The purposes of the first-grade preparedness program are to ensure that every child has the opportunity before first grade to develop the skills and abilities necessary to read and succeed in school and to reduce the underlying causes that create a need for compensatory revenue.
A school district may receive first-grade preparedness revenue for qualifying school sites if, consistent with subdivision 5, the school board approves a resolution requiring the district to provide services to all children located in a qualifying school site attendance area.
(a) The commissioner shall rank all school sites with kindergarten programs that do not exclusively serve students under sections 125A.03 to 125A.24, and 125A.65. The ranking must be from highest to lowest based on the site's free and reduced-price lunch count as a percent of the fall enrollment using the preceding October 1 enrollment data. Once a school site is calculated to be eligible, it remains eligible for the duration of the pilot program, unless the site's ranking falls below the state average for elementary schools. For each school site, the percentage used to calculate the ranking must be the greater of (1) the percent of the fall kindergarten enrollment receiving free and reduced-price lunch, or (2) the percent of the total fall enrollment receiving free and reduced-price lunch. The list of ranked sites must be separated into the following geographic areas: Minneapolis district, St. Paul district, suburban Twin Cities districts in the seven-county metropolitan area, and school districts in greater Minnesota.
(b) The commissioner shall establish a process and timelines to qualify school sites for the next school year. School sites must be qualified in each geographic area from the list of ranked sites until the estimated revenue available for this program has been allocated. The total estimated revenue must be distributed to qualified school sites in each geographic area as follows: 25 percent for Minneapolis sites, 25 percent for St. Paul sites, 25 percent for suburban Twin Cities sites, and 25 percent for greater Minnesota.
A qualifying school site must develop its first-grade preparedness program in collaboration with other providers of school readiness and child development services. A school site must offer a full-day kindergarten program to participating children who are five years of age or older for the full school day every day, a program for participating children who are four years old, or a combination of both. The program may offer as an option to families home visits and other practices as appropriate, and may provide such services with the consent of the parent or guardian. Program providers must ensure that the program supplements existing school readiness and child development programs and complements the services provided with compensatory revenue. Where possible, individuals receiving assistance under a family assistance plan can meet the work activity requirement of the plan by participating in a first-grade preparedness program as a volunteer.
The board of a qualifying school district must develop and approve a plan to provide extended day services to serve as many children as possible. To accept children whose families participate in child care assistance programs under section 119B.03 or 119B.05, and to meet the requirements of section 245A.03, subdivision 2, the board must formally approve the first-grade preparedness program. All revenue received under subdivision 6 must be allocated to the qualifying school sites within the district.
(a) A qualifying school district is eligible for first-grade preparedness revenue equal to the basic formula allowance for that year times the number of children five years of age or older enrolled in a kindergarten program at the site on October 1 of the previous year times .53.
(b) This revenue must supplement and not replace compensatory revenue that the district uses for the same or similar purposes under chapters 120B, 123A, 123B, 124D, 126C, and 127A.
(c) A pupil enrolled in the first grade preparedness program at a qualifying school site is eligible for transportation under section 123B.88, subdivision 1.
(d) First grade preparedness revenue paid to a charter school for which a school district is providing transportation according to section 124D.10, subdivision 16, shall be decreased by an amount equal to the product of the formula allowance according to section 126C.10, subdivision 2, times .0485 times the pupil units calculated according to paragraph (a). This amount shall be paid to the school district for transportation costs.
First grade preparedness revenue must be placed in a reserve account within the general fund and may only be used for first grade preparedness programs at qualifying school sites.
NOTE: Subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9 are repealed by Laws 2007, chapter 146, article 1, section 26, effective for revenue for fiscal year 2010. Laws 2007, chapter 146, article 1, section 26, paragraph (b).