An Act To Prepare Maine People for the Future Economy
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §253, sub-§9 is enacted to read:
The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this subsection. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection before July 1, 2013 are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. Beginning July 1, 2013, rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to this subsection are major substantive rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §2902, sub-§3, as repealed and replaced by PL 1985, c. 797, §22, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §4502, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2001, c. 454, §12, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4. 20-A MRSA §4502, sub-§6, as repealed and replaced by PL 2001, c. 454, §15, is amended to read:
Sec. 5. 20-A MRSA §4502, sub-§8, as enacted by PL 2001, c. 454, §16, is amended to read:
This paragraph is repealed July 1, 2020.
Sec. 6. 20-A MRSA §4722, sub-§§7 and 8 are enacted to read:
Sec. 7. 20-A MRSA §4722-A is enacted to read:
§ 4722-A. Proficiency-based diploma standards
Beginning January 1, 2017, a diploma indicating graduation from a secondary school must be based on student demonstration of proficiency as described in this section. The commissioner may permit a school administrative unit to award diplomas under this section prior to January 1, 2017 if the commissioner finds that the unit's plan for awarding diplomas meets the criteria for proficiency-based graduation under this section.
(1) The person:
(a) Attended a secondary school in the geographic area now served by the secondary school from which a diploma is requested; or
(b) Resides at the time of application for a diploma in the geographic area served by the secondary school from which a diploma is requested;
(2) The person did not graduate or receive a diploma from a secondary school because the person left secondary school to serve in the Armed Forces and served during the following periods:
(a) World War II, from December 7, 1941 to August 16, 1945;
(b) The Korean Conflict; or
(c) The Vietnam War era, from February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975; and
(3) The person received an honorable discharge or a certificate of honorable service from the Armed Forces.
For the purposes of this paragraph, "Armed Forces" means the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines.
Sec. 8. 20-A MRSA §13016, sub-§2, as amended by PL 1991, c. 622, Pt. X, §8, is further amended to read:
Sec. 9. Development of standards-based system tools. The Department of Education shall coordinate the development of standards, assessments and assessment criteria needed to enable school administrative units to implement a standards-based system of education.
1. The Department of Education shall convene a working group to develop standards, assessments and assessment criteria for determining student proficiency in the guiding principles as outlined in department rule that are required for secondary school graduation beginning January 1, 2017. The working group must include representatives from school administrative units currently developing those standards, assessments and assessment criteria. The working group shall develop draft standards, assessments and assessment criteria for review not later than July 1, 2013.
2. The Department of Education shall maintain a publicly accessible website to serve as a resource for schools implementing standards-based education systems. The website must:
Sec. 10. Development of technical assistance plan. The Department of Education shall develop a technical assistance plan that includes a timeline with implementation dates for the resources and initiatives the department will provide to enable school administrative units to transition to a standards-based education system. The technical assistance plan must include but is not limited to the standards-based system tools described in section 9, other resources related to model policies and best practices, professional development and training and other initiatives that the department determines will be necessary for school administrative units to transform their schools to a standards-based education system. The technical assistance plan must be presented to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education matters for review by March 1, 2013. The joint standing committee may introduce a bill to the First Regular Session of the 126th Legislature related to the department's activities described in this section and section 9.
Sec. 11. Amendment of age-based and grade-based statutory provisions. The Department of Education shall submit a bill to the First Regular Session of the 126th Legislature to amend provisions of the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A that unreasonably restrict the ability of school administrative units to advance or graduate students based on demonstrated proficiency in education standards. The bill may include an amendment to the rule-making provisions under Title 20-A, section 253, subsection 9.