Senate Engrossed House Bill

 

 

 

State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-fourth Legislature

Second Regular Session

2020

 

 

 

CHAPTER 26

 

HOUSE BILL 2684

 

 

AN ACT

 

requiring The department of education to establish a crisis management team to recommend necessary changes for persistently underperforming school districts.

 

 

(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Department of education; crisis management team; persistently underperforming school districts; reporting requirements; implementation plans; delayed repeal

A.  The department of education shall establish a crisis management team to recommend necessary changes for any persistently underperforming school district prescribed pursuant to subsection C of this section to meet the educational needs of the community in which the school district is located.  The crisis management team shall consist of all of the following members who are appointed by the superintendent of public instruction:

1.  Department of education staff persons with expertise and experience in school improvement.

2.  An expert in tribal consultation and tribal affairs.

3.  An expert in school improvement for rural schools.

4.  An employee of the office of Indian education.

5.  Other persons as deemed appropriate.

B.  The crisis management team shall establish a work plan to evaluate the local circumstances and needs of a school district prescribed pursuant to subsection C of this section.  The crisis management team shall consult with tribal stakeholders, school district governing board members, school district employees, community members, parents and other relevant persons to determine all of the following:

1.  The impediments to academic success.

2.  Barriers to an effective school community, including relationships between a school district and relevant community stakeholders, including parents.

3.  Specific changes that are needed to increase academic outcomes and prevent teacher and staff turnover.

4.  Outstanding financial impediments and appropriate solutions for resolution.

5.  The long-term plan to sustain a successful school, including potential changes to governance or boundaries or whether receivership or consolidation would benefit the school district.

C.  The crisis management team may intervene as prescribed in this section on behalf of any school district that operates a school that meets all of the following criteria:

1.  For school years 2016-2017 and 2018-2019, was assigned a letter grade of F pursuant to section 15-241, Arizona Revised Statutes.

2.  For school year 2018-2019, had less than five percent of pupils who were proficient on the statewide assessment in English language arts and mathematics.

D.  A school district prescribed pursuant to subsection C of this section shall comply with all requests for information by the crisis management team and provide the information requested within two weeks.  The school district may request additional time to complete the information request.  If the school district requests additional time to complete an information request pursuant to this subsection, the school district shall outline the reasons the school district needs more than two weeks to complete the request.

E.  The crisis management team shall provide a school district prescribed pursuant to subsection C of this section with specific recommendations to implement that will address the issues the crisis management team identifies within the school district that contribute to persistent academic underperformance.  The crisis management team shall provide all recommendations in writing to the school district governing board and superintendent, and the school district shall notify the crisis management team in writing within two weeks after receiving the recommendations either outlining the school district's efforts to implement the recommendations or rejecting a recommendation and providing the reason for rejection. 

F.  The superintendent of public instruction may retain a portion of state monies that a school district prescribed pursuant to subsection C of this section would otherwise be entitled to receive to compensate members of the crisis management team at a reasonable rate, as determined by the department of education, except that the superintendent of public instruction may not retain a portion of state monies to compensate employees of the department of education.  The school district shall reduce its budget limit accordingly.

G.  If the crisis management team formally determines that a school district prescribed pursuant to subsection C of this section is unable to meet the educational needs of the community in which it is located without a change in administration, the school district shall terminate the contract of the school district superintendent in accordance with the terms of the contract and include appropriate financial recourse.  The crisis management team may assist the school district governing board in identifying candidates to act as an interim superintendent.

H.  The crisis management team shall submit a preliminary report on or before July 1, 2020 and submit a final report on or before December 31, 2020 to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the department of education and the chairpersons of the house of representatives and senate education and appropriations committees and submit a copy to the secretary of state.  The report shall include all of the following:

1.  The specific recommendations for improvement that the crisis management team made to school districts pursuant to this section.

2.  The outcome of any consultations under subsection B of this section, including suggested actions for improvement by community and tribal stakeholders, parents and the school district.

3.  Recommendations on the long-term viability of each school district prescribed pursuant to subsection C of this section, including whether the school district requires a change in governance or boundaries or whether receivership or consolidation would benefit the academic outcomes of affected pupils.

4.  A projected implementation timeline for recommended changes.

I.  If the crisis management team determines that a long-term sustainability plan is viable, the crisis management team may request the department of education to notify the school district of the implementation plan for sustainability.  The department shall compile all recommendations of the crisis management team under subsection H of this section and shall establish an implementation plan.  The department shall provide to school districts prescribed pursuant to subsection C of this section an implementation plan and projected timeline for implementation.  The school district shall evaluate the implementation plan and respond in writing to the department of education outlining the adoption of an implementation plan and any modifications deemed necessary.  The school district shall provide regular reports to the department of education on implementation and may request assistance in community stakeholder engagement, including tribal consultation, or implementation.

J.  This section is repealed from and after April 1, 2021.

Sec. 2.  Legislative intent

It is the intent of the legislature to declare a crisis for school districts with persistent underperformance and minimal academic outcomes that meet the criteria prescribed in this act and to immediately establish a crisis management team to determine the necessary changes and pathway to sustainability to serve the educational needs of students, parents and the community.

Sec. 3.  Emergency

This act is an emergency measure that is necessary to preserve the public peace, health or safety and is operative immediately as provided by law.


 

 

 

 

APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR MARCH 24, 2020.

 

FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE MARCH 24, 2020.