Revision: Jan. 8, 2020, 3:44 p.m.
HB 677-FN-A - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 677-FN-A
SPONSORS: Rep. Myler, Merr. 10; Rep. Martin, Hills. 23; Rep. Le, Rock. 31; Rep. Cornell, Hills. 18
This bill modifies the policy for discipline and expulsions from school. The bill also requires the bureau of student wellness, department of education to aid school districts in addressing students' behavioral health needs.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
8Jan2020... 2798h 19-0571
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
193:13 Suspension and Expulsion of Pupils.
I.(a) [The] A superintendent or [chief administering officer] chartered public school director, or a representative designated in writing by the superintendent or chartered public school director, [is authorized to] may suspend pupils from school for a period not to exceed 10 consecutive school days for: [gross misconduct or for neglect or refusal to conform to the reasonable rules of the school and shall make educational assignments available to the suspended pupil during the period of suspension]
(1) Behavior that is detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of pupils or school personnel; or
(2) Repeated and willful disregard of the reasonable rules of the school that is not remediated through imposition of the district's graduated sanctions under paragraph X.
(b) The school board or chartered public school board of trustees, or a representative designated in writing [of the school board is authorized] may, following a hearing, [to continue] extend the suspension of a pupil [for a period in excess of] up to 10 additional consecutive school days for an act that constitutes an act of theft, destruction, or violence as defined in RSA 193-D; bullying pursuant to school district policy when the pupil has not responded to targeted interventions and poses an ongoing threat to the safety or welfare of another student; or possession of a firearm, BB gun, or paintball gun. The school board's or board of trustee's designee may be the superintendent or any other individual, but may not be the individual who suspended the pupil for the first 10 days under subparagraph (a). Any suspension shall be valid throughout the school districts of the state, subject to modification by the superintendent of the school district or chartered public school in which the pupil seeks to enroll.
(c) Any suspension in excess of 10 school days imposed under subparagraph (b) by any person other than the school board or board of trustees is appealable to the school board or board of trustees, provided that the superintendent, school board, or board of trustees received such appeal in writing within 10 days after the issuance of the decision being appealed. The school board or board of trustees shall hold a hearing on the appeal, but shall have discretion to hear evidence or to rely upon the record of a hearing conducted under subparagraph (b). The suspension under subparagraph (b) shall be enforced while that appeal is pending, unless the school board or board of trustees stays the suspension while the appeal is pending.
II. Any pupil may be expelled from school by the local school board or board of trustees for an act that poses an ongoing threat to the safety of students or school personnel and that constitutes: [gross misconduct, or for neglect or refusal to conform to the reasonable rules of the school, or for an act of theft, destruction, or violence as defined in RSA 193-D:1, or for possession of a pellet or BB gun, rifle, or paint ball gun,]
(a) A repeated act under subparagraph I(b);
(b) Any act of physical or sexual assault that would be a felony if committed by an adult;
(c) Any act of violence pursuant to RSA 651:5, XIII;
(d) Criminal threatening pursuant to RSA 631:4, II(a); or
(e) Possessing a firearm.
III. A pupil who has been expelled [and the pupil] shall not attend school until [restored] reinstated by the local board or chartered public school board of trustees.
III-a. Before expelling a pupil under this section the local school board or chartered public school board of trustees shall consider each of the following factors:
(a) The pupil's age.
(b) The pupil's disciplinary history.
(c) Whether the pupil is a student with a disability.
(d) The seriousness of the violation or behavior committed by the pupil.
(e) Whether the school district or chartered public school has implemented positive behavioral interventions under paragraph IV.
(f) Whether a lesser intervention would properly address the violation or behavior committed by the pupil.
III-b. Any expulsion shall be subject to review by the pupil’s school board of attendance or the board of trustees of the chartered public school’s board that issued the expulsion if requested prior to the start of each school year and further, any parent or guardian has the right to appeal any such expulsion by the local board or board of trustees to the state board of education at any time while the expulsion remains in effect. All appeals of final action by the state board of education shall be in accordance with RSA 541.
III-c. Any expulsion shall be valid throughout the school districts of the state. However, upon application by the pupil, any school district or chartered public school may choose to admit an expelled pupil at the school district or chartered public school’s sole discretion. The decision by a chartered public school or superintendent to accept a pupil under this paragraph shall not be binding upon any other school district or chartered public school until the pupil is reinstated by the pupil’s local school board or chartered public school board of trustees.
[III.] IV. Any pupil who brings or possesses a firearm as defined in section 921 of Title 18 of the United States Code in a safe school zone as defined in RSA 193-D:1 without written authorization from the superintendent or designee shall be expelled from school by the local school board for a period of not less than 12 months. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the local school district or chartered public school that expelled the student from providing educational services to such student in an alternative setting.
[IV] V. School districts and chartered public schools shall make educational assignments available to the suspended pupil during periods of suspension. Except as provided in paragraphs II and IV, a school district or chartered public school shall provide alternative educational services to a suspended pupil whenever the pupil is suspended in excess of 20 cumulative days within any school year. The alternative educational services shall be designed to enable a pupil to advance from grade to grade. Any time a pupil is suspended more than 10 school days in any school year, upon the pupil’s return to school the school district shall conduct a functional behavior assessment and develop an intervention plan designed to address and reduce occurrences of the pupil’s problematic behaviors. No pupil shall be penalized academically solely by virtue of missing class due to suspension. [The local school board shall adopt a policy which allows the superintendent or chief administering officer to modify the expulsion requirements set forth in paragraphs II and III on a case by case basis.
V. Any pupil expelled by a local school board under the provisions of the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 shall not be eligible to enroll in another school district in New Hampshire for the period of such expulsion. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the local school district that expelled the student from providing educational services to such students in an alternative setting.]
VI. A pupil expelled from school in another state under the provisions of the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 shall not be eligible to enroll in a school district in New Hampshire for the period of such expulsion. If the out-of-state expulsion is for an indefinite period of time, such pupil or the pupil’s parent or guardian shall have the right to petition the pupil’s local school board for enrollment upon establishing residency. If the pupil is denied enrollment, the pupil’s expulsion shall be subject to review pursuant to paragraph III-b.
VII. The local school board or chartered public school shall adopt a policy which allows the superintendent or charter public school director to modify the expulsion and enrollment requirements under paragraphs V and VI on a case by case basis.
[VII] VIII. For purposes of paragraphs I, II, [and] III, and IV school board may be either the school board or a subcommittee of the board duly authorized by the school board.
IX. Nothing in this section shall prevent the superintendent of the pupil’s local school district or chartered public school director from reinstating a suspended or expelled pupil.
X. The provisions of this section shall be construed in a manner consistent with RSA 186-C.
XI. School boards and chartered public schools shall establish policies on school discipline that contain a system of supports and consequences designed to correct student misconduct and promote behavior within acceptable norms. Such policies shall:
(a) Include a graduated set of age appropriate responses to misconduct that may include, but are not limited to, parent conferences, counseling, peer mediation, instruction in conflict resolution and anger management, parent counseling and training, community service, rearranging class schedules, restriction from extra curricular activities, detention, in-school supports and consequences, out-of-school suspension, and expulsion.
(b) Set forth standards for short term suspensions up to 5 days, short term suspensions up to 10 days, long term suspensions up to 20 days, and expulsion. Such standards shall make reference to the nature and degree of disruption caused to the school environment, the threat to the health and safety of pupils and school personnel, and the isolated or repeated nature of incidents forming the basis of disciplinary action.
XII. Each school district and chartered public school shall make its policy on school discipline:
(a) Available to parents at the beginning of each school year;
(b) Publicly available on the district, school administrative unit, or chartered public school website and in the student handbook; and
(c) Available to parents via a manner designed to ensure parental notification if the school district, school administrative unit, or chartered public school does not maintain a website and/or student handbook.
Grants for Implementation of Behavioral Health Supports
198:63 Purpose Statement. The general court recognizes that there is a need to provide funding to the school districts of the state to support the behavioral health and wellness of New Hampshire students, who are being affected by the ongoing mental health, substance misuse, and child protection crises in the state. There is an existing, New Hampshire-developed prevention framework, known as the Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Behavioral Health and Wellness or MTSS-B, that has been implemented in many school districts in New Hampshire and has demonstrated clear evidence that implementation of the model is directly correlated with reduced exclusionary discipline evidenced by reduced student discipline referrals, enhanced behavioral health, enhanced attendance, improved academic achievement, and enhanced school climate.
198:64 Grants for Implementation of Behavioral Health Supports.
I. To aid local school districts in meeting the needs of New Hampshire students, the bureau of student wellness, department of education, shall, from funds appropriated by the general court to carry out the provisions of this section, distribute and oversee the use of the funds to the school districts of the state using the allocation formula developed to distribute Title I funds and in accordance with this section. These funds shall only be distributed to New Hampshire public schools. The department of education shall also use a portion of the state set-aside funds received from the federal government under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to support student behavioral health and wellness under RSA 198:63.
II. For the purposes of this section, "Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Behavioral Health and Wellness" or "MTSS-B" means the evidence-based prevention framework developed in New Hampshire, in compliance with RSA 135-F:5, II(a), to address New Hampshire students' social, emotional, and behavioral health needs.
III. In distributing the funds appropriated under this section, the bureau of student wellness shall direct school districts to utilize the funds for the following allowable uses:
(a) External MTSS-B consultation and training services in addition to services available via the bureau of student wellness at the department of education;
(b) Other MTSS-B professional development and related travel expenses;
(c) Stipends for staff attendance at MTSS-B professional development outside of regular working hours;
(d) Staff positions to implement MTSS-B for students with behavioral and emotional challenges, such as school-based social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, LADCs, student assistance program coordinators, school wellness coordinators, internal MTSS-B coordinators, wraparound coordinators, COTAs, behavioral support specialists, early childhood coordinators, and any other positions that support social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health services within the MTSS-B framework in schools;
(e) Contracts with community providers, including community mental health centers, child and family serving agencies, and other mental health providers to provide evidence- and research-based practices;
(f) Supplies to support MTSS-B implementation; and
(g) Data collection and reporting.
3 Appropriation. The sum of $5,000,000 for the biennium ending June 30, 2021 is hereby appropriated to the department of education for the purposes of supporting student behavioral health and wellness under RSA 198:63. The governor is authorized to draw a warrant for said sum out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated.
I. RSA 193:13, I-X, as inserted by section 1 of this act, shall take effect July 1, 2021.
II. The remainder of this act shall take effect July 1, 2020.
HB 677-FN-A- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
This bill makes several statutory changes relative to the suspension and expulsion of pupils and establishes a grant program for implementation of behavioral health support, administered by the Department of Education, along with a $5,000,000 general fund appropriation for the biennium ending July 1, 2021. Any expenditure impact on school districts relative to the suspension and expulsion changes is indeterminable as it is unclear how many actions there may be, as well as their costs, or who is responsible for the costs. In regards to the grant program, the Department anticipates it would use $100,000 of the appropriation ($50,000 each year) for administrative expenses, and grant the remaining $4,900,000 to schools in each FY 2020 and FY 2021.
Department of Education