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SB 275: "An Act relating to the establishment of a research and development program for excellence in the public schools of this state; relating to grants for the improvement or enhancement of school performance; and providing for an effective date."

00                              SENATE BILL NO. 275                                                                        
01 "An Act relating to the establishment of a research and development program for                                         
02 excellence in the public schools of this state; relating to grants for the improvement or                               
03 enhancement of school performance; and providing for an effective date."                                                
04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
05    * Section 1.  AS 14.03 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                 
06            Sec. 14.03.124.  Establishment of a program for excellence in the public                                   
07       schools.  (a)  In consultation with the University of Alaska, the Department of                                 
08       Education and Early Development shall establish a program for excellence in the                                   
09       public schools of this state.                                                                                     
10            (b)  To establish and further the program, the department may                                                
11                 (1)  accept public and private money;                                                                   
12                 (2)  apply for, administer, and award grants; and                                                       
13                 (3) contract with an individual or a nonprofit corporation for the                                      
14       operation of the program.                                                                                         
01            (c)  The program shall include                                                                               
02                 (1)  a mentoring program to assist new teachers and school                                              
03       administrators to improve the quality of education in the public schools;                                         
04                 (2)  research on school performance and quality as best educational                                     
05       practices;                                                                                                        
06                 (3)  coordination with outreach efforts in the public schools of this state                             
07       to make informational or educational resources available in the state;                                            
08                 (4)  working with educational partners to identify strategies for                                       
09       communities or public schools to use for success;                                                                 
10                 (5)  research regarding, and application of, appropriate public and                                     
11       private grants and other money to further the purposes of the program; and                                        
12                 (6)  other development approved by the department that furthers                                         
13       excellence in the public schools of this state.                                                                   
14            (d)  The program shall be administered by a director who is responsible for the                              
15       day-to-day operation of the program and the implementation of policy decisions                                    
16       developed by the department.                                                                                      
17            (e)  The department may establish technical advisory committees and a policy                                 
18       advisory board to advise on the policies and activities for the program.                                          
19            (f)  In this section, "program" means the program for excellence in the public                               
20       schools of this state established under this section.                                                             
21    * Sec. 2.  AS 14.03.125(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
22            (a)  The fund for the improvement or enhancement of school performance is                                
23       created as an account in the general fund.  The fund shall be used by the commissioner                            
24       to make grants to a district located in the state for the purpose of improving or                             
25       enhancing school performance.  The fund consists of money appropriated by the                                 
26       legislature.  The commissioner shall annually determine the amount requested for                                  
27       grants under this section and shall include the amount in the department's budget                                 
28       request.                                                                                                          
29    * Sec. 3.  AS 14.03.125(b) is amended to read:                                                                   
30            (b)  A governing body, district advisory board, or nonprofit organization                                    
31       located in the state, or a teacher or principal employed by a public school in the state,                         
01       may apply for a grant of not less than $10,000 nor more than $100,000 [UP TO                                
02       $50,000] to develop and implement a plan to improve the [SCHOOL] performance                              
03       of each public school demonstrating low student achievement and to enhance the                                
04       performance of each public school demonstrating high student achievement.  An                                 
05       [BY SUBMITTING AN] application for a grant must be submitted to the                                           
06       commissioner.                                                                                                     
07    * Sec. 4.  AS 14.03.125(d) is amended to read:                                                                     
08            (d)  Grant funds awarded under this section may only be expended to improve                                  
09       or enhance the performance of a public school.  The state board of education and                          
10       early development shall establish, by regulation adopted under AS 14.07.165, the                              
11       grant program described in this section.                                                                      
12    * Sec. 5.  AS 14.07.020(a)(2) is amended to read:                                                                  
13                 (2)  study the conditions and needs of the public schools of the state,                                 
14       adopt or recommend plans, administer and evaluate grants to improve or enhance                                
15       school performance awarded  under AS 14.03.125, and adopt regulations for the                                     
16       improvement of the public schools;                                                                                
17    * Sec. 6.  AS 36.30.850(b) is amended by adding a new paragraph to read:                                           
18                 (42)  a contract for the operation of a program for excellence in the                                   
19       public schools of this state awarded under AS 14.03.124(b).                                                       
20    * Sec. 7.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
21 read:                                                                                                                   
22       TRANSITION:  REGULATIONS.  Notwithstanding sec. 10 of this Act, the state                                         
23 Board of Education and Early Development may proceed to adopt regulations necessary to                                  
24 implement the changes made by secs. 1 - 5 of this Act.                                                                  
25    * Sec. 8.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
26 read:                                                                                                                   
27       REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.  The revisor of statutes is instructed to change the                                       
28 heading of AS 14.03.125 from "Fund for the improvement of school performance" to "Fund                                  
29 for the improvement or enhancement of school performance."                                                              
30    * Sec. 9.  Section 7 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).                                   
31    * Sec. 10.  Except as provided in sec. 9 of this Act, this Act takes effect July 1, 2002.