Location:
EDUCATIONAL LAW AND LEGISLATION;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


EDUCATION

Judith Lohman, Assistant Director

Terrance Adams, Associate Legislative Analyst

2012-R-0198 (Revised)

June 29, 2012

NOTICE TO READERS

This report provides brief highlights of new laws affecting education enacted during the 2012 regular and June 12 special sessions. Each summary indicates the public act (PA) number and effective date.

Not all provisions of the acts are included here. Complete summaries of all 2012 public acts will be available when OLR publishes its Public Act Summary book; some are already on OLR's website (www.cga.ct.gov/olr/OLRPASums.asp).

Readers are encouraged to obtain the full text of acts that interest them from the Connecticut State Library, House Clerks Office, or General Assembly's website (www.cga.ct.gov).

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACCOUNTABILITY AND ACHIEVEMENT 7

Measuring Student Achievement in School Districts and Schools 7

Alliance Districts and Educational Reform Districts 7

Commissioner's Network of Schools 7

Bond Authorizations for High-Quality School Models and
Low-Performing Schools
8

Achievement Gap Task Force Reporting Deadlines 8

CHARTER SCHOOLS 9

Grants to State Charter Schools 9

Grants to Local Charter Schools 9

Charter School Approval Conditions 9

Enrollment Lotteries 9

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION/SCHOOL READINESS 10

New School Readiness Program Spaces 10

Increased School Readiness Allocation 10

Early Childhood Education Facility Study 10

Bond Authorization for School Readiness Facilities 10

Early Childhood Educator Requirements 11

Unspent School Readiness Funds 11

Early Childhood Quality Rating and Improvement System 11

Responsibility for Childcare Programs 11

Head Start Advisory Committee 11

GRANTS AND FUNDING 12

Education Cost Sharing (ECS) Grants 12

Wraparound Services Grant Program 12

Parent University Pilot Program 12

Educational Reform District Science Grant Program 12

Municipal Aid for New Teachers 12

Summer School and Extended Day Grant Phase-Outs for
For
mer Priority School Districts
13

School District Cost-Saving Grants 13

Open Choice Program Incentive for Larger Districts 13

Youth Service Bureau (YSB) Grants 13

Youth Service Bureau (YSB) Enhancement Grants 13

School Breakfast Program 13

Allocations from the Probate Court Administration Surplus 14

Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP) Program Reports 14

HEALTH AND SAFETY 14

Family Resource Centers and School-Based Health Centers 14

School-Based Health Center Communications Agreement 14

FoodCorps in Connecticut Fund Transfer 15

Nutritional Rating Pilot Program 15

Statewide School Nutritional Food Procurement Guide 15

Students with Diabetes or Glycogen Storage Disease 15

School Medical Advisors 16

Physical Activity Requirement for K-5 Students 16

Coordinated School Health Pilot Program 16

Training Students in CPR and Use of AEDs 16

Age Disparity of Private School Students Riding School Busses 16

INTERDISTRICT MAGNET SCHOOLS 17

Grant Increases for Non-Sheff Magnet Schools 17

Bond Authorization for Sheff Magnet Schools 17

Sheff Magnet School Supplemental Transportation Grants 17

Three Rivers Community College Magnet School 17

Hartford and the Great Path Academy 18

Bloomfield Magnet School Diversity Exemption 18

Magnet School Operating Grant Adjustments 18

Reading 18

Intensive Early Reading Program 18

Statewide Reading Assessments 19

Statewide K-3 Reading Plan 19

Incentive Program to Improve Reading 19

Pre-Literacy Course 19

Oral Language and Pre-Literacy Information-Sharing System 20

Even Start Family Literacy Program Grants 20

SCHOOL construction 20

Projects Authorized 20

Transfer of Certain School Construction Responsibilities 20

State Reimbursement for Certain Interdistrict Projects 20

SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND BOARDS OF EDUCATION 21

ECS Minimum Budget Requirement 21

Minimum Local Funding Requirements for Alliance Districts 21

Uniform System of Accounting and Chart of Accounts 21

Electoral Process for Reconstituted School Boards 21

Education Loan to Bridgeport 21

K-16 Curricular Alignment and Pilot Program 22

Information on School Choice Options 22

Study of Small District Issues 22

Report on Efforts to Reduce Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Isolation in Schools 22

Changes to Reflect Increased School Dropout Age 23

Updated Minimum Local Financing Requirement for Education 23

SPECIAL EDUCATION 23

Use of Restraint or Seclusion 23

Minority Students Identified for Special Education 23

Planning and Placement Teams (PPT) Information for Parents 24

Teacher Training in Implementing IEPs 24

Special Education Excess Cost Grant 24

Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children 24

American School for the Deaf 24

Special Education Advisory Council 25

Special Education Payments for Children in DMHAS Facilities 25

STATE BOARD AND STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 25

SDE Website Information 25

After-School Program Report 25

TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS, AND OTHER SCHOOL EMPLOYEES 25

Certification and Qualifications 25

Professional Development 26

Annual Evaluations for Teachers and Administrators 26

Tenure and Termination 27

Reading Instruction Tests for Teachers 27

Superintendents and Acting Superintendents 27

Teaching Bilingual Education or English Language Learners 28

Information Submitted for Employee Background Checks 28

Retired Teachers' Health Insurance 28

Teacher's Retirement Benefits for Certain Surviving Spouses 28

VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL (v-t) SCHOOLS, VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE (vo-aG) pROGRAMS, and student job training programs 29

Technical High School System Governing Board and Budget 29

Services Provided by CTHSS Students 29

Per-Student Grant for Vo-Ag Centers 29

Minors Working in Manufacturing or Mechanical Internships 30

Exemption from Water System Operator Certification Fee 30

HIGHER EDUCATION 30

Remedial Education 30

Transfer and Articulation 30

Sexual Violence on College Campuses 31

AED Requirements for Higher Education Athletic Departments 31

Higher Education Trends 31

Board of Regents Faculty Advisory Committee 32

UConn 32

Compliance Audits 32

Office of Financial and Academic Affairs for Higher Education 33

Capitol Scholarship Program 33

Community College Adjunct Faculty Retirement 33

Department of Labor Information Sharing 33

Financial Aid Program Data 33

CHEFA and CHESLA Merger 34

Live Here, Learn Here Program 34

Exemption from Competitive Bidding Requirements for
Technology Purchases
34

UConn Health Center (UCHC) Fringe Benefits 34

College Transition Pilot Programs 35

Business Innovation Assistance Program 35

Kirklyn M. Kerr Program 35

MUSEUMS 35

Museum Authority Over Loaned Property 35

Connecticut Treasures Program 35

ACCOUNTABILITY AND ACHIEVEMENT

Measuring Student Achievement in School Districts and Schools

The education reform act revamps the state's education accountability law and establishes a new system for identifying how well schools and school districts are performing based on student achievement on statewide mastery tests and other factors. It establishes new categories of schools and districts in order to take action to improve academic achievement.

The act creates two measurements, called the district performance index (DPI) and the school performance index (SPI), based on student test scores. It uses DPIs to designate two categories of low-performing districts: (1) educational reform districts, which are the 10 districts with the lowest student achievement, and (2) alliance districts, which are the 30 districts with lowest student achievement. It uses SPIs and certain other factors to sort schools into five categories and requires different state responses and interventions for schools depending upon their category.

The act also allows the State Department of Education (SDE) to publicly recognize exemplary schools and promote their best practices. (PA 12-116, 13, 18, & 34, effective on passage)

Alliance Districts and Educational Reform Districts

The act makes Education Costs Sharing (ECS) grant increases to the 30 towns with the lowest-performing school districts (“alliance districts”) conditional. Release of the additional funds to alliance district towns is contingent on the education commissioner's approval of the district's plan to improve student and school performance through such methods as extended learning time, improved reading programs, and additional training for teachers and other staff. Districts must spend the increased state funds to implement the approved plan.

The act also establishes a subset of the alliance districts called educational reform districts. These are the 10 districts with the lowest student performance. In addition to the conditional ECS funding, the act targets additional support and services to the educational reform districts. (PA 12-116, 34, as amended by PA 12-2, June 12 Special Session, 22, effective on passage)

Commissioner's Network of Schools

The act creates the “commissioner's network of schools” as a means for the state to intervene in the lowest-performing schools and raise student academic achievement. By July 1, 2014, it requires the education commissioner to select up to 25 schools for the network. The selected schools must begin implementing school turnaround plans by that date.

When a school is chosen for the network, its school district must create a turnaround committee that includes parents and teachers, to develop a turnaround plan for the school based on a menu of school improvement models specified in the act. If the plan is deficient or the committee fails to submit a plan, the education commissioner can use the act's models to develop his own plan for the school. The act provides for a streamlined collective bargaining process when union contracts need modification in order to carry out the turnaround plan.

The act allows a turnaround committee or the commissioner to choose various nonprofit or government entities to govern or manage network schools, but limits to six the number that can be run by private nonprofit entities, including charter school management organizations, that meet the act's criteria. It requires any nonprofit educational management company that runs a commissioner's network school to report annually to the commissioner about the school's operations and the organization's finances and fees.

The commissioner must provide funding, technical assistance, and operational support to commissioner's network schools. The State Board of Education (SBE) must pay any cost of implementing a turnaround plan that exceeds the school's ordinary operating expenses. (PA 12-116, 19 & 22, as amended by PA 12-2, June 12 Special Session, 14-18, effective on passage)

Bond Authorizations for High-Quality School Models and Low-Performing Schools

In support of the education reform act, the legislature authorized (1) up to $25 million in state general obligation (GO) bonds for alterations, repairs, improvements, technology, equipment, acquisition, and capital startup costs to expand availability of high-quality school models and (2) up to $16 million in GO bonds for alterations, repairs, improvements, technology, and equipment in low-performing schools in targeted local and regional school districts. (PA 12-189, 9, effective July 1, 2012)

Achievement Gap Task Force Reporting Deadlines

The implementer act postpones reporting deadlines for the Achievement Gap Task Force. (PA 12-1, June 12, Special Session, 235, effective on passage)

CHARTER SCHOOLS

Grants to State Charter Schools

The education reform act increases the state's annual per-student grant to state charter schools over three years from $9,400 to $11,500. (PA 12-116, 29-31, as amended by PA 12-2, June 12 Special Session, 19-21 & 25-27, effective July 1, 2012)

Grants to Local Charter Schools

Starting in FY 14, the education reform act allows SBE to approve (1) operating grants of up to $3,000 per student and (2) startup grants of up to $500,000 for local charter schools. To receive a grant (1) the board of education for the charter school and the union representing the board's certified employees must mutually agree on staffing flexibility in the school and SBE must approve the agreement and (2) the school must have either (a) high-quality, feasible strategies for, or a record of success in, serving educationally needy students or (b) a high-quality, feasible plan for, or a record of success in, turning around existing schools with consistently substandard student performance. (PA 12-116, 29-31, effective July 1, 2012)

Charter School Approval Conditions

Starting July 1, 2012, the education reform act allows SBE to grant new state and local charters only to schools located in towns that, at the time of the application, have (1) at least one school participating in the commissioner's network or (2) a school district designated as low-achieving under the state's new accountability measures. In addition, two of the first four new state charter schools the SBE approves between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2017 must be schools providing a dual language or other program models focusing on language acquisition by English language learners (ELLs).

The act also requires SBE, in approving charters, to give preference to applicants whose primary purpose is to (1) serve educationally needy students or (2) improve the academic performance of an existing school with consistently substandard academic performance. (PA 12-116, 32, effective July 1, 2012)

Enrollment Lotteries

The act allows SBE to waive the required enrollment lottery for charter schools that are designed for educationally needy students. In addition, any public school with an SPI that places it in the lowest-performing 5% of schools that converts to a local charter school must keep the same students and is barred from holding an enrollment lottery.

Finally, SDE must study “opt-out lotteries” for determining state and local charter school enrollment. Such lotteries automatically include all students who (1) live in the district where the school is located and (2) are enrolled in any grade the school serves, unless a student chooses not to participate. (PA 12-116, 32-33, effective July 1, 2012)

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION/SCHOOL READINESS

New School Readiness Program Spaces

The education reform act approves funding for 1,000 new spaces in school readiness programs. Half must be located in educational reform districts, while the other half are split equally between (1) other priority and former priority districts and (2) competitive districts, which are districts not included in either of the other two categories but that are either among the 50 poorest in the state or have one or more schools with high concentrations of low-income students. (PA 12-116, 1, effective on passage)

Increased School Readiness Allocation

The budget act increases FY 13 funding from the priority school district grant for school readiness by $5.8 million. (PA 12-104, 9, effective July 1, 2012

Early Childhood Education Facility Study

The education reform act allocates up to $80,000 of any unspent funds appropriated for new school readiness spaces to the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority to update its 2008 study of the space and facilities needed to implement access to universal early childhood education for all three- and four-year-olds in the state. (PA 12-116, 2, effective on passage)

Bond Authorization for School Readiness Facilities

The 2012 bond act authorizes up to $10 million in state GO bonds for grants to towns and tax-exempt organizations for facility improvements and minor capital repairs to licensed school readiness programs and state-funded day care centers they operate. (PA 12-189, 9, effective July 1, 2012)

Early Childhood Educator Requirements

A new law makes several changes in early childhood educators' required qualifications. It (1) modifies (a) the types of schools from which individuals may earn a qualifying degree and (b) the programs to which the requirements apply; (2) requires staff members who are exempt from meeting the qualifications and who accept employment with a different school readiness program to submit documentation on their progress toward meeting the qualifications; and (3) requires staff members, rather than school readiness programs, to apply for any unspent school readiness funds to help them meet the qualifications. (PA 12-50, effective July 1, 2012)

Unspent School Readiness Funds

The implementer act allows unspent school readiness funds reserved for helping early childhood education program staff members meet statutory qualifications to be available for early childhood professional development offered by a professional development and program improvement system within the Connecticut State University System (“Connecticut Charts-a-Course”). (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 286, effective July 1, 2012)

Early Childhood Quality Rating and Improvement System

A new act makes SDE responsible for developing a quality rating and improvement system for home-, center-, and school-based early child care and learning and requires the early childhood system that must be developed by July 1, 2013 to incorporate SDE's rating system. (PA 12-116, 3, effective on passage)

Responsibility for Childcare Programs

A new act transfers from the Department of Social Services commissioner to the education commissioner authority to (1) contract for, and provide state financial assistance to, towns, human resource development agencies, and nonprofits for child daycare and other childcare programs and (2) establish guidelines for, and oversee, the programs. (PA 12-120 2, effective on passage)

Head Start Advisory Committee

A new law increases the membership of the Head Start advisory committee from 12 to 14 and revises required qualifications for certain members. (PA 12-120, 13, effective on passage)

GRANTS AND FUNDING

Education Cost Sharing (ECS) Grants

The education reform act increases FY 13 ECS grants to 136 of the state's 169 towns. These grant increases total $50 million. (PA 12-116, 59-61, effective July 1, 2012)

Wraparound Services Grant Program

The implementer act requires the education commissioner, within available appropriations, to establish a program to provide grants to educational reform districts for: (1) social-emotional behavioral supports, (2) family involvement and support, (3) student engagement, (4) physical health and wellness, and (5) social work and case management. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 232, effective July 1, 2012)

Parent University Pilot Program

For FY 13, the implementer act requires SDE to provide grants for a parent university pilot program in two educational reform districts. Each parent university must provide educational opportunities for parents district-wide and for those whose children attend certain schools and who live in certain neighborhoods. (PA 12-1, June 12, Special Session, 233, effective July 1, 2012)

Educational Reform District Science Grant Program

The implementer act requires the education commissioner to establish a grant program for educational reform districts to improve the academic performance of students in kindergarten through 8th grade in science, reading, and numeracy. In awarding grants, the commissioner must prioritize (1) programs partnering with schools with a record of low science performance and (2) after-school elementary programs with a record of improving science performance. (PA 12-1, June 12, Special Session, 234, effective July 1, 2012)

Municipal Aid for New Teachers

The education reform act establishes a program starting in FY 14 to provide an annual grant to each educational reform district to allow it to hire five students per year who are graduating in the top 10% of their classes from teacher preparation programs at Connecticut colleges and universities. (PA 12-116, 10, effective July 1, 2012)

Summer School and Extended Day Grant Phase-Outs for Former Priority School Districts

Starting with FY 14, a new act requires state priority school district grants for summer school and extended school hours to phase out over three years when a district is no longer designated a priority district. (PA 12-116, 65 & 66), effective July 1, 2012)

School District Cost-Saving Grants

A new law allows the education commissioner to provide grants for technical assistance and regional cooperation to help school districts develop plans to implement significant cost savings while maintaining or improving educational quality. (PA 12-116, 11, effective July 1, 2012)

Open Choice Program Incentive for Larger Districts

The education reform act provides an additional incentive for larger school districts to increase their enrollment of out-of-district students under the Open Choice interdistrict public school attendance program. It does so by giving districts with more than 4,000 students the highest state Open Choice grant ($6,000 for each out-of-district student) if they increase their Open Choice enrollment by at least 50% as of October 1, 2012. (PA 12-116, 12, effective July 1, 2012)

Youth Service Bureau (YSB) Grants

The implementer act effectively increases the number of youth service bureaus (YSBs) by making any YSB eligible for state grants starting in FY 13 if it applied by June 30, 2012, rather than by June 30, 2007, after receiving approval for its town's matching contribution. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 230, effective on passage)

Youth Service Bureau (YSB) Enhancement Grants

The state gives each YSB an enhancement grant of between $3,300 and $10,000 based on the population of the town or group of towns it serves. Starting with FY 13, a new law caps aggregate grants at the appropriated amount and requires each YSB's grant to be proportionately reduced if the annual appropriation does not to cover the full payments. (PA 12-120, 3, effective July 1, 2012)

School Breakfast Program

A new law expands eligibility for competitive grants to help schools establish in-classroom school breakfast programs by making schools eligible if at least 20%, rather than 40%, of the lunches they serve are free or reduced-price. (PA 12-120, 11, effective on passage)

Allocations from the Probate Court Administration Surplus

The act transfers funds from the FY 12 Probate Court Administration Fund surplus to SDE for the following grants:

1. $25,000 for Arte, Inc. in New Haven,

2. $75,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Connecticut,

3. $500,000 for technology improvements or initiatives in educational reform districts,

4. $50,000 for scholarships to the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven,

5. $125,000 to Prince Tech in Hartford for an adult education training program in carpentry, manufacturing, and information systems,

6. $150,000 to Bridgeport for the Lighthouse After School Program, and

7. $50,000 for the Connecticut Writing Project.

(PA 12-104, 17, as amended by PA 12-1, 116, effective upon passage)

Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP) Program Reports

A new act requires LEAP grantees to submit (1) required program and financial reports and grant fund audits to SDE rather than the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and (2) the reports annually rather than quarterly. (PA 12-120, 27, effective on passage)

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Family Resource Centers and School-Based Health Centers

For the 2012-13 school year, the education reform act requires the (1) education commissioner to establish at least 10 new family resource centers and (2) public health commissioner to establish or expand at least 20 school-based health centers (SBHCs), in alliance districts. (PA 12-116, 8, effective July 1, 2012)

School-Based Health Center Communications Agreement

By July 1, 2013, a new law requires each SBHC that receives operational funding from the Department of Public Health to make an agreement with its school's local or regional board of education establishing minimum standards for communications between the SBHC and the school's nurses or nurse practitioners. (PA 12-1, June 12, Special Session, 96, effective on passage)

FoodCorps in Connecticut Fund Transfer

The implementer act transfers $27,000 to UConn's Cooperative Extension Service to coordinate FoodCorps in Connecticut for FY 13. FoodCorps is a national organization that sponsors young adults dedicating a year of public service to help bring healthy food education and choices to school children. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 237, effective July 1, 2012)

Nutritional Rating Pilot Program

The implementer act requires the education commissioner to establish a school nutritional rating system pilot grant program to be implemented in school districts for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. The program must provide grants of up to $50,000 to between three and five school districts of varying sizes to adopt and implement a nutritional rating system that meets the act's criteria. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 238, effective July 1, 2012)

Statewide School Nutritional Food Procurement Guide

The implementer act requires the education commissioner, after consulting with school food service directors, to submit a report and recommendations to the Education Committee, by July 1, 2013, on establishing a statewide food procurement guide for use by school boards. The report must contain nutritional rating information for most commonly procured school food items. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 239, effective July 1, 2012)

Students with Diabetes or Glycogen Storage Disease

A new law (1) allows a qualified school employee selected by the school nurse or principal to administer an emergency glucagon injection to a student with diabetes under certain conditions and (2) bars a school district from restricting the time or place where a student with diabetes may test his or her blood-glucose levels in school, if the student has written permission from his parents or guardian and a written order from his or her Connecticut-licensed physician.

For students with glycogen storage disease, the act requires school districts to develop individualized health care and action plans that allow the students' parents or guardians, or those they designate, to administer food or dietary supplements to them on school grounds during the school day. (PA 12-198, 1, 2, 6, & 7, effective on passage).

School Medical Advisors

A new law revises and updates school medical advisors' duties and responsibilities to include (1) planning and administering each school's health program, (2) advising and consulting on school health services and environments, and (3) performing other duties as agreed between the advisor and his or her appointing school board. (PA 12-120, 25 and PA 12-198, 3, effective July 1, 2012)

Physical Activity Requirement for K-5 Students

A new law requires public schools to include at least 20 minutes of physical exercise, instead of an unspecified period of physical activity, in each regular school day for students in kindergarten through grade five. (PA 12-198, 5 and PA 12-116, 9, effective July 1, 2012)

Coordinated School Health Pilot Program

For FY 13, the implementer act requires the education commissioner to establish a pilot program to provide grants to two educational reform districts to coordinate school health, education, and wellness and reduce childhood obesity. Pilot programs must enhance student health, promote academic achievement, and reduce childhood obesity by bringing together school staff, students, families, and community members to (1) assess health needs; (2) establish priorities; and (3) plan, implement, and evaluate school health activities. (PA 12-1, June 12, Special Session, 231, effective July 1, 2012)

Training Students in CPR and Use of AEDs

A new law requires the SBE to make available curriculum and other material to help and encourage school districts to offer training to students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). (PA 12-198, 4, effective July 1, 2012)

Age Disparity of Private School Students Riding School Busses

A new law requires the supervisory agent for each private school that receives school transportation services from the local or regional school board where it is located to develop and implement a policy to notify students' parents and guardians when there may be an age difference of at least 10 years among students riding the same school bus. (PA 12-132, 48, effective July 1, 2012)

INTERDISTRICT MAGNET SCHOOLS

Grant Increases for Non-Sheff Magnet Schools

The education reform act increases annual state per-pupil operating grants for non-Sheff interdistrict magnet schools as shown below:

School Type

Per-Student Grant Increase

From

To

Operated by local school district (“host magnet”)

$6,730

$7,085

Operated by RESC (“RESC magnet') with less than 55% of its students from a single town

$7,620

$7,900

RESC magnet with 55% or more of its students from a single town (“dominant town”), with one exception (see below)

For each student from outside the dominant town:

$6,730

For each student from outside the dominant town: $7,085

RESC magnet with between 55% and 80% of students from a dominant town

For each student from outside the dominant town:

$6,730

For each student from the dominant town: $3,833

For each student regardless of originating town: $8,180

(PA 12-116, 63, effective July 1, 2012)

Bond Authorization for Sheff Magnet Schools

The bond act authorizes up to $13.6 million in state GO bonds for interdistrict magnet schools that help the state meet the 2008 Sheff v. O'Neill settlement agreement and court order. Eligible costs include purchasing a building or portable classrooms; leasing space; and purchasing equipment, including computers and classroom furniture. (PA 12-189, 9, effective July 1, 2012).

Sheff Magnet School Supplemental Transportation Grants

The implementer act (1) authorizes the education commissioner to provide supplemental transportation grants for FY 12 to RESCs that transport students to Sheff interdistrict magnet schools, (2) requires him to select the auditor when he asks for an independent financial review of a RESC's transportation activities, and (3) changes the grant payment schedule to hold back more of the funds pending the financial review. (PA 12-1, June Special Session, 282, effective July 1, 2012)

Three Rivers Community College Magnet School

A new law makes the community-technical colleges board of trustees eligible for state interdistrict magnet school construction, operating, and transportation grants on behalf of an interdistrict magnet school operated by Three Rivers Community College. (PA 12-120, 22-24, effective July 1, 2012)

Hartford and the Great Path Academy

A new act gives the Hartford school district, as the successor operator of Great Path Academy magnet school on behalf of Manchester Community College, the same state operating grants, and allows it to charge sending districts the same tuition, as its predecessor, the Capitol Region Education Council. (PA 12-120, 18-20, effective on passage)

Bloomfield Magnet School Diversity Exemption

New legislation extends through FY 12, an exemption for Bloomfield's Big Picture Magnet School from the student diversity requirements for interdistrict magnet schools. The exemption allows the school to continue receiving a state magnet school operating grant for FY 12. Starting July 1, 2012, the school must reopen as The Global Experience Magnet School under an operation plan approved by the education commissioner. (PA 12-116, 68, effective on passage)

Magnet School Operating Grant Adjustments

A new act requires SDE to adjust for any overpayment of interdistrict magnet school per–student operating grants in any year in the May 1 payment for the following year. (PA 12-120, 5 & 6, effective on passage)

READING

Intensive Early Reading Program

The education reform act requires the education commissioner to create a new intensive kindergarten-to-grade-three (K-3) reading program to improve literacy and narrow achievement gaps. Starting July 1, 2012, he must select five low-achieving schools each year to participate. The schools must be (1) located in an educational reform district, (2) participating in the commissioner's network, or (3) have SPIs among lowest 5% of all schools. The program must include (1) routine student reading assessments, (2) scientifically based instruction, (3) an intensive reading intervention strategy, and (4) an intensive summer school reading program.

The intervention strategy must include one reading coach and four reading interventionists for each school, all funded by the state, as well as (1) teacher and administrator training in reading research and (2) administrator training in assessing classrooms to ensure students are proficient readers. Students at priority schools who are reading below proficiency must also be enrolled in an intensive summer school reading program that includes components named in the act.

The act also extends for an additional year an existing pilot study to promote best practices in early literacy and closing academic achievement gaps. (PA 12-116, 4 & 89, effective July 1, 2012)

Statewide Reading Assessments

The education reform act requires SDE, by January 1, 2013, to develop or approve reading assessments that school districts must use to identify K-3 students whose reading is deficient. The assessments must (1) include frequent student screening and progress monitoring; (2) measure phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension; (3) allow for periodic assessments during the school year; (4) produce data useful for developing individual and classroom instruction; and (5) be compatible with best practices in reading instruction and research. (PA 12-116, 5, effective July 1, 2012)

Statewide K-3 Reading Plan

The education reform act requires SDE, by July 1, 2013, to develop a coordinated statewide reading plan for K-3 students that contains research-driven strategies to produce effective reading instruction and improve student performance. (PA 12-116, 91, effective July 1, 2012)

Incentive Program to Improve Reading

The education reform act requires the education commissioner to establish an incentive program for schools that (1) increase the number of students who meet reading goals on Connecticut mastery tests by 10% and (2) demonstrate the methods and instruction used to achieve those results. The incentives can include public recognition, financial rewards, and enhanced autonomy or operational flexibility. (PA 12-116, 94, effective July 1, 2012)

Pre-Literacy Course

The education reform act requires the SDE, by July 1, 2013 and in consultation with the Board of Regents for Higher Education, to design and approve a pre-literacy course to be included in the bachelor's degree program with an early childhood education concentration offered by an accredited higher education institution. The course must be practice-based and specific to pre-literacy and language skills instruction for early childhood education teachers. (PA 12-116, 95, effective July 1, 2012)

Oral Language and Pre-Literacy Information-Sharing System

The education reform act requires the SDE to collaborate with the Governor's Early Care and Education Cabinet to develop a system to share information about children's proficiency in oral language and pre-literacy between preschool and school readiness programs and kindergarten. (PA 12-116, 96, effective July 1, 2012)

Even Start Family Literacy Program Grants

A new law requires SDE to administer an Even Start program to provide grants for new or expanded local family literacy programs that provide literacy services for children and their parents. (PA 12-120, 12, effective on passage)

SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION

Projects Authorized

The legislature (1) authorized $344.5 million in grant commitments for 20 new local, vocational agriculture (vo-ag), and interdistrict magnet school construction projects; (2) reauthorized and changed grant commitments for three previously authorized projects with significant changes

in cost and scope with a total net increase of $1.85 million in grant commitments; and (3) exempted specified school construction projects from various statutory and regulatory requirements to allow them to qualify for state grants. (PA 12-179, as amended by PA 12-1, June 12 Special session, 226-229, effective on passage)

Transfer of Certain School Construction Responsibilities

A new law (1) explicitly allows qualifying endowed academies to apply for and receive state school construction grants; (2) transfers responsibility for certain required school facility, indoor air quality, and green cleaning program reports from SDE to the Department of Construction Services (DCS); and (3) requires the DCS, rather than the education, commissioner to determine whether a school renovation costs less than a new building and thereby qualifies for a higher state cost reimbursement. (PA 12-120, 1 & 15, effective on passage)

State Reimbursement for Certain Interdistrict Projects

A new law reduces the state reimbursement for vo-ag equipment and regional special education facility projects from 95% to 80% of their eligible costs. (PA 12-120, 16 & 17, effective on passage).

SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND BOARDS OF EDUCATION

ECS Minimum Budget Requirement

The education reform act requires any town receiving an ECS grant increase to keep its FY 13 budgeted appropriation for education at the FY 12 level. But, it also allows a town (1) with no high school that is paying for fewer students to attend high school in other towns to reduce its education budget in both FY 12 and FY 13 by the full tuition payment reduction and (2) to reduce its education budget for FY 13 by up to 0.5% of its FY 12 budgeted appropriation for education to reflect half of any new documented and approved savings from (a) a regional collaboration or cooperative arrangement with other districts or (b) increased efficiencies within its school district. (PA 12-116, 62, effective July 1, 2012)

Minimum Local Funding Requirements for Alliance Districts

For FY 13, the implementer act requires each alliance district's budgeted appropriation for education for FY 13 to at least (1) equal its budgeted appropriation for education for FY 12 and (2) meet minimum local education funding percentages of 20% for FY 13, 21% for FY 14, 22% for FY 15, 23% for FY 16, and 24% for FY 17. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 287 & 288, effective July 1, 2012)

Uniform System of Accounting and Chart of Accounts

The education reform act requires SDE to develop and implement a uniform system of accounting for school revenues and expenditures that includes a chart of accounts for use at the school and school district level. By FY 15, school boards and other entities must use the chart of accounts to file their annual financial reports with the state. (PA 12-116, 15 & 16, effective on passage)

Electoral Process for Reconstituted School Boards

In cases where the SBE authorizes the education commissioner to reconstitute a local board of education in a low-achieving district, a new law requires him to notify local officials and the secretary of the state regarding the electoral process when the reconstitution starts and concludes. It suspends the board electoral process for the reconstitution period. (PA 12-116, 18, effective on passage)

Education Loan to Bridgeport

The implementer act allows the education commissioner, with the OPM secretary's approval, to loan up to $3.5 million to Bridgeport to cover education expenses incurred during FY 12. In return, the Bridgeport school board must select its school superintendent or chief financial officer from a pool of up to three candidates approved by the commissioner. The commissioner can also require the school district to meet additional improvement targets.

Bridgeport must repay the loan by June 30, 2015, but the commissioner may (1) allow repayment through reductions in Bridgeport's annual ECS grant and (2) forgive some or all of the loan under certain conditions. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 289, effective July 1, 2012)

K-16 Curricular Alignment and Pilot Program

The implementer act requires school boards to collaborate with the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) and UConn to develop a plan to align Connecticut's common core state standards with college-level programs at Connecticut public higher education institutions within one year of Connecticut's implementation of the standards. SDE must also, by July 1, 2013, develop a pilot program to incorporate the common core standards into priority school district curricula. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 224 & 225, effective on passage for the pilot program and July 1, 2012 for the curricular alignment requirement)

Information on School Choice Options

A new law requires each board of education to post information about technical high schools, regional vo-ag centers, interdistrict magnet schools, charter schools, interdistrict student programs, and alternative high schools on its website. (PA 12-116, 14, effective July 1, 2012)

Study of Small District Issues

The education reform act requires SDE to study issues related to school districts with fewer than 1,000 students. It must consider (1) financial disincentives for each year a district spends 10% or more above the state per-student average cost; (2) financial incentives for such districts to consolidate; (3) the $100-per-student ECS regional bonus and the effect of other state reimbursement bonuses for regional districts and cooperative arrangements; and (4) the MBR. (PA 12-116, 17, effective on passage)

Report on Efforts to Reduce Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Isolation in Schools

A new act delays, from October 1, 2011 to October 1, 2012, the start of a revised schedule for school districts' biennial reports to SDE on their programs and activities to reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation. (PA 12-120, 26, effective on passage)

Changes to Reflect Increased School Dropout Age

To correspond with a change in the school dropout age, a new law increases, from 16 to 17, the minimum age at which a student who (1) has left school may receive a state high school diploma or enroll in adult education, (2) has been expelled may be offered enrollment in an adult education program as an alternative educational opportunity, or (3) is a mother and may request and receive permission from the local or regional board of education to attend adult education classes. (PA 12-120, 7, 8, 28, & 29, effective passage)

Updated Minimum Local Financing Requirement for Education

By law, local and regional school boards must implement state laws and the state's educational interests, including financing education at a statutory minimum. A new law updates this minimum from the minimum expenditure requirement (MER) to the MBR. Towns must meet the minimum as a condition of receiving state ECS grants. The MER is obsolete and was supplanted by the MBR in 2005. (PA 12-120 14, effective on passage)

SPECIAL EDUCATION

Use of Restraint or Seclusion

A new law requires local school boards and other entities providing special education to children, when recording instances of seclusion or restraints used on a child, to indicate whether the seclusion was in accordance with the child's individualized education program (IEP) or whether the use of seclusion or restraints was an emergency. It also requires, rather than allows, the SBE to review and summarize this information and provide it to the Children's Committee for inclusion in the children's report card. (PA 12-88, effective July 1, 2012)

Minority Students Identified for Special Education

A new law requires SDE to identify school districts that disproportionately and inappropriately identify minority students as requiring special education because of reading deficiencies. Such districts must submit annual reports to SDE describing their plans to reduce the misidentification by improving reading assessments and interventions for K-3 students. (PA 12-116, 90, effective July 1, 2012)

Planning and Placement Teams (PPT) Information for Parents

A new law requires a school district providing special education to offer to meet with the student's parents, at their request, after the student has been assessed for possible placement in special education and before the PPT meets. The meeting must be to discuss the PPT process and any concerns the parent has about the student.

It also requires school boards to give parents (1) at their request, copies of the assessment and evaluation results used to determine special education eligibility at least three school days before the referral PPT meeting at which the assessments will be first discussed and (2) any SDE information and resources relating to IEPs as soon as a child is identified. (PA 12-173, 1, effective July 1, 2012)

Teacher Training in Implementing IEPs

A new law requires preparation, in-service training, and professional development programs for teachers with special education endorsements to include expanded instruction and training on implementing IEPs and communicating IEP procedures to parents. (PA 12-173, 2-4, as amended by PA 12-2, June 12 Special Session, 138, effective July 1, 2012)

Special Education Excess Cost Grant

When a child is placed in a school district other than his or her district of origin, a new law specifies which school district is eligible to receive the state reimbursement for special education costs exceeding 4.5 times the district's average per-pupil costs. (PA 12-173, 6, effective July 1, 2012)

Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children

A new law (1) requires any IEP for a child identified as deaf or hearing impaired to include a language and communication plan developed by the child's PPT and (2) specifies the items the plan must include. (PA 12-173, 11, effective on passage)

American School for the Deaf

An act allows the state treasurer to execute a deed renouncing any right, title, and interest the state may have from any undischarged liens for monies previously advanced to the American School for the Deaf for construction and development. (PA 12-2, June 12, Special Session, 139, effective on passage)

Special Education Advisory Council

A new law expands the council's membership and revises the qualifications of several appointees. It requires all council appointments to be made by July 1, 2012 rather than July 1, 2010. (PA 12-120, 9, effective on passage)

Special Education Payments for Children in DMHAS Facilities

By law, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) must provide regular and special education services to eligible residents in its facilities. A new act transfers the responsibility for paying for these costs from the SBE to DMHAS. (PA 12-116, 67, effective July 1, 2012)

STATE BOARD AND STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

SDE Website Information

The education reform act requires SDE to annually make available on its website: (1) the statewide performance management and accountability plan required by the act; (2) a list of schools, ranked by SPI; (3) the formula and method used to calculate each school's SPI; and (4) the alternative versions of the formula used to calculate school subject indices for non-elementary grades. (PA 12-116, 88, effective July 1, 2012)

After-School Program Report

A new law delays the deadline for SDE's biennial after-school grant program report to the Education Committee from December 1 to February 15, starting February 15, 2012. (PA 12-120, 10, effective on passage)

TEACHERS, ADMINISTRATORS, AND OTHER SCHOOL EMPLOYEES

Certification and Qualifications

The education reform act bolsters teacher preparation programs and teacher qualifications by:

1. establishing a state distinguished educator designation for experienced, successful teachers who have advanced education beyond the master's degree and who meet SBE-established performance requirements;

2. starting July 1, 2015, requiring teacher preparation programs to offer classroom experience in each of four semesters; and

3. starting July 1, 2016, requiring an applicant for a professional educator certificate to hold a master's degree in a subject relevant to his or her teaching.

(PA 12-116, 35-38, effective July 1, 2012)

Another act, with certain exceptions, (1) allows only teachers who receive an early childhood nursery through grade three endorsement on or after July 1, 2013 to teach kindergarten and (2) makes elementary education endorsements issued on or after that date valid only for teaching grades one through six. (PA 12-63, effective July 1, 2012)

Professional Development

As of July 1, 2012, the education reform act eliminates the requirement that educators holding professional-level certificates take 90 continuing education units (CEUs) every five years to continue their certificates. Beginning July 1, 2013, it revamps required professional development programs for teachers and administrators to emphasize improved practice and job-embedded individual and small-group coaching sessions. It requires all certified employees to participate in the new professional development programs.

The act also requires the education commissioner to establish a teacher professional development program for elementary school teachers to provide intensified training in reading instruction. Finally, it requires SDE to audit district professional development programs and assess financial penalties against districts that are out of compliance with the act. (PA 12-116, 7 & 34, effective July 1, 2012)

Annual Evaluations for Teachers and Administrators

The education reform act requires school districts to evaluate teachers and administrators every year using new evaluation and support programs that align with state model guidelines to be issued July 1, 2012. It expands the requirements for the model guidelines to include, among other things, (1) use of four ratings to evaluate teacher performance; (2) scoring systems to determine the ratings; and (3) a validation procedure for SDE, or an SDE-approved third-party entity, to audit awards of the lowest and highest ratings. It also requires the guidelines to call for improvement and remediation plans for teachers with subpar ratings to be developed in consultation with the affected employee and his or her union representative.

The act requires the education commissioner to run a pilot program on local evaluation systems that comply with the state model guidelines in a diverse group of eight to 10 districts or consortia of districts during 2012-13. UConn's Neag School of Education must evaluate the pilot and make recommendations to SBE on validating the model guidelines.

Districts must implement their new evaluation programs by September 1, 2013. (PA 12-116, 51-56, as amended by PA 12-2, June 12 Special Session, 23 & 24, effective on passage)

Tenure and Termination

Starting July 1, 2014, the act requires school superintendents to use evaluations to inform their decisions on granting tenure to teachers and administrators. It allows districts to terminate teachers or administrators whose evaluations find them to be ineffective and who fail to successfully complete remediation plans. The act also streamlines teacher termination hearings by reducing the maximum time for the process to unfold and limiting each side's testimony and evidence to six hours, unless the hearing official extends the time for good cause.

The act requires termination hearings for incompetence or ineffectiveness to address whether the teacher's performance ratings were (1) determined in good faith according to the required evaluation procedures and (2) reasonable in light of the evidence presented. (PA 12-116, 57, effective July 1, 2014)

Reading Instruction Tests for Teachers

Starting July 1, 2013, the education reform act requires (1) all certified school employees working with K-3 students to take a practice version of an SBE-approved reading instruction exam and (2) certified teachers with comprehensive special education or remedial reading and language arts endorsements to pass the SBE-approved reading instruction test. (PA 12-116, 6, 92, & 93, effective July 1, 2012)

Superintendents and Acting Superintendents

The education reform act extends the maximum time for which a school board may appoint someone who does not have a Connecticut superintendent certificate as an acting superintendent from 90 days to one school year. It also requires the acting superintendent, during this probationary period, to successfully complete an SBE-approved educational leadership program offered by a Connecticut higher education institution. At the end of the probationary period, it allows the education commissioner to waive certification so the board may appoint the acting superintendent to be the district's permanent superintendent. (PA 12-116, 58, effective July 1, 2012)

Teaching Bilingual Education or English Language Learners

The implementer act establishes a loan reimbursement program for up to 20 educators who teach bilingual education or English language learners (ELLs). Under the act, teachers with federal or state education loans who meet the program's criteria may receive reimbursements of up to $5,000 per person, per year for a maximum of five years. Recipients must, among other things, receive a bilingual or ELL endorsement on or after May 1, 2012 and agree in writing to teach in a public school position requiring the endorsement for at least five years. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 222, effective July 1, 2012).

Information Submitted for Employee Background Checks

A new act (1) requires RESCs to maintain the fingerprints and positive identifying information submitted for required state and national criminal history record checks of certain school personnel for four years and then destroy them and (2) allows the fingerprints or other information to be in electronic form. (PA 12-120, 21, effective on passage)

Retired Teachers' Health Insurance

For FY 13, the budget act temporarily reduces the state's cost for health insurance for retired teachers participating in Medicare from one-third to 25% of the premium for the basic plan provided by the Teachers' Retirement Board (TRB). To compensate, the act increases the share paid by the retired teachers' health insurance premium account to 42%. (PA 12-104, 21, effective on passage)

Another act requires the federal subsidies for drug coverage for TRB retirees under Medicare Part D to offset the state's required contribution to the cost of the basic plan premium. For FY 13, it also temporarily reduces the state's contribution for the cost of the premium subsidy for retired teachers not participating in Medicare to 25%, and increases the share paid from the retired teachers' health insurance premium account to 75%. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 102, effective on passage)

Teacher's Retirement Benefits for Certain Surviving Spouses

An act expands the benefit options available to the surviving spouse of a Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) member who did not name the spouse as his or her sole designated beneficiary. It applies if the member (1) at the time of death was eligible for a retirement benefit but had not retired and (2) had not filed a waiver of the TRS co-participant option. (PA 12-107, effective on passage and applicable to members who died on or after January 1, 2008)

VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL (V-T) SCHOOLS, VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE (VO-AG) PROGRAMS, AND STUDENT JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS

Technical High School System Governing Board and Budget

A new law changes the name of the regional V-T schools to the Connecticut technical high school system (CTHSS) and creates a new 11-member board to govern it. The new board consists of four business executives appointed by the governor, five members appointed by SBE, and the economic and community development and labor commissioners. The governor appoints the chairperson, who also serves as a nonvoting ex-officio member of the SBE.

The act requires the CTHSS superintendent to submit a proposed operating budget for the system to the CTHSS board, which may amend and approve it before submitting it to the SBE and the Office of Policy and Management (PA 12-116, 69-87, as amended by PA 12-2, June 12 Special Session 28, effective July 1, 2012)

Services Provided by CTHSS Students

Although the Code of Ethics generally prohibits public officials, state employees, their immediate family members, and businesses with which they are associated from entering into state contracts valued at $100 or more, new legislation allows such individuals and businesses to contract with the CTHSS for its students to perform services in conjunction with their vocational, technical, or technological education and training. The CTHSS superintendent must establish an open and transparent process for reviewing such contracts. (PA 12-206, effective July 1, 2012)

Per-Student Grant for Vo-Ag Centers

A new act increases the annual state grant for each student attending a regional agricultural science and technology (“vo-ag”) center from $1,355 to $1,750. It also prohibits local and regional boards of education that operate centers from using any increase in state funding to supplant local education funding for FY 13 or any subsequent fiscal year. (PA 12-116, 64, effective July 1, 2012)

For FY 13, another act allows a local or regional school board to receive and spend the increased per-student grants for its vo-ag program even if that spending causes it to exceed the total amount budgeted for education for FY 13 approved by its municipality or regional school district. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 236, effective July 1, 2012)

Minors Working in Manufacturing or Mechanical Internships

New legislation allows minors to work in hazardous duty jobs while participating in manufacturing or mechanical internships in any manufacturing or mechanical establishment. It defines an internship as supervised practical training of a high school student or recent graduate that is comprised of curriculum and workplace standards approved by SDE and the Department of Labor. (PA 12-154, effective July 1, 2012)

Exemption from Water System Operator Certification Fee

The legislature exempted students enrolled in accredited high school small water system operator certification courses from the $224 fee otherwise required for small water operator certification. (PA 12-197, 42, effective October 1, 2012)

HIGHER EDUCATION

Remedial Education

A new law requires the Connecticut State University System (CSUS) and the community-technical colleges (CTC), beginning by the 2014 fall semester, to offer (1) certain students remedial support embedded with the corresponding entry-level course in a college-level program and (2) certain other students an intensive college readiness program. It generally prohibits other forms of remedial education after that time.

It also requires public high schools, CSUS, and CTC to align their curricula by the fall semester of 2016. Beginning by the 2014-15 school year, it requires early assessment of eighth and 10th grade students' college readiness and the sharing of the results with students, parents or legal guardians, and schools. (PA 12-40, effective July 1, 2012)

Transfer and Articulation

The legislature required CSUS and CTC to develop and implement, by July 1, 2013, a general education core of courses. The core must comprise at least 30 academic credits and be offered in CSUS's and CTC's liberal arts and sciences programs and any other degree program designated as a transfer program. If a student earns academic credits from the core and subsequently transfers to the other system or a different institution in the same system, the credits must count towards that system's core requirements. (PA 12-31, effective July 1, 2012)

Sexual Violence on College Campuses

New legislation requires public and private higher education institutions to adopt and disclose one or more policies on sexual assault and intimate partner violence. The policies must include provisions for (1) providing information to students about their options for assistance if they are victims of such violence, (2) disciplinary procedures, and (3) possible sanctions. Institutions must include the policies in their uniform campus crime report, which is produced annually and made available to students, employees, and applicants for admission.

The act also requires such institutions, within existing budgetary resources, to offer (1) sexual assault and intimate partner violence primary prevention and awareness programming for all students and (2) ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns. (PA 12-78, effective July 1, 2012)

AED Requirements for Higher Education Athletic Departments

A new law requires each higher education institution's athletic department to have at least one automatic external defibrillator (AED) provided and maintained in a central location not more than a quarter mile from the premises it uses for intercollegiate sport practice, training, or competition. Departments must also, among other things, make the AED's location known and accessible to its employees and student-athletes and ensure that at least one licensed athletic trainer or other person trained in CPR and AED use is on department premises during all practices, training, and competitions. (PA 12-197, 16, effective October 1, 2012)

Higher Education Trends

New legislation requires the executive director of the Office of Financial and Academic Affairs for Higher Education (OFAAHE) to report on where Connecticut fits in state, regional, and national higher education trends. The report must be based on data and information the office collects and include trends on expenditures, funding, enrollment, faculty and staff positions, cost sharing, and student financial aid. (PA 12-10, effective July 1, 2012)

Board of Regents Faculty Advisory Committee

A new law expands, from seven members to 10, the size of the faculty advisory committee to the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR). It requires the committee to have one administrative faculty member each from CSUS, CTC, and Charter Oak State College. These administrative faculty members must provide direct student services. The act specifies that the other committee members must be teaching faculty: three each from CSUS and CTC and one from Charter Oak. (PA 12-7, effective July 1, 2012)

UConn

Intellectual Property. A new law specifies that UConn automatically owns or participates in the ownership and is entitled to custody of inventions conceived by UConn employees solely, jointly, or with non-employees. The inventions must (1) be conceived in performance of the employee's customary or assigned duties; (2) emerge from a research, development, or other university program; or (3) be conceived or developed at UConn's expense or with the aid of its equipment, facilities, or personnel.

Requirements Eliminated. The legislature eliminated a requirement that an independent auditor verify the book values of certain UConn Health Center (UCHC) accounts receivable that are estimated to be collectible. It instead allows the state auditors to verify these book values at the comptroller's request.

The new act also eliminates requirements that UConn (1) submit its mission statement to the BOR for review and approval, (2) recommend institutional or campus mergers or closures to BOR, and (3) submit a quarterly report to OPM through BOR on the actual expenditures of the UConn and UCHC operating funds. In this last case, it instead requires UConn to submit this report directly to OPM. It also eliminates BOR's authority over UConn mergers and closures. (PA 12-129, 4-7, effective July 1, 2012)

Advertisements for Bidding Opportunities. The legislature eliminated a requirement that public higher education institutions advertise, in hard-copy publications, bidding opportunities for goods and services expected to cost more than $50,000 while retaining a requirement that such opportunities be posted online. (PA 12-129, 1, effective July 1, 2012)

Compliance Audits

A new law requires annual, rather than semiannual, internal audits of public higher education institutions' compliance with their faculty consulting policies adopted under the State Code of Ethics. By law, the policies must address (1) the appropriate use of the institutions' proprietary information, (2) conflicts of interest, and (3) the appropriate use of a faculty member's association with the institution. (PA 12-129, 2, effective July 1, 2012)

Office of Financial and Academic Affairs for Higher Education

A new law transfers several duties from the BOR to OFAAHE, which it renames as the Office of Higher Education (OHE). It also authorizes OHE to perform several functions, while retaining the authority BOR has to perform them under existing law. (PA 12-156, effective on passage)

Capitol Scholarship Program

The legislature eliminated a moratorium for FY 12 and FY 13 on new students receiving financial assistance under the Capitol Scholarship Program. It also eliminated a requirement that grants be proportionately reduced in FY 12 and FY 13 if total program grants exceed the program's budgeted appropriation. (PA 12-128, effective on passage)

Community College Adjunct Faculty Retirement

A new law allows an adjunct CTC faculty member to irrevocably waive participation in a state employee retirement plan within 60 days of beginning employment. The waiver remains irrevocable if the faculty member accepts subsequent part-time employment with the CTC system, CSUS, UConn, or Charter Oak State College. The change allows these faculty members to make tax-deductible contributions to individual retirement accounts (IRA). (PA 12-52, effective July 1, 2012)

Department of Labor Information Sharing

A new law allows the labor commissioner to disclose to the BOR president, for use in his official duties and to the extent necessary to evaluate programs at higher education institutions governed by BOR, certain employment information that is generally otherwise confidential. The president must enter into a written confidentiality agreement with DOL before accessing the information. (PA 12-192, effective July 1, 2012)

Financial Aid Program Data

New legislation requires higher education institutions to annually submit to OFAAHE information on students receiving assistance through the Connecticut Independent College Student Grant (CICSG), Connecticut Aid for Public College Students (CAPCS), or Capitol Scholarship programs. Institutions must submit the information by October 1, 2012 and annually thereafter. The act prohibits institutions that do not submit the required information from participating in the programs in the following fiscal year. (PA 12-94, effective July 1, 2012)

CHEFA and CHESLA Merger

A new law merges the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority (CHEFA) with the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA) by making CHESLA a subsidiary of CHEFA. CHESLA retains authority to, among other things, issue loans and bonds and hire its own employees. The act also, among other things, (1) dissolves and reconstitutes the CHESLA board of directors and (2) expands the pool of higher education institutions for which CHEFA may finance capital projects. (PA 12-149, effective July 1, 2012)

Live Here, Learn Here Program

A new law opens to more students the Live Here, Learn Here Program, which helps graduating students save money toward a down payment on a first home in Connecticut. In addition to students graduating from the CTHSS and in-state students graduating from state colleges and universities after January 1, 2014, the new legislation opens the program to any student graduating from a public or private college or a health care training school in Connecticut. (PA 12-75, effective on passage)


Exemption from Competitive Bidding Requirements for Technology Purchases

New legislation allows the chief executive officer of a higher education constituent unit to buy a technology product or process, or spend money for its development, without competitive bidding or negotiation, if it: (1) will be tested in the constituent unit as part of a trial; (2) is part of or related to one of the unit's research programs; (3) has potential commercial applications and benefit to the state's economy; (4) has no adverse effect on individual safety; and (5) has been recommended by a committee that includes the unit's purchasing official, chief academic officer, and chief economic development officer or their designees. (PA 12-97, effective July 1, 2012)

UConn Health Center (UCHC) Fringe Benefits

Starting with FY 14, the implementer act requires the state comptroller to pay up to $13.5 million annually to cover the difference between the state fringe benefit rate for UCHC employees and that for the state's private hospitals. (PA 12-1, June 12, Special Session, 115, effective July 1, 2012)

College Transition Pilot Programs

The implementer act delays, from October 1, 2012 to October 1, 2013, the deadline for the education and higher education commissioners to report to the Education and Higher Education committees on the results of two college transition pilot programs established in 2011. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 118 & 119, effective on passage)

Business Innovation Assistance Program

The implementer act requires UConn or any of its campuses to establish a program to help small and medium-sized businesses develop innovative advanced manufacturing technologies. UConn must collaborate with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) and the businesses participating in the program and, in FY 13, must provide $250,000 to CCAT from any funds appropriated for it. The program is open to Connecticut-based businesses with 100 or fewer employees. (PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 146, effective July 1, 2012)

Kirklyn M. Kerr Program

The implementer act transfers responsibility for administering the Kirklyn M. Kerr veterinary medicine grant program from the Board of Regents for Higher Education to UConn. (PA 12-1, June 12, Special Session, 220 & 221, effective July 1, 2012)

MUSEUMS

Museum Authority Over Loaned Property

A new law allows a museum, after giving notice, to take ownership of certain property loaned to it if the lender fails to reclaim it at the end of a loan agreement or, if there is no agreement or the loan period is indefinite, the museum has had it for at least five years. It also (1) allows a museum, in the absence of a contrary loan agreement, to apply conservation and protective measures to loaned property without the lender's permission under certain circumstances; (2) gives the museum a lien against the property for the cost of the measures; and (3) as long as its actions were reasonable, relieves it from liability for any damage to the property the measures cause. (PA 12-171, effective October 1, 2012)

Connecticut Treasures Program

The implementer act requires the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and the Tourism Advisory Committee to develop a program to designate culturally, educationally, and historically significant locations and promote them or state-owned and –operated museums. It must integrate DECD's existing programs promoting these museums by offering free or reduced admission to the designated treasures and all state-owned and operated-museums for children under age 18 who are accompanied by an adult. (PA 12-1, June 12, Special Session, 207, effective on passage)

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