FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE BILL NO. 463

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY


 

 

INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES McNARY (Sponsor), FUNDERBURK, KOENIG, DIECKHAUS, SCHAD, BURLISON, CURTMAN, NETH, JONES (89), STREAM, HOUGHTON, SCHARNHORST, GOSEN, HINSON, ALLEN, DIEHL, REDMON, SCHOELLER, FRANZ AND NASHEED (Co-sponsors).

0596L.04I                                                                                                                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk


 

AN ACT

To repeal section 162.1250, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to virtual schools.




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:


            Section A. Section 162.1250, RSMo, is repealed and one new section enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 162.1250, to read as follows:

            162.1250. 1. School districts shall receive state school funding under sections 163.031, 163.043, and 163.087 for resident students who are enrolled in the school district and who are taking a virtual course or full-time virtual program offered by the school district. The school district may offer instruction in a virtual setting using technology, intranet, and Internet methods of communications that could take place outside of the regular school district facility. The school district may develop a virtual program for any grade level, kindergarten through twelfth grade, with the courses available in accordance with district policy to any resident student of the district who is enrolled in the school district. Nothing in this section shall preclude a private, parochial, or home school student residing within a school district offering virtual courses or virtual programs from enrolling in the school district in accordance with the combined enrollment provisions of section 167.031 for the purposes of participating in the virtual courses or virtual programs.

            2. Charter schools shall receive state school funding under section 160.415 for students enrolled in the charter school who are completing a virtual course or full-time virtual program offered by the charter school. Charter schools may offer instruction in a virtual setting using technology, intranet, and Internet methods of communications. The charter school may develop a virtual program for any grade level, kindergarten through twelfth grade, with the courses available in accordance with school policy and the charter school's charter to any student enrolled in the charter school.

            3. For purposes of calculation and distribution of state school funding, attendance of a student enrolled in a district or charter school virtual class shall equal, upon course completion, ninety-four percent of the hours of attendance possible for such class delivered in the nonvirtual program in the student's resident district or charter school. Course completion shall be calculated in two increments, fifty percent completion and one hundred percent completion, based on the student's completion of defined assignments and assessments, with distribution of state funding to a school district or charter school at each increment equal to forty-seven percent of hours of attendance possible for such course delivered in the nonvirtual program in a student's school district of residence or charter school.

            4. Any nonresident student who is eligible for a free public education may attend a school district or a charter school for the purpose of accessing virtual courses or programs. Such nonresident students shall be defined as virtual resident students. School districts or charter schools may enroll any virtual resident student. For purposes of calculation and distribution of school funding for virtual resident students, the department of elementary and secondary education shall pay the school district or charter school providing such virtual education an amount equal to eighty-five percent of the amount of its tuition charge for nonresident pupils or of the state adequacy target, whichever is greater, but not to exceed one and twenty-five hundredths times the state adequacy target for each enrolled virtual resident student under section 163.031. If the average local tax effort per average daily attendance of the residence district does not exceed eighty-five percent of the amount paid to the school district or charter school enrolling the virtual resident student, the department shall pay for deposit to the general revenue fund of the state an amount equal to ten percent of the amount of such local educational agency's tuition charge for nonresident pupils or of the state adequacy target, whichever is greater, for each such enrolled virtual resident student. The department shall withhold from the residence district an amount equal to the amount paid for such virtual education plus the amount deposited to the general revenue fund of the state.

            5. In addition to those entities which may sponsor charter schools under section 160.400, any institution of higher education with its primary campus located in Missouri with an approved teacher education program may sponsor virtual charter schools. Virtual charter schools are charter schools and subject to all of the applicable provisions of sections 160.400 to 160.420 and this section. Virtual charter schools may only offer instruction in a virtual setting using technology, intranet and internet methods of communication.

            6. When courses are purchased from an outside vendor, the district or charter school shall ensure that they are aligned with the show-me curriculum standards and comply with state requirements for teacher certification. The state board of education reserves the right to request information and materials sufficient to evaluate the online course. Online classes should be considered like any other class offered by the school district or charter school.

            [5.] 7. Any school district or charter school that offers instruction in a virtual setting, develops a virtual course or courses, or develops a virtual program of instruction shall ensure that the following standards are satisfied:

            (1) The virtual course or virtual program utilizes appropriate content-specific tools and software;

            (2) Orientation training is available for teachers, instructors, and students as needed;

            (3) Privacy policies are stated and made available to teachers, instructors, and students;

            (4) Academic integrity and Internet etiquette expectations regarding lesson activities, discussions, electronic communications, and plagiarism are stated to teachers, instructors, and students prior to the beginning of the virtual course or virtual program;

            (5) Computer system requirements, including hardware, web browser, and software, are specified to participants;

            (6) The virtual course or virtual program architecture, software, and hardware permit the online teacher or instructor to add content, activities, and assessments to extend learning opportunities;

            (7) The virtual course or virtual program makes resources available by alternative means, including but not limited to, video and podcasts;

            (8) Resources and notes are available for teachers and instructors in addition to assessment and assignment answers and explanations;

            (9) Technical support and course management are available to the virtual course or virtual program teacher and school coordinator;

            (10) The virtual course or virtual program includes assignments, projects, and assessments that are aligned with students' different visual, auditory, and hands-on learning styles;

            (11) The virtual course or virtual program demonstrates the ability to effectively use and incorporate subject-specific and developmentally appropriate software in an online learning module; and

            (12) The virtual course or virtual program arranges media and content to help transfer knowledge most effectively in the online environment.

            [6.] 8. Any special school district shall count any student's completion of a virtual course or program in the same manner as the district counts completion of any other course or program for credit.

            [7.] 9. A school district or charter school may contract with multiple providers of virtual courses or virtual programs, provided they meet the criteria for virtual courses or virtual programs under this section.