AMENDMENTS TO SCHOOL TURNAROUND AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ACT

Summary

This bill enacts and amends provisions related to the School Turnaround and Leadership Development Act.

AMENDMENTS TO SCHOOL TURNAROUND AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ACT

School Turnaround Act

General Description:

This bill enacts and amends provisions related to public education.

Highlighted Provisions:

This bill:

  • defines terms;
  • requires the State Department of Education to designate schools in need of intervention;
  • requires a Local Educational Agency (LEA) to take certain actions to turn around a public school in need of intervention;
  • directs the State Department of Education to:
    • select independent school turnaround experts, through a request for proposals process;
    • review and approve school turnaround plans submitted by a Local Educational Agency (LEA);
    • set the criteria necessary for schools to exit the turnaround process; and
    • determine consequences and incentives for a school that fails or succeeds at meeting the pre-determined exit criteria

Section 1. Section [XXXX] is enacted to read:

Part XX. School Turnaround Act Title.

This part is known as the “School Turnaround Act.”

Section 2. Section [XXXX] is enacted to read:

Definitions.

As used in this part:

(1) “Department” means the State Department of Education.

(2) “School” means a public school under the control of a Local Educational Agency (LEA) elected under [Title XX]

(3) “Educator” means the same as that term is defined in Section [XXXX]

(4) “Initial remedial year” means the year in which a district school or charter school is

designated as a school in need of intervention under Section [XXXX]

(5) “School in need of intervention” means a public school that has been designated as in need of intervention by the Department of Education according to an outcome-based measure

(6) “Statewide assessment” means a test of student achievement in English language

arts, mathematics, or science, including a test administered in a computer adaptive format that

is administered statewide under Section [XXXX].

Section 3. Section [XXXX] is enacted to read:

State Department of Education to designate schools in need of intervention and determine the criteria necessary to exit the program.

(1) The Department shall use outcome-based measure(s) to set criteria for the designation of schools in need of intervention.

(2) No more than one month after school performance measures are made public, the Department shall designate specific schools as in need of intervention.

(3) The Department shall determine the specific criteria a school must meet to exit the program based on the same outcome-based measure(s) as was used to designate schools as in need of intervention.

Section 4. Section [XXXX] is enacted to read:

Required action to turn around a school in need of intervention.

(1) On or before October 1 of an initial remedial year, an LEA governing a school in need of intervention shall establish a school turnaround committee composed of the following members:

(a) one member of the LEA governing the school in need of intervention;

(b) the school principal;

(c) three parents of students enrolled in the school appointed by the chair of the school community council;

(d) four teachers at the school appointed by the principal.

(2) (a) Subject to Subsection [XXXX], on or before October 15 of an initial remedial year,

an LEA governing a school in need of intervention shall partner with the school turnaround

committee to select an independent school turnaround expert from the experts identified by the

Department under Section [XXXX]

(b) The LEA may not select an independent school turnaround expert that is:

(i) the LEA governing the school in need of intervention; or

(ii) an employee of the LEA governing the school in need of intervention.

(3) A school turnaround committee shall partner with the independent school

turnaround expert selected under Subsection [XXXX] to develop and implement a school turnaround

plan that includes:

(a) the findings of the analysis conducted by the independent school turnaround expert

described in Subsection [XXXX];

(b) recommendations regarding changes to the school’s personnel, culture, curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, digital tools for teaching and learning, governance, leadership, finances, policies, or other areas that may be necessary to implement the school turnaround plan;

(c) measurable student achievement goals and objectives;

(d) a professional development plan that identifies a strategy to address problems of

instructional practice;

(e) a leadership development plan focused on proven strategies to turn around schools in need of intervention that align with [state leadership standards]

(f) a detailed budget specifying how the school turnaround plan will be funded;

(g) a plan to assess and monitor progress;

(h) a plan to communicate and report data on progress to stakeholders; and

(i) a timeline for implementation.

(4) An LEA governing a school in need of intervention shall:

(a) prioritize funding and resources to the school in need of intervention; and

(b) grant the school streamlined authority over staff, schedule, policies, budget, and academic programs to implement the school turnaround plan.

(5) (a) On or before March 1 of an initial remedial year, a school turnaround committee

shall submit the school turnaround plan to the LEA for approval.

(b) Except as provided in Subsection [XXXX], on or before April 1 of an initial remedial

year, an LEA governing a school in need of intervention shall submit the school turnaround plan

to the Department for approval.

(c) If the LEA does not approve the school turnaround plan submitted under Subsection [XXXX], the school turnaround committee may appeal the disapproval in accordance with rules made by the Department as described in Subsection [XXXX].

Section 5. Section [XXXX] is enacted to read:

State Department of Education to identify independent school turnaround experts — Review and approval of school turnaround plans — Appeals process.

(1) On or before August 30, the Department shall identify two or more approved independent school turnaround experts, through a request for proposals process, that a school in need of intervention may select from to partner with to:

(a) collect and analyze data on the school’s student achievement, personnel, culture, curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, digital tools for teaching and learning, governance, leadership, finances, and policies;

(b)  recommend changes to the school’s culture, curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, governance, finances, policies, or other areas based on data collected under Subsection [XXXX];

(c) develop and implement, in partnership with the school turnaround committee, a

school turnaround plan that meets the criteria described in Subsection [XXXX];

(d) monitor the effectiveness of a school turnaround plan through reliable means of

evaluation, including on-site visits, observations, surveys, analysis of student achievement data,

and interviews;

(e) provide ongoing implementation support and project management for a school

turnaround plan;

(f) provide high-quality professional development and coaching personalized for school staff that is

designed to build the:

(i) leadership capacity of the school principal;

(ii) instructional capacity of school staff; and

(iii) Collaborative practices of teacher and leadership teams

(g) Provide job-embedded professional learning and coaching for all instructional staff on a weekly basis at minimum;

(h) Provide job-embedded professional learning and coaching for the school principal at least twice monthly, focused on proven strategies to turn around schools in need of intervention that area aligned with [state leadership standards]

(i) leverage support from community partners to coordinate an efficient delivery of

supports to students both inside and outside the classroom.

(2) In identifying independent school turnaround experts under Subsection [XXXX], the Department shall identify experts that:

(a) have a credible track record of improving student academic achievement in public

schools with various demographic characteristics, as measured by statewide assessments;

(b) have experience designing, implementing, and evaluating data-driven instructional

systems in public schools;

(c) have experience coaching public school administrators and teachers on designing and implementing

data-driven school improvement plans;

(d) have experience collaborating with the various education entities that govern public

schools;

(e) have experience delivering high-quality professional development and coaching in instructional

effectiveness to public school administrators and teachers;

(f) are willing to be compensated for professional services based on performance as

described in Subsection [XXXX]; and

(g) are willing to partner with any school in need of intervention in the state, regardless of

location.

(3) (a) When awarding a contract to an independent school turnaround expert selected

by an LEA under Subsection [XXXX], the Department shall ensure that a contract between the

LEA and the independent school turnaround expert specifies that the Department will:

(i) pay an independent school turnaround expert no more than 50% of the expert’s

professional fees at the beginning of the independent school turnaround expert’s work for the

school in need of intervention; and

(ii) pay the remainder of the independent school turnaround expert’s professional fees

upon the independent school turnaround expert successfully helping a school in need of intervention

meet exit criteria as determined by the Department under Section [XXXX] within three school years after a school is designated as needing intervention.

(b) In negotiating a contract with an independent school turnaround expert, the Department

shall offer:

(i) an average of $500,000 per school for the entirety of the project

(ii) differentiated amounts of funding based on student enrollment; and

(iii) a higher amount of funding for schools that are in the lowest performing 1% of

schools statewide according to an outcomes-based measure determined by the Department

under Section [XXXX].

(4) The Department shall:

(a) review a school turnaround plan submitted for approval under Subsection [XXXX] or under Subsection [XXXX] within 30 days of submission;

(b) approve a school turnaround plan that:

(i) is timely;

(ii) is well-developed; and

(iii) meets the criteria described in Subsection [XXXX]; and

(c) subject to legislative appropriations, provide funding to a school in need of intervention for

interventions identified in an approved school turnaround plan if the LEA provides matching funds or an in-kind contribution of goods or services in an amount equal to the funding the school in need of intervention would receive from the Department.

(5) (a) In accordance with Title XX [State Administrative Rulemaking Act], the Department shall make rules to establish an appeals process for:

(i) a school in need of intervention that is not granted approval from the LEA under Subsection [XXXX]; and

(ii) an LEA that is not granted approval from the Department of Education under Subsection [XXXX].

(b) The Department shall ensure that rules made under Subsection [XXXX] require an appeals process described in:

(i) Subsection (5)(a)(i) to be resolved on or before April 1 of the initial remedial year; and

(ii) Subsection (5)(a)(ii) to be resolved on or before May 15 of the initial remedial year.

(6) The Department shall balance the need to prioritize funding appropriated by the

Legislature to contract with highly qualified independent school turnaround experts with the

need to set aside funding for:

(a) interventions to facilitate the implementation of a school turnaround plan under

Subsection [XXXX]; and

(b) the School Recognition and Reward Program created under Section [XXXX].

Section 6. Section [XXXX] is enacted to read:

Consequences for failing to improve a school in need of intervention.

(1) (a) A school in need of intervention that does not meet the exit criteria determined by the Department under Section [XXXX] within three school years after the day on which the school is

designated a school in need of intervention may petition the Department for an extension to continue school improvement efforts for up to two years.

(b) The Department may only grant an extension under Subsection [XXXX] if the school in need of intervention has demonstrated at least 50% of the improvement necessary to exit the turnaround process; or submits an appeal to the Department.

(c) The Department may extend the contract of an independent school turnaround expert of a school in need of intervention that is granted an extension under this Subsection [XXXX].

(d) A school that has been granted an extension under this Subsection [XXXX] is eligible for:

(i) continued funding under Subsection [XXXX];

(2) The Department shall make rules establishing consequences for a school in need of intervention that:

(a) (i) does not meet the pre-determined exit criteria within three school years after the day on which the school is designated in need of intervention; and

(ii) is not granted an extension under Subsection [XXXX]; or

(b) (i) is granted an extension under Subsection [XXXX]; and

(ii) does not meet the pre-determined exit criteria within three school years after the day on which the school in need of intervention is granted an extension.

Section 7. Section [XXXX] is enacted to read:

School Recognition and Reward Program.

(1) As used in this section, “eligible school” means a school in need of intervention that:

(a) meets pre-determined exit criteria within three school years after the day on which the school is designated a school in need of intervention; or

(b) (i) has been granted an extension under Subsection [XXXX]; and

(ii) meets pre-determined exit criteria within the extension period.

(2) The School Recognition and Reward Program is created to provide incentives to

schools and educators to improve the school in need of intervention.

(3) Subject to appropriations by the Legislature, the Department may determine and distribute rewards, financial or otherwise, for eligible schools and/or the educators therein.

Section 8. Section [XXXX] is enacted to read:

Reporting Requirement.

On or before November 30 of each year, the Department shall report to the Education Interim Committee on the provisions of this part.