Senate Bill No. 160

Public Act No. 00-204

An Act Concerning Changes To Miscellaneous Education And Higher Education Statutes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 10-95i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Not later than January 1, 1990, and every five years thereafter, the State Board of Education shall adopt a long-range plan of priorities and goals for the regional vocational-technical school system. The plan shall address coordination with other providers of vocational, technical or technological education or training and shall include (1) an analysis of the activities described in subsections (b) [to (d), inclusive,] and (c) of this section and how such activities relate to the long-range plan of priorities and goals and a summary of activities related to capital improvements and (2) equipment pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Upon adoption of the plan, the state board shall file the plan with the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, finance, revenue and bonding and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. The state board shall use the plan in preparing its five-year comprehensive plan pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-4.

Sec. 2. Subsection (d) of section 10-95i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) The State Board of Education shall maintain a rolling five-year capital improvement and capital equipment plan that identifies: (1) Alterations, renovations and repairs that each vocational-technical school is expected to need, including, but not limited to, grounds and athletic fields, heating and ventilation systems, wiring, roofs, and windows, and the cost of such projects, (2) recommendations for energy efficiency improvements to each school and the cost of such improvements, and (3) the specific equipment each regional vocational-technical school is expected to need, based on the useful life of existing equipment and projections of changing technology and the estimated cost of the equipment. The State Board of Education shall submit such plan, annually, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, finance, revenue and bonding and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies.

Sec. 3. (NEW) The Department of Education shall provide in-service training programs, in accordance with subsection (a) of section 10-220a of the general statutes, for the teachers, administrators and pupil personnel employed in the vocational-technical schools who hold the initial educator, provisional educator or professional educator certificate. In addition, the department shall provide programs to enhance the knowledge and skill level of such teachers in their vocational or technical field.

Sec. 4. Subsection (i) of section 2 of public act 99-242 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(i) For the Department of Education: Alterations and improvements to buildings and grounds, including new and replacement equipment, tools and supplies necessary to implement updated curricula, vehicles and technology upgrades at all Regional Vocational-Technical Schools, not exceeding $15,000,000.

Sec. 5. Subsection (h) of section 21 of public act 99-242 is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(h) For the Department of Education: Alterations and improvements to buildings and grounds, including new and replacement equipment, tools and supplies necessary to implement updated curricula, vehicles and technology upgrades at all Regional Vocational-Technical Schools, not exceeding $15,000,000.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (a) The Chief Court Administrator may establish a pilot program for the resolution of special education administrative contested cases. If the Chief Court Administrator establishes a pilot program, the Department of Education may refer up to twenty special education administrative contested cases which shall not be jury trials and shall be heard by judge trial referees or senior judges. The entry fee established by section 52-259 of the general statutes shall not apply to such cases. Any cases certified by the Department of Education as being part of the pilot program shall be heard as a de novo case in the Superior Court and shall be appealable directly to the Appellate Court.

(b) The Department of Education shall provide necessary funding for the pilot program to the Judicial Branch.

Sec. 7. (a) The Labor Department, in cooperation with the Department of Social Services, shall design, within available appropriations, a program to provide state-funded work-study slots in training programs certified pursuant to the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, P.L. 105-220, as from time to time amended, and training and education programs at public institutions of higher education for persons receiving temporary family assistance and for other needy persons not receiving such assistance. The program shall be designed in order to enable a participant's family to be independent of temporary family assistance by the end of the twenty-one month time limit for such assistance and to increase the participant's ability to achieve economic self-sufficiency. The program shall include (1) a specified number of reserved slots for training and educational programs that serve job seekers who wish to enter a nontraditional occupation as defined by the United States Department of Labor, (2) transportation assistance for participants, (3) priority for slots for persons at or below the federal poverty level, and (4) child care assistance for participants. For purposes of this section, "needy persons" means parents or caretaker relatives of minor children who are members of a needy family pursuant to the state plan for the temporary assistance for needy families program.

(b) The Labor Commissioner shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the General Assembly on the design of the program and the cost of its implementation by January 1, 2001.

Sec. 8. For the school year commencing in 2000, the Hartford school district shall implement a pilot two-way language program in two schools that shall provide instruction in each language for fifty per cent of the instructional time during each day of such program. The State Department of Education, in conjunction with the board of trustees for the Hartford school district, shall evaluate the effectiveness of such pilot program and, on or before July 1, 2001, shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education on the results of its evaluation.

Sec. 9. Subsection (a) of section 10-153f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) There shall be in the Department of Education an arbitration panel of not less than twenty-four nor more than twenty-nine persons to serve as provided in subsection (c) of this section. The Governor shall appoint such panel, with the advice and consent of the General Assembly, as follows: (1) Seven members shall be representative of the interests of local and regional boards of education and shall be selected from lists of names submitted by such boards; (2) seven members shall be representative of the interests of exclusive bargaining representatives of certified employees and shall be selected from lists of names submitted by such bargaining representatives; and (3) not less than ten nor more than fifteen members shall be impartial representatives of the interests of the public in general and shall be residents of the state of Connecticut, experienced in public sector collective bargaining interest impasse resolution and selected from lists of names submitted by the State Board of Education. The lists of names submitted to the Governor pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of this subsection shall, in addition to complying with the provisions of section 4-9b, include a report from the State Board of Education certifying that the process conducted for soliciting applicants made adequate outreach to minority communities and documenting the number and make-up of minority applicants considered reflect the state's racial and ethnic diversity. Each member of the panel shall serve a term of two years, provided each arbitrator shall hold office until a successor is appointed and, provided further, any arbitrator not reappointed shall finish to conclusion any arbitration for which such arbitrator has been selected or appointed. Arbitrators may be removed for good cause. If any vacancy occurs in such panel, the Governor shall act within forty days to fill such vacancy in the manner provided in section 4-19. Persons appointed to the arbitration panel shall serve without compensation but each shall receive a per diem fee for each day during which he is engaged in the arbitration of a dispute pursuant to this section. The parties to the dispute so arbitrated shall pay the fee in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

Sec. 10. Subsection (d) of section 10a-77 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) Said board of trustees shall waive the payment of tuition at any of the regional community-technical colleges (1) for any dependent child of a person whom the armed forces of the United States has declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in such armed forces after January 1, 1960, which child has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time [he] such child is accepted for admission to such institution, (2) for any veteran having served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, as amended by section 2 of public act 99-272, or who served in either a combat or combat support role in the invasion of Grenada, October 25, 1983, to December 15, 1983, the invasion of Panama, December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990, or the peace-keeping mission in Lebanon, September 29, 1982, to March 30, 1984, who has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time [he] such veteran is accepted for admission to such institution, (3) for any resident of Connecticut sixty-two years of age or older, provided, at the end of the regular registration period, there are enrolled in the course a sufficient number of students other than those persons eligible for waivers pursuant to this subdivision to offer the course in which such person intends to enroll and there is space available in such course after accommodating all such students, (4) for any student attending the Connecticut State Police Academy who is enrolled in a law enforcement program at said academy offered in coordination with a regional community-technical college which accredits courses taken in such program, (5) for any active member of the Connecticut Army or Air National Guard who (A) is a resident of Connecticut, (B) has been certified by the Adjutant General or [his] such Adjutant General's designee as a member in good standing of the guard, and (C) is enrolled or accepted for admission to such institution on a full-time or part-time basis in an undergraduate degree-granting program, and (6) for any dependent child of a (A) police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, [or] (B) fire fighter, as defined in section 7-323j, (C) municipal employee or (D) state employee, as defined in section 5-154, as amended by section 51 of public act 99-241, killed in the line of duty. If any person who receives a tuition waiver in accordance with the provisions of this subsection also receives educational reimbursement from an employer, such waiver shall be reduced by the amount of such educational reimbursement. Veterans described in subdivision (2) of this subsection and members of the National Guard described in subdivision (5) of this subsection shall be given the same status as students not receiving tuition waivers in registering for courses at regional community-technical colleges.

Sec. 11. Subsection (d) of section 10a-99 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(d) Said board shall waive the payment of tuition fees at the Connecticut State University system (1) for any dependent child of a person whom the armed forces of the United States has declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in such armed forces after January 1, 1960, which child has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time [he] such child is accepted for admission to such institution, (2) for any veteran having served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, as amended by section 2 of public act 99-272, or who served in either a combat or combat support role in the invasion of Grenada, October 25, 1983, to December 15, 1983, the invasion of Panama, December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990, or the peace-keeping mission in Lebanon, September 29, 1982, to March 30, 1984, who has been accepted for admission to such institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time [he] such veteran is accepted for admission to such institution, (3) for any resident of Connecticut sixty-two years of age or older who has been accepted for admission to such institution, provided such person is enrolled in a degree-granting program or, provided, at the end of the regular registration period, there are enrolled in the course a sufficient number of students other than those persons eligible for waivers pursuant to this subdivision to offer the course in which such person intends to enroll and there is space available in such course after accommodating all such students, (4) for any student attending the Connecticut Police Academy who is enrolled in a law enforcement program at said academy offered in coordination with the university which accredits courses taken in such program, (5) for any active member of the Connecticut Army or Air National Guard who (A) is a resident of Connecticut, (B) has been certified by the Adjutant General or [his] such Adjutant General's designee as a member in good standing of the guard, and (C) is enrolled or accepted for admission to such institution on a full-time or part-time basis in an undergraduate degree-granting program, and (6) for any dependent child of a (A) police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, [or] (B) fire fighter, as defined in section 7-323j, (C) municipal employee or (D) state employee, as defined in section 5-154, as amended by section 51 of public act 99-241, killed in the line of duty. If any person who receives a tuition waiver in accordance with the provisions of this subsection also receives educational reimbursement from an employer, such waiver shall be reduced by the amount of such educational reimbursement. Veterans described in subdivision (2) of this subsection and members of the National Guard described in subdivision (5) of this subsection shall be given the same status as students not receiving tuition waivers in registering for courses at Connecticut state universities.

Sec. 12. Subsection (e) of section 10a-105 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(e) Said board of trustees shall waive the payment of tuition fees at The University of Connecticut (1) for any dependent child of a person whom the armed forces of the United States has declared to be missing in action or to have been a prisoner of war while serving in such armed forces after January 1, 1960, which child has been accepted for admission to The University of Connecticut and is a resident of Connecticut at the time [he] such child is accepted for admission to such institution, (2) for any veteran having served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, as amended by section 2 of public act 99-272, or who served in either a combat or combat support role in the invasion of Grenada, October 25, 1983, to December 15, 1983, the invasion of Panama, December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990, or the peace-keeping mission in Lebanon, September 29, 1982, to March 30, 1984, who has been accepted for admission to said institution and is a resident of Connecticut at the time [he] such veteran is accepted for admission to said institution, (3) for any resident of Connecticut sixty-two years of age or older who has been accepted for admission to said institution, provided such person is enrolled in a degree-granting program or, provided, at the end of the regular registration period, there are enrolled in the course a sufficient number of students other than those persons eligible for waivers pursuant to this subdivision to offer the course in which such person intends to enroll and there is space available in such course after accommodating all such students, (4) for any active member of the Connecticut Army or Air National Guard who (A) is a resident of Connecticut, (B) has been certified by the Adjutant General or [his] such Adjutant General's designee as a member in good standing of the guard, and (C) is enrolled or accepted for admission to such institution on a full-time or part-time basis in an undergraduate degree-granting program, and (5) for any dependent child of a (A) police officer, as defined in section 7-294a, [or] (B) fire fighter, as defined in section 7-323j, (C) municipal employee, or (D) state employee, as defined in section 5-154, as amended by section 51 of public act 99-241, killed in the line of duty. If any person who receives a tuition waiver in accordance with the provisions of this subsection also receives educational reimbursement from an employer, such waiver shall be reduced by the amount of such educational reimbursement. Veterans described in subdivision (2) of this subsection and members of the National Guard described in subdivision (4) of this subsection shall be given the same status as students not receiving tuition waivers in registering for courses at The University of Connecticut.

Sec. 13. This act shall take effect from its passage, except that sections 1 to 3, inclusive, and section 5 shall take effect July 1, 2000.

Approved June 1, 2000