Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 1103

    January Session, 2011

 

*_____SB01103ED____032811____*

AN ACT CONCERNING EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.

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

Section 1. Section 10-16y of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2011):

[There shall be an Office of Early Childhood Planning, Outreach and Coordination within the Department of Education. The office shall be responsible for:

(1) Planning, developing and coordinating with other agencies the delivery of services to children birth to nine years of age, inclusive;

(2) Coordinating the enhancement and implementation of the Early Childhood Information System, in consultation with the Early Childhood Education Cabinet established pursuant to section 10-16z, with the capability of tracking: (A) The health, safety and school readiness of all children receiving early care and education from any local or regional board of education or any program receiving public funding, in a manner similar to the system described in section 10-10a; (B) the characteristics of the existing and potential workforce serving such children in any local or regional school district or in a program receiving any public funding; and (C) the characteristics of the programs in which such children are served. The Department of Education shall be responsible for assigning unique identifiers to all such children and staff and programs tracked by the Early Childhood Information System. Any local or regional board of education, school readiness program, as defined in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of section 10-16p receiving any public funding, or any child day care center described in subdivision (1) of section 19a-77 and licensed by the Department of Public Health, including any participating in a program administered by the Department of Social Services pursuant to chapter 319rr, shall ensure that all children and all staff in such center or program are entered into the Early Childhood Information System.

(3) Developing and reporting on an early childhood accountability plan, in consultation with the Early Childhood Education Cabinet;

(4) Implementing a communications strategy for outreach to families, service providers and policymakers;

(5) Beginning a state-wide longitudinal evaluation of the school readiness program, not later than January 1, 2010, in consultation with the Department of Social Services, that examines the educational progress of children from prekindergarten programs to grade four, inclusive, including a study of the reliability and validity of the kindergarten assessment tool developed pursuant to subsection (h) of section 10-14n; and

(6) Developing, coordinating and supporting public and private partnerships to aid early childhood initiatives.]

Not later than September 1, 2011, the Department of Education, in consultation with the Department of Social Services, shall begin, within available appropriations, a state-wide longitudinal evaluation of the school readiness program that examines the educational progress of children from prekindergarten programs to grade four, inclusive, including a study of the reliability and validity of the kindergarten assessment tool developed pursuant to subsection (h) of section 10-14n.

Sec. 2. Section 10-16z of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2011):

(a) There is established the Early Childhood Education Cabinet. The cabinet shall consist of: (1) The Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee, (2) one representative from the Department of Education who is responsible for programs required under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC 1400 et seq., as amended from time to time, appointed by the Commissioner of Education, (3) the Commissioner of Social Services, or the commissioner's designee, (4) a representative from an institution of higher education in this state appointed by the Commissioner of Higher Education, (5) the Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner's designee, (6) the Commissioner of Developmental Services, or the commissioner's designee, (7) the Commissioner of [Mental Health and Addiction Services] Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee, (8) the executive director of the Commission on Children, or the executive director's designee, (9) the project director of the Connecticut Head Start State Collaboration Office, (10) a [representative from a Head Start program] parent or guardian of a child who attends or attended a school readiness program appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, (11) a representative of a local provider of early childhood education appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, (12) two appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom is a member of the House of Representatives and one of whom is a parent who has a child attending a school in a priority school district, (13) two appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one of whom is a member of the Senate and one of whom is a representative of a public elementary school with a prekindergarten program, (14) two appointed by the Governor, one of whom is a representative of the Connecticut Head Start Association and one of whom is a representative of the business or philanthropic community in this state, [appointed by the Governor,] and (15) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee. The chairperson of the council shall be appointed from among its members by the Governor.

(b) Within available appropriations and such private funding as may be available, the Early Childhood Education Cabinet shall (1) coordinate among state agencies, as well as public and private partnerships, the development of services that enhance the health, safety and learning of children from birth to nine years of age, inclusive, (2) not later than December 1, 2009, and annually thereafter, develop an annual plan of action that assigns the appropriate state agency to complete the tasks specified in the federal Head Start Act of 2007, P.L. 110-134, as amended from time to time, (3) develop and implement an early childhood information system with the capability of tracking: (A) The health, safety and school readiness of all children receiving early care and education from any local or regional board of education or any program receiving public funding, in a manner similar to the system described in section 10-10a, and (B) the characteristics of the programs in which such children are served, (4) implement a communications strategy for outreach to families, service providers and policymakers, and [(3)] (5) not later than March 1, 2010, and annually thereafter, submit an annual state-wide strategic report, pursuant to said federal Head Start Act, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, addressing the progress such agencies have made toward the completion of such tasks outlined under said federal Head Start Act and this subsection to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education and human services.

(c) The Early Childhood Education Cabinet shall be within the Department of Education for administrative purposes only.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2011

10-16y

Sec. 2

July 1, 2011

10-16z

ED

Joint Favorable Subst.