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2017 Senate Education Bill Summaries

The summaries attempt to highlight major components of each bill. Click on the bill number to read the bill in its entirety and to view the latest action.

SB 2036 - School board members; all elected beginning with the November 2019 general election.

  • Enacts the "Nonpartisan School Board Election Act"
  • Provides that beginning with the November 2019 general election, the members of the county boards of education, the trustees of consolidated school districts, the elected trustees from the special municipal separate school districts and trustees elected from added territory shall be elected in a nonpartisan election concurrent with the state general election
  • Provides that the terms of office of all elected school board members shall be four years
  • Provides for nominating petitions to run for the office of elected school board members and a uniform number of signatures on said petitions of nomination
  • Provides the procedure for filling vacancies in the office of elected school board members
  • Requires the Board of Trustees of the Natchez-Adams Special Municipal Separate School District to be elected
  • Provides that the new Natchez-Adams County School Board shall be elected from districts that are the same as the Board of Supervisors districts
  • Provides that the election for the school board shall be a nonpartisan election
  • Prescribes the procedures to be used if a vacancy occurs on the school board
  • Provides that the candidate with the highest number of votes shall be declared elected
  • Repeals code sections which provide certain methods for electing trustees of municipal separate school districts from added territory

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2042 - Prekindergarten programs; establish Early Childhood Services Interagency Coordinating Council.

  • Prescribes additional duties for the State Early Childhood Advisory Council

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2136 - School district in-service training for student suicide prevention education; require model policy.

  • Requires local school districts to adopt a policy on student suicide prevention
  • Prescribes standards for the required policy and
  • Authorizes the State Department of Education and the State Department of Mental Health
  • Develops in-service training standards for suicide prevention education

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2273 - Cursive writing; direct State Board of Education to require in elementary education curriculum.

  • Requires the State Board of Education to ensure instruction in cursive writing as a part of the basic Elementary Education curriculum
  • The standard shall include the requirement that public schools provide instruction in cursive reading and writing implemented across the curriculum
  • Students should create readable documents through legible cursive handwriting by the end of the fifth grade
  • Students must pass with proficiency a teacher-constructed test demonstrating competency in both reading and writing cursive
  • Shall begin in 2018-2019 school year

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2315 - Local school boards; prescribe educational qualifications.

  • Prescribes qualifications for members of local School Boards
  • School Board members selected after July 1, 2017 shall have a minimum of an associate degree or 60 semester hours, a 2.0 GPA and proof of requirement in the form of a certified transcript

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2398 - Qualifications for school superintendents; revise

  • Superintendents will be required to have not less than six years of experience to include at least three years as a school building principal
  • Shall come from a school with an A or B accountability rating, or from a school that has increased its accountability rating by a letter grade during the time the principal was employed at the school, or a school with comparable accountability rating in another state
  • The State Board of Education is required to issue regulations by January 1, 2018 for alternative qualifications to include minimum credentials, educational prerequisites and relevant practice experience that will qualify a person to serve as a superintendent
  • These provisions will be applicable to any superintendent selected after July 1, 2017 who has not previously served as a superintendent or assistant superintendent within the past five years

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2413 - School district employees; remove authority of local school board to delegate employment recommendations.

  • Deletes the authority of local School Boards to delegate the authority to recommend school district employees for employment contracts

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017, and shall stand repealed from and after June 30, 2017.

SB 2431 - Failing school districts; authorize the State Board of Education to place into "District Transformation Status."

  • This is an effort to remove negative connotation associated with a takeover of a school district
  • Changes “Conservator Districts” to “Districts of Transformation”
  • The State Board replace “Conservators” with Interim Superintendents so that they can focus on academic instruction along with clearing any accreditation violations
  • This bill would allow the Interim Superintendent to be in place until the district has achieved a district grade of “C” for five consecutive years before it can be returned to the local community
  • This bill will raise the expectations for districts that have been placed in District of Transformation status
  • This bill will follow the already existing Conservator laws that are on the books but put more focus on instruction instead of clearing accreditation standards
  • This bill sets a timeline to be returned when the Districts demonstrates five consecutive years of “C” or better or if SBE determines the are eligible to be returned sooner

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2432 - Mississippi Occupational Diploma for students with disabilities and career track program; suspend for new students

  • The Mississippi Occupational Diploma (MOD) is no longer recognized as a diploma by the federal government, Institutions of Higher Learning, community and junior colleges or business as a standard diploma
  • The MOD for students with disabilities shall not be available to any student entering the 9th grade in the 2017-18 school year or thereafter.
  • Students currently on the MOD track will have the option in 2017-18 to change course to meet the requirements for a standard diploma that will increase access to postsecondary education and gainful employment OR continue on MOD track provided their parents sign a document acknowledging they understand the MOD is not accepted by business, community college, IHL or the military
  • Diploma options are being revised for all students and will include opportunities for the majority of students with disabilities to earn a standard diploma. These options are being revised as a part of the new ESSA law
  • New diploma options will be available to ALL entering 9th graders beginning the 2018-19 school year

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2459 – Compulsory school attendance; increase maximum age to 17.

  • Revises the definition of a compulsory-school-age child by including kindergarten-age children and by increasing the maximum age required for compulsory attendance to include children who have not attained the age of 18 years on or before September 1 of the calendar year

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2461 - School district consolidation; require in Perry County.

  • Creates an advisory council to be known as the Commission on Perry-Richton Consolidated School District Structure
  • Shall review current structure  and make recommendations on the future actions of the provision and transition of services of the newly consolidated school district
  • Commission will be composed of seven members
    • The State Superintendent of Education
    • One member of Perry County Board of Education
    • One member of the Board of Trustees of the Richton Public School District
    • The Superintendents of Perry County and Richton Public School Districts
    • One resident of the area which comprises the Perry County School District to be appointed by the Perry County School Board
    • First meeting shall be 30 days of passage and upon the call of the State Board of Education
    • The report shall be delivered to the Legislature, Governor, and State Board of Education before January 1, 2018

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.
               

SB 2463School district consolidation; require in Chickasaw County

  • Would administratively consolidate Chickasaw County School District and Houston Municipal School District effective on July 1, 2021

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2575 - "Mississippi Educational Improvement Tax Credit Act of 2017"; establish.

  • Establishes an Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program administered by the Mississippi Development Authority to provide financial assistance to low- and middle-income families seeking educational options for their children
  • Authorizes the income tax credit for business firms making contributions to qualified educational scholarship organizations or educational improvement organizations and provides standards and limitations for such contributions
  • Provides that the scholarships received by an eligible student from a scholarship organization are deductible as an adjustment to gross income

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2585 - Educational expenses at qualified private schools; individual income tax credits for.

  • Provides a state income tax deduction for educational expenses by parents who send their children or dependents to a qualified private school or a homeschool program

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2607 - Mississippi Adequate Education Program funding formula; bring forward.

  • Requires financial transparency and accountability reporting by the State Department of Education
  • Brings forward code sections that are the formula for determination of annual allocations for current operation of schools under the Mississippi Adequate Education Program and the computation of the required local revenue in support of the Adequate Education Program
  • Brings forward code sections which provide for the annual adoption of local school district budgets
  • Brings forward code sections which provide for school district accountability and accreditation standards, define gifted students, authorize and set limitations on ad valorem tax levies for the maintenance of school districts, provide a limitation on aggregate receipts from taxes for school purposes and authority for a referendum in order to exceed that limitation

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SB 2947 - Income tax; authorize credit for expenditures for participation of a child in a private elementary or high school program.

  • Authorizes an income tax credit in the amount of the unreimbursed educational expenditures made by a taxpayer in connection with enrollment, attendance, or participation of the taxpayer's dependent child in a private elementary or high school education program or homeschooling in Mississippi
  • Provides that the amount of such credit shall not exceed an amount equal to the state share of the adequate education program payments for each student in average daily attendance at the school district in which the dependent child resides

This act shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2017.

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