PA 11-115—sHB 6325

Education Committee

Judiciary Committee

Human Services Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING JUVENILE REENTRY AND EDUCATION

SUMMARY: This act:

1. expands a student's right to re-enroll in his or her old school district after being sent to a juvenile detention center, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, or another residential placement for committing an offense for which he or she could be expelled from school;

2. requires school districts to immediately enroll or re-enroll a student transferring from either of the unified school districts (USDs) run by the departments of Correction and Children and Families (USD #1 and USD #2, respectively);

3. requires a school district to re-enroll such a student in his or her former school, if the student went to school in the district before attending school in a USD and the former school has appropriate grades for the student;

4. establishes a deadline for a new school district or charter school to notify a transfer student's previous district or charter school of a student's enrollment, and extends to USD #2 the required deadlines for a new school district or charter school to notify USD #1 of a student's transfer; and

5. requires school districts and charter schools to give students credit for instruction received in USD #2 within 30 days after receiving the student's records, as they already have to do for instruction received in USD #1.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

RE-ENROLLING IN SCHOOL AFTER RELEASE FROM JUVENILE DETENTION

Prior law barred a school district from preventing the return of, or expelling for additional time for the same offense, a student who committed an expellable offense, was sent to juvenile detention for the offense for at least a year, and seeks to return to school in the district. The act extends this prohibition to students who commit an expellable offense for which they are sent to juvenile detention for less than a year. Under the act, the school district may expel the student for the offense, and if it does so, the expulsion and detention periods must run concurrently. But, if the district does not expel the student for the offense, it must allow him or her to re-enroll in school after the detention period ends and cannot expel him or her for any additional time for that offense.

DEADLINES FOR NOTICE OF STUDENT TRANSFERS

By law, when a student enrolls in a new school district or charter school, the new district or school must send written notice of the transfer to his or her previous district or charter school. The act requires the new school district or charter school to send the notice within two business days after the student enrolls, unless the student transfers from a USD.

For a student transferring from USD #1, the law already required the new district or charter school to send the notice to USD #1 within 10 days after the student enrolls. The act applies the same 10-day deadline for notifying USD #2 of a student's transfer from that district.

BACKGROUND

School Expulsions

By law, boards of education can expel students whose conduct (1) on school grounds or at a school-sponsored activity violates a publicized board policy, is seriously disruptive of the educational process, or endangers people or property or (2) off school grounds violates board policy and is seriously disruptive of the educational process.

The law mandates an expulsion of one calendar year for students found to possess firearms or other dangerous weapons on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities, or off school grounds if they (1) have no permit to carry them or (2) use them when committing a crime. The law also requires a one-year expulsion for students who offer illegal drugs for sale on or off school grounds (CGS 10-233d(a)).

OLR Tracking: JSL: TA: PF: ro