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HF 96

as introduced - 91st Legislature, 2020 1st Special Session (2019 - 2020) Posted on 06/16/2020 01:30pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to early childhood learning; provisions modified relating to public school
age verification for admission, nonexclusionary preschool discipline, children's
eligibility for early learning scholarships, program eligibility for early learning
scholarships, and interagency early intervention committees; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2018, sections 120A.20, by adding a subdivision; 124D.165, subdivisions
3, 4; 125A.30; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 121A.


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 120A.20, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Verification of age for admission to public school. new text end

new text begin Public schools may request
documentation that verifies a pupil falls within the school's minimum and maximum age
requirements for admission to publicly funded prekindergarten, preschool, kindergarten, or
grades 1 to 12. Documentation may include a passport, a hospital birth record or physician's
certificate, a baptismal or religious certificate, an adoption record, health records,
immunization records, immigration records, previously verified school records, early
childhood screening records, Minnesota Immunization Information Connection records, or
an affidavit from a parent.
new text end

Sec. 2.

new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Disciplinary dismissals prohibited. new text end

new text begin A pupil enrolled in a preschool or
prekindergarten program, including a child participating in early childhood family education,
school readiness, school readiness plus, voluntary prekindergarten, Head Start, or other
school-based preschool or prekindergarten program may not be subject to dismissals under
this chapter. Notwithstanding this subdivision, expulsions and exclusions may be used only
after resources outlined in subdivision 2 have been exhausted, and only in circumstances
where there is an ongoing serious safety threat to the child or others.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Nonexclusionary discipline. new text end

new text begin For purposes of this section, nonexclusionary
discipline must include at least one of the following:
new text end

new text begin (1) collaborating with the pupil's family or guardian, child mental health consultant or
provider, education specialist, or other community-based support;
new text end

new text begin (2) creating a plan, written with the parent or guardian, that details the action and support
needed for the pupil to fully participate in a preschool or prekindergarten program; or
new text end

new text begin (3) providing a referral for needed support services, including parenting education, home
visits, other supportive education interventions, or, where appropriate, an evaluation to
determine if the pupil is eligible for special education services or section 504 services.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 124D.165, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.


(a) The commissioner shall establish application timelines
and determine the schedule for awarding scholarships that meets operational needs of eligible
families and programs. The commissioner must give highest priority to applications from
children who:

(1) have a parent under age 21 who is pursuing a high school diploma or a course of
study for a high school equivalency test;

(2) are in foster care or otherwise in need of protection or services; or

(3) have experienced homelessness in the last 24 months, as defined under the federal
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, United States Code, title 42, section 11434a.

The commissioner may prioritize applications on additional factors including family
income, geographic location, and whether the child's family is on a waiting list for a publicly
funded program providing early education or child care services.

(b) The commissioner shall establish a target for the average scholarship amount per
child based on the results of the rate survey conducted under section 119B.02.

(c) A four-star rated program that has children eligible for a scholarship enrolled in or
on a waiting list for a program beginning in July, August, or September may notify the
commissioner, in the form and manner prescribed by the commissioner, each year of the
program's desire to enhance program services or to serve more children than current funding
provides. The commissioner may designate a predetermined number of scholarship slots
for that program and notify the program of that number. For fiscal year 2018 and later, the
statewide amount of funding directly designated by the commissioner must not exceed the
funding directly designated for fiscal year 2017. Beginning July 1, 2016, a school district
or Head Start program qualifying under this paragraph may use its established registration
process to enroll scholarship recipients and may verify a scholarship recipient's family
income in the same manner as for other program participants.

(d) A scholarship is awarded for a 12-month period. If the scholarship recipient has not
been accepted and subsequently enrolled in a rated program within ten months of the
awarding of the scholarship, the scholarship cancels and the recipient must reapply in order
to be eligible for another scholarship. A child may not be awarded more than one scholarship
in a 12-month period.

(e) A child who receives a scholarship who has not completed development screening
under sections 121A.16 to 121A.19 must complete that screening within 90 days of first
attending an eligible programnew text begin or within 90 days after the child's third birthday if awarded
a scholarship under the age of three
new text end.

(f) For fiscal year 2017 and later, a school district or Head Start program enrolling
scholarship recipients under paragraph (c) may apply to the commissioner, in the form and
manner prescribed by the commissioner, for direct payment of state aid. Upon receipt of
the application, the commissioner must pay each program directly for each approved
scholarship recipient enrolled under paragraph (c) according to the metered payment system
or another schedule established by the commissioner.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 124D.165, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Early childhood program eligibility.

(a) In order to be eligible to accept an
early learning scholarship, a program must:

(1) participate in the quality rating and improvement system under section 124D.142;

(2) beginning July 1, deleted text begin2020deleted text endnew text begin 2024new text end, have a three- or four-star rating in the quality rating
and improvement system.

(b) Any program accepting scholarships must use the revenue to supplement and not
supplant federal funding.

deleted text begin (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), all Minnesota early learning foundation scholarship
program pilot sites are eligible to accept an early learning scholarship under this section.
deleted text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 125A.30, is amended to read:


(a) A group of school districts or special education cooperatives, in cooperation with
the new text begincounty and tribal new text endhealth and human service agencies located in the county or counties
in which the districts or cooperatives are located, must establish an Interagency Early
Intervention Committee for children with disabilities under age five and their families under
this section, and for children with disabilities ages three to 22 consistent with the requirements
under sections 125A.023 and 125A.027. Committees must include representatives of local
health, education, and county human service agencies, early childhood family education
programs, Head Start, parents of young children with disabilities under age 12, child care
resource and referral agencies, school readiness programs, current service providers, and
agencies that serve families experiencing homelessness, and may also include representatives
from other private or public agencies and school nurses. The committee must elect a chair
from among its members and must meet at least quarterly.

(b) The committee must develop and implement interagency policies and procedures
concerning the following ongoing duties:

(1) develop public awareness systems designed to inform potential recipient families,
especially parents with premature infants, or infants with other physical risk factors associated
with learning or development complications, of available programs and services;

(2) to reduce families' need for future services, and especially parents with premature
infants, or infants with other physical risk factors associated with learning or development
complications, implement interagency child find systems designed to actively seek out,
identify, and refer infants and young children with, or at risk of, disabilities, including a
child under the age of three who: (i) is the subject of a substantiated case of abuse or neglect
or (ii) is identified as directly affected by illegal substance abuse, or withdrawal symptoms
resulting from prenatal drug exposure;

(3) implement a process for assuring that services involve cooperating agencies at all
steps leading to individualized programs;

(4) identify the current services and funding being provided within the community for
children with disabilities under age five and their families; and

(5) develop a plan for the allocation and expenditure of federal early intervention funds
under United States Code, title 20, section 1471 et seq. (Part C, Public Law 108-446) and
United States Code, title 20, section 631, et seq. (Chapter I, Public Law 89-313).

(c) The local committee shall also participate in needs assessments and program planning
activities conducted by local social service, health and education agencies for young children
with disabilities and their families.