ARTICLE 1: INDIVIDUALIZED LEARNING SCHOOLS
Section 1. Citation. States that this act may be cited as “The Improved Achievement through Individualized Learning Act.”
Section 2. Individualized Learning Schools.
Subd. 1. Purpose. Establishes the purpose of the act to expand and improve student achievement through the creation of opportunities for individualized learning and encouragement of schools to introduce and expand individualization.
Subd. 2. Creation.
(a) Allows an individualized learning school to be a charter school, site-governed school, area learning center, or contract alternative school. Establishes an application and amendment process for these schools to become an individualized learning school. Allows school districts to limit applications for site-governed school proposals to an individualized learning school.
(b) States that the approving authorizer for an individualized learning school is the authorizer for charter schools and the district for site-governed schools, area learning centers, or contract alternative schools. States that the decision of the authorizer is final and is not subject to approval by the Commissioner.
(c) Directs an individualized learning school to describe the nature of its program in its annual report and make this description available to other schools and districts.
Subd. 3. Application requirements.
(a) Defines the application requirements for becoming an individualized learning school as including:
A plan stating how achievement will be defined and how the school will implement the competency-based student progression;
A description of the electronic individualized learning plan prepared for each student;
A description of how the progress of student growth will be maintained to demonstrate attainment and standards completion; and
The waivers that the school plans to use.
(b) States that the application for an individualized learning high school must also include graduation standards in addition to those provided for in law and indicate whether or not the standards will require a higher level of attainment.
(c) Requires a student to successfully complete at least one of the following in order to successfully graduate from an individualized learning school:
A college-level course taken through postsecondary enrollment options or college in the schools;
An international baccalaureate or advanced placement test and receive a score of 4 or higher; or advanced placement test and receive a score of 3 or higher; or
A supervised work experience program approved by the department as part of a secondary vocational education program.
Subd. 4. Waivers available.
(a) Exempts an individualized learning school from the following under certain conditions.
School calendar requirements;
Hours of instruction requirements; and
Defined curriculum requirements.
(b) Allows a contract alternative school approved by a school district as an individualized learning school to be exempt from and subject to the same laws and rules as charter schools.
(c) Allows an area learning center approved as an individualized learning school to be exempt from and subject to the same laws and rules as site-governed schools.
Subd. 5. Review and termination.
(a) Specifies that an individualized learning schools is responsible to its authorizer or district for implementing an individualized program of student work. States that renewal of the school’s contract or agreement is conditional upon demonstration of this implementation.
(b) Designates responsibility to the authorizer or district to ensure a site’s compliance with the contract or agreement and their authority to terminate a school's status as an individualized learning school at any time, if it determines that the provisions of the approved application are not being met. Denotes that a parent may bring a challenge to the school's authorizer or district to demonstrate the school's compliance.
ARTICLE 2 COMPLEMENTARY REFORMS
Section 1. Graduation Requirements; Course Credits.
Directs the school district to grant credit toward graduation requirements for successfully completed courses from non-Minnesota postsecondary institutions accredited by an agency recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Section 2. Revenue to self-governed school.
(a) Authorizes a site-governed school to be allocated compensatory revenue generated by its current enrollment and allows unspent revenue to be carried over to following years.
(b) Eliminates current eligible uses for administrative fees retained by site-governed schools. Limits the administrative fee to:
The site’s prorated share, but no more than five percent of the total revenue calculated under paragraph (a), for services reported as administrative in the district’s most recent audit;
The site’s prorated share of cost for districtwide special education; and
Services agreed to by the site and school board not classified as administrative in the district's most recent audit. Limits the site’s prorated share to not exceeding the district's total expenses for these services multiplied by school's pupil unit percentage of total district enrollment.
Section 3. Authorization; notification.
Eliminates language that allowed 9th and 10th grade students to enroll in a post secondary course only if additional students were necessary to offer the course and allows a 9th or 10th grade student to enroll in a postsecondary course if additional students can be accommodated in the course. Eliminates the requirement that a postsecondary institution notify a student of payment in the customary manner.
Section 4. Enrollment priority.
Eliminates language restricting post-secondary institutions from advertising or soliciting the participation of secondary pupils on financial grounds.
Section 5. Credits.
Allows a pupil to enroll in a post-secondary course and receive both secondary and post-secondary credit. Institutions must grant post-secondary credit to an entering student for successfully completed post-secondary courses consistent with the institution's credit transfer policy.
Section 6. Financial arrangements.
Eliminates a restriction that prohibited the Department Education from making payments to school districts and post-secondary institutions for a course taken for post-secondary credit only.
Section 7. Limit; state obligation.
Specifies conditions under which the state's payment obligations are limited.
Section 8. Pupils 40 miles or more from an eligible institution.
Allows a pupil to receive both secondary and postsecondary credit for accelerated or advanced courses offered to students that live 40 miles or greater from a post-secondary institution.
Section 9. Authorizer.
Eliminates restrictions on a single purpose authorizer of a charter school from limiting applications to any single curriculum, learning program, or method. Authorizes the commissioner of education to approve single purpose authorizers which limit their focus to schools that (i) are designed to close the achievement gap by including prekindergarten and primary grades; or (ii) that create grades 9 through 14 partnerships with one or more postsecondary institutions.
Section 10. Requirements for participation.
Removes the prohibition that a postsecondary institution cannot recruit or solicit participation in the post-secondary enrollment options program based on financial grounds.
Section 11. Repealer.
Repeals 124D.09, Subd. 23. (Post-secondary enrollment options; Exception; Intermediate Districts.)