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A02394
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
786
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY AUMENT, MARTIN, MENSCH, DiSANTO, J. WARD, CORMAN
AND STEFANO, JUNE 21, 2021
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, JUNE 21, 2021
AN ACT
Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
act relating to the public school system, including certain
provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
laws relating thereto," in open campus initiatives, further
providing for legislative intent, for definitions, for open
campus initiatives, for cooperative agreements, for
reimbursements by the Commonwealth and for parental and
public information.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Sections 1501-G, 1502-G, 1503-G, 1504-G, 1505-G
and 1506-G of the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known
as the Public School Code of 1949, are amended to read:
Section 1501-G. Legislative intent.
It is the intent of the General Assembly to encourage
collaborative partnerships between [school districts] schools
for the purpose of providing expanded access to high-quality
curricula to students in a cost-effective manner through the use
of technology.
Section 1502-G. Definitions.
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The following words and phrases when used in this article
shall have the meaning given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Department." The Department of Education of the
Commonwealth.
"Nonparticipating school [entity]." A school district,
[which is not a party to a cooperative agreement between school
districts, a] charter school, cyber charter school, regional
charter school, multiple charter school organization,
intermediate unit, area career and technical school, nonpublic
school or home education program provided under section
1327.1[.], which is not a party to a cooperative agreement
between school entities establishing an open campus initiative.
"Open campus initiative." A program established under
section 1503-G.
"Participating school [district] entity." A school district,
charter school, cyber charter school, regional charter school,
multiple charter school organization, intermediate unit or area
career and technical school, which is party to the cooperative
agreement between school [districts] entities establishing [the]
an open campus initiative.
"School entity." A school district, charter school, cyber
charter school, regional charter school, multiple charter school
organization, intermediate unit or area career and technical
school.
Section 1503-G. Open campus initiatives.
(a) Establishment.--An open campus initiative may be
established between school [districts] entities through a
cooperative agreement.
(b) Courses.--Courses of an open campus initiative may be
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delivered outside of a school building in whole or in part using
technology that may include the Internet, video conferencing or
other electronic means.
(c) Grades, credit, promotion and graduation.--Course
grades, credit, promotion and graduation policies for students
participating in open campus initiative courses shall be
determined by the school [district, charter school, cyber
charter school,] entity, nonpublic school or evaluator of a home
education program in which the student is enrolled and the
cooperative agreement between the participating school
[districts] entities.
(d) Student eligibility requirements.--Eligibility
requirements for student participation in open campus initiative
courses shall be determined by the school [district, charter
school, cyber charter school,] entity, nonpublic school or
supervisor of a home education program in which each student is
enrolled and the cooperative agreement between the participating
school [districts] entities.
(e) Nonparticipating school [entities].--A cooperative
agreement between participating school [districts] entities may
provide for students attending a nonparticipating school
[entity] to participate in an open campus initiative course.
(f) Compulsory attendance requirements.--The time during
which a student participates in open campus initiative courses
shall be considered to be compliant with the compulsory
attendance requirements of section 1327.
(g) Student participation.--The school [district, charter
school, cyber charter school,] entity, nonpublic school or home
education program in which the student is enrolled shall ensure
that a student participating in open campus initiative courses
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is offered at least 990 hours of instruction at the secondary
level and 900 hours of instruction at the elementary level.
(h) Technical assistance.--The department shall provide
technical assistance as needed to school [districts] entities
establishing and operating an open campus initiative.
Section 1504-G. Cooperative agreements.
(a) Contents.--School [districts] entities desiring to
establish and operate an open campus initiative shall develop
and enter into a cooperative agreement that shall, at a minimum,
include:
(1) A policy for grading, credit and promotion of
students participating in open campus initiative courses.
(2) A policy for participation of students from
participating school [districts] entities which shall include
minimum academic and attendance criteria.
(3) A policy for participation of students from
nonparticipating school entities, which includes a fee
schedule for determining tuition charges for courses
delivered to those students, if the participating school
[districts] entities allow participation of students from
nonparticipating [school entities] schools.
(4) A policy for discipline and removal of students from
open campus initiative courses in compliance with State law
related to student discipline.
(5) Information about the attribution of student data to
the school [district, charter school, cyber charter school,]
entity, nonpublic school or home education program in which
the student is enrolled, including student assessment data.
(6) Information about the sharing of costs between the
participating school [districts] entities.] entities, except
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that a cyber charter school, as defined in section 1703-A,
may provide digital course content free of charge, but must
share information on a negotiated fee if a negotiable fee is
established to provide staff, technology, digital course
content, curriculum materials and other services requested by
a participating school entity for cyber courses.
(7) Information about the use and distribution of
tuition revenue.
(8) Processes for adding and removing open campus
initiative courses.
(9) Processes for termination of the open campus
initiative.
(b) Adoption by [boards of school directors] governing board
of school entity.--Each open campus initiative cooperative
agreement shall be adopted by majority vote of the [board of
school directors] governing board of the school entity of each
of the participating school [districts] entities.
Section 1505-G. Reimbursements by the Commonwealth.
For the purpose of making reimbursements under Article XXV, a
student participating in an open campus initiative shall be
considered to be enrolled in the school [district, charter
school, cyber charter school,] entity, nonpublic school or home
education program which determines the student's eligibility for
participation in the open campus initiative.
Section 1506-G. Parental and public information.
All policies related to an open campus initiative shall be
made accessible to parents and posted on the participating
school [districts'] entities' publicly accessible Internet
websites.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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