment for such person reemployed and shall be used for the purpose of calculating continuous employment pursuant to section 10-151. If such teacher has not attained tenure, the time unemployed due to the lapse of a certificate shall not be counted toward tenure, except that if such teacher is reemployed by the same board of education as a result of the issuance of a certificate pursuant to this subdivision, such teacher may count the previous continuous employment immediately prior to the lapse towards tenure. Using information provided by the Teachers' Retirement Board, the [state] Department of Education shall annually notify each local or regional board of education of the name of each teacher employed by such board of education whose provisional certificate will expire during the period of twelve months following such notice. Upon receipt of such notice the superintendent of each local and regional board of education shall notify each such teacher in writing, at such teacher's last known address, that the teacher's provisional certificate will expire. (B) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision to the contrary, for any teacher employed by a local or regional board of education or on authorized leave from such a board of education, during the 1987-1988 school year, (i) whose teaching certificate lapsed on or after January 15, 1988, (ii) who successfully completed the competency examination in accordance with the provisions of this section subsequent to the date on which the lapse occurred, (iii) whose teaching certificate was reissued subsequent to the date on which the lapse occurred, and (iv) who was reemployed by the same board of education during the 1988-1989 school year, such lapse period shall not constitute a break in employment for such teacher and shall be used for the purpose of calculating continuous employment pursuant to section 10-151.

Sec. 14. Subsection (c) of section 10-145f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and section 10-145b, the following persons shall be eligible for a nonrenewable temporary certificate: (1) A person who has resided in a state other than Connecticut during the year immediately preceding application for certification in Connecticut and meets the requirements for certification, excluding successful completion of the competency examination and subject matter assessment, if such person holds current teacher certification in a state other than Connecticut and has completed at least one year of successful teaching in another state in a public school or a nonpublic school approved by the appropriate state board of education, (2) a person who has graduated from a teacher preparation program at a college or university outside of the state and regionally accredited, and meets the requirements for certification, excluding successful completion of the competency examination and subject matter assessment, and (3) a person hired by a charter school after July first in any school year for a teaching position that school year, provided the person hired after said date could reasonably be expected to complete the requirements prescribed in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of section 10-145b, by the commencement of the school year following the school year in which such person held such temporary certificate. The nonrenewable temporary certificate shall be valid for one year from the date it is issued. Any board of education employing a person who holds a nonrenewable temporary certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection shall provide a program to assist each such person who has not successfully completed the competency examination by January fifteenth of the school year in which such certificate was issued. Said program, developed in consultation with the [state] Department of Education, shall include academic and classroom support service components. Each such person who does not successfully complete said examination by said January fifteenth shall participate in said program.

Sec. 15. Section 10-202f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Consistent with the policy adopted pursuant to section 10-202e, the [state] Department of Education shall establish a student dropout prevention grant program, in each fiscal year in which funds are appropriated, to assist local and regional school districts with the greatest need in decreasing the number of students dropping out of school and increasing the state-wide graduation rate. Local and regional school districts shall use the grants to conduct needs assessments, implement or expand innovative programs, evaluate existing efforts or implement other activities specified in a project plan developed pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(b) The Commissioner of Education shall identify the eligibility criteria for participation in the program annually, on or before January fifteenth, except that in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1988, the identification shall be made on or before August fifteenth. Eligibility criteria shall include, but not be limited to, graduation rates and educational need.

(c) The [state] Department of Education shall identify each local or regional school district eligible to participate in the program. Such identification shall be done annually, on or before March fifteenth, except that in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1988, the identification shall be made on or before September fifteenth. Grant recipients shall be selected from those school districts so identified. Such identification shall not constitute a grant entitlement.

(d) School districts which have been identified pursuant to subsection (c) of this section may annually submit grant proposals to the Commissioner of Education at such time and in such manner as the commissioner prescribes. Each proposal shall be based on a three-year project plan, shall include, but not be limited to, project goals, objectives, evaluation strategies, staff assignments and a budget which shall identify local funding and other available resources for the three-year period and may include programs or services which are provided through written agreements with nonprofit organizations or private employers or programs or services which are provided to children of school age who are not attending school in order to promote their return to school.

(e) Within the availability of funds, the commissioner shall determine whether to authorize a grant award to a local or regional board of education upon receipt of a grant proposal pursuant to subsection (d) of this section and shall determine the amount of any such grant. Such authorization shall be made on or before September fifteenth of each fiscal year in which payment is to be made, except that in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1988, the authorization shall be made on or before November fifteenth. The amount of the award shall be based upon criteria including, but not limited to, district enrollment, relative wealth and the proposal submitted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Of the total amount appropriated in each fiscal year for the purposes of this section, the [state] Department of Education (1) may set aside not more than five per cent to provide administrative assistance relating to the implementation of this section, and (2) shall set aside five per cent for competitive grants for local and regional boards of education not eligible to participate in the program pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. The time-lines for identifying the eligibility criteria for such competitive grants, for identifying school districts eligible for such grants, for submitting proposals and for authorizing grant awards shall conform to the respective timelines described in this subsection and subsections (b) to (d), inclusive, of this section.

(f) Each local or regional board of education participating in the grant program shall prepare a financial statement of expenditures and an annual project report. The report shall describe the project activities and the degree to which the project met its goals and objectives. Such financial statements and reports shall be submitted to the department on or before September first of the fiscal year immediately following each fiscal year in which the school district participates in the grant program. On or before December thirty-first of the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which payment is received, each local or regional board of education which receives a grant pursuant to this section shall file with the commissioner a financial audit in such form as the commissioner prescribes. If the commissioner finds that any such grant is being used for purposes which are not in conformity with the purposes of this section, the commissioner may require repayment of the grant to the state. Not later than February 15, 1990, the State Board of Education shall report to the committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies concerning the operation and effectiveness of the program funded under this section.

Sec. 16. Subsections (c) and (d) of section 10-220a of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) The [state] Department of Education, in cooperation with one or more regional educational service centers, is authorized to provide institutes annually for Connecticut educators. Such institutes shall serve as model programs of professional development and shall be taught by exemplary Connecticut teachers and administrators and by other qualified individuals as selected by the [state] Department of Education. The Department of Education shall charge fees for attending such institutes provided such fees shall be based on the actual cost of such institutes.

(d) The [state] Department of Education may fund, within available appropriations, in cooperation with one or more regional educational service centers: (1) A cooperating teacher program to train Connecticut public school teachers and certified teachers at private special education facilities approved by the Commissioner of Education and at other facilities designated by the commissioner, who participate in the supervision, training and evaluation of student teachers; (2) institutes to provide continuing education for Connecticut public school educators, assessors and cooperating teachers and teacher mentors, including institutes to provide continuing education for Connecticut public school educators offered in cooperation with the Connecticut Humanities Council; and (3) a beginning teacher support and assessment program to train Connecticut public school teachers and other qualified persons approved by the Commissioner of Education and certified teachers at such private special education and other designated facilities who serve as mentors or assessors for beginning teachers and who supervise, train and assist or assess beginning teachers in their initial years in teaching and to pay stipends to assessors. Funds available under this subsection shall be paid directly to school districts for the provision of substitute teachers when cooperating teachers, teacher mentors, beginning teachers and assessors are released from regular classroom responsibilities and for the provision of professional development activities for cooperating and student teachers, teacher mentors, assessors and beginning teachers. The cooperating teacher and beginning teacher support and assessment programs shall operate in accordance with regulations which shall be adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to chapter 54. Student teachers shall be placed with trained cooperating teachers. Beginning teachers shall participate in a beginning teacher support and assessment program as made available by the board. School districts shall be responsible for providing support to beginning teachers which shall include, but not be limited to, the placement of beginning teachers with trained teacher mentors who may be full or part-time teachers in the same or a different building than the beginning teacher and provision of trained assessors to conduct assessments of beginning teachers. Cooperating teachers, teacher mentors and assessors may serve concurrently in more than one capacity and may be assigned more than one student teacher or beginning teacher in each such capacity. The assessment of each beginning teacher shall be based upon, but not limited to, data obtained from observations conducted by assessors using an assessment instrument. Notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, the State Board of Education may require less than six observations as part of such assessment for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1992, and may establish different assessment standards for use during such fiscal year. Notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, a beginning teacher need not be assessed by a certified teacher who holds a certification endorsement in the same general subject area as such beginning teacher. Cooperating teachers and teacher mentors who are Connecticut public school teachers and assessors who are employed by school districts shall be selected by local and regional boards of education. Cooperating teachers and teacher mentors and assessors at such private special education and other designated facilities shall be selected by the authority responsible for the operation of such facilities. If a board of education is unable to identify a sufficient number of individuals to serve in such positions, the commissioner may select qualified persons who are not employed by the board of education to serve in such positions. Such regulations shall require primary consideration of teachers' classroom experience and recognized success as educators. The provisions of sections 10-153a to 10-153n, inclusive, shall not be applicable to the selection, placement and compensation of persons participating in the cooperating teacher and beginning teacher support and assessment programs pursuant to the provisions of this section and to the hours and duties of such persons. The State Board of Education shall protect and save harmless, in accordance with the provisions of section 10-235, any cooperating teacher, teacher mentor or assessor while serving in such capacity.

Sec. 17. Subsection (b) of section 10-221 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) Not later than July 1, 1985, each local and regional board of education shall develop, adopt and implement written policies concerning homework, attendance, promotion and retention. The [state] Department of Education shall make available model policies and guidelines to assist local and regional boards of education in meeting the responsibilities enumerated in this subsection.

Sec. 18. Section 10-227 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

Each board of education shall cause the superintendent to make returns not later than September first of each year to the Commissioner of Education of the receipts, expenditures and statistics, as prescribed by the commissioner, provided each such board may submit revisions to the returns in such form and with such documentation as required by the commissioner no later than December thirty-first of each year following the September submission. Such reports or returns required shall be made in accordance with the instructions furnished by the commissioner, shall be certified no later than December thirty-first of each year by the independent public accountant selected pursuant to section 7-392 for the purpose of auditing municipal accounts, and shall be subject to [state] Department of Education verification. If the returns and statistics and revisions called for by said commissioner are not sent on or before the days specified in this section or if the returns are not certified as required by the commissioner on or before December thirty-first, each local and regional board of education required by law to make separate returns, whose returns and statistics or revisions are delayed until after those days, shall forfeit of the total sum which is paid for such board of education from the State Treasurer an amount to be determined by the State Board of Education, which amount shall be not less than one thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars. The amount so forfeited shall be withheld from a subsequent grant payment as determined by the commissioner. Notwithstanding the penalty provision of this section, the Commissioner of Education may waive said forfeiture for good cause.

Sec. 19. Subsection (b) of section 10-260a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) The [state] Department of Education shall submit to the Auditors of Public Accounts for review any proposed changes in the procedures manual [which] that would alter the method of calculating educational equalization grants.

Sec. 20. Subdivision (3) of subsection (a) of section 10-261 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(3) "Net current expenditures" means total current educational expenditures, less expenditures for (A) pupil transportation; (B) capital expenditures for land, buildings, equipment otherwise supported by a state grant pursuant to chapter 173 and debt service, provided that, with respect to debt service, commencing with the fiscal year ending June 30, 1987, the principal amount of any debt incurred to pay an expense otherwise includable in net current expenditures may be included as part of net current expenditures in annual installments in accordance with a schedule approved by the [state] Department of Education based upon substantially equal principal payments over the life of the debt; (C) adult education; (D) health and welfare services for nonpublic school children; (E) all tuition received on account of nonresident pupils; (F) food services directly attributable to state and federal aid for child nutrition and to receipts derived from the operation of such services; and (G) student activities directly attributable to receipts derived from the operation of such services, except that the town of Woodstock may include as part of the current expenses of its public schools for each school year the amount expended for current expenses in that year by Woodstock Academy from income from its endowment funds upon receipt from said academy of a certified statement of such current expenses, and except that the town of Winchester may include as part of the current expenses of its public schools for each school year the amount expended for current expenses in that year by The Gilbert School from income from its endowment funds upon receipt from said school of a certified statement of such current expenses.

Sec. 21. Subdivision (16) of section 10-262f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(16) "Mastery test data of record" for any examination year means the data of record on the April thirtieth subsequent to the administration of the examinations pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of section 10-14n, except that for the examination years prior to July 1, 1988, the date of the data of record shall be April 30, 1988, and provided beginning with the administration of such examinations during the 1988-1989 school year, and for each such administration thereafter, school districts may, not later than the March first following the administration of an examination, file a request with the [state] Department of Education for an adjustment of the mastery test data from such examination.

Sec. 22. Subdivision (20) of section 10-262f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(20) "Regular program expenditures" means (A) total current educational expenditures less (B) expenditures for (i) special education programs pursuant to subsection (h) of section 10-76f, (ii) pupil transportation eligible for reimbursement pursuant to section 10-266m, (iii) land and capital building expenditures, and equipment otherwise supported by a state grant pursuant to chapter 173, including debt service, provided, with respect to debt service, the principal amount of any debt incurred to pay an expense otherwise includable in regular program expenditures may be included as part of regular program expenditures in annual installments in accordance with a schedule approved by the [state] Department of Education based upon substantially equal principal payments over the life of the debt, (iv) health services for nonpublic school children, (v) adult education, (C) expenditures directly attributable to (i) state grants received by or on behalf of school districts except grants for the categories of expenditures listed in subparagraphs (B)(i) to (B)(v), inclusive, of this subdivision and except grants received pursuant to section 10-262i and section 10-262c of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 1987, and except grants received pursuant to chapter 173, (ii) federal grants received by or on behalf of school districts except for adult education and federal impact aid, and (iii) receipts from the operation of child nutrition services and student activities services, (D) expenditures of funds from private and other sources, and (E) tuition received on account of nonresident students. The town of Woodstock may include as part of the current expenses of its public schools for each school year the amount expended for current expenses in that year by Woodstock Academy from income from its endowment funds upon receipt from said academy of a certified statement of such current expenses. The town of Winchester may include as part of the current expenses of its public school for each school year the amount expended for current expenses in that year by the Gilbert School from income from its endowment funds upon receipt from said school of a certified statement of such current expenses.

Sec. 23. Subsection (e) of section 10-262j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(e) Upon a determination by the State Board of Education that a town or kindergarten to grade twelve, inclusive, regional school district failed in any fiscal year to meet its minimum expenditure requirement pursuant to subsection (a), (c), (d) or (f), as appropriate, of this section, the town or kindergarten to grade twelve, inclusive, regional school district shall forfeit an amount equal to two times the difference between said minimum expenditure requirement and the town's or kindergarten to grade twelve, inclusive, regional school district's actual regular program expenditures. The amount so forfeited shall be withheld by the [state] Department of Education from the grant payable to the town in the second fiscal year immediately following such failure by deducting such amount from the town's equalization aid grant payment pursuant to section 10-262i, except that in the case of a kindergarten to grade twelve, inclusive, regional school district, the amount so forfeited shall be withheld by the [state] Department of Education from the grants payable pursuant to said section 10-262i to the towns which are members of such regional school district. The amounts deducted from such grants to each member town shall be proportional to the number of resident students in each member town. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the State Board of Education may waive such forfeiture upon agreement with the town or kindergarten to grade twelve, inclusive, regional school district that the town or kindergarten to grade twelve, inclusive, regional school district shall exceed its minimum expenditure requirement during the fiscal year in which the forfeiture would occur by an amount not less than the amount of said forfeiture. Any additional funds expended pursuant to such an agreement shall not be included in a district's expenditures for the purpose of establishing any future minimum expenditure requirement.

Sec. 24. Subsection (c) of section 10-264i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) Each local and regional board of education, regional educational service center and cooperative arrangement participating in the grant program shall prepare a financial statement of expenditures which shall be submitted to the Department of Education on or before September first of the fiscal year immediately following each fiscal year in which the school district, regional educational service center or cooperative arrangement participates in the grant program. Based on such statement, any underpayment or overpayment may be calculated and adjusted by the [state] Department of Education in the grant for any subsequent year.

Sec. 25. Subsection (a) of section 10-266u of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The [state] Department of Education shall retain up to two and one-half per cent of the amount appropriated for purposes of section 10-266t for state-wide technical assistance, program monitoring and evaluation, and administration.

Sec. 26. Subsection (c) of section 10-266w of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) Within the limits of available funds, the amount to which each eligible local or regional board of education is entitled for each fiscal year under this section shall be the sum of (1) three thousand dollars for each severe need school in the school district which provides a school breakfast program prorated per one hundred eighty days of the school year; and (2) ten cents per breakfast served in each severe need school. If the amount due eligible boards of education exceeds the amount of funds available, the grants calculated under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be reduced proportionately. In each fiscal year, grants calculated under subdivision (1) of this subsection shall be paid in October, and grants calculated under subdivision (2) of this subsection shall be paid in equal installments in January and May. Based on verification of the data used to calculate such grants, any underpayment or overpayment may be calculated and adjusted by the [state] Department of Education in any subsequent year's grant.

Sec. 27. Subsection (a) of section 10-283 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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.

(2) Each school building project shall be assigned to a category on the basis of whether such project is primarily required to: (A) Create new facilities or alter existing facilities to provide for mandatory instructional programs pursuant to this chapter, for physical education facilities in compliance with Title IX of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1972 where such programs or such compliance cannot be provided within existing facilities or for the correction of code violations which cannot be reasonably addressed within existing program space; (B) create new facilities or alter existing facilities to enhance mandatory instructional programs pursuant to this chapter or provide comparable facilities among schools to all students at the same grade level or levels within the school district unless such project is otherwise explicitly included in another category pursuant to this section; and (C) create new facilities or alter existing facilities to provide supportive services, provided in no event shall such supportive services include swimming pools, auditoriums, outdoor athletic facilities, tennis courts, elementary school playgrounds, site improvement or garages or storage, parking or general recreation areas. All applications submitted prior to the first day of July in any year shall be reviewed promptly by the commissioner and the amount of the grant for which such project is eligible shall be estimated. The commissioner shall annually prepare a listing of all such eligible school building projects listed by category together with the amount of the estimated grants therefor and shall submit the same to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before the fifteenth day of December, except as provided in section 10-283a, with a request for authorization to enter into grant commitments. Each such listing submitted after December 1995 shall include a separate schedule of authorized projects which have changed in scope or cost to a degree determined by the commissioner. The percentage determined pursuant to section 10-285a at the time a school building project on such schedule was originally authorized shall be used for purposes of the grant for such project. The General Assembly shall annually authorize the commissioner to enter into grant commitments on behalf of the state in accordance with the commissioner's categorized listing for such projects as the General Assembly shall determine. The commissioner may not enter into any such grant commitments except pursuant to such legislative authorization. Any regional school district which assumes the responsibility for completion of a public school building project shall be eligible for a grant pursuant to subdivision (5) or (6), as the case may be, of subsection (a) of section 10-286, when such project is completed and accepted by such regional school district.

(3) (A) All final calculations completed by the [department] Department of Education for school building projects authorized on or after July 1, 1996, shall include a computation of the state grant for the school building project amortized on a straight line basis over a twenty-year period for school building projects with costs equal to or greater than two million dollars and over a ten-year period for school building projects with costs less than two million dollars. Any town or regional school district which abandons, sells, leases, demolishes or otherwise redirects the use of such a school building project to other than a public school use during such amortization period shall refund to the state the unamortized balance of the state grant remaining as of the date the abandonment, sale, lease, demolition or redirection occurs. The amortization period for a project shall begin on the date the project was accepted as complete by the local or regional board of education. A town or regional school district required to make a refund to the state pursuant to this subdivision may request forgiveness of such refund if the building is redirected for public use. The department shall include as an addendum to the annual school construction priority list all those towns requesting forgiveness. General Assembly approval of the priority list containing such request shall constitute approval of such request. This subdivision shall not apply to projects pursuant to subsection (b) of this section or projects subject to the provisions of section 10-285c.

(B) Any moneys refunded to the state pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this subdivision shall be deposited in the state's tax-exempt proceeds fund and used within sixty days of repayment to pay debt service on, including redemption, defeasance or purchase of, outstanding bonds of the state the interest on which is not included in gross income pursuant to Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as from time to time amended.

Sec. 28. Subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 10-286 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(1) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1984, and each fiscal year thereafter, in the case of a new school plant, an extension of an existing school building or projects involving the major alteration of any existing building to be used for school purposes, the eligible percentage, as determined in section 10-285a, of the result of multiplying together the number representing the highest projected enrollment, based on data acceptable to the Commissioner of Education, for such building during the eight-year period from the date a local or regional board of education files a notification of a proposed school building project with the [state] Department of Education, the number of gross square feet per pupil determined by the Commissioner of Education to be adequate for the kind of educational program or programs intended, and the eligible cost of such project, divided by the gross square feet of such building, or the eligible percentage, as determined in section 10-285a, of the eligible cost of such project, whichever is less, provided, (A) any such project on which construction was started prior to July 1, 1975, shall be reimbursed under the formula in effect prior to said date, (B) any such project on which construction or payments under this chapter were started after June 30, 1975, but prior to July 31, 1983, shall be reimbursed based upon the data, submitted for each such project and accepted by the [state] Department of Education during said period, representing the number of pupils the plant was designed to accommodate, (C) any project for which final grant calculation has been made after June 30, 1975, but prior to July 31, 1983, shall be reimbursed based upon such final calculation, and (D) any such project for which estimated grant payments were begun prior to July 31, 1983, shall be reimbursed based upon the calculation formula used in making such estimated grant payments.

Sec. 29. Subsection (d) of section 10-287 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) Each town or regional school district shall submit a final grant application to the [state] Department of Education within one year from the date of completion and acceptance of the building project by the town or regional school district. If a town or regional school district fails to submit a final grant application within said period of time, the commissioner may withhold ten per cent of the state reimbursement for such project.

Sec. 30. Section 10-291 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

No school building project for which state assistance is sought shall be undertaken except according to a plan and on a site approved by the [state] Department of Education, the town or regional board of education and by the building committee of such town or district. No such school building project shall be undertaken at an expense exceeding the sum which the town or regional district may appropriate for the project. In the case of a school building project financed in whole or in part by an energy conservation lease purchase agreement, the expense of the project shall not exceed the sum which the town or regional school district approved for the project. A copy of final plans and specifications for each phase of site development and construction of all school building projects and for each phase thereof including site development shall be filed with the Commissioner of Education subject to the provisions of section 10-292 before the start of such phase of development or construction shall be begun. A town or regional school district may commence a phase of development or construction before completion of final plans and specifications for the whole project provided a copy of the latest preliminary plan and cost estimate for such project which has been approved by the town or regional board of education and by the building committee shall be submitted with the final plans and specifications for such phase. Any board of education which, prior to the approval of a grant commitment by the General Assembly, commences any portion of a school construction project or causes any such project to be let out for bid, shall not be eligible for a school construction grant until a grant commitment is so approved.

Sec. 31. Subsection (b) of section 10-292 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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, 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, 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. 32. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 10-292h of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) For school building projects authorized by the General Assembly prior to July 1, 1996, and for projects pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-283 for which application was made prior to July 1, 1997, any incorporated or endowed high school or academy approved by the State Board of Education pursuant to section 10-34 may apply and be eligible subsequently to be considered for interest subsidy grant commitments from the state pursuant to sections 10-292c to 10-292n, inclusive. Applications pursuant to this subsection shall be filed at such time and on such forms as the [state] Department of Education prescribes. The Commissioner of Education shall approve such applications pursuant to the provisions of section 10-292f deemed applicable by the [state] Department of Education.

(b) The amount of any interest subsidy grant approved by said commissioner under this section shall be computed pursuant to the provisions of section 10-292i. Grant payments shall be made in accordance with sections 10-292c to 10-292n, inclusive, as deemed applicable by the [state] Department of Education.

Sec. 33. Subsection (a) of section 10-263e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The Department of Education shall establish, within available appropriations, a competitive safe learning grant program to assist school districts in (1) developing a school environment where children learn in safety without fear of physical or verbal harm or intimidation, (2) activities that encourage respect for each student, (3) decreasing early youth aggression, (4) establishing student conflict and intervention policies and strategies, (5) eliminating bullying behaviors among students, (6) extending safe school environment programs to extracurricular activities, (7) after school programs, [as described in subsection (c) of section 10-223c,] and (8) the development of crisis and violence prevention policies and strategies which make school environments safe. Each local and regional board of education may apply for a grant at such time and in such manner as the Commissioner of Education prescribes.

Sec. 34. Subsection (a) of section 10-95i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Not later than January 1, 1990, and every five years thereafter, the State Board of Education shall adopt a long-range plan of priorities and goals for the regional vocational-technical school system. The plan shall address coordination with other providers of vocational, technical or technological education or training and shall include (1) an analysis of the activities described in subsections (b) and (c) of this section and how such activities relate to the long-range plan of priorities and goals, and (2) a summary of activities related to capital improvements [, and (2)] and equipment pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Upon adoption of the plan, the state board shall file the plan with the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, finance, revenue and bonding and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. The state board shall use the plan in preparing its five-year comprehensive plan pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-4.

Sec. 35. Subsection (a) of section 10-266p of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The State Board of Education shall administer a priority school district grant program to assist certain school districts to improve student achievement and enhance educational opportunities. The grant program shall include the priority school district portions of the grant programs established pursuant to sections 10-16p, 10-265f, 10-265m and 10-266t. The grant program and its component parts shall be for school districts in (1) the eight towns in the state with the largest population, based on the most recent federal decennial census, (2) towns which rank for the first fiscal year of each biennium from one to eleven when all towns are ranked in descending order from one to one hundred sixty-nine based on the number of children under the temporary family assistance program, as defined in subdivision (17) of section 10-262f, plus the mastery count of the town, as defined in subdivision [(9)] (13) of [said] section 10-262f, and (3) towns which rank for the first fiscal year of each biennium one to eleven when all towns are ranked in descending order from one to one hundred sixty-nine based on the ratio of the number of children under the temporary family assistance program as so defined to the resident students of such town, as defined in subdivision [(19)] (22) of [said] section 10-262f, plus the grant mastery percentage of the town, as defined in subdivision [(8)] (12) of [said] section 10-262f. The State Board of Education shall utilize the categorical grant program established under this section and sections 10-266q and 10-266r and other educational resources of the state to work cooperatively with such school districts during any school year to improve their educational programs or to provide early childhood education or early reading intervention programs. The component parts of the grant shall be allocated according to the provisions of sections 10-16p, 10-265f, 10-265m and 10-266t. Subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of section 10-276a, the State Board of Education shall allocate one million dollars to each of the eight towns described in subdivision (1) of this subsection and five hundred thousand dollars to each of the towns described in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection, except the towns described in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall not receive any additional allocation if they are also described in subdivision (2) or (3) of this subsection.

Sec. 36. Subsection (c) of section 10-264l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) (1) The maximum amount each interdistrict magnet school program shall be eligible to receive per enrolled student shall be determined as follows: (A) For each participating district whose magnet school program enrollment is equal to or less than thirty per cent of the magnet school program total enrollment, ninety per cent of the foundation as defined in subdivision [(7)] (9) of section 10-262f; (B) for each participating district whose magnet school program enrollment is greater than thirty per cent but less than or equal to sixty per cent of the magnet school program total enrollment, a percentage between sixty and ninety per cent of said foundation that is inversely proportional to the percentage of magnet school program students from such district; and (C) for each participating district whose magnet school program enrollment is greater than sixty per cent but less than or equal to ninety per cent of the magnet school program total enrollment, a percentage between zero and sixty per cent of said foundation that is inversely proportional to the percentage of magnet school program students from such district. The amounts so determined shall be proportionately adjusted, if necessary, within the limit of the available appropriation, and in no case shall any grant pursuant to this section exceed the reasonable operating budget of the magnet school program, less revenues from other sources. Any magnet school program operating less than full-time but at least half-time shall be eligible to receive a grant equal to sixty-five per cent of the grant amount determined pursuant to this subsection.

(2) For fiscal years ending June 30, 2003, and June 30, 2004, the commissioner may, within available appropriations, provide supplemental grants for the purposes of enhancing educational programs in such interdistrict magnet schools as the commissioner determines. Such grants shall be made after the commissioner has reviewed and approved the total operating budget for such schools, including all revenue and expenditure estimates.

Sec. 37. Subsection (b) of section 4d-82 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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. 38. Subsection (a) of section 10-4o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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] children'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. 39. Subdivision (5) of section 10-16o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(5) Prevent or minimize the potential for developmental delay in children prior to [children] their reaching the age of five.

Sec. 40. Subsection (c) of section 10-27 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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] staff members on leave of absence without pay.

Sec. 41. Subsections (b) and (c) of section 10-76i of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) Said advisory council shall elect annually its own chairperson and other officers as deemed necessary. The council shall meet at least once during each calendar quarter and at such other times as the chairperson deems necessary or upon the request of a majority of members in office. The State Board of Education shall meet at least annually with the council to review the state plan for the provision of special education. A majority of the members in office, but not less than ten, shall constitute a quorum. Any member who fails to attend fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from office. The member appointed by the Commissioner of Education who is an official of the department shall meet with and act as secretary to the advisory council. Members of the advisory council shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for all reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. The [state] Department of Education shall provide secretarial and administrative assistance to facilitate the activity of the advisory council. The Department of Higher Education shall appoint a liaison person to the advisory council.

(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 eligibility documents for provision of special education; (5) comment publicly on any procedures necessary for distributing federal funds received pursuant to the 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; (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. 42. Subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 10-95m of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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 postgraduation survey, (B) using such results, predict the probability of a vocational-technical school [student] student's 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.

Sec. 43. Section 10-98a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

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

Sec. 44. Subdivision (1) of subsection (l) of section 10-145b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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, 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] their 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 a certificate, upon application, shall be reissued a professional educator certificate for a period of time equal to six months for each year 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 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. 45. Subsection (b) of section 10-155d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) The Department of Higher Education, with the approval of the Commissioner of Education, shall expand, within available appropriations, participation in its summer alternate route to certification program and its [week-end] weekend and evening alternate route to certification program. The department shall expand the [week-end] weekend and evening program for participants seeking certification in a subject shortage area pursuant to section 10-8b. The department, in collaboration with the Department of Education, shall develop (1) a regional alternate route to certification programs targeted to the subject shortage areas, and (2) an alternate route to certification program for former teachers whose certificates have expired and who are interested in resuming their teaching careers.

Sec. 46. Section 10-221l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The Department of Education shall develop, within available appropriations, a State-Wide Early Reading Success Institute for educators based on the review completed by the Early Reading Success Panel pursuant to section 10-221j and the assessments conducted pursuant to section 10-221k. The institute shall commence operation in the 2000-2001 school year. The institute shall use a training curriculum that incorporates comprehensive instruction in reading as determined by the Early Reading Success Panel pursuant to section 10-221j, to include, but not be limited to: (1) Instructional strategies that can be adapted for each student's needs; (2) early screening and ongoing assessment to determine which individual students need additional instruction; (3) teaching of oral language competencies, including phonological awareness, vocabulary, listening comprehension and grammatical skills; (4) systematic teaching of word identification skills including phonics instruction and instruction in phonemic awareness; and (5) teaching of comprehension competencies, including the use of context to infer meaning.

Sec. 47. Subsection (d) of section 10-265f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) In the case of proposals for intensive early intervention reading programs including after-school and summer programs, the plan shall: (1) Incorporate the competencies required for early reading success, critical indicators for teacher intervention and the components of a high quality early reading success curriculum in accordance with the findings of the Early Reading Success Panel delineated in section 10-221l; (2) provide for a period of time each day of individualized or small group instruction for each student; (3) provide for monitoring of students and follow-up in subsequent grades, documentation of continuous classroom observation of student's reading behaviors and establishment of performance indicators aligned with the state-wide mastery examinations under chapter 163c, the findings of the Early Reading Success Panel pursuant to section 10-221j and other methodologies for assessing reading competencies established by the department pursuant to section 10-221i; (4) include a professional development component for teachers in grades kindergarten to three, inclusive, that emphasizes the teaching of reading and reading readiness and assessment of reading competency based on the findings of the Early Reading Success Panel pursuant to section 10-221j; (5) provide for parental involvement and ensure that parents have access to information on strategies that may be used at home to improve prereading or reading skills; (6) provide for data collection and program evaluation; and (7) include any additional information the commissioner deems relevant.

Sec. 48. Subsection (a) of section 10-266aa of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Receiving district" means any school district that accepts students under the program established pursuant to this section; [and]

(2) "Sending district" means any school district that sends students it would otherwise be legally responsible for educating to another school district under the program; and

(3) "Minority students" means students who are "pupils of racial minorities", as defined in section 10-226a.

Sec. 49. Subsection (b) of section 10-285a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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 subdivision (1) of this subsection, and (3) dividing the total computed under subdivision (2) of this subsection 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 plus ten per cent, except that no such percentage shall exceed eighty-five per cent.

Sec. 50. Section 10-66hh of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

For the fiscal years ending June 30, 2002, and June 30, 2003, the Commissioner of Education shall establish, within available appropriations and bond authorizations, a grant program to assist state charter schools in financing (1) school building projects, as defined in section 10-282, (2) general improvements to school buildings, as defined in subsection (a) of section 10-265h, and (3) repayment of debt incurred for prior school building projects. Eligibility for such grants shall be limited to state charter schools whose charters were renewed in the prior fiscal year pursuant to subsection (g) of section 10-66bb. The governing [authority] authorities of such state charter schools may apply for such grants to the Department of Education at such time and in such manner as the commissioner prescribes. Each state charter school may receive no more than one grant under this section and no grant under this section shall exceed five hundred thousand dollars.

Approved June 3, 2003