SENATE BILL 267
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Mary Kay Papen
RELATING TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS; CREATING "SCIENCE EARLY EDUCATION" AS A PILOT PROJECT; PROVIDING POWERS AND DUTIES; REQUIRING APPLICATIONS; REQUIRING MATCHING FUNDING; CREATING A FUND; 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] SCIENCE EARLY EDUCATION PILOT PROJECT-- IMPLEMENTATION.--
A. "Science early education" is created as a five-year pilot project based on three annual student cohorts in sixth, seventh and eighth grades that incorporates hands-on, age-appropriate physics education curricula. The purpose of science early education is to prove that early science education will increase academic performance in all courses and encourage interest in post-secondary careers in science and mathematics. Science early education shall include the evaluation of the longitudinal impact on student learning when purposefully sequenced instruction in foundational concepts of physics is introduced starting in the sixth grade. Outcomes shall be measured by academic performance, high school course selection and student post-secondary interest declarations on students' annual next-step plans.
B. A school district shall administer science early education and contract with an organization that provides professional development and materials for teachers to introduce physics education into the sixth through eighth grade curricula.
C. School districts may apply on behalf of their public schools, on a form and in a manner as provided by the department, to participate in science early education and receive a grant from the science early education fund. The department shall select for participation in the pilot project as many public schools as qualify, but no fewer than ten. To the extent possible, the department shall select public schools that are generally distinct from one another in urban or rural character, geographic location and concentration of poverty. A participating school district shall provide one-half of the funding for the pilot project.
D. Students participating in science early education shall be evaluated at the beginning of the program, and their progress shall be measured through standardized assessments, longitudinal evaluation, declarations of interest in their next-step plans before high school graduation and any other evaluation tools required by the department. The department shall establish reporting requirements for participating public schools and school districts and shall evaluate those reports to make its own interim and final reports to the governor and the legislature on the efficacy of adopting physics as a mandatory or elective course in sixth through eighth grades."
SECTION 2. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SCIENCE EARLY EDUCATION FUND--CREATED.--
The "science early education fund" is created in the state treasury. The fund consists of appropriations, gifts, grants, donations and income from investment of the fund. The department shall administer the fund, and money in the fund is subject to appropriation by the legislature to carry out the purposes of the science early education pilot project. The department and school districts may seek public and private grants, gifts and donations for the science early education pilot project. Grants and donations received by the department shall be deposited in the fund. Unless unrestricted, money from a grant, gift or donation shall be expended in accordance with the terms of that grant, gift or donation. Unless otherwise specified by the terms of a grant, gift or donation, the balance in the fund at the end of the pilot project shall revert to the general fund. Expenditures from the fund shall be by warrants of the secretary of finance and administration drawn pursuant to vouchers signed by the secretary of public education or the secretary's authorized representative."
SECTION 3. APPROPRIATION.--Seven hundred fifty thousand dollars ($750,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the science early education fund for expenditure in fiscal years 2020 through 2025 to carry out the provisions of the science early education pilot project. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2025 shall revert to the general fund.
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