Substitute House Bill No. 5231

Public Act No. 00-193

An Act Concerning A Competitive Grant Program For Certain High School Projects And Quality After School Programs.

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

Section 1. (NEW) The Department of Education shall establish, within available appropriations, a competitive grant program for high school projects that involve one or more of the following topics: Computers, engineering, mathematics, physics, science or technical construction. Local and regional boards of education may apply, on behalf of a high school under their jurisdiction, for a grant pursuant to this section at such time and in such manner as the Commissioner of Education prescribes.

Sec. 2. Section 1 of public act 00-187 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001, the Commissioner of Education shall provide grants, within available appropriations, to local and regional boards of education that have one or more schools in need of improvement on the most recent list prepared pursuant to section 2 of public act 99-288. Eligible boards of education shall use grant funds for costs related to the implementation of improvement plans for such schools, partnership programs between such schools and public libraries in the school district and actions necessary for such schools to become accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. An eligible board of education shall submit a plan for the expenditure of grant funds, in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, to the Department of Education, at such time and in such manner as the commissioner prescribes.

(b) The plan for the expenditure of grant funds shall be approved by the department, after consultation with the State Librarian for purposes of the partnership programs, and shall include: (1) Methods and school-based programs identified pursuant to section 2 of this act, that address the specific subject areas, by grade level, in which students attending the school were most deficient on the state-wide mastery examinations pursuant to section 10-14n of the general statutes, as amended, and (2) partnership programs with public libraries in the school district that are designed to improve family literacy and parent involvement. The plan may include a quality after school program.

(c) A quality after school program shall include: (1) Criteria for student participation in the program; (2) leisure activities that facilitate social and cognitive development; (3) safe indoor and outdoor environments; (4) trained staff skilled in child development; (5) specific strategies and interventions for children with demonstrated academic weaknesses to improve academic performance and reduce social promotion; (6) family involvement and an assessment of transportation needs for families to utilize the program; and (7) program evaluation.

[(c)] (d) Each board of education receiving a grant pursuant to this section shall set aside an amount equal to at least ten per cent of the grant for partnership programs with public libraries in the school district.

[(d)] (e) The Department of Education may retain up to one per cent of the amount appropriated for purposes of this section for coordination, program evaluation and administration.

[(e)] (f) No funds received pursuant to this section shall be used to supplant federal, state or local funding to the local or regional board of education for such schools.

[(f)] (g) 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 program for which the grant was awarded, and (2) any amounts not expended in accordance with the approved grant application.

[(g)] (h) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2001, the Hartford school district shall not receive grants pursuant to this section but shall use a portion of the supplemental aid provided in section 35 of special act 00-13 to implement improvement plans and partnership programs in accordance with this section.

Sec. 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2000.

Approved June 1, 2000