Revision: March 27, 2014, midnight
HB 1488-FN – AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 1488-FN
AN ACT establishing the New Hampshire program on educational support for military children.
This bill establishes a New Hampshire program to support educational opportunity for military children.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fourteen
AN ACT establishing the New Hampshire program on educational support for military children.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
110-D:1 Program. The New Hampshire program on educational opportunity for military children, hereinafter called “the program”, is hereby enacted into law as follows in this chapter.
110-D:2 Purpose. It is the purpose of this program to encourage school districts to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:
I. Facilitating the timely enrollment and cooperative placement of children of military families due to difficulty in the transfer of education records from the previous school district or districts or variations in entrance/age requirements.
II. Facilitating the student placement process for children of military families by recognizing and considering variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content, or assessment.
III. Providing, upon school administrative review and approval, the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in cocurricular activities.
IV. Encouraging the on-time graduation of children of military families who meet alternative course requirements for graduation approved by school administration.
V. Providing for the sharing of student information between schools and military families.
VI. Promoting coordination between schools and programs affecting military children.
VII. Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents, and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.
110-D:3 Definitions. As used in this program, unless the context clearly requires a different construction:
I. “Accredited school” means a school accredited by the state or a regional accrediting association, such as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, that validates the establishment and maintenance of high standards for all levels of education.
II. “Active duty” means full-time duty status in the active uniformed service of the United?States, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. sections 1209 and 1211.
III. “Children of military families” means a school-aged child or school-aged children, enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12, in the household of an active duty member.
IV. “Cocurricular” shall have the same meaning as in RSA 193:1-c, I, and includes those activities which are designed to supplement and enrich regular academic programs of study, provide opportunities for social development, and encourage participation in clubs, athletics, performing groups, and service to school and community.
V. “Deployment” means the period one month prior to the service members’ departure from their home station on military orders through 6 months after return to their home station.
VI. “Education records” means those official records, files, and data directly related to a student and maintained by the school or local education agency, including but not limited to records encompassing all the material kept in the student’s cumulative folder such as general identifying data, records of attendance and of academic work completed, records of achievement and results of evaluative tests, health data, disciplinary status, test protocols, and individualized education programs.
VII. “Local education agency” means a public authority legally constituted by the state as an administrative agency to provide control of and direction for kindergarten through grade 12 public educational institutions.
VIII. “Military installation” means a base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other activity under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense, including any leased facility, which is located within any of the several states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas Islands, and any other U.S. territory. Such term does not include any facility used primarily for civil works, rivers and harbors projects, or flood control projects.
IX. “Sending school” means the school from which a child of a military family is sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought.
X. “Sending state” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas Islands, and any other U.S. territory or United States military installation.
XI. “Student” means the child of a military family for whom the local education agency receives public funding and who is formally enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12.
XII. “Transition” means:
(a) The formal and physical process of transferring from school to school; or
(b) The period of time in which a student moves from one school in the sending state to another school in the receiving state.
XIII. “Uniformed service” or “uniformed services” means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Services.
XIV. “Veteran” means a person who served in the uniformed services and who was discharged or released there from under conditions other than dishonorable.
I. This program shall apply to the children of:
(a) Active duty members of the uniformed services as defined in this program, including members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty orders pursuant to 10 U.S.C. section 1209 and 1211;
(b) Members or veterans of the uniformed services who are severely injured and medically discharged or retired for a period of one year after medical discharge or retirement; and
(c) Members of the uniformed services who die on active duty or as a result of injuries sustained on active duty for a period of one year after death.
II. The provisions of the New Hampshire program shall only apply to local education agencies as defined in this program.
III. The provisions of this program shall not apply to the children of:
(a) Inactive members of the national guard and military reserves;
(b) Members of the uniformed services now retired, except as provided in paragraph I;
(c) Veterans of the uniformed services, except as provided in paragraph I; and
(d) Other United States. Department of Defense personnel and other federal agency civilian and contract employees not defined as active duty members of the uniformed services.
110-D:5 Educational Records and Enrollment.
I. Unofficial or “hand-carried” education records. In the event that official education records cannot be released to the parents for the purpose of transfer, the custodian of the records in the sending state or sending school may prepare and furnish to the parent a complete set of unofficial educational records. Upon receipt of the unofficial education records by a receiving school district or school, the school shall enroll and appropriately place the student based on the information provided in the unofficial records pending validation by the official records, as quickly as possible.
II. Official education records/transcripts. Simultaneous with the enrollment and conditional placement of the student, the school in the receiving school district shall request the student’s official education record from the school in the sending state. If the sending school is in New Hampshire, the school shall forward the official education records to the receiving school.
III. Immunizations. Enrolling students may be given 30 days from the date of enrollment, or within such time as is determined reasonable by the local education agency, to obtain any immunization or immunizations required under RSA 141-C:20-a. For a series of immunizations, initial vaccinations shall be obtained within 30 days or within such time as is determined reasonable by the local education agency.
IV. Kindergarten and first grade entrance age. Students shall be allowed to continue their enrollment at grade level in the receiving school district or school commensurate with their grade level, including kindergarten, from a local education agency in the sending state at the time of transition, regardless of age. A student that has satisfactorily completed the prerequisite grade level in the local education agency in the sending state or school shall be eligible for enrollment in the next highest grade level in the receiving school district or school, regardless of age. A student transferring after the start of the school year shall enter the receiving school on their validated level from an accredited sending school.
110-D:6 Placement and Attendance.
I. Course placement. When the student transfers before or during the school year, the receiving school shall initially honor placement of the student in educational courses based on the student’s enrollment in the sending school and/or educational assessments conducted at the receiving school. Course placement includes but is not limited to Honors, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, vocational, technical and career pathways courses. Continuing the student’s academic program from the previous school and promoting placement in academically and career challenging courses should be paramount when considering placement. This does not preclude the receiving school from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement and continued enrollment of the student in the course or courses.
II. Educational program placement. The receiving school shall initially honor placement of the student in educational programs based on current educational assessments conducted at the school in the sending state or participation/placement in like programs in the sending state. Such programs include, but are not limited to: (1) remedial reading for a third grade student who is not proficient and not receiving special education; and (2) English language learner. This does not preclude the school in the receiving school from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement of the student. The school placement process should promote and measure knowledge and skills that lead students to meet learning competencies across content domains.
III. Special education services. (1) In compliance with the federal requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C.A. section 1400 et seq, the receiving school shall initially provide comparable services to a student with disabilities based on his or her current Individualized Education Program (IEP); and (2) In compliance with the requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C.A. section 794, and with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.A. sections 12131-12165, the receiving school shall make reasonable accommodations and modifications to address the needs of incoming students with disabilities, subject to an existing 504 or Title II Plan, to provide the student with equal access to education. This does not preclude the receiving school from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement of the student.
IV. Placement flexibility. Local education agency administrative officials shall have flexibility in waiving course/program prerequisites, or other preconditions for placement in courses/programs offered under the jurisdiction of the local education agency.
V. Absence as related to deployment activities. A student whose parent or legal guardian is an active duty member of the uniformed services, as defined by the program, and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or immediately returned from deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting, shall be granted additional excused absences at the discretion of the local education agency superintendent to visit with his or her parent or legal guardian relative to such leave or deployment of the parent or guardian.
I. Eligibility for enrollment.
(a) Special power of attorney, relative to the guardianship of a child of a military family and executed under applicable law shall be sufficient for the purposes of enrollment and all other actions requiring parental participation and consent.
(b) A local education agency shall be prohibited from charging local tuition to a transitioning military child placed in the care of a non-custodial parent or other person standing in loco parentis who lives in a jurisdiction other than that of the custodial parent.
(c) A transitioning military child, placed in the care of a noncustodial parent or other person standing in loco parentis who lives in a jurisdiction other than that of the custodial parent, may continue to attend the school in which he/she was enrolled while residing with the custodial parent.
II. Eligibility for cocurricular participation. State and local education agencies shall facilitate the opportunity for transitioning military children’s inclusion in cocurricular activities, regardless of application deadlines, to the extent they are otherwise qualified and eligible.
110-D:8 Graduation. In order to facilitate the on-time graduation of children of military families, states and local education agencies shall incorporate the following procedures:
I. Waiver requirements. Local education agency administrative officials shall waive specific courses required for graduation if similar course work has been satisfactorily completed in another local education agency or shall provide reasonable justification for denial.
II. Exit exams. School districts or schools shall accept: (1) exit or end-of-course exams required for graduation from the sending state or school district; or (2) national norm-referenced achievement tests; or (3) alternative testing, in lieu of testing requirements for graduation in the receiving school. If none of these alternatives can be accommodated by the receiving school for a student transferring in his or her senior year, then the provisions of paragraph III shall apply.
III. Transfers during senior year. Should a military student transferring at the beginning or during his or her senior year be ineligible to graduate from the receiving local education agency after all alternatives have been considered, and after verifying from the sending local education agency that the student meets sending school graduation requirements, the receiving school, with authorization from the sending local education agency, shall notify the graduating student of a diploma receipt from the sending school.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
HB 1488-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT adopting the interstate compact on educational support for military children.
The Legislative Budget Assistant has determined that this legislation, as introduced, has a total fiscal impact of less than $10,000 in each of the fiscal years 2014 through 2018.