Senator Howard A. Stephenson proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Howard A. Stephenson

House Sponsor:____________


8     General Description:
9          This bill creates the Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     defines terms;
13          ▸     specifies eligibility requirements for participating in the pilot program and
14     additional factors that may be considered;
15          ▸     allows a school district or charter school to submit a proposal to the State Board of
16     Education to participate in the Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program;
17          ▸     requires the State Board of Education to establish an advisory committee that may
18     make suggestions and recommendations regarding the selection of pilot schools;
19          ▸     addresses the enrollment of students at a pilot school;
20          ▸     provides that a student enrolled at a pilot school may not count as more than one
21     pupil in average daily membership (ADM) unless the student intends to complete
22     high school graduation requirements and exit high school early, in accordance with
23     the student's education/occupation plan (SEOP); and
24          ▸     requires the State Board of Education and pilot schools to make an annual report to
25     the Education Interim Committee.

26     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
27          None
28     Other Special Clauses:
29          None
30     Utah Code Sections Affected:
31     AMENDS:
32          53A-1-409, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 398
33          53A-1a-508, as repealed and reenacted by Laws of Utah 2014, Chapter 363
34     ENACTS:
35          53A-15-1501, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36          53A-15-1502, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37          53A-15-1503, Utah Code Annotated 1953
38          53A-15-1504, Utah Code Annotated 1953
39          53A-15-1505, Utah Code Annotated 1953
40          53A-15-1506, Utah Code Annotated 1953
41          53A-15-1507, Utah Code Annotated 1953
42          53A-15-1508, Utah Code Annotated 1953
43          53A-15-1509, Utah Code Annotated 1953
44          53A-15-1510, Utah Code Annotated 1953
45          53A-15-1511, Utah Code Annotated 1953

47     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
48          Section 1. Section 53A-1-409 is amended to read:
49          53A-1-409. Competency-based education -- Recommendations -- Coordination.
50          (1) As used in this section:
51          (a) "Competency" means a demonstrable acquisition of a specified knowledge, skill, or
52     ability that has been organized into a hierarchical arrangement leading to higher levels of
53     knowledge, skill, or ability.
54          (b) "Competency-based education" means an education approach that [requires a
55     student to acquire a competency]:
56          (i) allows a student to advance and earn credit upon mastery of a competency; and

57          (ii) includes a classroom structure and operation that [aid and facilitate the acquisition
58     of specified competencies on an individual basis wherein a student is allowed to master and
59     demonstrate competencies as fast as the student is able] provides a student timely,
60     differentiated support based on the student's individual learning needs.
61          (c) "Gain score" means the measured difference of a student's score at the beginning
62     and end of a time period that may be aggregated at the class, grade, school, and school district
63     levels.
64          (2) The State Board of Education shall:
65          (a) provide expertise to and consult with local school boards, school districts, and
66     charter schools relating to competency-based education and progress-based assessments;
67          (b) before the beginning of the 2014 General Session of the Legislature, make
68     recommendations to the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee, including the amount
69     and allocation of public education money, based upon both new public education money and
70     the reallocation of money required to develop and implement:
71          (i) competency-based education and progress-based assessments;
72          (ii) (A) a weighted competency unit that distributes public education money based on
73     student achievement resulting from competency-based program objectives, strategies, and
74     standards; and
75          (B) a course-level funding formula that distributes funds to school districts and charter
76     schools that establish competency-based education;
77          (iii) a plan to assist students, teachers, schools, and districts that need remediation
78     based upon Subsections (2)(b)(i) and (ii);
79          (iv) the reallocation of teaching resources from noncore electives into grades 1-3, 7-12
80     math, and 7-12 English; and
81          (v) a teacher development program focused on achieving progress in core academics,
82     including instruction in explicit, systematic, and intensive phonics for teachers in grades
83     kindergarten through 3;
84          (c) assist school districts and charter schools to develop and implement:
85          (i) competency-based education; and
86          (ii) the use of gain scores; and
87          (d) develop and use monetary and nonmonetary incentives, tools, and rewards to

88     encourage school districts and charter schools to accomplish the items described under this
89     section.
90          (3) A funding formula described in Subsection (2)(b)(ii)(B) shall:
91          (a) base the funding for a competency-based course on a proportionate amount of the
92     weighted pupil unit;
93          (b) partially distribute funds based on initial enrollment;
94          (c) distribute remaining funds based on a student's successful completion of a course
95     through demonstrated competency and subject mastery; and
96          (d) not be dependent on the amount of time a student is instructed in the course or the
97     age of the student.
98          (4) A local school board or a charter school governing board may establish a
99     competency-based education program.
100          (5) A local school board or charter school governing board that establishes a
101     competency-based education program shall:
102          (a) establish assessments to accurately measure competency;
103          (b) provide the assessments to an enrolled student at no cost to the student;
104          (c) award credit to a student who demonstrates competency and subject mastery;
105          (d) submit the competency-based curriculum standards to the State Board of Education
106     for review; and
107          (e) publish the competency-based curriculum standards on its website or by other
108     electronic means readily accessible to the public.
109          (6) A local school board or charter school governing board may:
110          (a) on a random lottery-based basis, limit enrollment to courses that have been
111     designated as competency-based courses;
112          (b) waive or adapt traditional attendance requirements;
113          (c) adjust class sizes to maximize the value of course instructors or course mentors;
114          (d) enroll students from any geographic location within the state; and
115          (e) provide proctored online competency-based assessments.
116          Section 2. Section 53A-1a-508 is amended to read:
117          53A-1a-508. Charter agreement -- Content -- Modification.
118          (1) A charter agreement:

119          (a) is a contract between the charter school applicant and the charter school authorizer;
120          (b) shall describe the rights and responsibilities of each party; and
121          (c) shall allow for the operation of the applicant's proposed charter school.
122          (2) A charter agreement shall include:
123          (a) the name of:
124          (i) the charter school; and
125          (ii) the charter school applicant;
126          (b) the mission statement and purpose of the charter school;
127          (c) the charter school's opening date;
128          (d) the grade levels and number of students the charter school will serve;
129          (e) a description of the structure of the charter school's governing board, including:
130          (i) the number of board members;
131          (ii) how members of the board are appointed; and
132          (iii) board members' terms of office;
133          (f) assurances that:
134          (i) the governing board shall comply with:
135          (A) the charter school's bylaws;
136          (B) the charter school's articles of incorporation; and
137          (C) applicable federal law, state law, and State Board of Education rules;
138          (ii) the governing board will meet all reporting requirements described in Section
139     53A-1b-115; and
140          (iii) except as provided in Title 53A, Chapter 20b, Part 2, Charter School Credit
141     Enhancement Program, neither the authorizer nor the state, including an agency of the state, is
142     liable for the debts or financial obligations of the charter school or a person who operates the
143     charter school;
144          (g) which administrative rules the State Board of Education will waive for the charter
145     school;
146          (h) minimum financial standards for operating the charter school;
147          (i) minimum standards for student achievement; and
148          (j) signatures of the charter school authorizer and the charter school's governing board
149     members.

150          (3) [A] (a) Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b), a charter agreement may not be
151     modified except by mutual agreement between the charter school authorizer and the governing
152     board of the charter school.
153          (b) (i) Subject to Subsection (3)(c), at the request of the governing body of a charter
154     school that is selected to participate in the Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program created in
155     Section 53A-15-1503, the chartering entity shall attach an addendum to the school's charter
156     indicating the charter is modified to be consistent with the requirements of the
157     Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program and describing those modifications.
158          (ii) A chartering entity shall make the modifications described in Subsection (3)(b)(i)
159     without requiring the charter school to participate in a charter amendment process.
160          (c) (i) If an increase in a charter school's enrollment capacity is required to participate
161     in the Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program, the charter school shall submit a request for
162     an increase in enrollment capacity to the State Board of Education.
163          (ii) The State Board of Education may approve an increase in enrollment capacity for
164     the charter school subject to the availability of sufficient funds appropriated under Section
165     53A-1a-513.
166          Section 3. Section 53A-15-1501 is enacted to read:
Part 15. Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program

168          53A-15-1501. Title.
169          This part is known as the "Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program."
170          Section 4. Section 53A-15-1502 is enacted to read:
171          53A-15-1502. Definitions.
172          As used in this part:
173          (1) "Blended learning" means a formal education program in which a student learns:
174          (a) at least in part, through online delivery of content and instruction with some
175     element of student control over time, place, path, or pace; and
176          (b) at least in part, at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home.
177          (2) "Board" means the State Board of Education.
178          (3) "Competency-based education" means the same as that term is defined in Section
179     53A-1-409.
180          (4) "Data-driven instruction" means instruction in which quantifiable data is:

181          (a) obtained by frequently assessing a student's attainment of observable and
182     measurable goals set to determine whether the student is making academic progress, staying the
183     same academically, or regressing academically; and
184          (b) used to guide the instructor in determining:
185          (i) the student's next step after mastering a concept; or
186          (ii) necessary interventions or modifications to instructional methods to provide the
187     student with a better understanding of academic concepts.
188          (5) "Extended school year schedule" means a school calendar and schedule that operate
189     beyond a traditional school calendar and provide year-round instruction.
190          (6) "Extended work schedule" means a work schedule that includes additional hours of
191     instruction time beyond a traditional school calendar to accommodate year-round instruction.
192          (7) "Pilot program" means the Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program.
193          (8) "Pilot school" means a school that participates in the Student-Centered Learning
194     Pilot Program.
195          (9) "STEM" means science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
196          Section 5. Section 53A-15-1503 is enacted to read:
197          53A-15-1503. Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program established.
198          (1) The Student-Centered Learning Pilot Program is created to develop and implement
199     educational models that:
200          (a) deliver instruction through blended learning;
201          (b) use an extended school year schedule;
202          (c) use data-driven instruction; and
203          (d) use competency-based education.
204          (2) The State Board of Education shall:
205          (a) select schools to participate in the pilot program based on a competitive application
206     process;
207          (b) provide guidance to a school district or charter school that is developing a proposal
208     described in Section 53A-15-1504;
209          (c) subject to legislative appropriations, select up to three pilot schools and award
210     grants on or before July 1, 2016, as provided in Section 53A-1-1504; and
211          (d) make rules, in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative

212     Rulemaking Act, and this part, that establish procedures and requirements for a school district
213     or charter school to participate in the pilot program and for selecting pilot schools.
214          Section 6. Section 53A-15-1504 is enacted to read:
215          53A-15-1504. School district or charter school proposal.
216          (1) On or before April 1, 2016, a school district or charter school may submit a
217     proposal to the board to participate in the pilot program.
218          (2) In a proposal to participate in the pilot program, a school district or charter school
219     shall describe:
220          (a) the blended learning model that the school district or charter school plans to
221     implement;
222          (b) a plan for hardware and facility readiness;
223          (c) a plan for professional development and professional learning communities related
224     to the pilot program; and
225          (d) any other elements of the program required by the board rules described in
226     Subsection 53A-15-1503(2)(e).
227          Section 7. Section 53A-15-1505 is enacted to read:
228          53A-15-1505. Eligibility requirements to participate in the Student-Centered
229     Learning Pilot Program -- Additional considerations.
230          (1) To be eligible to participate in the pilot program, a pilot school shall:
231          (a) deliver instruction through blended learning;
232          (b) provide instruction to students through an extended school year schedule;
233          (c) use data-driven instruction;
234          (d) use competency-based education;
235          (e) integrate blended learning, data-driven instruction, and competency-based
236     education to make individualized or personalized instruction core to the instructional model;
237          (f) develop and implement a professional development plan that addresses the
238     individual professional development needs of each teacher and includes training in:
239          (i) delivering instruction within a blended learning model;
240          (ii) using data-driven instruction;
241          (iii) delivering differentiated instruction; and
242          (iv) using online content and digital tools;

243          (g) develop and implement a plan for assisting parents in engaging in their students'
244     education, which complies with the following:
245          (i) the technology tools employed by the school shall be utilized to create transparency
246     and collaboration in the education process and enable parents to be partners in their students'
247     education in real time; and
248          (ii) parents shall have access through technology to real-time student data and
249     instructional content in order to monitor and stay informed about their students' progress as
250     they assist their students with learning;
251          (h) allow a student and a teacher at the pilot school to decide if the teacher or student
252     participates in the pilot program;
253          (i) subject to appropriations, begin operating as a pilot school by the 2016-17 school
254     year; and
255          (j) share with other school districts and charter schools and leaders across the state the
256     school's experience in implementing the pilot program, the impacts of the program, and any
257     policy considerations.
258          (2) In selecting applicants to participate in the pilot program, the State Board of
259     Education shall give additional consideration to an applicant that:
260          (a) utilizes blended learning and an extended school year to increase student
261     enrollment, generating additional money to increase teacher compensation, thereby allowing
262     teachers to be compensated for a full 12 months of instruction;
263          (b) requires students to take a course of study leading to an associate's degree or a
264     technical skills certification upon high school graduation;
265          (c) has a STEM focused mission and curriculum;
266          (d) encourages students to utilize BYOD "bring your own device" as part of the
267     school's technology device policy;
268          (e) proposes to establish the pilot program throughout a complete kindergarten through
269     grade 12 feeder system;
270          (f) provides an expanded benefits package to employees that includes paid vacation
271     and holidays;
272          (g) is a Title I school; or
273          (h) establishes sustainable, scalable programs that can be replicated.

274          Section 8. Section 53A-15-1506 is enacted to read:
275          53A-15-1506. Selection of pilot program participants -- Advisory committee.
276          (1) The board shall establish an advisory committee to review proposals submitted by
277     school districts and charter schools to participate in the pilot program.
278          (2) The advisory committee may offer suggestions and recommendations to the board
279     on the selection of pilot schools.
280          (3) The advisory committee shall include representatives of stakeholders, including the
281     following legislators who shall serve as nonvoting members:
282          (a) the chair of the House Education Standing Committee;
283          (b) the chair of the Senate Education Standing Committee;
284          (c) the Senate chair of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee; and
285          (d) the House chair of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
286          Section 9. Section 53A-15-1507 is enacted to read:
287          53A-15-1507. Implementation funding.
288          (1) In the 2016 General Session, the board shall submit recommendations to the
289     Legislature for funding the implementation of the pilot program, including the cost of:
290          (a) equipment for the delivery of instruction;
291          (b) digital content; and
292          (c) assessments.
293          (2) Subject to legislative appropriations, the board may make grants to school districts
294     and charter schools participating in the pilot program for up to three years, with the amount of a
295     grant decreasing each year.
296          Section 10. Section 53A-15-1508 is enacted to read:
297          53A-15-1508. Enrollment of students in a pilot school -- Selection of pilot school
298     teachers.
299          (1) Section 53A-1a-506 shall govern the eligibility of students for enrollment at a
300     charter school that is a pilot school.
301          (2) (a) A local school board shall adopt rules governing the enrollment of students at a
302     district school that is a pilot school.
303          (b) The rules adopted under Subsection (2)(a) shall include policies and procedures to
304     ensure that decisions regarding enrollment requests are administered fairly without prejudice to

305     any student or class of student, except as provided in Subsection (2)(c).
306          (c) Policies for enrolling students in a pilot school may include:
307          (i) giving priority to a student who:
308          (A) resides within the attendance boundaries of a pilot school; or
309          (B) resides within the school district in which the pilot school is located; or
310          (ii) limiting enrollment based on the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or the
311     pilot school.
312          (3) A school district shall solicit applications for teaching positions for a pilot school
313     and hire teachers from a list of interested and qualified applicants.
314          (4) A pilot school may not require a student or teacher to participate in the pilot
315     program.
316          Section 11. Section 53A-15-1509 is enacted to read:
317          53A-15-1509. Student enrolled in a pilot school may not count as more than one
318     ADM -- Exception.
319          (1) The course credits of a pilot school student shall be included in the school district's
320     or charter school's calculation of average daily membership, except as provided in Subsection
321     (2).
322          (2) A student enrolled in a pilot school may not count as more than one pupil in
323     average daily membership (ADM), unless the student intends to complete high school
324     graduation requirements early, and exit high school early, in accordance with the student's
325     education/occupation plan (SEOP).
326          Section 12. Section 53A-15-1510 is enacted to read:
327          53A-15-1510. Flexibility in complying with a school district or charter school
328     policy.
329          A local school board or charter school governing board shall grant flexibility to a pilot
330     school in complying with a school district or charter school policy that prohibits the pilot
331     school from meeting the requirements of the pilot program.
332          Section 13. Section 53A-15-1511 is enacted to read:
333          53A-15-1511. Report to Legislature.
334          After one full school year of the pilot program, the board and the pilot schools shall
335     make an annual report to the Legislature that:

336          (1) compares the academic performance of students participating in the pilot program
337     with students in other schools that have demographic characteristics that are similar to those of
338     the pilot program students; and
339          (2) describes the extent to which the pilot schools:
340          (a) use online content and digital tools as integral elements of instruction and learning;
341          (b) maximize engagement and achievement by addressing the needs of each student
342     through personalized instruction;
343          (c) advance students upon mastery of competencies;
344          (d) create a culture that supports individualized learning across students, teachers,
345     school district and charter school leadership, and parents;
346          (e) improve system structure and policy to allow for efficiencies in teacher practice,
347     scheduling, staffing, and use of space;
348          (f) allocate time, resources, and places in a way that provides maximum flexibility for a
349     student-centered learning environment;
350          (g) provide teachers the opportunity to receive a competitive compensation based on an
351     extended work schedule;
352          (h) establish sustainable, scalable programs that can be replicated;
353          (i) improve student learning outcomes;
354          (j) better prepare students for college and the workforce; and
355          (k) close achievement gaps.