WSR 97-16-071

PROPOSED RULES

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

[Filed August 4, 1997, 10:47 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-09-032.

Title of Rule: Remote and necessary small school plants, chapter 180-24 WAC.

Purpose: Further clarify policies and procedures for the designation of small school plants as remote and necessary.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Section 501 (1)(e), chapter 6, Laws of 1994 1st sp. sess., WAC 180-24-400 through 180-24-415.

Summary: Establish further guidelines, policies, and procedures to base decisions of granting designation of small school plants as remote and necessary.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Larry Davis, State Board of Education, Olympia, (360) 753-6715.

Name of Proponent: State Board of Education, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The purpose of this rule is to further establish policies and procedures to govern the classification of small school plants as remote and necessary and to further define criteria for such designation.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: To further identify more objective criteria for granting remote and necessary status for small school plants.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Not applicable.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. Not applicable.

Hearing Location: Educational Service District 105, 33 South 2nd Avenue, Yakima, WA 98902, on September 24, 1997, at 1:30 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Patty Martin by September 10, 1997, TDD (360) 664-3631, or (360) 753-6715.

Submit Written Comments to: Rules Coordinator, State Board of Education, P.O. Box 47206, Olympia, WA 98504-7206, FAX (360) 586-2357, by September 22, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: September 26, 1997.

July 31, 1997

Larry Davis

Executive Director

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 95-20-055, filed 10/2/95, effective 11/2/95)

WAC 180-24-410 Remote and necessary small school plants--Criteria. (1) Decisions of the state board of education on granting remote and necessary status to small school plants within school districts shall be based on a finding that granting remote and necessary status is necessary to assure reasonable provision of a basic education program to students, including related services, equipment, materials and supplies.

(2) In making the finding under subsection (1) of this section, the state board of education shall consider, including but not limited to, the factors ((including but not limited to the following:

(a) Existence of an intact, permanent community which is defined as a geographically site-specific, nonmobile group of people;

(b))) under (a) through (g) of this subsection. No single factor or combination of factors necessarily warrants granting or denying remote and necessary status. However, it shall be the policy of the state board of education to favor those requests which, in the board's judgment, meet the provisions of this section. "Favor" does not mean that the listed factors are necessarily exclusive. Additional factors and considerations may be included in a particular request. If there is a factual situation that falls outside the scope of all or a portion of the listed factors, the state board may consider the facts and reasons the additional factors or considerations support the request.

(a) The student population to be served((;

(c) Resources required to meet student needs, including but not limited to staffing, specialized personnel, and technology;)) at the small school site, must meet the small school funding formula for remote and necessary school plants as provided in the Operating Appropriations Act. The grade span served at the small school site shall include at least kindergarten through fifth grade.

(b) Existence of an intact, permanent community which is defined as a geographically site-specific, nonmobile group of people. This factor must be met.

(c) Transportation: Travel time to another school in the district, or school in another district, is not less than sixty minutes one way.

(d) Transportation((, including)): Student safety from a small school site in the school district to another school in the district, or school in another district, may be at risk due to the condition of roads or waterways, seasonal weather conditions, or topography((, distance and travel time to another school in the district or in another district, and student safety related to transportation;)).

(e) ((Operational efficiency, including but not limited to:

(i) Adequacy and availability of facilities in the community, the district, or in the next nearest district or districts;

(ii) Adequacy and)) Operational efficiency: Nonavailability of ((other)) age appropriate grade level or cooperative programs in ((adjacent)) other school facilities in the district, or in the next nearest district or districts, ((or through the educational service district; and)) or other educational organizations approved or recognized by the state board of education or the superintendent of public instruction.

(((f) A safe and healthful environment for students.))

(3) At its discretion, the state board of education may use as guidance the applicable provisions of WAC 180-24-013, 180-24-016, and 180-24-017.

[Statutory Authority: 1994 sp.s. c 6 502(i)(e). 95-20-055, 180-24-410, filed 10/2/95, effective 11/2/95.]

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 95-20-055, filed 10/2/95, effective 11/2/95)

WAC 180-24-415 Remote and necessary small school plants--Review committee. (1) There is hereby established by the state board of education a remote and necessary review committee comprised of at least the following five members:

(a) One member of the state board of education selected by the president of the board;

(b) Two staff members from the office of the superintendent of public instruction, one who is knowledgeable about finance issues and one who is knowledgeable about curriculum issues, both selected by the state superintendent;

(c) One school director selected by the Washington State School Directors' Association;

(d) One school district administrator selected by the Washington Association of School Administrators;

(2) Vacancies on the review committee shall be filled by the person or organization responsible for appointments.

(((2))) (3) At the state board of education's discretion, other members may be added to the review committee.

(4) It is the responsibility of the review committee to receive and review all applications from school districts requesting the state board of education to grant remote and necessary status to a small school plant located in the district. Following the review of applications, the review committee shall recommend to the state board whether such designation should be granted. Recommendations of the review committee shall be advisory only. The final determination rests solely with the state board of education.

(((3))) (5) Every small school plant with remote and necessary status beginning 1996, shall be reviewed every four years by the review committee and the state board. The review committee shall submit its findings and recommendations to the state board. The review committee may conduct the review on-site, with the number of members participating determined by the committee, or may conduct the review by other means as determined by the committee and with state board approval. The state board shall provide to the fiscal committees of the legislature in January of odd-numbered years a list of remote and necessary small school plants. ((The first report shall be provided in January 1997. All currently designated remote and necessary small school plants shall be reviewed prior to January 1997.

(4))) (6) A small school plant shall lose its remote and necessary status if the number of students exceeds the enrollment requirements set forth in the state Operating Appropriations Act for three consecutive years. The loss of remote and necessary status shall take effect the immediate ensuing school year. If a small school site should lose its remote and necessary status, the local serving school district may continue to maintain and operate the school site. When the enrollment of such small school plant again meets the requirements of the state Operating Appropriations Act, the school district may apply to the state board of education for redesignation as a remote and necessary plant. The small school site's annual average full-time equivalent enrollment, pursuant to the Operating Appropriations Act requirements, shall be met for one full year prior to reapplication.

[Statutory Authority: 1994 sp.s. c 6 502(i)(e). 95-20-055, 180-24-415, filed 10/2/95, effective 11/2/95.]

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