HOUSE BILL 310
51st legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2013
Mimi Stewart and William Soules
RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS; CHANGING ELIGIBILITY FOR THE K-3 PLUS PROGRAM.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 22-13-28 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2007, Chapter 12, Section 1, as amended) is amended to read:
"22-13-28. K-3 PLUS--ELIGIBILITY--APPLICATION--REPORTING AND EVALUATION.--
A. The six-year K-3 plus pilot project has demonstrated that increased time in kindergarten and the early grades narrows the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and other students and increases cognitive skills and leads to higher test scores for all participants.
B. The "K-3 plus" program is created in the department to provide funding for additional educational time for disadvantaged students in kindergarten through third grade. K-3 plus shall be administered by the department and shall provide the funding for approved full-day kindergarten and grades one through three to be extended by at least twenty-five instructional days, beginning up to two months earlier than the regular school years.
C. K-3 plus shall be conducted in high-poverty public schools. For the purposes of K-3 plus, "high-poverty public school" means a public school in which [eighty-five] eighty percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced-fee lunch at the time the public school applies for the program or an elementary school with a D or F grade the previous year.
D. The department shall promulgate rules for application requirements and procedures and criteria for evaluating applications. In evaluating applications for K-3 plus, the department shall grant priority to those schools with research-based, scientific reading strategies and programs. An applicant shall demonstrate that its K-3 plus program will meet all department standards and employ only qualified teachers and other staff.
E. K-3 plus programs shall be funded at no less than thirty percent of the unit value per student. Up to two percent of the money received by a school district shall be used for student recruitment and to ensure regular attendance by K-3 plus students.
F. Schools that are awarded funding for K-3 plus for the next school year shall be notified by April 15 of the calendar year.
G. The department shall provide additional professional development for K-3 plus teachers in how young children learn to read. Teachers and educational assistants shall be paid at the same rate and under the same terms for K-3 plus as teachers and educational assistants are paid for regular educational programs.
H. Students participating in K-3 plus shall be evaluated at the beginning of K-3 plus, and their progress shall be measured through standardized assessments as follows:
(1) in literacy, an assessment approved and provided by the department that measures the acquisition of reading skills, including phonological awareness, phonics, spelling, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension in kindergarten and in grades one through three; and
(2) in numeracy, in grades three and four.
I. The department shall establish reporting and evaluation requirements for participating schools, including student and program assessments. The department shall report annually to the legislature and the governor on the efficacy of K-3 plus.
J. The department may use up to four percent of any appropriation made by the legislature for K-3 plus for professional development for participating educators and department administrative costs.
K. The department shall develop and disseminate information on best practices in the areas of student recruitment, retention and academic success of early learners.
L. The secretary shall appoint a "K-3 plus advisory committee" composed of representatives of school districts that participate in K-3 plus and other stakeholders. The advisory committee shall meet twice a year to advise the department on K-3 plus implementation."
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