Bill Text - SB147 (2021)

Adopting omnibus legislation relative to student aid, the central registry, transportation of students, and special education costs.


Revision: March 19, 2021, 11:42 a.m.

SB 147-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

03/18/2021   0740s

03/18/2021   0889s

 

2021 SESSION

21-0933

06/10

 

SENATE BILL 147-FN

 

AN ACT adopting omnibus legislation relative to student aid, the central registry, transportation of students, and special education costs.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Kahn, Dist. 10

 

COMMITTEE: Education

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill adopts legislation relative to:

 

I.  Applications for federal student aid.

 

II.  The central registry.

 

III.  The transportation of pupils.

 

IV.  Mitigation of special education costs.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/18/2021   0740s

03/18/2021   0889s 21-0933

06/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT adopting omnibus legislation relative to student aid, the central registry, transportation of students, and special education costs.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Sponsorship.  This act consists of the following proposed legislation:  

Part I.  LSR 21-0933, relative to filing an application for federal student aid, sponsored by Sen.Kahn, Prime/Dist. 10;  Sen. Prentiss, Dist. 5.

Part II.  LSR 21-0951, relative to a central registry in the department of education to maintain records of founded reports of abuse and neglect, sponsored by Sen.Ward, Prime/Dist. 8.

Part III.  LSR 21-1019, relative to the transportation of pupils in a contract carrier, sponsored by Sen. Kahn, Prime/Dist.10; Sen.Watters, Dist. 4; Sen. Prentiss, Dist. 5.

Part IV.  LSR 21-0836, relative to additional state aid for special education for certain communities of 1,000 or fewer residents, sponsored by Sen. Bradley, Prime/Dist.3, Sen. Watters, Dist. 4; Sen.Giuda, Dist. 2; Sen. Hennessey, Dist. 1; Rep. Burroughs, Carr. 1.

2  Legislation Enacted.  The general court hereby enacts the following legislation:

 

PART I

Relative to filing an application for federal student aid.

1  New Section; Graduation Requirements; Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Amend RSA 193 by inserting after section 26 the following new section:

193:26-a  Graduation Requirements; Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

I.  Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, each student who is at least 18 years of age or legally emancipated, who is otherwise eligible to graduate from high school, or the parent of such a student who is under the age of 18 years, as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma from a public high school, shall either:

(a)  File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid with the United States Department of Education; or

(b)  File a waiver on a form created by the state board of education with the student's school district indicating that the parent or guardian or, if applicable, the student, understands what the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is and has chosen not to file an application

II.  Each school district with a high school shall provide to each high school student and, if applicable, his or her parent or guardian, any support or assistance necessary to comply with paragraph I.  A school district shall award a high school diploma to a student who is unable to meet the requirements of paragraph I due to extenuating circumstances, as determined by the school district, if the student has met all other graduation requirements and the principal attests that the school district has made a good faith effort to assist the student or, if applicable, his or her parent or guardian in filing an application or a waiver.

2  New Paragraph; State Board of Education; Rulemaking Authority.  Amend RSA 186:8 by inserting after paragraph VIII the following new paragraph:

IX.  Implementing the provisions of RSA 193:26-a.

3  Effective Date.  Part I of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

PART II

Relative to a central registry in the department of education to maintain records

of founded reports of abuse and neglect.

1  Department of Education; Rulemaking.  Amend RSA 21-N:9, II(s) to read as follows:

(s)  License standards for educational personnel, to include the establishment and implementation of a secure system for conducting criminal background checks pursuant to RSA 189:13-a for all first-time applicants listed in this section, the establishment and implementation of a secure system for accessing findings of abuse for individuals on the central registry pursuant to RSA 169-C:35, and educator certification fees for granting licenses to educational personnel, including teachers, paraprofessionals, superintendents, assistant superintendents, special education administrators, business administrators, principals, vocational directors, coordinators of comprehensive health education and services, directors of pupil personnel services, guidance directors, guidance counselors, school psychologists, associate school psychologists, speech-language specialists, social workers, health educators, physical education teachers, consumer and family science teachers, elementary teachers, specialists in assessment of intellectual functioning, school bus drivers and transportation monitors, media supervisors, media generalists, and master teachers as authorized by RSA 186:8 and RSA 186:11, X, professional licenses including beginning educator licenses, experienced educator licenses, and intern authorizations, and other classifications of educators, administrators, specialists, and paraprofessionals necessary to address educational needs as determined by the state board upon the recommendation of the professional standards board pursuant to RSA 186:60.

2  Reporting; Central Registry.  Amend RSA 169-C:35, I to read as follows:

I.  There shall be established a state registry for the purpose of maintaining a record of founded reports of abuse and neglect.  The registry shall be confidential and subject to rules on access established by the commissioner of the department under RSA 541-A.  The commissioner of the department shall allow the credentialing bureau of the department of education access to the records of applicants for purposes of RSA 21-N:9, II(s) and in accordance with RSA 189:13-c.

3  New Paragraphs; Central Registry.  Amend RSA 169-C:35 by inserting after paragraph VII the following new paragraphs:

VIII.  Upon receipt of a written request from the department of education, credentialing bureau, the department shall provide the department of education with a copy of the notice of finding or court order establishing the finding and resulting individual’s name being placed on the central registry.  

IX.  The department of education shall maintain the confidentiality of all division for children, youth, and families records.  

4  New Section; Teacher Credentialing Criminal History Records Check.  Amend RSA 189 by inserting after section 13-b the following new section:

189:13-c  Credentialing Applicant State Registry Check.

I.  In this subdivision, “credentialing applicant” means a first-time applicant for a New Hampshire teaching credential.

II.  The department shall complete a central registry check as established in RSA 169-C:35 on each credentialing applicant.  The central registry check shall include a check of the department’s central registry of founded reports of child abuse under RSA 169-C:35.

III.  By submitting an application for a teaching credential, an applicant is deemed to have consented to have the department of education check his or her name for findings of abuse on the central registry pursuant to RSA 169-C:35.

IV.  Any individual whose name has been submitted for this check who has been the subject of finding of abuse, shall be denied a teaching credential by the department.

V.  The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, governing the rights of a credentialing applicant and the ability to appeal a denial of a teaching credential pursuant to a founded report of child abuse under RSA 169-C:35.  

5  Effective Date.  Part II of this act shall take effect January 1, 2022.

 

PART III

Relative to the transportation of pupils in a contract carrier.

1  New Section; Pupils Transported in a Contract Carrier.  Amend RSA 189 by inserting after section 6-d the following new section:

189:6-e  Pupils Transported in a Contract Carrier.

I.  A school district may contract with a contract carrier of passengers, as defined by RSA 376:2, VII, that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the operator, to transport pupils to or from school activities.  The motor vehicle used by the contract carrier of passengers shall bear a valid state inspection sticker, comply with applicable provisions of RSA 376, and be operated by a driver who holds a valid commercial driver's license and a school bus driver's certificate defined in RSA 263:29.

II.  In this section, "school activities" shall include, but is not limited to, sporting events, intramural events, events associated with student clubs or organizations, job training programs, field trips, special education transition services that require travel of at least 75 miles.  "School activities" shall not include transportation between home and school.

III.  Contract carriers of passengers shall ensure that motor vehicle operators capable of transporting 16 or more passengers for a school activity comply with requirements for training and criminal history record checks required in RSA 189:13-a, XII and RSA 189:13-b as well as school bus driver's certificate requirements of RSA 263:29.

2  Effective Date.  Part III of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

PART IV

Relative to additional state aid for special education for certain communities of 1,000 or fewer residents.

1  Special Education; State Aid.  Amend RSA 186-C:18, III(a) to read as follows:

III.(a)  The state board of education through the commissioner, department of education, shall distribute aid available under this paragraph as entitlement to such school districts as have a special education pupil for whose costs they are responsible, for whom the costs of special education in the fiscal year exceed 31/2 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution.  If in any year, the amount appropriated for distribution as special education aid in accordance with this section is insufficient therefor, the appropriation shall be prorated proportionally based on entitlement among the districts entitled to a grant.  If there are unexpended funds appropriated under this paragraph at the end of any fiscal year, such funds shall be distributed for court-ordered placements under RSA 186-C:19-b.  The state may designate up to $250,000 of the funds which are appropriated as required by this paragraph, for each fiscal year, to assist those school districts which, under guidelines established by rules of the state board of education, may qualify for emergency assistance for special education costs.  The state may designate an additional $250,000 of the funds which are appropriated under this paragraph for each fiscal year for any community of 1,000 or fewer residents to mitigate the impact of special education costs when emergency assistance is necessary to prevent significant financial harm to such community.  Upon application to the commissioner of education, and approval by the commissioner, such funds may be accepted and expended by school districts in accordance with this chapter; provided, however, that if a school district has received emergency assistance funds for certain children with disabilities, it shall not receive special education aid for those same children with disabilities.  If any of the funds designated for emergency assistance under this paragraph are not used for such emergency assistance purposes, the funds shall be used to assist school districts in meeting special education cost increases in their special education programs as provided by this paragraph.

2  Effective Date.  Part IV of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBA

21-0933

Revised 3/2/21

 

SB 147-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT adopting omnibus legislation relative to student aid, the central registry, transportation of students, and special education costs.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

The Department of Education states it would incur no fiscal impact from this bill (all parts).

 

Part II of this bill, relative to a central registry in the department of education to maintain records of founded reports of abuse and neglect, may result in an impact to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant is awaiting information from the Department.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services

 

SB 147-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

03/18/2021   0740s

03/18/2021   0889s

 

2021 SESSION

21-0933

06/10

 

SENATE BILL 147-FN

 

AN ACT adopting omnibus legislation relative to student aid, the central registry, transportation of students, and special education costs.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Kahn, Dist. 10

 

COMMITTEE: Education

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

ANALYSIS

 

This bill adopts legislation relative to:

 

I.  Applications for federal student aid.

 

II.  The central registry.

 

III.  The transportation of pupils.

 

IV.  Mitigation of special education costs.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

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.

03/18/2021   0740s

03/18/2021   0889s 21-0933

06/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT adopting omnibus legislation relative to student aid, the central registry, transportation of students, and special education costs.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Sponsorship.  This act consists of the following proposed legislation:  

Part I.  LSR 21-0933, relative to filing an application for federal student aid, sponsored by Sen.Kahn, Prime/Dist. 10;  Sen. Prentiss, Dist. 5.

Part II.  LSR 21-0951, relative to a central registry in the department of education to maintain records of founded reports of abuse and neglect, sponsored by Sen.Ward, Prime/Dist. 8.

Part III.  LSR 21-1019, relative to the transportation of pupils in a contract carrier, sponsored by Sen. Kahn, Prime/Dist.10; Sen.Watters, Dist. 4; Sen. Prentiss, Dist. 5.

Part IV.  LSR 21-0836, relative to additional state aid for special education for certain communities of 1,000 or fewer residents, sponsored by Sen. Bradley, Prime/Dist.3, Sen. Watters, Dist. 4; Sen.Giuda, Dist. 2; Sen. Hennessey, Dist. 1; Rep. Burroughs, Carr. 1.

2  Legislation Enacted.  The general court hereby enacts the following legislation:

 

PART I

Relative to filing an application for federal student aid.

1  New Section; Graduation Requirements; Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Amend RSA 193 by inserting after section 26 the following new section:

193:26-a  Graduation Requirements; Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

I.  Beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, each student who is at least 18 years of age or legally emancipated, who is otherwise eligible to graduate from high school, or the parent of such a student who is under the age of 18 years, as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma from a public high school, shall either:

(a)  File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid with the United States Department of Education; or

(b)  File a waiver on a form created by the state board of education with the student's school district indicating that the parent or guardian or, if applicable, the student, understands what the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is and has chosen not to file an application

II.  Each school district with a high school shall provide to each high school student and, if applicable, his or her parent or guardian, any support or assistance necessary to comply with paragraph I.  A school district shall award a high school diploma to a student who is unable to meet the requirements of paragraph I due to extenuating circumstances, as determined by the school district, if the student has met all other graduation requirements and the principal attests that the school district has made a good faith effort to assist the student or, if applicable, his or her parent or guardian in filing an application or a waiver.

2  New Paragraph; State Board of Education; Rulemaking Authority.  Amend RSA 186:8 by inserting after paragraph VIII the following new paragraph:

IX.  Implementing the provisions of RSA 193:26-a.

3  Effective Date.  Part I of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

PART II

Relative to a central registry in the department of education to maintain records

of founded reports of abuse and neglect.

1  Department of Education; Rulemaking.  Amend RSA 21-N:9, II(s) to read as follows:

(s)  License standards for educational personnel, to include the establishment and implementation of a secure system for conducting criminal background checks pursuant to RSA 189:13-a for all first-time applicants listed in this section, the establishment and implementation of a secure system for accessing findings of abuse for individuals on the central registry pursuant to RSA 169-C:35, and educator certification fees for granting licenses to educational personnel, including teachers, paraprofessionals, superintendents, assistant superintendents, special education administrators, business administrators, principals, vocational directors, coordinators of comprehensive health education and services, directors of pupil personnel services, guidance directors, guidance counselors, school psychologists, associate school psychologists, speech-language specialists, social workers, health educators, physical education teachers, consumer and family science teachers, elementary teachers, specialists in assessment of intellectual functioning, school bus drivers and transportation monitors, media supervisors, media generalists, and master teachers as authorized by RSA 186:8 and RSA 186:11, X, professional licenses including beginning educator licenses, experienced educator licenses, and intern authorizations, and other classifications of educators, administrators, specialists, and paraprofessionals necessary to address educational needs as determined by the state board upon the recommendation of the professional standards board pursuant to RSA 186:60.

2  Reporting; Central Registry.  Amend RSA 169-C:35, I to read as follows:

I.  There shall be established a state registry for the purpose of maintaining a record of founded reports of abuse and neglect.  The registry shall be confidential and subject to rules on access established by the commissioner of the department under RSA 541-A.  The commissioner of the department shall allow the credentialing bureau of the department of education access to the records of applicants for purposes of RSA 21-N:9, II(s) and in accordance with RSA 189:13-c.

3  New Paragraphs; Central Registry.  Amend RSA 169-C:35 by inserting after paragraph VII the following new paragraphs:

VIII.  Upon receipt of a written request from the department of education, credentialing bureau, the department shall provide the department of education with a copy of the notice of finding or court order establishing the finding and resulting individual’s name being placed on the central registry.  

IX.  The department of education shall maintain the confidentiality of all division for children, youth, and families records.  

4  New Section; Teacher Credentialing Criminal History Records Check.  Amend RSA 189 by inserting after section 13-b the following new section:

189:13-c  Credentialing Applicant State Registry Check.

I.  In this subdivision, “credentialing applicant” means a first-time applicant for a New Hampshire teaching credential.

II.  The department shall complete a central registry check as established in RSA 169-C:35 on each credentialing applicant.  The central registry check shall include a check of the department’s central registry of founded reports of child abuse under RSA 169-C:35.

III.  By submitting an application for a teaching credential, an applicant is deemed to have consented to have the department of education check his or her name for findings of abuse on the central registry pursuant to RSA 169-C:35.

IV.  Any individual whose name has been submitted for this check who has been the subject of finding of abuse, shall be denied a teaching credential by the department.

V.  The department shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, governing the rights of a credentialing applicant and the ability to appeal a denial of a teaching credential pursuant to a founded report of child abuse under RSA 169-C:35.  

5  Effective Date.  Part II of this act shall take effect January 1, 2022.

 

PART III

Relative to the transportation of pupils in a contract carrier.

1  New Section; Pupils Transported in a Contract Carrier.  Amend RSA 189 by inserting after section 6-d the following new section:

189:6-e  Pupils Transported in a Contract Carrier.

I.  A school district may contract with a contract carrier of passengers, as defined by RSA 376:2, VII, that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the operator, to transport pupils to or from school activities.  The motor vehicle used by the contract carrier of passengers shall bear a valid state inspection sticker, comply with applicable provisions of RSA 376, and be operated by a driver who holds a valid commercial driver's license and a school bus driver's certificate defined in RSA 263:29.

II.  In this section, "school activities" shall include, but is not limited to, sporting events, intramural events, events associated with student clubs or organizations, job training programs, field trips, special education transition services that require travel of at least 75 miles.  "School activities" shall not include transportation between home and school.

III.  Contract carriers of passengers shall ensure that motor vehicle operators capable of transporting 16 or more passengers for a school activity comply with requirements for training and criminal history record checks required in RSA 189:13-a, XII and RSA 189:13-b as well as school bus driver's certificate requirements of RSA 263:29.

2  Effective Date.  Part III of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

PART IV

Relative to additional state aid for special education for certain communities of 1,000 or fewer residents.

1  Special Education; State Aid.  Amend RSA 186-C:18, III(a) to read as follows:

III.(a)  The state board of education through the commissioner, department of education, shall distribute aid available under this paragraph as entitlement to such school districts as have a special education pupil for whose costs they are responsible, for whom the costs of special education in the fiscal year exceed 31/2 times the estimated state average expenditure per pupil for the school year preceding the year of distribution.  If in any year, the amount appropriated for distribution as special education aid in accordance with this section is insufficient therefor, the appropriation shall be prorated proportionally based on entitlement among the districts entitled to a grant.  If there are unexpended funds appropriated under this paragraph at the end of any fiscal year, such funds shall be distributed for court-ordered placements under RSA 186-C:19-b.  The state may designate up to $250,000 of the funds which are appropriated as required by this paragraph, for each fiscal year, to assist those school districts which, under guidelines established by rules of the state board of education, may qualify for emergency assistance for special education costs.  The state may designate an additional $250,000 of the funds which are appropriated under this paragraph for each fiscal year for any community of 1,000 or fewer residents to mitigate the impact of special education costs when emergency assistance is necessary to prevent significant financial harm to such community.  Upon application to the commissioner of education, and approval by the commissioner, such funds may be accepted and expended by school districts in accordance with this chapter; provided, however, that if a school district has received emergency assistance funds for certain children with disabilities, it shall not receive special education aid for those same children with disabilities.  If any of the funds designated for emergency assistance under this paragraph are not used for such emergency assistance purposes, the funds shall be used to assist school districts in meeting special education cost increases in their special education programs as provided by this paragraph.

2  Effective Date.  Part IV of this act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBA

21-0933

Revised 3/2/21

 

SB 147-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT adopting omnibus legislation relative to student aid, the central registry, transportation of students, and special education costs.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

The Department of Education states it would incur no fiscal impact from this bill (all parts).

 

Part II of this bill, relative to a central registry in the department of education to maintain records of founded reports of abuse and neglect, may result in an impact to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant is awaiting information from the Department.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services