Location:
EDUCATION (GENERAL) ;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


October 31, 2012

 

2012-R-0466

OLR BACKGROUNDER: EDUCATION REFORM PROVISIONS TAKING EFFECT IN 2013 OR AFTER

By: Judith Lohman, Assistant Director

In the 2011 and 2012, the General Assembly made major changes in the state's education laws. These new laws take effect over several years, with many provisions to be implemented in 2013 through 2020.

This report summarizes those provisions in two tables. Table 1 briefly summarizes recently enacted provisions affecting prekindergarten to Grade 12 education currently scheduled for implementation in the next seven years. Table 2 lists the schedule for reporting to the legislature on the progress of recently enacted education initiatives. Both tables list the provisions and reports in chronological order by their effective or starting dates, in the case of requirements taking effect in future years, or by due date, in the case of reports.

For additional information about the statutory requirements and reports listed below, as well as all education-related laws enacted during the last two sessions, see OLR's Acts Affecting Education reports for 2011 (2011-R-0303) and 2012 (2012-R-0198). OLR Report 2012-R-0201 also provides a glossary of terms used in recently enacted education reform legislation and in this report.

TABLE 1: PRE-K-12 EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS ENACTED IN 2011 AND 2012 AND

TAKING EFFECT IN 2013 THROUGH 2020

Effective Date

Requirement

Citation

 

2013

 

January 1, 2013

Reading Assessment. State Department of Education (SDE) to develop or approve reading assessments for districts to identify kindergarten-through-third-grade (K-3) students whose reading is below proficient.

PA 12-116, 5

School year starting July 1, 2013

Reading Assessment. School districts to start using SDE-approved reading assessments.

PA 12-116, 5

June 30, 2013

School Construction. The Department of Construction Services commissioner, in consultation with the education commissioner, must adopt new regulations for school construction projects applying for state reimbursement grants.

PA 11-51, 45, 90, and 115-132

July 1, 2013

Early Care and Education and Child Development System. Deadline for creating a coordinated system of early care and education and child development that (1) consolidates existing early childhood education and child care programs and services and (2) consists of comprehensive and aligned policies, responsibilities, practices, and services for young children and their families, including prenatal care and care for children from birth to age eight to ensure optimal health, safety, and learning for each child.

PA 11-181

July 1, 2013

Teacher Hiring Grants. SDE must establish a program, within available appropriations, to provide grants of up to $200,000 each to the 10 educational reform districts by March 1, annually (presumably beginning March 1, 2014). Districts must use the grants to hire up to five college seniors 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

July 1, 2013

Chart of Accounts. SDE must: (1) make a uniform chart of accounts for school districts available on its website and (2) submit the chart of accounts to the Education and Appropriations committees.

PA 12-116, 17

Fiscal year starting July 1, 2013

State Charter School Grant. State's annual per-student grant to state charter schools increases from $10,500 to $11,000.

PA 12-116, 29-31

Fiscal year starting July 1, 2013

Local Charter School Grants. For local charter schools established on or after July 1, 2012, the State Board of Education (SBE) may, within available appropriations, approve (1) annual operating grants of up to $3,000 per student and (2) one-time grants of up to $500,000 for startup costs.

PA 12-116, 29-31

School year starting July 1, 2013

Teacher Professional Development. All certified school district employees, including initial and provisional certificate holders, must participate in professional development programs emphasizing improved practice and individual and small-group coaching sessions.

PA 12-116, 39

July 1, 2013

Statewide Reading Plan. SDE must develop a coordinated statewide reading plan for students in grades K-3 that contains research-driven strategies and frameworks to produce effective reading instruction and improve student performance.

PA 12-116, 91

July 1, 2013

Teacher Professional Development in Reading. Education commissioner to establish a professional development program in reading research and instruction for teachers and principals.

PA 12-116, 7

July 1, 2013

Reading Instruction Test for Teachers. Certified teachers with comprehensive special education or remedial reading and language arts endorsements must pass a state reading instruction test.

PA 12-116, 92 & 93

July 1, 2013

Teacher Preparation in Reading. SDE, in consultation with the Board of Regents for Higher Education, must design and approve a preliteracy course for inclusion in the bachelor's degree program with an early childhood education concentration offered by accredited higher education institutions. Course must be practice-based and specific to preliteracy and language skills instruction for early childhood education teachers.

PA 12-116, 95

Fiscal years starting July 1, 2012 through July 1, 2016

Alliance District Minimum Local Funding Level. Alliance districts' budgeted appropriations for education must equal a specified minimum local education funding percentage for the year. For FY 13, the minimum is 20% and for FY 14, it is 21%. It increases by one percentage point each year, reaching 24% for FY 17.

PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 287 & 288

July 1, 2013

Teacher Qualifications. With one exception, elementary education endorsements issued on or after this date may not be used to teach kindergarten.

PA 12-63

September 1, 2013

Teacher Evaluation. School districts must implement new teacher evaluation programs.

PA 12-116, 51, as amended by PA 12-2, June 12 Special Session, 23 & 24

 

2014

 

July 1, 2014

Chart of Accounts. Each board of education, regional education service center, and state charter school must start filing annual financial reports using an SDE-developed uniform system of accounting for school revenues and expenditures that includes a chart of accounts for use at the school and school district level.

PA 12-116, 15-16

July 1, 2014

New High School Graduation Requirements. School districts to start providing adequate support and remedial services for students in the 7th grade so they can meet new high school graduation requirements applicable to the Class of 2020.

PA 11-135, 1

July 1, 2014

New High School Graduation Requirements. SDE must start developing or approving end-of-year exams in Algebra I, Geometry, Biology, American History, and 10th grade English over two years. Exams are a component of enhanced high school graduation standards effective starting with the Class of 2020.

PA 11-135, 4

July 1, 2014

Reading Instruction Tests for Teachers. Local and regional boards of education must start requiring K-3 teachers to take a practice version of the SBE-approved reading instruction exam and annually report the results to SDE. (It is not clear if each affected teacher must take the exam only once or every year.)

PA 12-116, 6

July 1, 2014

Commissioner's Network of Schools. The education commissioner must have selected up to 25 low-achieving schools to participate in the commissioner's network of schools.

PA 12-116, 19

July 1, 2014

Commissioner's Network of Schools. Each school selected for the commissioner's network must start implementing a school turnaround plan.

PA 12-116, 19

July 1, 2014

Chart of Accounts. Each board of education, regional education service center, and state charter school to start filing annual financial reports using a chart of accounts that meets specified requirements.

PA 12-116, 15 & 16

July 1, 2014

State Charter School Grant. State's annual per-student grant to state charter schools increases from $11,000 to $11,500.

PA 12-116, 29-31

By July 1, 2014

Teacher Evaluation. SBE to validate new model teacher evaluation guidelines after completion and study of a pilot program in eight to 10 school districts during 2012-13.

PA 12-116, 51-53

July 1, 2014

Teacher Evaluation. School boards to provide training for all evaluators and orientation to all teachers they employ regarding new teacher evaluation and support programs.

PA 12-116, 54

July 1, 2014

Teacher Evaluation. Education commissioner, within available appropriations, must randomly select at least 10 district teacher evaluation programs each year for a comprehensive SDE audit. Commissioner must report the audit results to the Education Committee annually.

PA 12-116, 55

July 1, 2014

Teacher Evaluation. Education commissioner must establish an incentive program for schools that (1) increase by 10% the number of students who meet reading goals on the Connecticut mastery tests and (2) demonstrate the methods and instruction they used to achieve the results.

PA 12-116, 94

July 1, 2014

Teacher Evaluation. Effective date for provisions:

requiring school superintendents to incorporate teacher evaluations into tenure decisions;

streamlining and shortening teacher termination notice and hearing requirements; and

explicitly allowing districts to terminate teachers on the grounds of ineffectiveness, based on evaluations that comply with SBE guidelines for evaluating teachers.

PA 12-116, 57

July 1, 2014

Priority School District Grants. Effective date of required three-year phase-outs for priority school district grants for (1) summer school and weekend programs and (2) extending school hours, when a district is no longer eligible as a priority district.

PA 12-116, 65 & 66

 

2015

 

June 30, 2015

Loan to Bridgeport. Deadline for Bridgeport to repay a $3.5 state million loan to offset the city's FY 12 education budget deficit, unless the education commissioner:

allows repayment through reductions in Bridgeport's ECS grants in each year of the loan's three-year term and

with the Office of Policy and Management secretary's approval, forgives all or part of the loan if (a) the city complies with the loan conditions and (b) the commissioner has approved its Alliance District improvement plan.

PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 289

July 1, 2015

Teacher Qualifications. Expiration date of a program allowing qualified graduates of a national teacher corps training program, such as Teach for America, to work under special durational shortage area permits in regular public and charter schools in Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Haven and in state charter schools in Stamford.

PA 11-179, 13

July 1, 2015

Early Childhood Educator Qualifications. Effective date for a requirement that, until June 30, 2020, with certain exceptions, 50% of individuals with primary responsibility for a classroom in an early childhood education program accepting state funds have either (1) a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, child development, or a related field approved by the education commissioner from an accredited institution or (2) a teaching certificate with an endorsement in early childhood or special education. Early childhood educators who do not meet this requirement must hold an associate's degree in an eligible field.

PA 11-54

July 1, 2015

Teacher Preparation. Effective date of a requirement that teacher preparation programs require, as part of their curricula, that students have classroom clinical, field, or student teaching experience during four semesters of the program.

PA 12-116, 35

 

2016

 

July 1, 2016

Teacher Qualifications. Effective date of requirement that applicants seeking professional educator certificates hold master's degrees.

PA 12-116, 36

 

2020

 

Graduation Day, 2020

New High School Graduation Requirements. First class of high school required to have 25, instead of 20, credits and to meet higher high school graduation requirements.

PA 11-135

July 1, 2020

Early Childhood Educator Qualifications. All individuals with primary responsibility for classrooms in early childhood education programs accepting state funds must have either (1) a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, child development, or a related field or (2) a teaching certificate with an early childhood or special education endorsement.

PA 11-54

TABLE 2: REPORTS REQUIRED IN EDUCATION LAWS ENACTED IN 2011 & 2012

Due Date

Report

Citation

 

2013

 

January 1, 2013

High School Graduation Task Force. Report and recommendations to the Education Committee on issues arising from the enhanced high school graduation requirements and mandatory courses taking effect with the Class of 2020.

PA 11-135, 8

January 1, 2013

Small District Study. SDE reports its findings and recommendations from study of issues related to districts with fewer than 1,000 students (“small districts”) to the Education Committee.

PA 12-116, 17

January 15, 2013

Achievement Gap Task Force. Submits master plan for eliminating the academic achievement gap to the Education Committee and the Interagency Council for Ending the Achievement Gap.

PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 235

January 30, 2013

Early Care and Education and Child Development System. Planning director must report to the Appropriations, Human Services, and Education committees with recommendations on which department should serve as the lead agency and where the staff of the coordinated early childhood system should be located.

PA 11-181, 3

February 1, 2013

Reading Assessments. Education commissioner must submit the reading assessments for districts to identify K-3 students whose reading is below proficient to the Education Committee

PA 12-116, 5

February 1, 2013 to February 1, 2015

Early Childhood Educator Qualifications. Department of Higher Education files annual reports with the Education and Higher Education committees on a plan to implement required qualification standards effective July 1, 2015, for those with primary responsibility for classrooms in early childhood education programs receiving state funds.

PA 11-54

April 1, 2013

Study of Universal Early Childhood Education Space Needs. Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, if it receives sufficient funding, updates its 2008 study of the space and facilities needed to provide universal early childhood education for all three- and four-year-olds in the state and submits results and any recommendations to the Education Committee.

PA 12-116, 2

July 1, 2013

Early Care and Education and Child Development System. Planning director must submit last semiannual report to the Appropriations, Human Services, and Education committees including recommendations on consolidating agencies and how to maximize federal, state, and local resources for the coordinated early childhood education and development system

PA 11-181, 3

July 1, 2013

Achievement Gap Task Force. Submits first annual progress report on implementing the master plan for eliminating the academic achievement gap. Progress reports continue annually until January 1, 2020.

PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 235

July 1, 2013

Study of Statewide School Food Procurement Guide. Education commissioner submits to the Education Committee a report and recommendations on establishing a statewide food procurement guide, to be used by local and regional boards of education, containing nutritional rating information for food that boards of education most commonly procure.

PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 239

October 1, 2013

Early Literacy Pilot Study. Deadline for SDE to report to the Education Committee on the results of a pilot study to promote best practices in early literacy and closing academic achievement gaps.

PA 11-85, 5

October 1, 2013

Reading Instruction Pilot Program. SDE starts reporting annually on the intensive reading instruction pilot program, including elements that can be replicated in other schools and school districts, to the Education Committee.

PA 12-116, 89

October 1, 2013

College Transition Pilot Programs. Education commissioner and president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education report to the Education and Higher Education committees on the results of the two college transition pilot programs offering college preparatory classes to enable participants, upon completing the pilot program, to enroll directly in a higher education institution program that awards college credit. One pilot is for adults who have high school diplomas and the other is for students still in high school.

PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 118 & 119

October 1, 2013

Coordinated School Health Pilot Program. Education commissioner's final report to the governor and the Appropriations and Education committees on a pilot program in two educational reform districts to coordinate school health, education, and wellness and reduce childhood obesity.

PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 231

November 1, 2013

High School Graduation Standards Implementation. Start of annual reports on implementation of new high school standards and services from districts receiving technical assistance grants in FY 12 and FY 13.

PA 11-135, 3

December 1, 2013

Effectiveness of School Governance Councils. SDE's first biennial evaluation report on the establishment and effectiveness of school governance councils established at low-performing schools.

PA 11-135, 5, 6 & 11

 

2014

 

January 1, 2014

Pilot Teacher Evaluation Program Study. UConn's Neag School of Education completes a study of the pilot teacher evaluation programs implemented pursuant to new SBE guidelines and submits (1) the study to the SBE and Education Committee and (2) any recommendations on validating the guidelines to the SBE.

PA 12-116, 53

February 1, 2014

High School Graduation Standards Implementation. First biennial report from SDE to the Education Committee on implementation of new high school graduation standards starting with the Class of 2020, and required support services for students in the 7th grade.

PA 11-135, 3

October 1, 2014

Early Literacy Pilot Study. Education commissioner reports to the Education Committee on a pilot study to promote best practices in early literacy and closing academic achievement gaps.

PA 12-116, 4

October 1, 2014

School Nutritional Rating Pilot Program. Education commissioner submits report assessing the School Nutritional Rating Pilot Grant Program, including any recommendations relating to its expansion to the Education Committee.

PA 12-1, June 12 Special Session, 238

 

2015

 

January 1, 2015

Pilot Truancy Clinic. Probate court administrator reports to the Judiciary and Education committees on the effectiveness of a pilot truancy clinic established in Waterbury to identify and resolve the systemic causes of school absenteeism using nonpunitive procedures.

PA 11-177

December 1, 2015

School Governance Councils. SDE submits first biennial report to the Education Committee on the number of school governance councils recommending or initiating school reconstitution, the reconstitution models chosen, and a recommendation whether to continue allowing councils to recommend school reconstitutions.

PA 11-135, 5, 6, 11

 

2017

 

December 1, 2017

Reconstituted Schools. SDE files first biennial report to the Education Committee on its monitoring and evaluation of schools reconstituted at the recommendation of their school governance councils, according to various measures.

PA 11-135, 5, 6 & 11

 

2020

 

January 1, 2020

Achievement Gap Task Force. Task Force files final progress report and terminates.

PA 12-1, 235

JL:ts