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"An Act relating to correspondence study programs; and providing for an effective

01 "An Act relating to correspondence study programs; and providing for an effective
02 date."
04 * Section 1. AS 14.03 is amended by adding new sections to read:
05 Article 3. Correspondence Programs.
06 Sec. 14.03.350. Establishment or continuance of correspondence
07 programs. (a) A correspondence program may be established or continued as
08 provided under AS 14.03.350 - 14.03.369 by a school district or regional educational
09 attendance area for the education of primary and secondary students residing in the
10 state upon the approval of the local school board and the state Board of Education and
11 Early Development.
12 (b) A correspondence program may not be approved under (a) of this section
13 unless the district or regional educational attendance area has demonstrated that the
14 program meets
01 (1) competency testing requirements as provided in AS 14.03.075 and
02 other competency tests required by the department;
03 (2) statewide goals and performance standards established by the
04 department;
05 (3) minimum course of study requirements under AS 14.03.360; and
06 (4) any other statewide requirement established by the department.
07 Sec. 14.03.355. Student fund accounts. (a) A district or regional
08 educational attendance area may provide a student fund account to a parent or
09 guardian of a student enrolled in an approved correspondence program for the purpose
10 of meeting instructional expenses of a student enrolled in the program if the account is
11 (1) consistent with standards adopted by the school board and the
12 department;
13 (2) used exclusively for the student's instructional needs as identified
14 in and agreed upon in a student learning plan between the student's parent or legal
15 guardian and a certificated teacher employed under the program; and
16 (3) not used to purchase religious, partisan, sectarian, or
17 denominational textbooks, software, or other curriculum materials.
18 (b) Textbooks, computers, and other nonconsumable curriculum materials
19 purchased with a student fund account are the property of the school district or
20 regional educational attendance area. The school board shall adopt tracking, recovery,
21 and reuse procedures for material purchased with student fund account money.
22 (c) A school board shall approve standards for the expenditure of a student
23 fund account for purchases of curriculum materials and instructional aids that are of
24 the same quality as the materials and instructional aids available to students in other
25 programs in the school district or regional educational attendance area.
26 Sec. 14.03.360. Minimum course of study for correspondence programs.
27 The department shall establish by regulation a minimum course of study for
28 correspondence programs that is the same for a statewide correspondence program
29 operated by a school district or regional educational attendance area and for a district-
30 wide correspondence program operated by a school district or regional educational
31 attendance area.
01 Sec. 14.03.369. Definitions. In AS 14.03.350 - 14.03.369, "correspondence
02 program" means a program of primary and secondary public education funded under
03 AS 14.17.430.
04 * Sec. 2. AS 14.07.020(a) is amended to read:
05 (a) The department shall
06 (1) exercise general supervision over the public schools of the state
07 except the University of Alaska;
08 (2) study the conditions and needs of the public schools of the state,
09 adopt or recommend plans, administer and evaluate grants to improve school
10 performance awarded under AS 14.03.125, and adopt regulations for the improvement
11 of the public schools;
12 (3) provide advisory and consultative services to all public school
13 governing bodies and personnel;
14 (4) prescribe by regulation a minimum course of study for the public
15 schools; the regulations must provide that, if a course in American Sign Language is
16 given, the course shall be given credit as a course in a foreign language;
17 (5) establish, in coordination with the Department of Health and Social
18 Services, a program for the continuing education of children who are held in detention
19 facilities in the state during the period of detention;
20 (6) accredit those public schools that meet accreditation standards
21 prescribed by regulation by the department; these regulations shall be adopted by the
22 department and presented to the legislature during the first 10 days of any regular
23 session, and become effective 45 days after presentation or at the end of the session,
24 whichever is earlier, unless disapproved by a resolution concurred in by a majority of
25 the members of each house;
26 (7) prescribe by regulation, after consultation with the state fire
27 marshal and the state sanitarian, standards that will assure healthful and safe
28 conditions in the public and private schools of the state, including a requirement of
29 physical examinations and immunizations in pre-elementary schools; the standards for
30 private schools may not be more stringent than those for public schools;
31 (8) exercise general supervision over pre-elementary schools that
01 receive direct state or federal funding;
02 (9) prescribe by regulation a minimum course of study for and
03 exercise general supervision over elementary and secondary correspondence study
04 programs offered by municipal school districts or regional educational attendance
05 areas; the department may also offer and make available to any Alaskan through a
06 centralized office a correspondence study program;
07 (10) accredit private schools that request accreditation and that meet
08 accreditation standards prescribed by regulation by the department; nothing in this
09 paragraph authorizes the department to require religious or other private schools to be
10 licensed;
11 (11) review plans for construction of new public elementary and
12 secondary schools and for additions to and major rehabilitation of existing public
13 elementary and secondary schools and, in accordance with regulations adopted by the
14 department, determine and approve the extent of eligibility for state aid of a school
15 construction or major maintenance project; for the purposes of this paragraph, "plans"
16 include educational specifications, schematic designs, and final contract documents;
17 (12) provide educational opportunities in the areas of vocational
18 education and training, and basic education to individuals over 16 years of age who
19 are no longer attending school;
20 (13) administer the grants awarded under AS 14.11;
21 (14) establish, in coordination with the Department of Public Safety, a
22 school bus driver training course;
23 (15) require the reporting of information relating to school disciplinary
24 and safety programs under AS 14.33.120 and of incidents of disruptive or violent
25 behavior.
26 * Sec. 3. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to
27 read:
28 TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. The Department of Education and Early
29 Development may proceed to adopt regulations necessary to implement secs. 1 and 2 of this
30 Act. The regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not
31 before the effective date of the statutory change.
01 * Sec. 4. Section 3 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).
02 * Sec. 5. Sections 1 and 2 of this Act take effect July 1, 2007.

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