Education Bills Passed by the 2011 Nevada Legislature

  

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                    Education Bills Passed by the 2011 Nevada Legislature

  
                        Prepared by:
Mary Pierczynski, Lobbyist for the Nevada Association of School Superintendents

 

AB39: Revises provisions governing educational personnel. Effective: July 1, 2011.

The bill removed the requirement that the State Superintendent notify a licensee by mail of the date of expiration of his/her license.  The DOE will maintain a directory of licensees on the Department's website.  The DOE is required monthly to provide an electronic file with a list of each licensed employee whose license will expire within 9 months following notification.  The school district is required to notify each licensee of the date of expiration of his/her license no later than 6 months prior to expiration.

AB59: Makes various changes to the Open Meeting Law: Effective: Sections 1 and 2 to 7 inclusive, and 8 of this act effective: July 1, 2011.  Section 1.5 of this act effective January 1, 2012.

Section 2 of the bill requires a public body that bas been found to have violated the OML by the Attorney General to include an itme on the next agenda acknowleging the finding of the AG.  Section # allows the AG to issue subpoenas in the course of investigating a possible violation of the OML.  Section 5 adds certain notifications that must be included on an agenda for a meeting of a public body.  Section 7 subjects each person to a fine who attends a meeting where action is taken in violation of the OML and who knows the action is in violation.  The civil penalty is not to exceed $500.

AB113: Revises provisions governing the statewide system of accountability for public schoolsEffective: July1, 2011.

This bill requires the Department of Education to revise the testing schedule for the administration of the criterion-referenced tests in grades 3 through 8 from 120 day of instruction to 150 days.  As a result, the dates on which determinations are made regarding adequate yearly progress for schools and school districts will be revised by the DOE as well as various other dates for the preparation and submission of reports and plans relating to the statewide system of accountability of public schools.

AB117: Temporarily revises provisions governing the required minimum number of school days in public schools.  Effective: July 1, 2011 and Expires June 30, 2013.

This bill authorizes a school disrict or a charter school to request to reduce their schedule by 5 non instructional days for the 2011-2013 biennium in order to prevent lay-offs of empolyees.  An economic hardship must exist and approval must be given by the State Superintendent and the Interim Finance Committee.  Employees who are the reducted schedule must be held harmless in accumulation of their retirement credit.  The act expires June 30, 2013.

AB138: Revises provisions governing pupilsEffective: July 1, 2011.  Section 1 of this act expires by limitation on June 30, 2014.

This bill authorizes the Department of Education to work in consultation with the NSHE to establish a plan to ensure that high school pupils are adequately prepared for postseconday education and success in the workplace.  It also requires that the accountability reports that are prepared by the State Board and the local Boards of Trustees include 1) information relating to adult diplomas and 2) information regarding the number of suspensions and expulsions resulting from incidences of bullying, cyber bullying, harassment and intimidation.  The bill outlines what must be contained in the academic plans for ninth grade students to include the following: 10 courses available 2) graduation requirements 3) admission requirements for NSHE 4) and requirements for receipt of a Millennium scholarship.  Further, it authorizes school districts to adopt policies regarding secret witness or similar programs for reporting unlwaful activities anonymously.  Finally, the bill repeals certain provisions relating to the exemption of certain children from compulsory school attendance.

AB154: Enacts provisions which guarantee certain rights to children placed in foster home in this State Effective: October 1, 2011.

This bill gives certain rights to children placed in foster homes.  Section 9 prohibits an employee of a school district from disclosing to any person who is not employed by the district any information relating to a pupil who is placed in foster care.

AB171: Revises provisions governing charter schoolsEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill sets our several new provisions regarding charter schools including the following: membership on the commitee to form the charter school; revised procedures for application review; rights/responsibilities of the sponsor; provisions regarding request for information by the DOE; reinbursement for governing board members for attendance at meetings; revisions regarding triggers for audits and eligibility for money from legislative appropriations; revisions regarding leaves of absences for teachers who leave to teach at a charter school; finally, the bill authorizes a school district to conduct an investigation of any misconduct of the licensed employee who was granted the leave to work at the charter school before allowing the employee to return to the school district.

AB222: Creates the Teachers and Leaders Council of Nevada. Effective: Sections 3 to 8, inclusive, 9, 10.3, 10.5 and 11 to 14, inclusive, and 15 of this act effective July 1, 2011. Sections 1, 2, 8,.5, 9.5, 10 and 10.4 of this act effective July 1, 2013.

This bill creates the Teachers and Leaders Council of NV.  The Council will make recommendations to the State Board for the establishment of a state performance evaluation system for teachers and administrators.  Effective July 1, 2013, the statewide performance evaluation system will require that the employee be rated "highly effective", "effective", "minimally effective" or "ineffective".  Student achievement must count for 50% of the evaluations.  This bill amends AB229 to provide that a probationary teacher or administrator who receives an unsatifactory evaluation on their first or second evaluation my request that subsequent evaluations be done by a different administrator.  Effective July 1, 2013, this also applies when a rating of "minimally effective" or "ineffective" is given.

AB224: Revises provisions governing parental involvement in education.  Effective: July 1, 2011.

This bill creates the Office of Parental Involvement and Family Engagement within the DOE.  An employee of the Department will serve as Director.  The duties of the office include adopting policies and developing a list of practices designed to increase parent involvement.  Section 4 authorizes the local Boards to establish advisory councils to wrk in conjunction with the State Council.  Information about the amount of parent involvement must be included in the district's accountability report.  The school and district improvement plans must include strategies for engaging parents.  The Commission on Professional Standards must prescribe course work on parental involvement. The RPDPs are required to provide training in engaging parents.

AB225: Requires an additonal probationary period for certain teachers and administratorsEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill requires teachers and administrators who receive below average evaluations for two consecutive years to be deemed probationary and serve an additional probationary period.  A collective bargaining agreement does not supersede this provision.  An employee moved to probationary status, who will be dismissed during the current school year, may request an expedited arbitration.

AB227: Requires boards of trustees fo school districts to grant the use of certain athletic fields to certain nonprofit organizations.  Effective: July1, 2011.

This bill requires that boards of trustees of school districts grant the use of unlighted athletic fields at elementary and middle school to nonprofit organizations which serve adults and child with disabilities or provide programs for youth sports.  The use is based on availability and does not apply if a district has already reached a use agreement with a community organization that provides for youth sports.

AB229: Requires an additional probationary period for certain teacher and administratorsEffective: Sections 1 to 7, inclusive, 15, 17, 18, 19, 19.6, 19.7, 21, 22 and 23 of this act effective July 1, 2011.  Sections 8, 14, 16, 19.5, and 20 of this act effective July 1, 2013.  Section 20.5 of this act effective July 1, 2013.

This bill revises the annual accountability reports for schools to include information about the number and percentages of administrators, teachers and staff in the schools in the district.  It requires that board of trustees of each school district to establish and implement by the 2014-15 school year, a program of performance pay for teachers and administrators.  The bill alos requires that by the 2013-2014 school year, a new teacher and administrator evaluation system must be in place which changes the binary system of "satisfactory" and "unsatisfactory" ratings to a four tier rating scale.  In addition, 50% of the evaluation must be based on student performance.  Section 9 of the bill addresses probationary teachers and administrators who receive an "unsatisfactory" evaluation and requires that they receive written notification that their contract my not be renewed.  Reasonable assistance to correct deficiencies must be offered in the letter.   The employee must acknowledge receipt of the notification in writing.  Section 12 and 17 add "gross misconduct" to the list of things for which a person my be terminated.  Section 19 extends the probation period for teachers and administrators to three one year periods without the ability to waive any of the years.  A probationary employee, who is going to be dismissed BEFORE THE END of the school year, may request expedited arbitration.  Section 19.6 addresses the RIF process and outlines the additional factors, beyond seniority, that must be taken into consideration when RIF is necessary.

AB230: Authorizes an alternative route to licensure for teachers and administratorsEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill requires the State Board to evaluate annually providers who offer a course of study designed to qualify a person to be a teacher or administrator or to perform other educational functions including providing alternative routes to licensure.  It also requires the Commission on Professional Standards by December 31, 2011, to adopt regulations prescribing the qualifications for licensing teachers and administrators pursuant to an alternative route to licensure.  The bill sets forth requirements that must be included in the regulations.

AB233: Revises provisions governing the circumstances under which a pupil may receive credit for a course of student without attending the course.  Effective: July1, 2011.

This bill revises provisions governing the requirements for a pupil to receive credit for a course of study without attending the classes for the course if the person demonstrates proficiency by passing and exam developed by the teacher teaching the class and the principal of the school or passes an exam that is as rigorous or more rigorous than the exam that is prescribed  by the State. 

AB257: Revises provisions relating to the Open Meeting Law. Effective: July 1, 2011.

The bill requires that, at a minimum, periodsof public comment and discussion be provided for (1) at the beginning of the meeting before any items on which action my be taken are heard by the public body and one period after the adjournment of the meeting or (2) that public comment be taken after each item on the agenda on which action may be taken is discussed by the public body but before the action is taken.

AB290: Revises provisions governing pupils enrolled in high schoolEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill authorizes the principal of a high school or the principal's designee to postpone for up to one year the administration of the high school proficiency exam in the subject areas of math and science for a pupil who is not academically ready to take the exam.  The teacher who provided instruction in the subject area must detemine the student is not ready and the principal must concur.  The parents/guardians of the student must give concurrence.  The student's academic plan must be altered to allow for remedial classes to prepare the student for the HSPE.  Section 4.5 of the bill authorizes the Board of Trustees of a district to administer a practice HSPE to pupils enrolled in high school.

AB318: Places the burden of proof and the burdent of production on a school district in a due process hearing held pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education ActEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill places the burden of proof and the burden of production on a school district in a due process hearing held pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in which the school district is a party.

AB393: Requires criminal background investigations of educational personnel upon renewal of a licenseEffective: July 1, 2011, for the purposes of adopting any necessary regulations and policies and performing any other preparatory administrative tasks that are necessary to carry out the provisions of this act and January 1, 2012, for all other purposes.

This bill requires certified educational personnel to be fingerprinted, at their own expense, each time they renew their professional license.  It also requires the board of trustees of each school district and governing body of each charter school to adopt a policy requiring the licensed employees of the school district or charter school to report information concerning arrests for or convictions of certain crimes.

AB395: Creates a separate category of licensure to teach special education. (BDR 34-808) Effective: July 1, 2011.

Existing regulations require teachers to receive a separate endorsement to teach special education.  Section 1 of this bill creates a separate category of licensure to teach special education.  In addition, existing law requires the Commission on Professional Standards to adopt regulations which provide for the reciprocal licensure of educational personnel from other states.  Section 2 requires those regulations to include provisions providing for the receiprocal licensure of persons who hold a license to teach special education.

AB455: Revises provisions governing the participation by pupils and youths in certain sports activitiesEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill requires the NIAA and the board of trustees of each school disrict to adopt policies concerning the prevention and treatment of injuries to the head sustained by pupils while participating in sports and othe athletic activities and events.  The policy must require 1) that the student be removed from the activity immediately 2) the parent/guardian must provide a doctor's release to return to the activity.  The student and parent/guardian must signan acknowledgement that they have received a copy of the policy.  Boards of Trustees must also adopt similar policies for sports activities that are not governed by the NIAA.

AB483: Makes a supplemental appropriation to the State Distributive School Account for unanticipated shortfalls in Fiscal Year 2010-2011 in certain tax revenueEffective: May 26, 2011.

This bill provided for a supplemental appropriation to the State Distributive School Account for unanticipated shortfalls in certain tax revenue for Fiscal Year 2010-2011.

AB493: Provides for a temporary waiver from certain minimum expenditure requirements for school districts, charter schools and university schools for profoundly gifted pupilsEffective: June 15, 2011.

This bill extends the waiver for school districts' inimum expenditure requirements for textbooks, instructional supplies, instructional software and hardware, library books, instrcutional equipment and the maintenance and repair of equipment, vehicles, buildings and facilities for the 2011-13 biennium.

AB498: Eliminates the requirement for the administration of norm-referenced examinations in public schools.  Effective: June 17, 2011.

This bill eliminates the statutory requirement for the administration of norm referenced and revises existing law to delete references to the norm referenced exam.

AB527: Makes an appropriation for the implementation and operation of a principal leadership training program.  Effective: June 16, 2011.

This bill appropriate $100,000 from the State General Fund to the Clark Co. Public Education Foundation for the implementation and operation of a principal leadership academy.   The money must be matched by the Foundation and the Foundation must work with all 17 school districts, other education foundations in the State and the Regional Professional Training Programs.

AB551: Requires school districts to assess the feasibility of consolidation of services, functions and personnel.  Effective: May 31, 2011, for the purpose of adopting regulations and performing other prepartory administrative tasks that are necessary to carry out the provisions of this act, and July 1, 2011, for all othe purposes.

This bill requires the board of trustees of each school district to access the feasibility of sharing services, functions and personnel with other school districts in Nevada.  It requires the Committee on Local Government Finance to adopt certain regulations to assist the boards of trustees in their consolidation or sharing of services, functions, or personnel.

AB561: Makes various changes concerning governmental financial administration.  Effective: Sections 1 and 7 to 16, inclusive, and 17 of this act effective: June 16, 2011.  Sections 4.5 and 6 of this act effective July 1, 2011.  Sections 4 and 6.5 of this act effective July 1, 2011, and expire by limitation on June 30, 2013.  Section 5 of this act effective on the date that the balance of the separate account required by subsection 8 of NRS 408.235 is reduced to zero.

This bill delays transferring 1% of the anticipated revenues required to be placed in the Rainy Day Fund on July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2013.  Section 10.7 of this bill delays the expiration of the .35% increase in local school support tax that was scheduled to expire on June 30, 2011, to expiration on June 30, 2011. (This tax was one of the taxes scheduled to "sunset").

AB565: Temporarily delays the statutory deadline for notifying certain school employees of reemployment status.  Effective: April 20, 2011, and expires by limitation July 1, 2011.

The bill temorarily delayed the statutory deadline for notifying certain school employees of reemployment status for the 2011-2012 school year from May 1, 2011 to May 15, 2011.

AB579: Ensures sufficient funding for K-12 public education for the 2011-2013 bienniumSections 1 to 16, inclusive and 18 to 30, inclusive, and 31 of this act effective July 1, 2011.  Section 17 of this act effective July 1, 2012.

This bill desingates the per pupil allocation for the biennium for each school district.  Section 1 adresses the 2011-2012 school year and notes the statewide average per pupil allocation is $5263.  Section 2 of the bill outlines the basic support for each school district for the 2012-2013 school year.  The weighted average is $5374/pupil.  The basic support guarantee for special education and number of units each district will receive is outlined in section 3.  Other allocations outlined throughout the bill include: Section 15 the appropriation for class size reduction; Section 21 the appropriation for full day kindergarten; Section 23 the appropriation for RPDPs; and Section 26 the appropriation for the 1/5th retirement program.

                                   Senate Bills

SB11: Directs the Legislative Commission to appoint a committee to conduct an interim study concerning the development of a new method for funding public schoolsEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill was requested by the Clark County School District and is designed to review the Nevada Plan for funding public education in light of the changing demographics in the State since the inception of the Plan in 1967.  It directs the Legislative Commission to appoint a committee to conduct an interim study concerning the development of a new method for funding public schools in Nevada.

SB14: Requires the State Board of Education to develop a model curriculum for English language arts and mathematics.  Effective: July 1, 2011.

Nevada is one of 48 states that have agreed to participate in the common core standards.  This bill requires the State Board to develop a model curriculum for English language arts and mathematics, the two subject areas covered by the common core.  The Board must disseminate the curriculum to the schools for the professional development of teachers and administrators.  The curriculum is to be used in lesson plans.  The RPDPs are to have the curriculum too and train teachers and adminstrators on the standards.

SB35: Revises provisions governing the automated system of accountability information for Nevada and the reporting of test scores by charter schoolsEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill removes the requirement that certain informaiton concerning paraprofessionals be maintained in the automated system of accountability information for Nevada.  It also revises the way in which charter schools report their examination results to the Department of Education.

SB38: Revises provisions governing apportionments to school districts, charter schools and university schools for profoundly gifted pupilsEffective: July 1, 2011.

The bill authorizes the State Superintendents to deduct from, withhold from or otherwise make adjustments to the quarterly apportionments paid to a school district or charter school if the schoo owes money to the Department of Education or pays a claim determined to be unearned or excessive.  It also authorizes the State Superintendent to withhold money from school districts and charter schools who fail to provide required report to him/her.  It cancels the "hold harmless" provision for a district if it is determined that the district deliberately caused a decline in enrollment to receive the high apportionment.

SB96: Revises provisions governing the Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship ProgramEffective July 1, 2011.

This bill encourages a student who receives a Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship to volunteer at least 20 hours of community service per year.

SB98: Revises provisions relating to collective bargaining between local governments and employee organizationsEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill outlines which supervisory persons are prohibited from being members of an employee organization for purposes of collective bargaining.  Section 7 of the bill adds to the list of mandatory bargaining topics the reopening of collective bargaining agreements in instances of fiscal emergency.

SB 196: Revises provisions governing empowerment schools.  Effective: June 1, 2011.

This bill removes the restriction on the number of empowerment schools that may be established statewide.  It also removes the prospective expiration of the Program of Empowerment Schools.

SB197: Revises provisions governing the system of governance and oversight of public educationEffective: Sections 53.5 and 58.7 effective June 15, 2011.  Sections 1 to 5, inclusive, 8 to 53, inclusive, 47.5, 54.5, to 57, inclusive, and 58.5 to 63, inclusive, effective July 1, 2011.  Section 54 effective on November 7, 2012.  Section 6 effective January 1, 2012, for the purpose of filing for office and for nominating and electing members of the State Board of Education and January 8, 2013, for all other purposes.  Section 7 and 58 effective on January 1, 2013.

The bill creates a State Board of Education with some members elected and some appointed.  The bill also provides that the State Superintendent is appointed by the Governor and the State Superintendent is responsible for various commissions, councils and programs and making sure they run successfully.  Sections 38.7, 47.5, 53.5, 54.5, 58.7 address issues with the RPDPs including an outline of how the funding for the program is to be administered.

SB211: Requires a legislative study of the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in public schools in Nevada.  Effective: July1, 2011.

This bill requires that the Legislative Committee on Education conduct a study to determin, with regard to the common core standards, the following: (1) the extent to which the standards have become imbeded in the K-12 curriculum (2) the amount of professional development on the standards that has been implemented for teachers and other licensed educational personnel (3) the extent to which a plan and a timeline have been established for transitioning the assessment system to align with the common core standards.

SB212: Revises provisions governing charter schools.  Effective: June 15, 2011, for the purpose of adopting regulations and performing any othe preparatory administrative tasks that are necessary to carry out the provisions of this act, and July 1, 2011, for allother purposes.

This bill creates the State Public Charter School Authority.  The bill removes the authority of the State Board of Education to sponsor charter schools and gives it to the State Public Charter School Authority.  It provides that the annual report of accountability information of each charter school be provided by the sponsor of the charter school and not the Board of Trustees of the school district.  A director of the State Public Charter SChool Authority is to be appointed.  Educational management organizations are also defined in this bill.

SB220: Establishes the Kenny C. Guinn Memorial Millennium Scholarship.  Effective: July 1, 2011.

This bill establishes the Kenny C. Guinn Memorial Millennium Scholarship which is funded with money received in memory of the late Governor.  It is additional scholarship money awarded to someone going into elementary or secondary education.

SB229: Revises provisions governing the policy adopted by the State Board of Education to encourage parental and family involvement in supporting the education of their childrenEffective: July1, 2011.

This bill revises the elements and goals which must be included in the policy adopted by the State Board of Education to encourage parental and family involvement in supporting the education of their children.   The policy must include: 1) the promotion of a welcoming atmosphere in the school 2) the promotion of meaningful two-way communication between home and school 3) collaboration between school and home to promote learning 4) empowerment of families and parents to advocate for their children 5) promotion of an equal partnership between parents, families and the school in making decisions that affect children 6) collaboration with school and community.

SB237: Revises provisions governing the Nevada Youth LegislatureEffective: June 3, 2011.

This bill, among other things, provides for the creation of a nonprofit corporation to provide educational programs and opportunities and administer and oversee the activities of the Youth Legislature.  It also addresses membership in the Youth Legislature.

SB276: Revises provisions governing safe and respectful learning environments in public schoolsEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill requires that the number of suspensions/expulsions for bullying, cyber bullying, harassment and intimidation be included on the annual accountability reports of school districts.  To the extent that money is available, the Department of Education must prepare informational pamplhlets for pupils, parents and guardians to elp resolve incidences where such behavior occurs.  The Department of Education is required to develop a program to train state and local board members on the topic.   Each school must have a school safety team and the bill outlines the duties of the team.  The duties of staff members who witness bullying, cyber bullying, harassment and intimidation are outlined as well as the duties of the Principal of the school to report such incidences.  The penalties for failure to report are outlined.  Finally, the Governor is to declare one week in October to be a "Week of Respect".

SB277: Revises provisions governing certain acts by juveniles relating to the possession, transmission and distribution of certain sexual images.  Effective: July 1, 2011.

This bill prohibits a minor from using an electronic communication device to possess, transmit or distribute a sexual image of himself or herself or of another minor.  The bill outlines the penalties for violating the law.  The bill revises the definition of "cyber bullying".

SB315: Requires the Commission on Professional Standards in Education to provide for the licensure of teachers and administrators pursuant to an alternative route to  licensureEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill requires the Commission on Professional Standards in Education to adopt regulations prescribing the qualifications for licensing teachers and administrators pursuant to an alternative route to licensure.  The regulations must include: 1) that the training may be provided by an qualified provider approved by the Commission 2) that the training may be completed in 2 years or less 3) that upon completion the person receive a regular license.

SB317: Requires that plans developed and implemented to respond to crises occuring at public and private school also address response to emergenciesEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill revises provisions governing plans for responding to a crisis in public schools of school districts, charter schools and private schools, so that such plans also address responding to an emergency.  In revising the crisis plan to include emergencies, the local organization for emergency management must be consulted.  The bill also addresses the fact that crisis/emergency response plans are not subject to the Open Meeting Law.

SB318: Establishes provisions governing permissible flammability of certain components in school buses.  Effective: July 1, 2011.

This bill establishes provisions for new school buses purchased on and after July 1, 2014.  It outlines the permissible flammability of occupant seating and plastic components contained within the engine compartments and provides a penalty for non compliance.

SB365: Eliminates certain mandates pertaining to school districts and public schools in this stateEffective: July 1, 2011.

This bill alters or eliminates various mandates that have been placed on school districts during previous Legislative sessions.  The mandates that are altered or eliminated are as follows: the bill makes it permissive, rather that mandatory, for certain administrator to teach a day in a classroom; the bill repeals the mandate to prepare a district improvement pan (federal law improvement plan requirements for Title 1 schools and distrcits served under Title 1 are still in place); the requirement for districts to adopt a policy for the creation of small learning communities in middle, junior high and high school has been altered to provide that by the 2013-2014 school year, pilot projects must be implemented in at least 50% of those school meeting certain student population thresholds; implementation of the mandate to develop an academic plan for each student enrolled in middle or junior high school has been extended to the 2013-14 school year.

SB370: Makes various changes to provisions governing children who a placed with someone other than a parent.  Effective: July 1, 2011.

This bill requires that an academic plan for each foster child in elementary school be written and reviewed yearly.

SB486: Makes an appropriation to the Office of the State Treasurer for the Millennium Scholarship Program.  Effective: June 16, 2011.

This bill appropriates $10M for the Millennium Scholarship Program.

SB506: Revises provisions relating to the financial administration of certain local governments. Section 1 and 34.5 effective June 16, 2011.   Sections 2 to 34, inclusive, and 35 to 53, inclusive, effective July 1, 2011.

This bill changes the amount of the reserves required by school districts to have in their debt reserve funds to 10% of the outstanding principle or 25%, for larger counties and 50%, for smaller counties, of the amount of princple and interest payments due on all outstanding bonds of the school district in the next fiscal year.