The act amends the high school innovative learning pilot program (ILOP) that authorizes school districts, district charter schools, and institute charter schools (local education providers) to count as full-time students high school students participating in innovative learning opportunities regardless of whether they meet the number of teacher-pupil instruction and contact hours for full-time enrollment. The act allows a school of a school district to participate in an ILOP with a district or independently and requires all applicants to demonstrate how their innovative learning plan disproportionately benefits underserved students.
In selecting applicants to participate in the pilot program, the act requires the department of education (department) and the state board of education (state board) to consider whether the innovative learning plan includes opportunities for students to participate in registered or unregistered apprenticeships, internships, and technical training or skills programs through an industry provider, teacher training opportunities, concurrent enrollment, and industry certificates.
Further, subject to available appropriations, the state board is encouraged to select up to 20 applicants and is not limited to choosing applicants that had part-time students in the prior year and that enroll fewer than 5,000 students.
The act creates the fourth-year innovation pilot program (pilot program) in the department of higher education to disburse state funding to postsecondary education and training programs on behalf of low-income students who graduate early from a high school participating in the pilot program prior to enrolling in the fourth year of high school or prior to enrolling in the second semester of their fourth year in high school.
The state funding awarded to a student graduating prior to enrolling in the fourth year of high school is equal to the greater of 75% of the average state share amount of the statewide average per-pupil funding for public elementary and secondary schools for the 2021-22 budget year, as calculated during the 2021 legislative session, or $3,500. The state funding for a student graduating prior to the second semester of their fourth year in high school is equal to the greater of 45% of the average state share amount of the statewide average per-pupil funding for public elementary and secondary schools for the 2021-22 budget year, as calculated during the 2021 legislative session, or $2,000. The state funding is disbursed to the postsecondary program on behalf of the eligible graduate and may be used for the eligible graduate's cost of attendance for the postsecondary program, as determined by the department of higher education. The local education provider from which the student graduated early prior to the fourth year of high school receives a portion of the state savings for school finance obligations due to the early graduation. An eligible graduate must enroll in a postsecondary program within 18 months after graduating or the state funding is forfeited.
The act requires the department of higher education to report annually to the department, the governor's office of state planning and budgeting, the joint budget committee, and the education committees of the general assembly concerning certain information specified in the act relating to the pilot program. The act creates the fourth-year innovation pilot program fund for the pilot program. The pilot program repeals, effective December 31, 2027.
For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, the act appropriates:
- $220,115 and 0.3 FTE to the department of education for the high school innovative learning pilot program; and
- $44,222 and 0.6 FTE to the department of higher education to implement the for the fourth-year innovation pilot program .
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)