An Act To Create Innovative Public School Zones and Innovative Public School Districts
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §6213 is enacted to read:
§ 6213. Innovative public school zones and innovative public school districts
(1) A description of any research-based educational program to be implemented;
(2) The length of the school day and the school year;
(3) The student promotion and graduation policies;
(4) The assessment plan;
(5) The budget; and
(6) The staffing plan.
(1) Use of graduation or exit examinations;
(2) Use of end-of-course examinations;
(3) Use of formative assessments that measure student growth over time;
(4) Use of multiple measures of student achievement;
(5) Measuring the percentage of students continuing on to postsecondary education; and
(6) Measuring the percentage of students simultaneously obtaining a high school diploma and an associate's degree or a career and technical education certificate from a postsecondary educational institution;
(1) Is likely to result in a decrease in academic achievement in the innovative school, zone or district; or
(2) Is not fiscally feasible.
Nothing in this subsection may prevent or may be construed to prevent the commissioner from approving an innovation plan to create an innovative public school district when the innovation plan is created by a school board for a school administrative unit that operates only one innovative, autonomous public school.
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the commissioner may not waive any requirements of any law or rule specified in the approved innovation plan for an innovative school, zone or district if the law or rule relates to the implementation of or requirements for any program or grant for which the school administrative unit is receiving funds appropriated or allocated for the support of public school activities. The commissioner may waive any requirements of any law or rule that relates to the implementation of or requirements for any program or grant only if the funding for the program or grant is no longer allocated to the school administrative unit.
The commissioner shall promptly post the annual report submitted pursuant to this section on the department's publicly accessible website.
This bill provides for the creation, submission, review and approval of innovation plans to establish innovative public school zones and innovative public school districts. An innovative public school zone and an innovative public school district must demonstrate a system for accountability for student achievement that exceeds, but is not in conflict with, the State's accountability standards and the State's assessment system. The bill allows one or more public schools within a school administrative unit to initiate the creation of an innovation plan for submission to its school board. The bill also permits a school board to initiate and collaborate with one or more of the public schools it operates to create an innovation plan. The bill provides that a school board may obtain waivers of laws, rules and local policy requirements from the Commissioner of Education that are considered necessary for an innovative public school zone or district to implement an innovation plan.