Substitute House Bill No. 5657
          Substitute House Bill No. 5657

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-243


AN ACT CONCERNING EARLY READING SUCCESS.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section 1. (NEW)  On  or  before  September 1,
1999, each local  and  regional board of education
shall develop and  implement  a three-year plan to
improve the reading  skills  of students in grades
kindergarten to three,  inclusive.  The plan shall
be  designed  to  allow  all  students  to  attain
reading competency. The  plan  shall  include: (1)
The specific instructional methods, strategies and
activities that will be used to teach reading; (2)
a process for assessing and assisting students who
are at risk of failing to learn to read by the end
of first grade;  (3)  periodic  evaluations of the
reading level of students; (4) additional time for
remedial instruction for students who fail to make
progress  in  their  reading  development  or  are
reading below grade level; (5) in-service training
programs on the teaching of reading for elementary
school  teachers;  (6)  a  process  for  involving
parents  in addressing  the  reading  problems  of
their children, including a requirement to provide
information to parents  on  strategies that can be
used  at home  to  improve  the  child's  language
development  prereading  or   reading  skills  and
referrals   to  family   literacy   programs,   as
appropriate,   that   incorporate    adult   basic
education  and  provide   for   the  promotion  of
literacy   through  access   to   public   library
services;   (7)  ongoing   data   collection   and
monitoring of program  effectiveness;  and (8) the
establishment  of  school   and   public   library
partnerships  to improve  prereading  and  reading
skills.
    Sec. 2. Section  23  of  public  act 97-290 is
repealed and the  following is substituted in lieu
thereof:
    (a) THE DEPARTMENT  OF EDUCATION SHALL PROVIDE
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO  LOCAL AND REGIONAL BOARDS
OF  EDUCATION ON  THE  DEVELOPMENT  OF  THE  PLANS
REQUIRED PURSUANT TO  SECTION  1  OF THIS ACT. THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL ADVISE  LOCAL AND REGIONAL BOARDS
OF EDUCATION ON:  (1)  METHODS  AND STRATEGIES FOR
ASSESSING STUDENTS WHO  ARE  AT RISK OF FAILING TO
LEARN TO READ  BY  THE END OF FIRST GRADE; AND (2)
THE DEVELOPMENT OF IN-SERVICE TRAINING PROGRAMS ON
THE TEACHING OF  THE  READING  AND  ASSESSMENT  OF
READING   COMPETENCY  FOR   TEACHERS   IN   GRADES
KINDERGARTEN TO THREE, INCLUSIVE.
    [(a)] (b) The  State  Board of Education shall
establish a standard of reading competency for use
by  local and  regional  boards  of  education  to
measure reading competency  for students in grades
one to three,  inclusive.  The  standard  may be a
requirement for a  certain score on a standardized
test.
    [(b)  The  Commissioner   of  Education  shall
report, in accordance  with  section  11-4a of the
general statutes, on  such  standard  to the joint
standing committee of  the General Assembly having
cognizance of matters  relating  to  education, by
February 1, 1998.]
    Sec. 3. (NEW)  As  used  in  sections  3 to 6,
inclusive, and sections 8 and 9 of this act:
    (1) "Priority school  district" means a school
district  described  in  section  10-266p  of  the
general statutes, as amended; and
    (2) "Priority school"  means a school in which
forty per cent  or  more of the lunches served are
served to students  who  are  eligible for free or
reduced price lunches  pursuant to federal law and
regulations, excluding such  a school located in a
priority school district.
    Sec.  4.  (NEW)   (a)   The   Commissioner  of
Education   shall  establish,   within   available
appropriations,  an early  reading  success  grant
program to assist  local  and  regional  boards of
education for priority school districts and school
districts in which priority elementary schools are
located in: (1) Establishing full-day kindergarten
programs;  (2)  reducing   class  size  in  grades
kindergarten to three, inclusive, to not more than
eighteen students; and  (3) establishing intensive
early  intervention  reading  programs,  including
after-school  and summer  programs,  for  students
identified as being at risk of failing to learn to
read by the  end  of  first  grade and students in
grades one to  three,  inclusive,  who are reading
below grade level. Eligibility for grants pursuant
to  this  section   shall   be  determined  for  a
five-year  period based  on  a  school  district's
designation as a  priority school district or as a
school district in  which  a  priority  elementary
school  is  located   for   the  initial  year  of
application.  In order  to  receive  a  grant,  an
eligible board of  education  shall  submit a plan
for the expenditure  of grant funds, in accordance
with this section, to the Department of Education,
at  such  time   and   in   such   manner  as  the
commissioner   prescribes.  An   eligible   school
district may receive  a  grant  for  one  or  more
purposes  pursuant to  subdivisions  (1)  to  (3),
inclusive, of this  subsection,  provided at least
fifty per cent of any grant funds received by such
school district are  used for programs pursuant to
subdivision  (3)  of   this   subsection.  If  the
commissioner  determines the  school  district  is
addressing the issue of early reading intervention
sufficiently,  the  commissioner   may  allow  the
school district to  set aside a smaller percentage
of the funds received pursuant to this section for
such programs.
    (b) (1) In  the case of proposals for full-day
kindergarten programs, the plan shall include: (A)
Information on the number of full-day kindergarten
classes that will  be  offered  initially  and the
number of children to be enrolled in such classes;
(B) how the board anticipates expanding the number
of full-day kindergarten programs in future school
years;  (C)  the  number  of  additional  teachers
needed and any  additional  equipment  needed  for
purposes of such  programs;  (D)  a description of
any  proposed  school  building  project  that  is
related  to the  need  for  additional  space  for
full-day  kindergarten  programs,   including   an
analysis of the  different  options  available  to
meet such need,  such  as  relocatable classrooms,
the division of  existing  classrooms, an addition
to a building or new construction; (E) information
on the curriculum  for  the  full-day kindergarten
program  pursuant  to   subdivision  (2)  of  this
subsection;   (F)  information   on   coordination
between  the  full-day  kindergarten  program  and
school  readiness  programs  for  the  purpose  of
providing before and  after  school child care for
children  attending  the   full-day   kindergarten
program; and (G)  any  additional  information the
commissioner deems relevant.
    (2)  A  full-day   kindergarten  program  that
receives  funding  pursuant   to  this  subsection
shall:  (A)  Include   language   development  and
appropriate  reading  readiness  experiences;  (B)
provide  for  the   assessment   of   a  student's
progress; (C) include  a  professional development
component in the  teaching  of reading and reading
readiness and assessment of reading competency for
kindergarten  teachers;  and   (D)   provide   for
parental involvement.
    (c) (1) In  the  case  of  proposals  for  the
reduction of class  size in grades kindergarten to
three,  inclusive,  to   not  more  than  eighteen
students the plan  shall include: (A) A time frame
for achieving such  reduction  in  class size; (B)
information on the  class  size  in such grades at
each school at  the  time  of  application for the
grant and the  number  of classes to be reduced in
size  with  grant   funds;   (C)   the  number  of
additional  teachers  needed  and  any  additional
equipment  needed;  (D)   a   description  of  any
proposed school building  project  related  to the
need for additional  space  for  smaller  classes,
including an analysis  of  the  different  options
available to meet  such  need  such as relocatable
classrooms, the division  of  existing classrooms,
an addition to a building or new construction; (E)
an  estimate  of   the   costs   associated   with
implementation of the plan; and (F) any additional
information the commissioner deems relevant.
    (2)  If  a   school   district  accepts  funds
pursuant to this  subsection, such school district
shall limit the  class  size  of  classes in which
core curriculum is  taught  in grades kindergarten
to three, inclusive,  in  accordance with its plan
to eighteen or  less  students,  provided students
who enroll after  October first in any school year
are not included for purposes of such count.
    (d) In the  case  of  proposals  for intensive
early  intervention  reading   programs  including
after-school and summer  programs, the plan shall:
(1) Provide for  a  period  of  time  each  day of
individualized or small group instruction for each
student; (2) provide  for  monitoring  of students
and follow-up in  subsequent grades, documentation
of continuous classroom  observation  of student's
reading behaviors and establishment of performance
indicators  aligned with  the  state-wide  mastery
examinations under chapter  163c  of  the  general
statutes  and other  methodologies  for  assessing
reading competencies established by the department
pursuant to section  23  of  public act 97-290, as
amended by this  act;  (3)  include a professional
development  component  for   teachers  in  grades
kindergarten to three,  inclusive, that emphasizes
the teaching of  reading and reading readiness and
assessment of reading  competency; (4) provide for
parental involvement and  ensure that parents have
access to information  on  strategies  that may be
used at home  to  improve  prereading  or  reading
skills;  (5)  provide   for  data  collection  and
program  evaluation;  and   (6)   any   additional
information the commissioner deems relevant.
    (e)  (1)  The   pilot   programs   established
pursuant to section 22 of this act shall be funded
from the amount  appropriated for purposes of this
section. The department  shall use ninety per cent
of the remaining  funds  appropriated for purposes
of this section  for  grants  to  priority  school
districts. Priority school districts shall receive
grants based on  their  proportional  share of the
sum of the  products  obtained  by multiplying the
number of enrolled  kindergarten  students in each
priority school district for the year prior to the
year the grant  is to be paid, by the ratio of the
average percentage of free and reduced price meals
for all severe  need  schools  in such district to
the minimum percentage requirement for severe need
school eligibility. (2)  The  department shall use
nine  per  cent   of   such  remaining  funds  for
competitive grants to  school districts in which a
priority elementary school is located. In awarding
grants  to  school  districts  in  which  priority
elementary  schools are  located,  the  department
shall consider the  town  wealth,  as  defined  in
subdivision (26) of section 10-262f of the general
statutes, as amended,  of  the  town  in which the
school district is  located,  or  in  the  case of
regional  school  districts,   the   towns   which
comprise  the  regional  school  district.  Grants
received by school  districts  in  which  priority
elementary schools are  located  shall  not exceed
one hundred thousand dollars and shall be used for
the appropriate purpose at the priority elementary
school. (3) The  department  may  retain up to one
per cent of such remaining funds for coordination,
program evaluation and administration.
    (f) No funds received pursuant to this section
shall be used  to supplant federal, state or local
funding  to  the   local  or  regional  boards  of
education for programs  for grades kindergarten to
three, inclusive.
    (g) Expenditure reports  shall  be  filed with
the department as  requested  by the commissioner.
School districts shall  refund  (1) any unexpended
amounts at the  close of the program for which the
grant is awarded, and (2) any amounts not expended
in accordance with the approved grant application.
    Sec. 5. (NEW)  (a)  Each  local  and  regional
board of education  for a priority school district
shall offer a summer reading program, as described
in subsection (d)  of  section  4  of this act, to
children enrolled in  kindergarten  in the schools
under its jurisdiction who are determined by their
teacher to need  additional  reading  and  reading
readiness instruction.
    (b) For each  school  year  commencing  on  or
after July 1,  1999, each local and regional board
of education for  a priority school district shall
require  the schools  under  its  jurisdiction  to
evaluate the reading level of students enrolled in
grades one to  three,  inclusive, in the middle of
the school year and at the end of the school year.
If a student  is  determined  to  be reading below
grade level based  on:  (1) The middle of the year
evaluation, the school shall notify the parents or
guardian of the  student  of  such result; and (2)
the end of  the  year evaluation, the school shall
develop a personal  reading plan for such student.
The personal reading  plan  shall include measures
to improve the  student's  reading  level, such as
tutoring,  a  transitional   class,  or  a  summer
reading program as  described in subsection (d) of
section 4 of  this  act. Promotion of such student
from grade to  grade  shall be based on documented
progress in achieving  the  goals  of the personal
reading plan or  demonstrated  reading proficiency
commensurate with grade  level.  If  a decision is
made to promote  a  student  who  is reading below
grade level from third to fourth grade, the school
principal shall provide  written justification for
such promotion to  the  superintendent of schools.
Information on the number of such promotions shall
be included in the strategic school profile report
pursuant to subsection  (c)  of  section 10-220 of
the  general  statutes,  as  amended.  A  personal
reading plan shall be maintained for a student who
is reading below  grade  level until he is reading
at grade level.
    Sec.  6.  Section   10-285a   of  the  general
statutes, as amended  by  section 22 of public act
97-259 and section  19  of  public  act 97-290, is
amended by adding subsection (h) as follows:
    (NEW) (h) Subject to the provisions of section
7 of this  act,  if  an elementary school building
project for a school in a priority school district
or for a  priority school is necessary in order to
offer a full-day kindergarten program or to reduce
class size pursuant  to section 4 of this act, the
percentage  determined pursuant  to  this  section
shall be increased  by  five percentage points for
the portion of  the  building  used  primarily for
such full-day kindergarten program or such reduced
size classes.
    Sec. 7. (NEW)  In order to be eligible for the
percentage increase pursuant  to subsection (h) of
section  10-285a  of   the  general  statutes,  as
amended by section  6 of this act: (1) The project
shall be (A) included in a plan developed pursuant
to section 4 of this act, and (B) for a particular
full-day kindergarten class or reduced-sized class
funded pursuant to  section 4 of this act; (2) the
local or regional board of education shall present
evidence to the  Department  of Education that the
project is the  best  option  for solving the need
for additional space  and  is  cost-efficient; and
(3)  the  project   shall  meet  the  requirements
established  in  chapter   173   of   the  general
statutes.
    Sec.  8.  (NEW)   (a)   The   Commissioner  of
Education shall establish,  within  available bond
authorizations, a grant program to assist priority
school   districts   in    paying    for   general
improvements to school  buildings. For purposes of
this  section  "General   improvements  to  school
buildings" means work  that  (1)  is generally not
eligible for reimbursement pursuant to chapter 173
of the general statutes, and (2) is to (A) replace
windows,  doors, boilers  and  other  heating  and
ventilation     system    components,     internal
communications  systems,  lockers,   and  ceilings
including the installation  of  new drop ceilings,
(B) upgrade restrooms including the replacement of
fixtures, (C) upgrade and replace lighting, or (D)
install  security  equipment   including  fencing,
provided   "general   improvements    to    school
buildings" may include  work not specified in this
subdivision  if  the   school   district  provides
justification  for such  work  acceptable  to  the
Commissioner of Education,  but  shall not include
routine maintenance such  as  painting,  cleaning,
equipment repair or  other  minor  repairs or work
done at the  administrative  facilities of a board
of education.
    (b) Eligibility for  grants  pursuant  to this
section shall be determined for a five-year period
based on a  school  district's  designation in the
initial year of  application  as a priority school
district.  Grant awards  shall  be  made  annually
contingent upon the filing of an application and a
satisfactory annual evaluation.  School  districts
shall apply for grants pursuant to this section at
such time and  in  such manner as the commissioner
prescribes.
    (c) No funds  received  by  a  school district
pursuant to this section shall be used to supplant
federal, state or  local  funding received by such
town for improvements to school buildings.
    (d) Expenditure reports  shall  be  filed with
the Department of  Education  as  requested by the
commissioner. School districts  shall  refund  (1)
any unexpended amounts at the close of the project
for which the  grants  are  awarded  and  (2)  any
amounts  not  expended   in  accordance  with  the
approved grant application.
    (e) General improvements  for which grants are
awarded in any  year shall be completed by the end
of the succeeding fiscal year.
    Sec.  9.  (NEW)   (a)   The   Commissioner  of
Education   shall  establish,   within   available
appropriations,  a  grant   program  for  priority
school  districts to  purchase  library  books  to
promote better reading  skills.  For  purposes  of
this section "library  books" means books that are
in school libraries  and media centers for student
use and are either for reference purposes or to be
circulated.
    (b) Eligibility for  grants  pursuant  to this
section shall be determined for a five-year period
based on a  school  district's  designation in the
initial year of  application  as a priority school
district.
    (c) School districts  shall  apply  for grants
pursuant to this section at such times and in such
manner as the commissioner prescribes.
    (d) The Department  of Education may retain up
to  one  per   cent   of   the   amount  of  funds
appropriated  for purposes  of  this  section  for
coordination,      program     evaluation      and
administration.
    (e) No funds  received  by  a  school district
pursuant to this section shall be used to supplant
federal, state or  local  funding received by such
town for the purchase of library books.
    Sec. 10. Subsection (b) of section 4 of public
act  97-259  is  repealed  and  the  following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (b) The local  school readiness council shall:
(1)  Make recommendations  to  the  chief  elected
official  and the  superintendent  of  schools  on
issues relating to school readiness, including any
applications for grants pursuant to sections 2 and
7 of [this  act]  PUBLIC  ACT  97-259  and section
17b-749a of the  general  statutes,  as amended by
section 5 of  [this  act]  PUBLIC  ACT 97-259; (2)
foster  partnerships  among  providers  of  school
readiness   programs;   (3)    assist    in    the
identification of the  need  for  school readiness
programs and the  number  of  children  not  being
served by such  a  program;  (4) identify existing
and prospective resources  and  services available
to  children  and  families;  (5)  facilitate  the
coordination  of  the   delivery  of  services  to
children  and  families,  including  (A)  referral
procedures, AND (B)  BEFORE AND AFTER-SCHOOL CHILD
CARE FOR CHILDREN ATTENDING KINDERGARTEN PROGRAMS;
(6) exchange information  with other councils, the
community and organizations  serving  the needs of
children and families; (7) make recommendations to
school officials concerning transition from school
readiness  programs  to   kindergarten;   and  (8)
encourage public participation.
    Sec. 11. Subsection (a) of section 3 of public
act  97-259  is  repealed  and  the  following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  Each  school   readiness   program  shall
include: (1) A  plan  for collaboration with other
community programs and  services, INCLUDING PUBLIC
LIBRARIES, and for  coordination  of  resources in
order to facilitate  full-day and year-round child
care  and  education   programs  for  children  of
working  parents  and   parents  in  education  or
training   programs;   (2)   parent   involvement,
parenting education and  outreach;  (3)  referrals
for  health  services,   including  referrals  for
appropriate  immunizations  and   screenings;  (4)
nutrition  services;  (5)   referrals   to  family
literacy  programs that  incorporate  adult  basic
education  and  provide   for   the  promotion  of
literacy   through  access   to   public   library
services;  (6)  admission  policies  that  promote
enrolment  of  children   from  different  racial,
ethnic and economic  backgrounds  and  from  other
communities;  (7)  a   plan   of   transition  for
participating children from  the  school readiness
program  to  kindergarten   AND  PROVIDE  FOR  THE
TRANSFER  OF  RECORDS  FROM  THE  PROGRAM  TO  THE
KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM; (8)  a plan for professional
development for staff; (9) a sliding fee scale for
families participating in  the program pursuant to
section 8 of  [this  act]  PUBLIC  ACT 97-259; and
(10) an annual  evaluation of the effectiveness of
the program.
    Sec. 12. Section 10-15 of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    Public schools including  kindergartens  shall
be  maintained in  each  town  for  at  least  one
hundred  eighty days  of  actual  school  sessions
during each year.  When public school sessions are
cancelled  for reasons  of  inclement  weather  or
otherwise, the rescheduled  sessions  shall not be
held on Saturday  or  Sunday.  The  State Board of
Education (1) may  authorize the shortening of any
school year for  a  school district, a school or a
portion of a  school  on account of an unavoidable
emergency, and (2) may authorize implementation of
scheduling of school  sessions to permit full year
use of facilities  which  may not offer each child
one hundred eighty  days of school sessions within
a  given  school   year,   but  which  assures  an
opportunity for each child to average a minimum of
one hundred eighty  days  of  school  sessions per
year   during  thirteen   years   of   educational
opportunity  in  the   elementary   and  secondary
schools. Notwithstanding the  provisions  of  this
section and section 10-16, AS AMENDED BY THIS ACT,
the State Board of Education may, upon application
by a local or regional board of education, approve
for any single school year, in whole or in part, a
plan to implement alternative scheduling of school
sessions which assures at least four hundred fifty
hours of actual  school  work  for nursery schools
and  HALF-DAY  kindergartens  and  at  least  nine
hundred hours of  actual  school work for FULL-DAY
KINDERGARTEN AND grades one to twelve, inclusive.
    Sec. 13. Section 10-16 of the general statutes
is repealed and  the  following  is substituted in
lieu thereof:
    Each school district  shall  provide  in  each
school year no  less  than  one hundred and eighty
days  of  actual   school   sessions   for  grades
kindergarten to twelve,  inclusive,  nine  hundred
hours  of  actual   school   work   for   FULL-DAY
KINDERGARTEN AND grades  one to twelve, inclusive,
and  four hundred  and  fifty  hours  of  HALF-DAY
kindergarten, provided school  districts shall not
count more than  seven hours of actual school work
in any school  day  towards the total required for
the school year.  If  weather conditions result in
an early dismissal or a delayed opening of school,
a school district which maintains separate morning
and afternoon HALF-DAY  kindergarten  sessions may
provide either a  morning  or  afternoon  HALF-DAY
kindergarten session on such day.
    Sec. 14. Subsection  (a) of section 10-145d of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  The  State   Board  of  Education  shall,
pursuant to chapter  54, adopt such regulations as
may be necessary  to  carry  out the provisions of
sections 10-144o, 10-145a  to  10-145d, inclusive,
AS AMENDED BY  THIS ACT, 10-145f and 10-146b. Such
regulations   shall   provide    for    (1)    the
establishment of an  appeal  panel  to  review any
decision to deny  the  issuance  of  a certificate
authorized under said  section  10-145b;  (2)  the
establishment  of requirements  for  subject  area
endorsements; (3) the  extension  of  the  time to
complete requirements for  certificates under said
section   10-145b;  (4)   the   establishment   of
requirements  for  administrator   and  supervisor
certificates;  (5) the  composition  of,  and  the
procedures to be utilized by, the assessment teams
in implementing the  beginning  educator  program;
(6)   procedures   and    criteria   for   issuing
certificates to persons  whose  certificates  have
lapsed  or  persons   with   non-public-school  or
out-of-state teaching experience; (7) the criteria
for defining a  major course of study; [and] (8) a
requirement that on  and  after  July  1, 1993, in
order to be eligible to obtain an initial educator
certificate with an  elementary  endorsement, each
person [shall] be  required  to  complete a survey
course in United  States  history comprised of not
fewer  than  three   semester  hours;  AND  (9)  A
REQUIREMENT THAT ON  AND  AFTER  JULY  1, 2003, IN
ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO OBTAIN AN INITIAL EDUCATOR
CERTIFICATE  WITH  AN   EARLY   CHILDHOOD  NURSERY
THROUGH GRADE THREE  OR AN ELEMENTARY ENDORSEMENT,
EACH   PERSON   BE    REQUIRED   TO   COMPLETE   A
COMPREHENSIVE READING INSTRUCTION COURSE COMPRISED
OF  NOT  LESS   THAN   SIX  SEMESTER  HOURS.  Such
regulations   may  provide   for   exceptions   to
accommodate  specific  certification   endorsement
areas.
    Sec. 15. Subsection  (l) of section 10-145b of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (l) (1) For  certified  employees of local and
regional boards of  education,  except as provided
in this subdivision,  each  professional  educator
certificate shall be  valid  for  five  years  and
continued every five  years  thereafter  upon  the
successful completion of  professional development
activities which shall  consist  of  not less than
ninety   hours   of   continuing   education,   as
determined  by the  local  or  regional  board  of
education in accordance  with this section, during
each  successive  five-year   period.   (A)   SUCH
CONTINUING   EDUCATION  COMPLETED   BY   CERTIFIED
EMPLOYEES WITH AN  EARLY CHILDHOOD NURSERY THROUGH
GRADE THREE OR  AN ELEMENTARY ENDORSEMENT WHO HOLD
A POSITION REQUIRING  SUCH  AN  ENDORSEMENT  SHALL
INCLUDE AT LEAST  FIFTEEN HOURS OF TRAINING IN THE
TEACHING  OF READING  AND  READING  READINESS  AND
ASSESSMENT  OF  READING   PERFORMANCE,   INCLUDING
METHODS OF TEACHING  LANGUAGE SKILLS NECESSARY FOR
READING, READING COMPREHENSION SKILLS, PHONICS AND
THE STRUCTURE OF  THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE DURING EACH
FIVE-YEAR PERIOD. (B)  Such  continuing  education
completed  by  [(A)]  (i)  the  superintendent  of
schools,  and [(B)]  (ii)  employees  employed  in
positions requiring an  intermediate administrator
or  supervisory  certificate,  or  the  equivalent
thereof, and whose  administrative  or supervisory
duties  equal at  least  fifty  per  cent  of  the
assigned time of  such  employee, shall include at
least fifteen hours  of training in the evaluation
of teachers pursuant  to  section  10-151b  during
each  five-year  period.   During  each  five-year
period   in   which    a   professional   educator
certificate is valid, a holder of such certificate
who  has  not   completed   the  ninety  hours  of
continuing  education required  pursuant  to  this
subdivision, and who  has  not been employed while
holding such certificate  by  a  local or regional
board  of  education   for  all  or  part  of  the
five-year  period,  shall,  upon  application,  be
reissued such certificate for five years minus any
period of time  such  holder  was  employed  while
holding such certificate  by  a  local or regional
board of education,  provided  there shall be only
one such reissuance  during  each five-year period
in which such  certificate  is  valid. A certified
employee of a local or regional board of education
who is a  member  of  the General Assembly and who
has not completed  the  ninety hours of continuing
education required pursuant  to  this  subdivision
for   continuation  of   his   certificate,   upon
application,  shall  be  reissued  a  professional
educator certificate for a period of time equal to
six months for  each year he served in the General
Assembly   during   the   previous   five   years.
Continuing education hours  completed  during  the
previous five years  shall  be applied toward such
ninety-hour requirement which  shall  be completed
during the reissuance  period  in  order  for such
employee to be  eligible  to  have his certificate
continued.   The   cost    of   the   professional
development   activities   required   under   this
subsection for certified  employees  of  local  or
regional boards of  education  shall  be shared by
the  state  and   local   or  regional  boards  of
education, except for  those activities identified
by  the  State   Board   of   Education   as   the
responsibility  of the  certificate  holder.  Each
local and regional  board  of education shall make
available, annually, at  no  cost to its certified
employees  not  fewer   than   eighteen  hours  of
professional development activities for continuing
education  credit. Such  activities  may  be  made
available  by  a   board  of  education  directly,
through a regional  educational  service center or
cooperative  arrangement  with  another  board  of
education  or  through   arrangements   with   any
continuing  education  provider  approved  by  the
State  Board  of  Education.  Local  and  regional
boards  of  education   shall   grant   continuing
education  credit  for   professional  development
activities which the  certified  employees  of the
board  of  education   are   required  to  attend,
professional  development  activities  offered  in
accordance with the  plan  developed  pursuant  to
subsection (b) of section 10-220a, or professional
development activities which the board may approve
for any individual  certified employee. Each board
of   education  shall   determine   the   specific
professional  development activities  to  be  made
available with the  advice  and  assistance of the
teachers  employed  by   such   board,   including
representatives of the  exclusive  bargaining unit
for such teachers pursuant to section 10-153b. The
time  and  location  for  the  provision  of  such
activities shall be  in  accordance with either an
agreement between the  board  of education and the
exclusive bargaining unit pursuant to said section
10-153b or, in the absence of such agreement or to
the extent such agreement does not provide for the
time  and location  of  all  such  activities,  in
accordance with a  determination  by  the board of
education.
    (2) Each local and regional board of education
shall attest to the state Department of Education,
in such form  and at such time as the commissioner
shall  prescribe,  that  professional  development
activities for which  continuing  education credit
is  granted by  the  board:  (A)  Are  planned  in
response to identified  needs, (B) are provided by
qualified instructional personnel, as appropriate,
(C) have the requirements for participation in the
activity  shared  with   participants  before  the
commencement of the activity, (D) are evaluated in
terms of its effectiveness and its contribution to
the attainment of  school  or district-wide goals,
and  (E)  are   documented   in   accordance  with
procedures  established  by  the  State  Board  of
Education. At the  end  of  each  five-year period
each professional educator  shall  attest  to  the
state Department of Education, in such form and at
such time as  the  commissioner  shall  prescribe,
that the professional  educator  has  successfully
completed ninety hours of continuing education.
    (3) In the  event that the state Department of
Education notifies the  local or regional board of
education that the  provisions  of subdivision (2)
of this subsection  have  not  been  met  and that
specific corrective action is necessary, the local
or regional board  of  education  shall  take such
corrective  action  immediately.   The  department
shall not invalidate  continuing  education credit
awarded prior to such notice.
    Sec.  16.  Section   10-184   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    All parents and  those  who  have  the care of
children shall bring  them  up  in some lawful and
honest employment and  instruct them or cause them
to be instructed  in  reading,  writing, spelling,
English grammar, geography,  arithmetic and United
States history and  in  citizenship,  including  a
study of the  town, state and federal governments.
[Each] SUBJECT TO  THE  PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION
AND SECTION 10-15c,  AS  AMENDED,  EACH  parent or
other person having  control  of  a  child  [seven
years of age  and over and under sixteen years of]
age FIVE TO  SIXTEEN,  INCLUSIVE, shall cause such
child to attend  a  public  [day] school regularly
during the hours  and  terms  the public school in
the district [wherein] IN WHICH such child resides
is in session,  [or while the school is in session
in which provision  for  the  instruction  of such
child is made according to law,] unless the parent
or person having  control of such child is able to
show  that  the   child   is  elsewhere  receiving
equivalent instruction in  the  studies  taught in
the public schools.  THE  PARENT  OR PERSON HAVING
CONTROL OF A  CHILD  FIVE  YEARS OF AGE SHALL HAVE
THE OPTION OF  NOT  SENDING  THE  CHILD  TO SCHOOL
UNTIL THE CHILD IS SIX YEARS OF AGE AND THE PARENT
OR PERSON HAVING  CONTROL  OF A CHILD SIX YEARS OF
AGE SHALL HAVE THE OPTION OF NOT SENDING THE CHILD
TO SCHOOL UNTIL  THE  CHILD IS SEVEN YEARS OF AGE.
THE PARENT OR PERSON SHALL EXERCISE SUCH OPTION BY
PERSONALLY APPEARING AT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFICE
AND SIGNING AN  OPTION  FORM.  THE SCHOOL DISTRICT
SHALL   PROVIDE  THE   PARENT   OR   PERSON   WITH
INFORMATION  ON  THE   EDUCATIONAL   OPPORTUNITIES
AVAILABLE IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
    Sec. 17. Subsection  (a) of section 10-198a of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) For purposes  of  this  section,  "truant"
means  a  child   age  [seven]  FIVE  to  sixteen,
inclusive, who is  enrolled in a public or private
school and has four unexcused absences from school
in any one  month  or  ten unexcused absences from
school in any school year.
    Sec.  18.  Section   10-200   of  the  general
statutes  is  repealed   and   the   following  is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    Each  city  and   town  may  adopt  ordinances
concerning  habitual  truants   from   school  and
children between the  ages  of  [seven]  FIVE  and
sixteen  years  wandering  about  its  streets  or
public places, having no lawful occupation and not
attending school; and  may  make  such  ordinances
respecting such children as shall conduce to their
welfare and to  public  order, imposing penalties,
not exceeding twenty  dollars,  for any one breach
thereof. The police  in  any town, city or borough
and  bailiffs,  constables,  sheriffs  and  deputy
sheriffs  in  their   respective  precincts  shall
arrest all such children found anywhere beyond the
proper  control of  their  parents  or  guardians,
during the usual school hours of the school terms,
and may stop  any child under sixteen years of age
during such hours and ascertain whether such child
is a truant  from  school,  and, if such child is,
shall send such  child  to school. For purposes of
this section, "habitual  truant" means a child age
[seven] FIVE to  sixteen, inclusive, enrolled in a
public or private  school who has twenty unexcused
absences within a school year.
    Sec. 19. Subsection  (a)  of section 10-220 of
the general statutes,  as amended by section 21 of
public act 97-290,  is  repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) Each local  or regional board of education
shall   maintain  good   public   elementary   and
secondary  schools,  implement   the   educational
interests  of the  state  as  defined  in  section
10-4a,  AS  AMENDED,   and   provide   such  other
educational activities as  in  its  judgment  will
best serve the  interests  of the school district;
provided any board  of  education  may secure such
opportunities  in  another   school   district  in
accordance with provisions of the general statutes
and shall give  all  the  children  of  the school
district as nearly  equal  advantages  as  may  be
practicable; shall provide an appropriate learning
environment for its  students  which  includes (1)
adequate instructional books, supplies, materials,
equipment,  staffing, facilities  and  technology,
(2) equitable allocation  of  resources  among its
schools, and (3) a safe school setting; shall have
charge of the  schools  of  its  respective school
district; shall make  a  continuing  study  of the
need for school  facilities  and  of  a  long-term
school building program and from time to time make
recommendations based on  such  study to the town;
shall  report  annually  to  the  Commissioner  of
Education on the  condition  of its facilities and
the action taken to implement its long-term school
building program, which  report  the  commissioner
shall use to  prepare  an  annual  report  that he
shall submit in  accordance  with section 11-4a to
the  joint  standing   committee  of  the  General
Assembly  having cognizance  of  education;  shall
advise  the  Commissioner   of  Education  of  the
relationship   between   any   individual   school
building project pursuant  to chapter 173 and such
long-term school building  program; shall have the
care,  maintenance  and  operation  of  buildings,
lands,  apparatus  and  other  property  used  for
school purposes and  at all times shall insure all
such buildings and all capital equipment contained
therein against loss  in  an  amount not less than
eighty  per  cent   of   replacement  cost;  shall
determine the number,  age  and  qualifications of
the pupils to  be admitted into each school; shall
employ and dismiss  the teachers of the schools of
such  district  subject   to   the  provisions  of
sections  10-151,  AS  AMENDED,  and  10-158a,  AS
AMENDED; shall designate  the  schools which shall
be attended by  the  various  children  within the
school district; shall  make  such  provisions  as
will enable each  child of school age, residing in
the district to  attend some public day school for
the period required  by  law  and  provide for the
transportation of children wherever transportation
is reasonable and  desirable, and for such purpose
may make contracts  covering  periods  of not more
than  five years;  may  place  in  an  alternative
school  program  or   other  suitable  educational
program  a  pupil   enrolling  in  school  who  is
nineteen years of  age or older and cannot acquire
a sufficient number  of  credits for graduation by
age twenty-one; may  arrange  with  the  board  of
education of an  adjacent town for the instruction
therein of such  children  as can attend school in
such adjacent town  more conveniently; shall cause
each child [seven  years of age and over and under
sixteen] AGE FIVE TO SIXTEEN, INCLUSIVE, living in
the school district to attend school in accordance
with the provisions  of section 10-184, AS AMENDED
BY SECTION 16  OF  THIS ACT, and shall perform all
acts required of  it  by  the town or necessary to
carry into effect the powers and duties imposed by
law.
    Sec. 20. Subsection  (a) of section 10-220a of
the general statutes,  as  amended by section 2 of
public act 97-45  and  section  2  of  public  act
97-61,   is  repealed   and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) Each local  or regional board of education
shall provide an  in-service  training program for
its teachers, administrators  and  pupil personnel
who  hold  the   initial   educator,   provisional
educator  or  professional  educator  certificate.
Such   program   shall   be   submitted   to   the
Commissioner of Education  and  shall provide such
teachers, administrators and  pupil personnel with
information on (1) the nature and the relationship
of  drugs,  as  defined  in  subdivision  (17)  of
section  21a-240,  and   alcohol   to  health  and
personality   development,  and   procedures   for
discouraging their abuse,  (2)  health  and mental
health risk reduction  education  which  includes,
but need not  be  limited  to,  the  prevention of
risk-taking   behavior   by   children   and   the
relationship of such  behavior to substance abuse,
pregnancy,    sexually    transmitted    diseases,
including HIV-infection and  AIDS,  as  defined in
section 19a-581, violence,  child  abuse and youth
suicide,  (3)  the   growth   and  development  of
exceptional  children, including  handicapped  and
gifted and talented  children and children who may
require  special  education,   and   methods   for
identifying, planning for  and working effectively
with  special  needs   children   in   a   regular
classroom,  (4)  school  violence  prevention  and
conflict    resolution,    (5)     cardiopulmonary
resuscitation  and  other  emergency  life  saving
procedures,   [and]   (6)   computer   and   other
information  technology  as   applied  to  student
learning and classroom instruction, communications
and data management,  AND  (7) THE TEACHING OF THE
LANGUAGE ARTS, READING  AND  READING READINESS FOR
TEACHERS   IN  GRADES   KINDERGARTEN   TO   THREE,
INCLUSIVE. The State  Board  of  Education, within
available appropriations and  utilizing  available
materials, shall assist  and  encourage  local and
regional  boards  of  education  to  include:  (A)
Holocaust  education  and   awareness;   (B)   the
historical events surrounding  the Great Famine in
Ireland; (C) African-American  history; (D) Puerto
Rican history; (E)  Native  American  history; (F)
personal  financial  management;  and  (G)  topics
approved by the  state  board  upon the request of
local or regional  boards  of education as part of
in-service  training  programs  pursuant  to  this
subsection.
    Sec. 21. Subsection  (a)  of section 10-283 of
the general statutes,  as amended by section 76 of
public act 97-265,  is  repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a) (1) Each  town or regional school district
shall be eligible  to  apply for and accept grants
for a school  building project as provided in this
chapter. Any town  desiring  a  grant for a public
school  building  project  may,  by  vote  of  its
legislative body, authorize the board of education
of such town  to  apply  to  the  Commissioner  of
Education and to  accept  or reject such grant for
the town. Any  regional  school  board may vote to
authorize the supervising  agent  of  the regional
school district to  apply  to  the Commissioner of
Education for and  to  accept or reject such grant
for the district.  Applications  for  such  grants
under  this  chapter   shall   be   made   by  the
superintendent of schools of such town or regional
school district on  the  form  provided and in the
manner   prescribed   by   the   Commissioner   of
Education. Grant applications  for school building
projects shall be  reviewed by the Commissioner of
Education on the  basis of categories for building
projects  and standards  for  school  construction
established by the  State  Board  of  Education in
accordance  with  this   section,  provided  grant
applications submitted for  purposes of subsection
(a)  of section  10-65,  AS  AMENDED,  or  section
10-76e  shall  be   reviewed   annually   by   the
commissioner on the basis of the educational needs
of the applicant.
    (2)  Each school  building  project  shall  be
assigned to a  category  on  the  basis of whether
such project is  primarily  required to: [(1)] (A)
Create new facilities or alter existing facilities
to provide for  mandatory  instructional  programs
pursuant to this  chapter,  for physical education
facilities in compliance  with  Title  IX  of  the
Elementary and Secondary  Education  Act  of  1972
where such programs  or  such compliance cannot be
provided within existing  facilities  or  for  the
correction  of code  violations  which  cannot  be
reasonably  addressed  within   existing   program
space; [(2)] (B)  create  new  facilities or alter
existing   facilities   to    enhance    mandatory
instructional programs pursuant to this chapter or
provide comparable facilities among schools to all
students at the  same grade level or levels within
the  school  district   unless   such  project  is
otherwise explicitly included  in another category
pursuant to this section; and [(3)] (C) create new
facilities or alter existing facilities to provide
supportive services, provided  in  no  event shall
such supportive services  include  swimming pools,
auditoriums, outdoor athletic  facilities,  tennis
courts,   elementary  school   playgrounds,   site
improvement  or garages  or  storage,  parking  or
general   recreation   areas.   All   applications
submitted prior to  the  first  day of July in any
year   shall   be   reviewed   promptly   by   the
commissioner and the amount of the grant for which
such project is  eligible  shall be estimated. The
commissioner shall annually  prepare  a listing of
all such eligible  school building projects listed
by  category  together  with  the  amount  of  the
estimated grants therefor  and  shall  submit  the
same to the  Governor  and the General Assembly on
or before the fifteenth day of December, except as
provided in section  10-283a,  with  a request for
authorization  to enter  into  grant  commitments.
Each such listing  submitted  after  December 1995
shall include a  separate  schedule  of authorized
projects which have  changed in scope or cost to a
degree  determined  by   the   commissioner.   The
percentage determined pursuant  to section 10-285a
at the time  a  school  building  project  on such
schedule was originally  authorized  shall be used
for purposes of  the  grant  for such project. The
General  Assembly  shall  annually  authorize  the
commissioner to enter  into  grant  commitments on
behalf  of  the   state  in  accordance  with  the
commissioner's   categorized  listing   for   such
projects as the  General Assembly shall determine.
The commissioner may not enter into any such grant
commitments except pursuant  to  such  legislative
authorization. Any regional  school district which
assumes the responsibility  for  completion  of  a
public school building  project  shall be eligible
for a grant pursuant to subdivision (5) or (6), as
the case may  be,  of  subsection  (a)  of section
10-286, AS AMENDED, when such project is completed
and accepted by  such  regional  school  district.
[For the purpose  of  any  final grant calculation
completed during the  fiscal  year ending June 30,
1984, and for  each  fiscal  year  thereafter,  in
computing the amount of a state grant for a school
building project involving  the  construction of a
new school facility  or the purchase or lease of a
facility  for  which   a   grant   application  is
submitted within five years after any abandonment,
sale, lease, demolition  or  redirection of use of
any school facility  constructed or renovated with
state assistance, the  Commissioner  of  Education
shall deduct from  the  net  eligible cost of such
school building project  any grant amounts paid or
due on the  abandoned, sold, leased, demolished or
redirected facility from  the  date  such facility
was  abandoned,  sold,   leased,   demolished   or
redirected. No such  deduction  shall  be made for
any grant which was paid or is being paid pursuant
to subsection (b)  of this section, subsection (a)
of section 10-65 or section 10-76e.]
    (3) (A) ALL  FINAL  CALCULATIONS  COMPLETED BY
THE  DEPARTMENT  FOR   SCHOOL   BUILDING  PROJECTS
AUTHORIZED ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1996, SHALL INCLUDE
A COMPUTATION OF  THE  STATE  GRANT FOR THE SCHOOL
BUILDING  PROJECT AMORTIZED  ON  A  STRAIGHT  LINE
BASIS  OVER  A   TWENTY-YEAR   PERIOD  FOR  SCHOOL
BUILDING PROJECTS WITH  COSTS  EQUAL TO OR GREATER
THAN  TWO MILLION  DOLLARS  AND  OVER  A  TEN-YEAR
PERIOD FOR SCHOOL  BUILDING  PROJECTS  WITH  COSTS
LESS  THAN  TWO   MILLION  DOLLARS.  ANY  TOWN  OR
REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT  WHICH  ABANDONS,  SELLS,
LEASES, DEMOLISHES OR  OTHERWISE REDIRECTS THE USE
OF SUCH A  SCHOOL  BUILDING PROJECT TO A NONPUBLIC
SCHOOL USE DURING  SUCH  AMORTIZATION PERIOD SHALL
REFUND TO THE STATE THE UNAMORTIZED BALANCE OF THE
STATE  GRANT  REMAINING   AS   OF   THE  DATE  THE
ABANDONMENT,    SALE,   LEASE,    DEMOLITION    OR
REDIRECTION OCCURS. THE  AMORTIZATION PERIOD FOR A
PROJECT SHALL BEGIN  ON  THE  DATE THE PROJECT WAS
ACCEPTED AS COMPLETE  BY  THE  LOCAL  OR  REGIONAL
BOARD OF EDUCATION.  A  TOWN  OR  REGIONAL  SCHOOL
DISTRICT REQUIRED TO  MAKE  A  REFUND TO THE STATE
PURSUANT   TO   THIS   SUBDIVISION   MAY   REQUEST
FORGIVENESS OF SUCH  REFUND  IF  THE  BUILDING  IS
REDIRECTED FOR PUBLIC  USE.  THE  DEPARTMENT SHALL
INCLUDE  AS  AN  ADDENDUM  TO  THE  ANNUAL  SCHOOL
CONSTRUCTION  PRIORITY  LIST   ALL   THOSE   TOWNS
REQUESTING FORGIVENESS. GENERAL  ASSEMBLY APPROVAL
OF THE PRIORITY LIST CONTAINING SUCH REQUEST SHALL
CONSTITUTE   APPROVAL  OF   SUCH   REQUEST.   THIS
SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT  APPLY  TO PROJECTS PURSUANT
TO SUBSECTION (b)  OF  THIS  SECTION  OR  PROJECTS
SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 10-285c.
    (B) ANY MONEYS  REFUNDED TO THE STATE PURSUANT
TO SUBPARAGRAPH (A)  OF  THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE
DEPOSITED IN THE  STATE'S TAX-EXEMPT PROCEEDS FUND
AND USED WITHIN  SIXTY  DAYS  OF  REPAYMENT TO PAY
DEBT SERVICE ON,  INCLUDING REDEMPTION, DEFEASANCE
OR PURCHASE OF, OUTSTANDING BONDS OF THE STATE THE
INTEREST ON WHICH  IS NOT INCLUDED IN GROSS INCOME
PURSUANT TO SECTION  103  OF  THE INTERNAL REVENUE
CODE  OF 1986,  OR  ANY  SUBSEQUENT  CORRESPONDING
INTERNAL REVENUE CODE  OF  THE  UNITED  STATES, AS
FROM TIME TO TIME AMENDED.
    Sec. 22. The  Commissioner  of Education shall
establish  two  pilot   early  childhood  learning
programs. The pilot  programs shall be established
in priority school  districts  pursuant to section
10-266p of the  general  statutes,  as amended, or
transitional school districts.  One  program shall
be in a municipality with a population of fifty to
one hundred thousand,  inclusive,  and one program
shall be in  a municipality with a population over
one  hundred  thousand.  Each  pilot  program  may
include a laboratory  school  and a model day care
program that serves  sixty  children ages three to
five. The Department  of  Education  shall issue a
request for proposals  for the pilot programs. The
commissioner shall provide grants in the amount of
one hundred thousand  dollars each for purposes of
such pilot programs.  The grants shall be provided
from  the  amount  appropriated  for  purposes  of
section 4 of this act.
    Sec.  23.  (NEW)   (a)   The  Commissioner  of
Education   shall   conduct,    within   available
appropriations, a longitudinal study that examines
the educational progress  of  children both during
and  following  participation   in  early  reading
success grant programs  pursuant  to  section 4 of
this act.
    (b)  The  Commissioner   of   Education  shall
report, in accordance  with  section  11-4a of the
general statutes, to  the joint standing committee
of  the  General  Assembly  having  cognizance  of
matters relating to  education on the longitudinal
study by January 1, 2001.
    Sec. 24. The  Commissioner of Higher Education
shall study teacher  education programs within the
institutions  of  higher  education  that  provide
coursework    in    reading    instruction.    The
commissioner shall evaluate  how such programs are
addressing the diagnosis  of  reading difficulties
and   whether   they    are   teaching   effective
instructional and assessment  methods  for reading
competency.  The  commissioner   shall   determine
whether such programs  include methods of teaching
language  skills necessary  for  reading,  reading
comprehension skills, phonics and the structure of
the English language.  On  or before July 1, 1999,
the commissioner shall  report, in accordance with
the provisions of  section  11-4a  of  the general
statutes, to the  joint  standing committee of the
general  assembly  having  cognizance  of  matters
relating  to education  on  the  results  of  such
study, including any recommendations for revisions
to such programs.
    Sec. 25. This  act  shall  take effect July 1,
1998.

Approved May 28, 1998