HOUSE BILL 134
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Elizabeth "Liz" Thomson
RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS; CHANGING THE DEFINITION OF "PRE-KINDERGARTEN" FOR THE PURPOSES OF COMMUNITY SCHOOLS; TRACKING THE COMMUNITY SCHOOLS ACT WITH THE FEDERAL EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT; ADDING EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND VOLUNTARY PRE-KINDERGARTEN AS ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS; ALLOWING THE USE TITLE 1 FUNDING TO INVEST IN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS STATEWIDE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 22-32-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2013, Chapter 16, Section 2) is amended to read:
"22-32-2. PURPOSE.--The Community Schools Act is enacted to provide a strategy to organize the resources of a community to ensure student success while addressing the needs of the whole student from early childhood programs and voluntary public pre-kindergarten through high school graduation; to partner with federal, state and local entities [with] and private community-based organizations to improve the coordination, delivery, effectiveness and efficiency of services provided to children and families; and to coordinate resources in order to align and leverage community resources and integrate funding streams."
SECTION 2. A new section of the Community Schools Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITION.--As used in the Community Schools Act, "elementary school" may include pre-kindergarten and early childhood services."
SECTION 3. Section 22-32-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2013, Chapter 16, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:
"22-32-3. COMMUNITY SCHOOLS INITIATIVES--SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT FUNCTIONS--REQUIREMENTS.--
A. A community schools initiative may be created in any public school in the state. For struggling schools, a community schools initiative may be used to implement comprehensive or targeted support and improvement activities pursuant to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
B. A community schools initiative shall include the following core set of strategies and opportunities to strengthen behavior for all students:
(1) extended learning programs, including after-school programs and summer programs;
(2) school-based or school-linked health care;
(3) opportunities for families to acquire skills to promote early learning and childhood development;
(4) school and community-resource partnerships with an integrated focus on academics and other social, health and familial support;
(5) social, health, nutrition and mental health services and support for children, family members and community members; and
(6) case management for students in need of comprehensive support in academics, attendance and behavior.
C. The provision of public pre-kindergarten funded through the Pre-Kindergarten Act and other state- and federally funded early childhood education programs, including programs funded by Title 1 funds, are essential components of a community schools initiative.
[C.] D. A community schools initiative shall include the following:
(1) a lead partner agency, including a public or private agency or community-based organization, to help coordinate programs and services;
(2) an assessment of community resources informed by students, families and community and school leaders that relates to the effective delivery of core services on site; and
(3) the implementation of an independently evaluated, evidence-based or results-based model of integrated student services and comprehensive supports that is proven to increase student achievement."
SECTION 4. Section 22-32-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2013, Chapter 16, Section 4, as amended) is amended to read:
"22-32-4. COMMUNITY SCHOOLS INITIATIVES--ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS--GRANTS--SCHOOL DISTRICT, GROUP OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS OR PUBLIC SCHOOL DUTIES--REQUIREMENTS.--
A. A school district shall bear any administrative costs associated with the establishment and implementation of a community school within the school district.
B. Subject to the availability of funding, grants for community schools initiatives are available to a school district, a group of public schools or a public school that has demonstrated partnerships with [any] a lead partner agency and local, private and public agencies [for the purpose of establishing, operating and sustaining] to establish, operate and sustain community schools and that meets department eligibility requirements.
C. Applications for grants for community schools initiatives shall be in the form prescribed by the department and shall include the following information:
(1) a statement of need, including demographic and socioeconomic information about the area to be served by the community schools initiative;
(2) goals and expected outcomes of the initiative;
(3) services and activities to be provided by the initiative;
(4) written agreements for the provision of services by public and private agencies, community groups and other parties;
(5) a work plan and budget for the initiative, including staffing requirements and the expected availability of staff;
(6) days and hours of operation;
(7) strategies for dissemination of information about the initiative to potential users;
(8) training and professional development plans;
(9) letters of endorsement and commitment from community agencies and organizations and local governments; and
(10) any other information the department requires.
D. An applicant for grants for community schools initiatives shall propose to provide at least three of the following types of community school programming at each covered school site during the grant period:
(1) for elementary schools, full-day, high-quality pre-kindergarten;
(2) physical and mental health services for students and their families that are provided by trained health care professionals;
(3) programming that promotes academic excellence aligned with state standards and benchmarks;
(4) programming that promotes the acquisition of life skills;
(5) programming that promotes parental support of and community engagement in the community school;
(6) programming that promotes nonviolent behavior and nonviolent conflict resolution;
(7) programming designed to improve school attendance and prevent students from dropping out of school;
(8) high-quality after-school programming;
(9) high-quality summer programming designed to prevent summer learning loss; and
(10) other programming designed to meet school and community needs identified through the public school and its community partners.
E. In addition to the general requirements for a grant application in Subsection C of this section, each application shall include specific plans for the following:
(1) maintenance of attendance records in all programming components and the use of that data to target students in need of intervention;
(2) maintenance of measurable data showing annual participation and the effect of programming on the participating students and families;
(3) documentation of meaningful and sustained collaboration between the public school and community stakeholders, including local governmental units, civic engagement organizations, businesses, social service providers, cultural organizations, institutions of higher education and health institutions;
(4) ensuring compliance with the nondiscrimination policy of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act;
(5) a baseline analysis of needs at the community school, including:
(a) identification of challenges facing the community school;
(b) analysis of the student body, including the number and percentage of students: 1) with disabilities and the needs of those students; 2) who are English language learners and the needs of those students in addition to English proficiency; and 3) receiving free or reduced-fee lunch and the needs of those students;
(c) analysis of enrollment and retention rates for students with disabilities, English language learners and students receiving free or reduced-fee lunch;
(d) analysis of suspension and expulsion data, including justification for such disciplinary actions and the degree to which particular populations, including students of color, students with disabilities, English language learners and students receiving free and reduced-fee lunch, are represented among students subject to such actions;
(e) analysis of school achievement data disaggregated by major demographic categories, including race or ethnicity, English language learner status, disability status and free or reduced-fee lunch receipt;
(f) analysis of current parent engagement strategies and their success;
(g) evaluation of the need for and availability of wraparound services, including: 1) mechanisms for meeting students' social, emotional and physical health needs, which may include coordination of existing services as well as the development of new services based on student needs; and 2) strategies to create safe and secure school environments and improve school climate and discipline, such as implementing a system of positive behavioral supports and taking additional steps to eliminate bullying; and
(h) analysis of the breadth and depth of community and school support for the school curriculum and the breadth and depth of support for changes to the school curriculum; and
(6) a baseline analysis of needs in the community surrounding the community school, conducted by the school leadership team in collaboration with relevant experts as appropriate, that includes the need for:
(a) high-quality, full-day child care and early childhood education programs;
(b) physical and mental health care services for children and adults; and
(c) job training and other adult education programming.
[D.] F. A school district, a group of public schools or a public school that uses funds under this section to transform a public school into a research- and evidence-based community schools initiative shall:
(1) use rigorous, transparent, equitable and evidence-based evaluation systems to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the community schools initiative;
(2) provide ongoing, high-quality professional development to staff that:
(a) aligns with the public school's instructional program;
(b) facilitates effective teaching and learning; and
(c) supports the implementation of school reform strategies; [and]
(3) give the public school sufficient operational flexibility in programming, staffing, budgeting and scheduling so that the school can fully implement a comprehensive strategy designed to focus on improving school climate, student achievement and growth in reading and mathematics, attendance, behavior, parental engagement and, for high schools, graduation rates and readiness for college or a career; and
(4) where the grantee has received funding to provide community school programming at multiple covered school sites, select and compensate a program director to oversee and coordinate programming across the multiple covered school sites and, depending on funding, select and compensate a resource coordinator at each school site.
G. A school district or public school may use Title 1 funds for its community schools initiative, and the department may use Title 1 funds to invest in community schools statewide."
SECTION 5. Section 32A-23-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2005, Chapter 170, Section 3) is amended to read:
"32A-23-3. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Pre-Kindergarten Act:
A. "community" means an area defined by school district boundaries, tribal boundaries or joint boundaries of a school district and tribe or any combination of school districts and tribes;
B. "departments" means the children, youth and families department and the public education department acting jointly;
C. "early childhood development specialist" means the adult responsible for working directly with four-year-old children in implementing pre-kindergarten services;
D. "eligible provider" means a person licensed by the children, youth and families department that provides early childhood developmental readiness services or preschool special education or is a public school, tribal program or head start program;
E. "pre-kindergarten" means a voluntary developmental readiness program for children who have attained their fourth birthday prior to September 1 or have attained their third birthday prior to September 1 if they are attending pre-kindergarten in a public elementary school with a community schools initiative; and
F. "tribe" means an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo located in New Mexico."
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