HB 61: "An Act establishing an elementary school counselor pilot program; and providing for an effective date."

00HOUSE BILL NO. 61 01 "An Act establishing an elementary school counselor pilot program; and providing 02 for an effective date." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. (a) The legislature finds that 05 (1) there is a need for information regarding the effect of providing counselors 06 in public elementary schools; 07 (2) preliminary research has shown that school counselors have a positive 08 effect on test scores, school discipline, and parent involvement in schools; and 09 (3) a four-year pilot program would allow the state to collect necessary 10 information on the effects of providing counselors in public elementary schools. 11 (b) The purpose of this Act is to establish a program under which certain public 12 elementary schools would provide counseling services and over a four-year period the state 13 would monitor the effect of the counseling services on test scores, school discipline, teacher 14 innovation, and parent involvement in education.

01 * Sec. 2. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM. (a) The elementary 02 school counseling program is established in the Department of Education. The program shall 03 include 04 (1) additional state aid provided under (e) of this section for a school in a 05 district that is selected under (c) of this section; 06 (2) a program application and selection process determined by the department; 07 (3) the objectives of the elementary school counseling program; 08 (4) a method to monitor and review the effects of increased counseling services 09 on students in a school selected to participate in the program; a district selected to participate 10 in the program shall report to the department annually by June 30 while participating in the 11 program; and 12 (5) a certification by the chief school administrator that program funds will be 13 separately accounted for. 14 (b) A district eligible under (c) of this section may apply to participate in the program 15 by submitting an application on a form provided by the department. The application must 16 include 17 (1) the objectives of the program and the district's plan for meeting those 18 objectives; 19 (2) the district's plan for using increased state funds for the purpose of 20 providing counseling services to students in certain elementary schools; 21 (3) the existing counseling services provided in each elementary school in the 22 district that the district is proposing for participation in the program; 23 (4) if available, the most recent standardized test scores for each grade in each 24 school that is proposed for participation by the district; and 25 (5) a program to train teachers to participate in the elementary school 26 counseling program. 27 (c) A district is eligible to propose an elementary school in the district for 28 participation in the program described in this section if, prior to participation in the program, 29 the school does not provide counseling services or provides counseling services only on a part- 30 time basis. 31 (d) The department may not select more than five elementary schools for participation

01 in the program required under this section. A school selected to participate in the program 02 required under this section shall participate until June 30, 1999. 03 (e) Each elementary school selected to participate in the program required under this 04 section shall constitute a separate funding community for purposes of AS 14.17.031 and 05 14.17.041(b)(1). Money required to be expended under this subsection shall be included in 06 the annual operating budget prepared by the department. 07 (f) The department shall include a report on the program established under this Act, 08 as a part of the department's annual report. 09 (g) In this section, 10 (1) "counselor" means a person who is certified in school counseling; 11  (2) "department" means the Department of Education; 12  (3) "district" has the meaning given in AS 14.17.250; 13 (4) "teacher" means a person who is certified under AS 14.20.020 and who is 14 an actual classroom instructor in a regular instructional program. 15 * Sec. 3. It is the intent of the legislature that funding for the program established under 16 sec. 2 of this Act not be reduced if AS 14.17 is amended to change the formula providing 17 state aid for education. 18 * Sec. 4. Sections 1 and 2 of this Act are repealed June 30, 1999. 19 * Sec. 5. This Act takes effect July 1, 1995.