0674L.01I                                                                                                                                                  D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk



To amend chapter 160, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to the persistence to graduation fund.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Section A. Chapter 160, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 160.950, to read as follows:

            160.950. 1. There is hereby created in the state treasury "The Persistence to Graduation Fund", which shall consist of money collected under this section. The state treasurer shall be custodian of the fund and may approve disbursements from the fund in accordance with sections 30.170 and 30.180, RSMo. Upon appropriation, money in the fund shall be used solely for the administration of this section. Any moneys remaining in the fund at the end of the biennium shall revert to the credit of the general revenue fund. The state treasurer shall invest moneys in the fund in the same manner as other funds are invested. Any interest and moneys earned on such investments shall be credited to the fund. The fund shall be administered by the department of elementary and secondary education.

            2. The department of elementary and secondary education shall establish a procedure whereby seven-director, urban, and metropolitan school districts may apply for grant awards from the persistence to graduation fund in order for such districts to implement drop-out prevention strategies. Successful applicants under this section shall be awarded grants for one to five consecutive years. Upon expiration of the initial grant, the district may reapply for an extension of the grant award for a period of time deemed appropriate by both the district and the department. The department of elementary and secondary education shall give preference to school districts that propose a holistic approach to drop-out prevention, directed at a broad array of students, from the prekindergarten level through early adulthood, including the following characteristics:

            (1) A collaborative approach between the school district and various community organizations, including nonprofit organizations, local governmental organizations, law enforcement agencies, "approved public institutions" and "approved private institutions" as such terms are defined in section 173.1102, RSMo, and institutions able to deliver proven, research-based intervention services;

            (2) Early intervention strategies, including family engagement, early childhood education, early literacy development, family literacy, and mental health detection and treatment;

            (3) Increased accountability measures that track at-risk students that leave the district;

            (4) The implementation or augmentation of the following basic core strategies for drop-out prevention:

            (a) Mentoring;

            (b) Tutoring;

            (c) Alternative schooling;

            (d) Career and technical education; and

            (e) Before or after school programs;

            (5) The implementation of early intervention strategies for students who display strong indicators that they will not persist to graduation.

            3. Grants awarded under this section shall be restricted to school districts that display at least one of the following criteria:

            (1) The district has not met the graduation rate indicated on its most current annual performance review;

            (2) The district is classified as unaccredited, provisionally accredited, or interim accredited by the state board of education;

            (3) The district obtained a score on its most recent annual performance review consistent with the classification of provisionally accredited or unaccredited.

            4. The department of elementary and secondary education shall promulgate rules, no later than January 15, 2010, for the implementation of this section, including:

            (1) A procedure by which funds shall be allocated to the applying school districts; and

            (2) A means to judge the effectiveness of the drop-out prevention programs of the districts that receive grants under this program.


Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, RSMo, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536, RSMo, and, if applicable, section 536.028, RSMo. This section and chapter 536, RSMo, are nonseverable and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536, RSMo, to review, to delay the effective date, or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2009, shall be invalid and void.

            5. The department of elementary and secondary education may cease award payments to any district at any time if the department determines that such funds are being misused or if the district's drop-out prevention program is deemed to be ineffectual. Any decision to discontinue payments of such funds shall be presented to the applicable district in writing at least thirty days prior to the cessation of fund payments.

            6. The department of elementary and secondary education shall report to the general assembly and to the governor, no later than January fifteenth annually:

            (1) The recipients and amounts of the grants awarded under this section; and

            (2) The persistence to graduation data from the preceding five years for each district awarded grants under this section.

            7. The general assembly shall annually appropriate an amount sufficient to properly fund the provisions of this section, which shall be a minimum of five million dollars in any fiscal year.

            8. Pursuant to section 23.253, RSMo, of the Missouri sunset act:

            (1) The provisions of the new program authorized under this section shall sunset automatically six years after the effective date of this section unless reauthorized by an act of the general assembly; and

            (2) If such program is reauthorized, the program authorized under this section shall sunset automatically twelve years after the effective date of the reauthorization of this section; and

            (3) This section shall terminate on September first of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the program authorized under this section is sunset.