An Act To Implement Certain Recommendations of the Maine Proficiency Education Council
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §4511, sub-§3, ¶J is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §4722-A, as amended by PL 2015, c. 267, Pt. C, §3; c. 342, §1; and c. 367, §1; and corrected by RR 2015, c. 1, §14, is further amended to read:
§ 4722-A. Proficiency-based diploma standards and transcripts
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;
(c) The Vietnam War era, from February 28, 1961 to May 7, 1975; or
(d) The period of wartime or peacetime after a period of wartime described in division (a), (b) or (c); 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 , and Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines merchant marine.
Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §6209, first ¶, as amended by PL 2015, c. 40, §5, is further amended to read:
The department in consultation with the state board shall establish and implement a comprehensive, statewide system of learning results, which may include a core of standards in English language arts and mathematics for kindergarten to grade 12 established in common with the other states, as set forth in this section and in department rules implementing this section and other curricular requirements. The department must establish accountability standards at all grade levels in the areas of mathematics; reading; and science and technology. The department shall establish parameters for essential instruction and graduation requirements in English language arts; mathematics; science and technology; social studies; career and education development; visual and performing arts; health, physical education and wellness; and world languages. Only students in a public school, a public charter school as defined in section 2401, subsection 9 or a private school approved for tuition that enrolls at least 60% publicly funded students, as determined by the previous school year's October and April average enrollment, are is required to participate in the system of learning results set forth in this section and in department rules implementing this section and other curricular requirements. The commissioner shall develop accommodation provisions for instances where course content conflicts with sincerely held religious beliefs and practices of a student's parent or guardian. The system must be adapted to accommodate children with disabilities as defined in section 7001, subsection 1-B.
Sec. 4. 20-A MRSA §6209, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2007, c. 259, §5, is further amended to read:
Sec. 5. 20-A MRSA §6209, sub-§3-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 6. 20-A MRSA §6211, as enacted by PL 2001, c. 454, §33, is amended to read:
§ 6211. Rulemaking
The commissioner shall develop rules to accomplish the purposes of this chapter. Rules adopted by the commissioner under this chapter must include guidelines and protocols to strengthen the capacity of school administrative units to ensure sufficient opportunity through multiple pathways for all students to achieve proficiency in meeting the state standards and guiding principles established pursuant to the system of learning results pursuant to section 6209. Rules adopted pursuant to this chapter are major substantive rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A 2-A.
Sec. 7. Department of Education; rules. The Department of Education shall amend rules in accordance with the rulemaking provisions established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 7005, subsection 1 in order to establish strategies by which special education students with an individual education plan may demonstrate proficiency in meeting the state standards and guiding principles established pursuant to the system of learning results established under Title 20-A, section 6209.
Sec. 8. Commissioner of Education; rulemaking. By January 2, 2017, the Commissioner of Education shall provisionally adopt or amend rules in accordance with the rulemaking provisions established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 253, subsection 9 and Title 20-A, section 6211 in order to ensure compliance with the amendments to the standards-based education system and the proficiency-based graduation provisions under Title 20-A, section 4511, subsection 3, paragraph J; section 4722-A; section 6209; and section 7005, subsection 1 pursuant to this Act.
This bill is reported out by the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs pursuant to Joint Rule 353. The bill includes certain recommendations proposed in the report submitted by the Maine Proficiency Education Council established pursuant to Resolve 2015, chapter 41, section 3 for consideration by the joint standing committee.
The joint standing committee has not taken a position on the substance of the report or this bill and by submitting this bill the committee is not suggesting and does not intend to suggest that it agrees or disagrees with any aspect of the recommendations and the necessary changes to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A included in the report or this bill. The joint standing committee is submitting the bill for the sole purpose of turning certain proposals in the report into a printed bill that can be referred to the committee for an appropriate public hearing and subsequent processing in the normal course of business. The joint standing committee is taking this action to ensure clarity and transparency in the legislative review of the proposals included in the report submitted by the Maine Proficiency Education Council.