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HB 1543 Summary

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Status: Approved by the Governor. (Bookmark links, questions)

School district discipline policies must require school administrators to report acts of violence to all teachers at the attendance center, and to other school district employees with a need to know.  A student suspended for any offense listed in 160.261 is not allowed within 1,000 feet of the school property or any activity of that district, regardless of whether or not the activity takes place on district property.  The suspended student must have permission from the superintendent or superintendent’s designee to be on school property.  Districts may discipline students for off-campus conduct that negatively affects the educational environment.  This act also expands employee immunity from correctly following discipline policies to all policies.  Current law provides that spanking, when administered by certificated personnel in a reasonable manner, is not abuse.  This act provides that the use of reasonable force to protect persons or property, when administered by school personnel in a reasonable manner, is not abuse, as long as no allegation of sexual misconduct arises and another school employee is present as a witness, in the case of spanking.

Modifies the definition of bullying used in the current mandate for antibullying policies to include cyberbullying.  The definition of cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to, multiple forms of electronic communication.   

Currently, only the St. Louis City school district may require school uniforms.  This act allows any school district to require students to wear a school uniform or restrict student dress to a particular style. 

This act exempts unqualified employees who refuse to administer medication or medical services from disciplinary action.  A school district may develop a program to train employees in CPR and other lifesaving methods.  Qualified employees are exempted from liability for administering medication or medical services, including CPR and other lifesaving methods, when done in good faith and according to standard medical practices.  Students may self-administer medication for chronic conditions.  Employees trained and supervised by the school nurse are authorized to use an epinephrine auto-syringe on a student as described in the act.  Trained employees administering a prefilled auto syringe are exempt from liability when acting in good faith and according to standard medical practices. 

  • Teacher Removal Hearings in the St. Louis City School District (168.221)

During any time in which a special administrative board governs the St. Louis City School District, the board may appoint a hearing officer to conduct a hearing to remove a permanent teacher.  The hearing officer must conduct the hearing according to the procedures outlined in chapter 536 for contested cases.  The hearing officer must issue a written recommendation to the school board.  The board must then issue a decision based on the recommendation and the record from the hearing. 

This act modifies the Career Ladder program.  This act removes the requirement that the General Assembly make an annual appropriation.  Beginning in fiscal year 2012, Career Ladder payments will only be made available to local school districts if an appropriation is made.  Any state appropriation must be made prospectively in relation to the year in which work under the program is performed.  A local school district may fund the program in years for which no state appropriation is made available.  In addition, this act removes the variable match portion of Career Ladder.  Instead, Career Ladder will be funded by sixty percent local funding and forty percent state funding. 

This act modifies the Parents as Teachers program.  If available appropriations are insufficient to fund services, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must direct funds to serve high need or low income individuals.  School districts may charge a co-pay or fee on a sliding scale, based on income and family size.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must annually submit, by October 1, to the Joint Committee on Education a report concerning the demographics of the individuals served by Parents as Teachers, including income level and whether the individuals are high need. 

  • MSIP Resource Standards (161.209)

If the formula or transportation category is not fully funded in Fiscal Years 2011, 2012, and 2013, and if funds are withheld by the Governor in the years; DESE cannot penalize a school district’s accreditation under the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) for not meeting resource standards.  

  • Drug Testing for Contractors (161.371)

Contractors or subcontractors that bid on construction projects of a public school are required to participate in a random drug and alcohol testing program. Any program must be administered by a certified laboratory and must require notification to the employer and employee of the results of any positive drug and alcohol test. The school district must be notified of the action to protect the safety of the students as a result of a positive test. The employer will pay the cost of the testing.

If the formula or transportation category is not fully funded in Fiscal Years 2011, 2012, and 2013, or funds are withheld by the Governor in the those years, the requirement for school districts to dedicate 1% of their funding to professional development and the 75% teacher fund placement requirements and expenditures for teacher salaries will be suspended. 

  • School Safety and Violence Prevention (161.650)

Deletes the statutory reference to the Children At-Risk in Education Program, 166.260, as a way to fund school violence and prevention programs.

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