Ninety-Fifth Legislature - Second Session

Introducer's Statement of intent

 

LB 1228

 

Education Committee

 

CHAIRPERSON

Ardyce L. Bohlke

 

The following constitutes the reasons for this bill and the purposes which are sought to be accomplished thereby:

 

Legislative Bill 1228 creates the Quality Education Accountability Act.  The three components of the act are quality education incentives, a financial reporting system, and a testing program. The State Board of Education is required to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to implement the act.

 

Quality Education Incentives

 

Quality education incentive payments shall be provided to local systems if the local system:

 

a.   has adopted academic standards adopted by the State Board;

b.   has an alternative school, class, or educational program available or in operation for all expelled students pursuant to 79-266(1);

c.   has an approved program for learners with high ability pursuant to 79-1108; and

d.   at least 60% of the graduating seniors have taken a standard college admissions test and those students have an average score above the statewide average on the exams taken.

 

Applications will be submitted to the Excellence in Education Council on or before July 1 of each year, using the most recent information and data available. If the criteria are met, the local system shall qualify and receive payments from the Education Innovation Fund on or before September 1. The payments will be $50 per adjusted formula student or $100 per adjusted formula student for local systems in the very sparse cost grouping.

 

Section 9-812 is amended to require the Education Innovation Fund to be allocated first as quality education incentive payments, with any remaining money to be allocated by the Governor through the existing provisions. A duty to carry out this act is also added to the responsibilities of the Excellence in Education Council.

 

Financial Reporting System

 

The State Board of Education shall require and provide a financial reporting system for all local systems beginning with the 1999-00 school year. The reporting system shall:

 

a.   Provide standardized data to the public and the Department in a consistent format that easily explains to taxpayers how education funds are spent and where the funds are generated for the state. each local system, and each attendance center;

b.   Be a computer program that works with accounting packages used by most districts;

c.   Require Class I's to provide data to the high school districts either in a form that may be accessed by the reporting system or that may easily be put into the accounting system;

d.   Account for 100% of all I funds, and.

e.   Be updated on a periodic basis to meet data needs.

 

The financial reporting system may be purchased from a private vendor or developed by the department after a cost analysis. The department shall also provide periodic training to district and ESU personnel and to school board members and interested members of the public. The department and each local system shall provide defined financial reports to the media and other interested parties. The state information shall also be available on a statewide public computer information network.

 

Testing Program

 

The State Board shall implement a statewide testing program for students in a selected grade in each of the grade ranges 4-6. 7-9. and 10- 12 each fall semester beginning in 2000 and shall be responsible for the cost of the test materials and scoring. The purpose of the testing is to ensure accountability for student achievement and to measure individual student progress toward academic standards. The test shall be designed to compare achievement on a statewide and national basis and to enable teachers to evaluate performance of students.

 

A testing package shall be purchased from a recognized testing service and shall have-components testing in the areas of mathematics, reading, science, and social studies. A writing test shall also be included in the testing program, but may either be developed within the state by educators with expertise or purchased 8 a part of the testing package.

 

All public school districts shall participate, and all students enrolled in the designated grade levels shall be tested, except the State Board shall establish criteria that schools may use to exempt special education students from testing in any or all I subject areas. The state board may also adopt alternative tests or means of scoring for special education students and students with limited English proficiency.

 

The individual scores shall be confidential, shall be reported to the district, and shall not be reported to the department. Aggregate results for each district shall be reported to the department by the testing service and writing test scorers. Districts may also make aggregate data available based on attendance centers.

 

DATE OF HEARING

February 2, 1998

 

Senator Ardyce L. Bohlke

Principal Introducer