Online Learning Clearinghouse Act

Online Learning Clearinghouse Act

Summary

The Online Learning Clearinghouse Act creates a clearinghouse through which school districts may offer their computer-based courses to students of other school districts.

Model Policy

Section 1. {Title.} Online Learning Clearinghouse Act

Section 2. {Definitions.}

(A) “Clearinghouse” means the clearinghouse established under Section 3.

(B) “Data verification code” means a code that is assigned to each student that is unique on a statewide basis.

(C) “One credit” and “half-credit” mean the customary academic unit of credit granted for secondary school courses in this state.

(D) “Student’s school district” means the school district operating the school in which the student is lawfully enrolled.

Section 3. {Commission to establish clearinghouse of online learning courses.}

(A) The commission shall establish a clearinghouse of interactive distance learning courses and other distance learning courses delivered via a computer-based method offered by school districts for sharing with other school districts for the fee set pursuant to Section 5. The commission shall not be responsible for the content of the courses offered through the clearinghouse; however, all such courses shall be delivered only in accordance with technical specifications approved by the commission.

(B) To offer a course through the clearinghouse, a school district shall apply to the commission in a form and manner prescribed by the commission. The application for each course shall describe the course of study in as much detail as required by the commission, the qualification and credentials of the teacher, the number of hours of instruction, the technology required to deliver and receive the course, the technical capacity of the school district to deliver the course, the times that the school district plans to deliver the course, and any other information required by the commission. The commission may require school districts to include in their applications information recommended by the state board of education.

(C) The commission shall review the technical specifications of each application submitted under Paragraph (B) of this Section and shall approve a course offered if the commission determines that the school district can satisfactorily deliver the course through the technology necessary for that delivery. In reviewing applications, the commission may consult with the department of education; however, the responsibility to either approve or not approve a course for the clearinghouse believes to the commission. The commission may request additional information from a school district that submits an application under Paragraph (B) of this Section, if the commission determines that such information is necessary. The commission may negotiate changes in the proposal to offer a course, if the commission determines that changes are necessary in order to approve the course.

(D) The commission shall catalog each course approved for the clearinghouse, through a print or electronic medium, displaying the following:

(1) Information necessary for a student and the student’s parent, guardian, or custodian and the student’s school district or charter school to decide whether to enroll in the course; and

(2) Instructions for enrolling in that course, including deadlines for enrollment.

Section 4. {Enrollment in clearinghouse course – participation – withdrawal.}

(A) A student who is enrolled in a school operated by a school district or in a charter school may enroll in a course included in the clearinghouse only if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The student’s enrollment in the course is approved by the student’s school district or the student’s charter school; and

(2) The student’s school district or the student’s charter school agrees to accept for credit the grade assigned by the district that is delivering the course.

(B) For each student enrolling in a course, the student’s school district or the student’s charter school shall transmit the student’s data verification code and the student’s name to the school district delivering the course.

The district delivering the course may request from the student’s school district or the student’s charter school other information from the student’s school record. The student’s school district or the student’s charter school shall provide the requested information only in accordance with state law.

(C) The student’s school district or the student’s charter school shall determine the manner in which and facilities at which the student shall participate in the course consistent with specifications for technology and connectivity adopted by the commission.

(D) A student may withdraw from a course prior to the end of the course only by a date and in a manner prescribed by the student’s school district or charter school.

(E) A student who is enrolled in a school operated by a school district or in a charter school and who takes a course included in the clearinghouse shall be counted in the funding formula of the providing school district as if the student were taking the course from the student’s school district or the student’s charter school.

Section 5. {Course fee.}

(A) The commission shall set appropriate fees for one-credit and half-credit courses

(B) The commission shall proportionally reduce the fee for any student who withdraws from a course prior to the end of the course pursuant to Paragraph (D) of Section 4.

(C) For each student enrolled in a course included in the clearinghouse, and not later than the last day of that course, the department of education shall deduct the amount of the fee for that course from the student’s school district and shall pay that amount to the school district delivering the course.

Section 6. {Assignment of course grade.}

The grade for a student who enrolls in a course included in the clearinghouse shall be assigned by the school district that delivers the course and shall be transmitted by that district to the student’s school district or the student’s charter school.

Section 7. {Offering of course as dual enrollment.}

The commission may determine the manner in which a course included in the clearinghouse may be offered as a dual enrollment program as defined in [insert appropriate reference], may be offered to students who are enrolled in nonpublic schools or are instructed at home pursuant to [insert appropriate reference], or may be offered at times outside the normal school day or school week, including any necessary additional fees and methods of payment for a course so offered.

Section 8. {Clearinghouse implementation rules.}

The commission shall adopt rules prescribing procedures for the implementation of this act.

Section 9. {Alternative means for offering computer-based courses.}

Nothing in this act shall prohibit a school district from offering an interactive distance learning course or other distance learning course using a computer-based method through any means other than the clearinghouse established and maintained under those sections.

Approved by the ALEC Legislative Board of Directors, September 19, 2010.

Keyword Tags: Education Task Force, Online Learning, School Choice

Task Forces