Connecticut Seal

Senate Bill No. 534

Public Act No. 04-26

AN ACT CONCERNING MINOR TECHNICAL REVISIONS TO THE EDUCATION STATUTES.

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

Section 1. Subdivision (2) of subsection (d) of section 10-16p of the general statutes, as amended by section 32 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(2) (A) Commencing with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, if a town received a grant pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection for a priority school and is no longer eligible to receive such a grant for such school, the town may receive a phase-out grant for each of the three fiscal years following the fiscal year such town received its final grant for such school pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(B) The amount of such phase-out grants shall be determined [in accordance with subparagraph (B) of this subdivision. ] as follows:

[(B)] (i) For the first fiscal year following the fiscal year such town received its final priority school grant for such school pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, in an amount that does not exceed seventy-five per cent of the grant amount such town received for such school for the school's final year of eligibility pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection; [. ] (ii) [For] for the second fiscal year following the fiscal year such town received its final priority school grant for such school pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, in an amount that does not exceed fifty per cent of the grant amount such town received for such school for the school's final year of eligibility pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection; [. ] (iii) [For] for the third fiscal year following the fiscal year such town received its final priority school grant for such school pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, in an amount that does not exceed twenty-five per cent of the grant amount such town received for such school for the school's final year of eligibility pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

Sec. 2. Subsection (f) of section 10-66j of the general statutes, as amended by section 12 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2004, and June 30, 2005, the amount of grants payable to regional educational service centers [,] shall be reduced proportionately if the total of such grants in such year exceeds the amount appropriated for such grants for such year.

Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 10-155d of the general statutes, as amended by section 45 of public act 03-76, 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 weekend and evening alternate route to certification program. The department shall expand the 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] program 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. 4. Subsection (d) of section 10-220 of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 03-220, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) Prior to January 1, 2008, and every five years thereafter, for every school building that is or has been constructed, extended, renovated or replaced on or after January 1, 2003, a local or regional board of education shall provide for a uniform inspection and evaluation program of the indoor air quality within such buildings, such as the Environmental Protection Agency's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools Program. The inspection and evaluation program shall include, but not be limited to, a review, inspection or evaluation of the following: (1) The heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; (2) radon levels in the water and the air; (3) potential for exposure to microbiological airborne particles, including, but not limited to, fungi, mold and bacteria; (4) chemical compounds of concern to indoor air quality including, but not limited to, volatile organic compounds; (5) the degree of pest infestation, including, but not limited to, [insect] insects and rodents; (6) the degree of pesticide usage; (7) the presence of and the plans for removal of any hazardous substances that are contained on the list prepared pursuant to Section 302 of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, 42 USC 9601 et seq. ; (8) ventilation systems; (9) plumbing, including water distribution systems, drainage systems and fixtures; (10) moisture incursion; (11) the overall cleanliness of the facilities; (12) building structural elements, including, but not limited to, roofing, basements or slabs; (13) the use of space, particularly areas that were designed to be unoccupied; and (14) the provision of indoor air quality maintenance training for building staff. Local and regional boards of education conducting evaluations pursuant to this subsection shall make available for public inspection the results of the inspection and evaluation at a regularly scheduled board of education meeting.

Sec. 5. Subsection (h) of section 10-266t of the general statutes, as amended by section 14 of public act 03-174, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(h) Notwithstanding subsections (d) and (e) of this section, a school district may charge fees for participation in after-school academic enrichment, support or recreational programs, provided the fees are calculated on a sliding scale based on ability to pay and [that] no fee exceeds seventy-five per cent of the average cost of participation. No school district may exclude a student from participation in such after-school academic enrichment, support and recreational programs due to inability to pay a fee.

Sec. 6. Subsection (e) of section 10-266aa of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 03-168, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(e) Once the program is in operation in the region served by a regional educational service center pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the Department of Education shall provide an annual grant to such [a] regional educational service center to assist school districts in its area in administering the program and to provide staff to assist students participating in the program to make the transition to a new school and to act as a liaison between the parents of such students and the new school district. Each regional educational service center shall determine which school districts in its area are located close enough to a priority school district to make participation in the program feasible in terms of student transportation pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, provided any student participating in the program prior to July 1, 1999, shall be allowed to continue to attend the same school such student attended prior to said date in the receiving district until the student completes the highest grade in such school. Each regional educational service center shall convene, annually, a meeting of representatives of such school districts in order for such school districts to report, by March thirty-first, the number of spaces available for the following school year for out-of-district students under the program. Annually, each regional educational service center shall provide a count of such spaces to the Department of Education by April fifteenth. If there are more students who seek to attend school in a receiving district than there are spaces available, the regional educational service center shall assist the school district in determining attendance by the use of a lottery or lotteries designed to preserve or increase racial, ethnic and economic diversity, except that the regional educational service center shall give preference to siblings and to students who would otherwise attend a school that has lost its accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or has been identified as in need of improvement pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, P. L. 107-110. The admission policies shall be consistent with section 10-15c and this section. No receiving district shall recruit students under the program for athletic or extracurricular purposes. Each receiving district shall allow out-of-district students it accepts to attend school in the district until they graduate from high school.

Sec. 7. Subsection (b) of section 10-281 of the general statutes, as amended by section 203 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2004, and June 30, 2005, the amount of the grants payable to local or regional boards of education in accordance with this section shall be reduced proportionately if the total of such grants in such year exceeds the amount appropriated for purposes of this section.

Sec. 8. Subdivision (4) of subsection (b) of section 10-291 of the general statutes, as amended by section 30 of public act 03-76 and section 6 of public act 03-220, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(4) In the case of a new construction, extension, renovation or replacement, the plans do not [include a plan] provide that the building maintenance staff responsible for such facility are trained in or are receiving training in, or that the applicant plans to provide training in, the appropriate areas of plant operations including, but not limited to, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems pursuant to section 10-231e, with specific training relative to indoor air quality.

Sec. 9. Subsection (d) of section 10-292o of the general statutes, as amended by section 11 of public act 03-6 of the June 30 special session, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(d) The amount of the regional educational service center lease grant approved by the Commissioner of Education under the provisions of this section shall be the eligible percentage, as determined in subsection (c) of section 10-285a, as amended, times the eligible lease costs as determined by the Commissioner of Education. Grants pursuant to this section shall be paid on a current year basis if the regional educational service center files an application to lease a facility with the [state] Department of Education on or before August first of each year. No such facility or portion thereof shall be eligible for a grant under this section unless the local fire marshal has declared the facility suitable for occupancy as a facility for use in furnishing educational programs and services. Eligible costs pursuant to this section shall be limited to the lease cost of the building, net of any other costs. Grant payments shall be made as follows: Twenty-five per cent of the estimated cost in October, twenty-five per cent of the estimated cost in January, and the balance of the estimated cost in April. The actual cost will be reported on or before September first following the year of application on the end of school year report filed by each regional educational service center. If the Commissioner of Education determines that there has been an underpayment or overpayment in a grant made pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall calculate the amount of the underpayment or overpayment and shall adjust the amount of the grant payment for the fiscal year next following the fiscal year in which such underpayment or overpayment was made. The amount of the adjustment shall be equal to the amount of the underpayment or overpayment. If the amount of the overpayment exceeds the grant payment for the fiscal year next following the fiscal year in which such overpayment was made, the regional educational service center shall, upon the request of the commissioner, pay the department the difference. Any lease pursuant to this section shall be for a period not to exceed twenty years. In no event shall the reimbursement pursuant to this section be based upon a cost per square foot which exceeds the cost determined to be reasonable by the Commissioner of Education. In the case of any grants computed under this section, any federal funds or other state funds received for such costs covered by the grant shall be deducted from cost estimates prior to computation of the grant. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2004, and June 30, 2005, the amount of the grants payable to regional educational service centers in accordance with this section [,] shall be reduced proportionately if the total of such grants in such year exceeds the amount appropriated for the purposes of this section for such year.

Approved April 28, 2004