HOUSE BILL 295
51st legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2014
RELATING TO PUBLIC EDUCATION; ENACTING THE EARLY LITERACY ACT TO PROVIDE SUPPORT AND FUNDING FOR EARLY LITERACY INTERVENTION, INSTRUCTION AND REMEDIATION TO STUDENTS IN KINDERGARTEN THROUGH THIRD GRADE; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Early Literacy Act"."
SECTION 2. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] PURPOSE.--The purpose of the Early Literacy Act is to provide support to school districts and charter schools that deliver multiple opportunities for early acquisition of literacy skills, early literacy intervention, targeted intensive instruction and focused remediation to students who experience difficulties learning language in kindergarten through third grade."
SECTION 3. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Early Literacy Act:
A. "charter school" means a locally chartered charter school or a state-chartered charter school;
B. "deficient in reading" means a score on a screening assessment as determined by the department;
C. "early literacy program" includes programs of education through which students receive language and early literacy skills intervention, targeted intensive instruction or remediation from kindergarten through third grade;
D. "intensive targeted instruction" means extra instruction in small groups or as individuals provided by a certified school instructor as identified in the school district early literacy program;
E. "intervention" means targeted instructional practice for students as a response to intervention, as defined in Section 22-13-6 NMSA 1978;
F. "reading improvement plan" means a written document developed by the student assistance team that describes the specific reading standards required for a certain grade level that a student has not achieved and that prescribes specific intervention, intensive targeted instruction or remediation, including specific strategies the parent can use in helping the student achieve reading proficiency that have demonstrated effectiveness and can be implemented during the school day or outside of the school day pursuant to a school district early literacy program;
G. "screening assessment" means a valid and reliable assessment that measures a student's proficiency in language and literacy skills, including phonological awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension; and
H. "student assistance team" means a collaborative group consisting of a student's:
(2) school counselor;
(3) school administrator;
(4) parent; and
(5) if a student or parent wishes, a student advocate chosen by the parent."
SECTION 4. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] DEPARTMENT--POWERS AND DUTIES.--The department shall issue guidelines for the development and implementation of early literacy programs pursuant to the Early Literacy Act and:
A. administer and reinforce the provisions of that act; and
B. assist school districts and charter schools in developing and evaluating early literacy programs."
SECTION 5. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] PROGRAM PLAN AND EVALUATION.--
A. A school district or charter school may annually prepare and submit to the department an early literacy program plan in accordance with guidelines issued by the department.
B. At a minimum, the plan shall include:
(1) a three-year plan for implementation of early literacy programs;
(2) the educational plan for student success for each school in the school district with a focus on reading improvement plans for elementary schools;
(3) the screening assessment used to identify students who are deficient in reading and an assurance the screening assessment will be administered no later than the end of the first nine weeks of the school year in kindergarten through third grade;
(4) the process the school district or charter school will use to notify parents, in a language appropriate for the parent, that a student is deficient in reading upon receiving results that identify the student as such;
(5) the process the school district or charter school will use with a student assistance team to create a reading improvement plan for a student who is deficient in reading;
(6) the early literacy programs offered to students who are deficient in reading in kindergarten through third grade;
(7) the process a school district or charter school will use if a parent refuses to allow the student to participate in the prescribed early literacy programs;
(8) the process a school district or charter school will use when a student is deficient in reading two or more consecutive years; and
(9) a plan for professional development in the science of teaching reading for certified school instructors participating in instruction aligned to the early literacy program.
C. By August 1, 2015 and by August 1 of each subsequent year, a participating local school board or governing body of a charter school shall review the early literacy program, created by the superintendent or school leader of a charter school in collaboration with a parent advisory committee, offered to students who are deficient in reading in kindergarten through third grade in order to review the goals, priorities and progress of the implementation of the program and make appropriate recommendations to improve the early literacy program to improve the reading proficiency of students in kindergarten through third grade.
D. By August 1, 2015 and by August 1 of each subsequent year, the secretary shall review early literacy programs and provide recommendations for improvement to programs."
SECTION 6. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] EARLY LITERACY PROGRAMS--ELIGIBILITY FOR FUNDING.--To be eligible for state funding, an early literacy program shall:
A. provide for the educational needs of students deficient in language and early literacy skills to refine those skills, including phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension, pursuant to an educational plan for student success;
B. integrate early literacy intervention into the curriculum;
C. use certified school instructors who receive annual professional development in the science of teaching reading; and
D. require background checks for instructors in accordance with Section 22-10A-5 NMSA 1978."
SECTION 7. APPROPRIATION.--Eleven million five hundred thousand dollars ($11,500,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the public school reading proficiency fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2015 and subsequent fiscal years for early literacy intervention, instruction and remediation to students in kindergarten through third grade. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.
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