SENATE BILL 165
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020
Craig W. Brandt and Mimi Stewart
RELATING TO ADULT DIPLOMAS; ENACTING THE ADULT WORKFORCE DIPLOMA PROGRAM ACT; ESTABLISHING PROGRAM PROVIDER QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS; ESTABLISHING CONTRACT GUIDELINES; CREATING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS; REQUIRING THE WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS DEPARTMENT TO REVIEW DATA RELATED TO THE PROGRAM; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Adult Workforce Diploma Program Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Adult Workforce Diploma Program Act:
A. "academic skill intake assessment" means a criterion-referenced assessment of numeracy and literacy skill that is determined to be reliable and valid by third-party research;
B. "career pathway coursework" means one or more courses that align with the skill needs of industries in the economy of the state that help an individual enter or advance within a specific occupation or industry;
C. "career placement service" means a service designed to assist a student in obtaining employment;
D. "department" means the workforce solutions department;
E. "diploma" means an adult workforce diploma issued to adults pursuant to Section 22-1-9.2 NMSA 1978;
F. "employability skills certification" means a certificate earned by demonstrating mastery of professional nontechnical skills;
G. "graduate" means a student who has completed all the requirements for obtaining a diploma;
H. "graduation requirements" means the courses and credits required to obtain a diploma from a program provider;
I. "high school credit unit" means a credit that is awarded based on a student's mastery of a subject area as defined by subject area standards, expectations or guidelines;
J. "industry-recognized credential" means an educational or work-related credential that verifies an individual's qualification or competence and is issued by a third party with relevant authority to issue industry credentials;
K. "learning plan" means a documented list of course and credit requirements that an individual is required to complete in order to graduate;
L. "program provider" means a public, nonprofit or other entity that is actively accredited by an accreditation entity in the United States, a public school or an institution of higher education that is approved by the department to provide adult diplomas pursuant to the Adult Workforce Diploma Program Act; and
M. "transcript evaluation" means a document showing all credits previously earned in a public or private accredited high school compared with course and credit requirements of program providers.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] PROGRAM PROVIDER QUALIFICATIONS.--
A. On or before August 15 of each year, the department shall issue a request for applications for program providers to provide workforce diploma program services to individuals who are twenty-two years of age or older, who are residents of New Mexico and who have not earned a high school diploma.
B. When approving applications pursuant to Subsection A of this section, the department shall confirm that a program provider meets the following qualifications:
(1) does not already receive federal or state funding or private tuition for providing services to a student for participating in the adult workforce diploma program;
(2) is accredited to grant a diploma;
(3) has a minimum of two years of experience in providing adult dropout recovery services; and
(4) has the ability to:
(a) provide an academic skill intake assessment and transcript evaluation;
(b) develop a learning plan that integrates graduation requirements and career goals;
(c) provide a course catalog that includes all courses necessary to meet graduation requirements;
(d) provide remedial education in literacy and numeracy;
(e) provide an employability skills certification;
(f) provide career pathway coursework;
(g) provide preparation for obtaining industry-recognized credentials; and
(h) provide career placement services.
C. On or before October 15 of each year, the department shall publish on its website a list of program providers selected to provide adult workforce diploma services pursuant to the Adult Workforce Diploma Program Act.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] CONTRACT PROVISIONS.--The department shall enter into an agreement with each program provider that includes the following terms:
A. services under each contract shall begin on or before November 15 of each year;
B. the program provider shall submit a monthly invoice that accounts for each milestone met in the previous month to the department on or before the tenth calendar day of each month;
C. the department shall pay program providers in the order in which invoices are submitted until all available funds are exhausted;
D. the department shall provide written documentation to a program provider that requests payment pursuant to Subsection E of this section on or before the last calendar day of each month, including:
(1) the total amount of money that has been paid to the program provider during the fiscal year; and
(2) the estimated number of enrollments that are available for the program year; and
E. the department shall pay a program provider the following amounts for each student participating in the program:
(1) two hundred fifty dollars ($250), upon the student's completion of each half of a high school credit unit;
(2) two hundred fifty dollars ($250), upon the student's attainment of an employability skills certification;
(3) two hundred fifty dollars ($250), upon the student's attainment of an industry-recognized credential requiring fifty hours or fewer of training;
(4) five hundred dollars ($500), upon the student's attainment of an industry-recognized credential as determined by the department requiring at least fifty-one but fewer than one hundred one hours of training;
(5) seven hundred fifty dollars ($750), upon the student's attainment of an industry-recognized credential as determined by the department requiring one hundred one or more hours of training; and
(6) one thousand dollars ($1,000), upon the student's attainment of a diploma.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] REPORTING.--On or before July 15 of each year, each program provider shall submit a report to the department that includes:
A. the total number of students for which payment was made to program providers;
B. the total number of credits earned by all students in the program;
C. the total number of employability skills certificates earned by all students in the program;
D. the total number of industry-recognized credentials earned for all students in each tier of funding; and
E. the total number of graduates from the program.
SECTION 6. [NEW MATERIAL] DATA REVIEW.--
A. Beginning on July 1, 2022, the department shall annually review data from each program provider's report to ensure that each program provider is achieving minimum performance standards.
B. A program provider has met minimum performance standards if:
(1) the total number of graduates per fiscal year for which the program provider was paid divided by the total number of students per fiscal year for which the program provider was paid is fifty percent or more of all students in each provider's program; and
(2) the total payment to the program provider per fiscal year divided by the total number of graduates of the program per fiscal year is seven thousand dollars ($7,000) or less.
C. The department shall not renew a contract with a program provider that does not meet the minimum requirements pursuant to Subsection A of this section.
D. The department shall remove a program provider that does not meet the minimum performance standards for two consecutive years from the program provider list.
SECTION 7. APPROPRIATION.--Five million dollars ($5,000,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the workforce solutions department for expenditure in fiscal year 2021 to implement the provisions of the Adult Workforce Diploma Program Act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2021 shall revert to the general fund.
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