The purposes of this article are as follows:
(1) To facilitate and encourage teacher collaboration by empowering schools to create alternative decision-making processes that address school and classroom improvement. The intent is to authorize reorganization or consolidation of certain school committees and teams required by state board rules, including the Strategic Planning Committee, the Technology Team and the School Support Team; and
(2) To recognize that schools in this state differ greatly in enrollment, grade configuration, demographics and student needs and to provide teachers and principals with flexibility to determine the types of committees and teams that are needed to move the school forward.
(a) Request for reorganization. -- A school may submit an application to the state board to create collaborative teams that replace, or to augment its existing collaborative teams by replacing, any or all of the following school-level committees required by state board rule: The Strategic Planning Committee, the Technology Team and the School Support Team. Reorganization under this article may not replace the Local School Improvement Council, the School Curriculum Team, the Student Assistance Team or the Faculty Senate. Reorganization under this article does not supercede the authorization of the faculty senate with approval of the principal to form a collaborative team as an alternative to the school curriculum team pursuant to section six, article five-a of this chapter.
(b) Contents of application. –- The application shall include:
(1) A description of the collaborative teams, which shall address all of the following:
(A) An emphasis on teacher collaboration and leadership;
(B) School and classroom effectiveness;
(C) Involvement and support of stakeholders; and
(D) A coherent learner-focused improvement plan;
(2) A list of the school-level committees that will be replaced by the collaborative teams, an explanation of how the existing membership of the committees replaced will have representation in the reorganization, and how the roles, responsibilities and tasks of the committees replaced will be instituted in the reorganization;
(3) Evidence that the employees and stakeholders who are involved in restructured collaborative teams have, or will enter into, a process of professional learning that develops the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance learner-focused collaboration; and
(4) Evidence that employees and stakeholders have researched viable improvement structures and processes and have proposed an effective structure that addresses the particular needs of the school, its students and employees.
(c) Local-level approval. –- Before submitting the waiver application to the state board, a school shall take the following steps:
(1) Present to the faculty senate a detailed explanation of the proposed structure, roles and responsibilities addressed by the reorganization plan;
(2) Provide for the chair of the faculty senate to conduct a vote by secret ballot on the issues addressed in the reorganization plan;
(3) Obtain a favorable vote for the reorganization plan from at least eighty percent of the faculty senate members present and voting after a quorum is established;
(4) Present to the local school improvement council a detailed explanation of the proposed structure, roles and responsibilities addressed by the reorganization plan;
(5) If the faculty senate vote is favorable and if it meets the percentage threshold established in subdivision (3) of this subsection, within one week of the vote taken by the faculty senate, provide for the chair of the council to conduct a vote on the issues addressed in the reorganization;
(6) Obtain a favorable vote for the reorganization plan from at least eighty percent of the local school improvement council members present and voting after a quorum is established; and
(7) Obtain approval for the reorganization plan from the county superintendent and the county board.
(d) State board approval. -- After meeting the requirements of subsection (c) of this section, the school shall submit its application to the state board. After review of the waiver application, the state board may approve the waiver of rules requiring the Strategic Planning Committee, the Technology Team or the School Support Team. After the state board has reviewed and approved a school's reorganization plan, the school may institute the plan as presented in its application.
By October 1, 2010, the state board shall promulgate a legislative rule in accordance with article three-b, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this article. The rule shall include a process for schools to appeal to the state board for approval of an application under this article for which approval has been denied by the county superintendent or county board, or both.