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SF 3516

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 03/20/2018 08:56am

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Current Version - as introduced

A bill for an act
relating to education finance; requiring a portion of voluntary prekindergarten
participants to be served through a mixed delivery of services;amending Minnesota
Statutes 2016, section 124D.151, as amended.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 124D.151, as amended by Laws 2017, First
Special Session chapter 5, article 8, sections 1 and 2, is amended to read:


124D.151 VOLUNTARY PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAM.

Subdivision 1.

Establishment; purpose.

A district, a charter school, a group of districts,
a group of charter schools, or a group of districts and charter schools may establish a
voluntary prekindergarten program. The purpose of a voluntary prekindergarten program
is to prepare children for success as they enter kindergarten in the following year.

Subd. 2.

Program requirements.

(a) A voluntary prekindergarten program provider
must:

(1) provide instruction through play-based learning to foster children's social and
emotional development, cognitive development, physical and motor development, and
language and literacy skills, including the native language and literacy skills of English
learners, to the extent practicable;

(2) measure each child's cognitive and social skills using a formative measure aligned
to the state's early learning standards when the child enters and again before the child leaves
the program, screening and progress monitoring measures, and others from the state-approved
menu of kindergarten entry profile measures;

(3) provide comprehensive program content including the implementation of curriculum,
assessment, and instructional strategies aligned with the state early learning standards, and
kindergarten through grade 3 academic standards;

(4) provide instructional content and activities that are of sufficient length and intensity
to address learning needs including offering a program with at least 350 hours of instruction
per school year for a prekindergarten student;

(5) provide voluntary prekindergarten instructional staff salaries comparable to the
salaries of local kindergarten through grade 12 instructional staff;

(6) coordinate appropriate kindergarten transition with families, community-based
prekindergarten programs, and school district kindergarten programs;

(7) involve parents in program planning and transition planning by implementing parent
engagement strategies that include culturally and linguistically responsive activities in
prekindergarten through third grade that are aligned with early childhood family education
under section 124D.13;

(8) coordinate with relevant community-based services, including health and social
service agencies, to ensure children have access to comprehensive services;

(9) coordinate with all relevant school district programs and services including early
childhood special education, homeless students, and English learners;

(10) ensure staff-to-child ratios of one-to-ten and a maximum group size of 20 children;

(11) provide high-quality coordinated professional development, training, and coaching
for both school district and community-based early learning providers that is informed by
a measure of adult-child interactions and enables teachers to be highly knowledgeable in
early childhood curriculum content, assessment, native and English language development
programs, and instruction; and

(12) implement strategies that support the alignment of professional development,
instruction, assessments, and prekindergarten through grade 3 curricula.

(b) A voluntary prekindergarten program must have teachers knowledgeable in early
childhood curriculum content, assessment, native and English language programs, and
instruction.

(c) Districts and charter schools must include their strategy for implementing and
measuring the impact of their voluntary prekindergarten program under section 120B.11
and provide results in their world's best workforce annual summary to the commissioner of
education.

Subd. 3.

Mixed delivery of services.

(a) A district or charter school may contract with
a charter school, Head Start or child care centers, family child care programs licensed under
section 245A.03, or a community-based organization to provide eligible children with
developmentally appropriate services that meet the program requirements in subdivision 2.
Components of a mixed-delivery plan include strategies for recruitment, contracting, and
monitoring of fiscal compliance and program quality.

(b) For fiscal year 2020 and later, for any district or charter school serving more children
under this section than in fiscal year 2019, the district or charter school must contract with
a three- or four-star Parent Aware rated program operated by a charter school, Head Start,
child care center, licensed family child care, or community-based organization for at least
40 percent of the spaces for the additional eligible children.

Subd. 4.

Eligibility.

A child who is four years of age as of September 1 in the calendar
year in which the school year commences is eligible to participate in a voluntary
prekindergarten program free of charge. Each eligible child must complete a health and
developmental screening within 90 days of program enrollment under sections 121A.16 to
121A.19, and provide documentation of required immunizations under section 121A.15.

Subd. 5.

Application process; priority for high poverty schools.

(a) To qualify for
program approval for fiscal year 2017, a district or charter school must submit an application
to the commissioner by July 1, 2016.
To qualify for program approval for fiscal year 2018
and later,
a district or charter school must submit an application to the commissioner by
January 30 of the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year in which the program will be
implemented. The application must include:

(1) a description of the proposed program, including the number of hours per week the
program will be offered at each school site or mixed-delivery location;

(2) an estimate of the number of eligible children to be served in the program at each
school site or mixed-delivery location; and

(3) a statement of assurances signed by the superintendent or charter school director that
the proposed program meets the requirements of subdivision 2.

(b) The commissioner must review all applications submitted for fiscal year 2017 by
August 1, 2016, and must review all applications submitted for fiscal year 2018 and later

by March 1 of the fiscal year in which the applications are received and determine whether
each application meets the requirements of paragraph (a).

(c) The commissioner must divide all applications for new or expanded voluntary
prekindergarten programs under this section meeting the requirements of paragraph (a) and
school readiness plus programs into four groups as follows: the Minneapolis and St. Paul
school districts; other school districts located in the metropolitan equity region as defined
in section 126C.10, subdivision 28; school districts located in the rural equity region as
defined in section 126C.10, subdivision 28; and charter schools. Within each group, the
applications must be ordered by rank using a sliding scale based on the following criteria:

(1) concentration of kindergarten students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches by
school site on October 1 of the previous school year. A school site may contract to partner
with a community-based provider or Head Start under subdivision 3 or establish an early
childhood center and use the concentration of kindergarten students eligible for free or
reduced-price meals from a specific school site as long as those eligible children are
prioritized and guaranteed services at the mixed-delivery site or early education center. For
school district programs to be operated at locations that do not have free and reduced-price
lunch concentration data for kindergarten programs for October 1 of the previous school
year, including mixed-delivery programs, the school district average concentration of
kindergarten students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches must be used for the rank
ordering;

(2) presence or absence of a three- or four-star Parent Aware rated program within the
school district or close proximity of the district. School sites with the highest concentration
of kindergarten students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches that do not have a three-
or four-star Parent Aware program within the district or close proximity of the district shall
receive the highest priority, and school sites with the lowest concentration of kindergarten
students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches that have a three- or four-star Parent
Aware rated program within the district or close proximity of the district shall receive the
lowest priority; and

(3) whether the district has implemented a mixed delivery system.

(d) The limit on participation for the programs as specified in subdivision 6 must initially
be allocated among the four groups based on each group's percentage share of the statewide
kindergarten enrollment on October 1 of the previous school year. Within each group, the
participation limit for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 must first be allocated to school sites
approved for aid in the previous year to ensure that those sites are funded for the same
number of participants as approved for the previous year. The remainder of the participation
limit for each group must be allocated among school sites in priority order until that region's
share of the participation limit is reached. If the participation limit is not reached for all
groups, the remaining amount must be allocated to the highest priority school sites, as
designated under this section, not funded in the initial allocation on a statewide basis. For
fiscal year 2020 and later, the participation limit must first be allocated to school sites
approved for aid in fiscal year 2017, and then to school sites approved for aid in fiscal year
2018 based on the statewide rankings under paragraph (c).

(e) Once a school site or a mixed delivery site under subdivision 3 is approved for aid
under this subdivision, it shall remain eligible for aid if it continues to meet program
requirements, regardless of changes in the concentration of students eligible for free or
reduced-price lunches.

(f) If the total number of participants approved based on applications submitted under
paragraph (a) is less than the participation limit under subdivision 6, the commissioner must
notify all school districts and charter schools of the amount that remains available within
30 days of the initial application deadline under paragraph (a), and complete a second round
of allocations based on applications received within 60 days of the initial application deadline.

(g) Procedures for approving applications submitted under paragraph (f) shall be the
same as specified in paragraphs (a) to (d), except that the allocations shall be made to the
highest priority school sites not funded in the initial allocation on a statewide basis.

Subd. 6.

Participation limits.

(a) Notwithstanding section 126C.05, subdivision 1,
paragraph (d), the pupil units for a voluntary prekindergarten program for an eligible school
district or charter school must not exceed 60 percent of the kindergarten pupil units for that
school district or charter school under section 126C.05, subdivision 1, paragraph (e).

(b) In reviewing applications under subdivision 5, the commissioner must limit the
estimated state aid entitlement approved under this section to $27,092,000 for fiscal year
2017. If the actual state aid entitlement based on final data exceeds the limit in any year,
the aid of the participating districts must be prorated so as not to exceed the limit.

(c) (b) The commissioner must limit the total number of funded participants in the
voluntary prekindergarten program under this section to not more than 3,160.

(d) (c) Notwithstanding paragraph (c), the commissioner must limit the total number of
participants in the voluntary prekindergarten and school readiness plus programs to not
more than 6,160 participants for fiscal year 2018 and 7,160 participants for fiscal year 2019.

(d) For fiscal year 2020 and later, at least 40 percent of the number of program
participants served under this section in excess of 3,160 participants must be served through
a mixed delivery of services according to subdivision 3. For fiscal year 2020 and later, at
least 40 percent of all school readiness plus participants must be served through a mixed
delivery of services according to subdivision 3.

Sec. 2. MIXED DELIVERY OF SERVICES; VOLUNTARY PREKINDERGARTEN;
SCHOOL READINESS PLUS.

For fiscal year 2019 only, for any district or charter school serving more children under
Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.151, or Laws 2017, First Special Session chapter 5, article
8, section 9, than designated as of March 15, 2018, the district or charter school must contract
with a three- or four-star Parent Aware rated program operated by a charter school, Head
Start, child care center, licensed family child care, or community-based organization for at
least 40 percent of the spaces in excess of the designated spaces as of March 15, 2018.

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