By Hochberg H.B. No. 756 Line and page numbers may not match official copy. Bill not drafted by TLC or Senate E&E. A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to a pilot project to study electronic courses for public 1-3 school students. 1-4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-5 SECTION 1. Chapter 28, Education Code, is amended by adding 1-6 Section 28.027 to read as follows: 1-7 Sec. 28.027. PILOT PROJECT ON ELECTRONIC COURSES. (a) In 1-8 this section, "electronic course" means a course: 1-9 (1) made available to students through the Internet or 1-10 through electronic media; and 1-11 (2) in which a student is not physically present in 1-12 the classroom for all or part of the course. 1-13 (b) The commissioner shall create a pilot project to study 1-14 issues related to the security, viability, costs, and benefits of 1-15 state funding of electronic courses offered by school districts to 1-16 Texas public school students who are voluntarily enrolled in the 1-17 courses. 1-18 (c) A school district may apply to the commissioner to be 1-19 accepted in the pilot project by a deadline, set by the 1-20 commissioner, which shall be no later than January 1, 2002. In its 1-21 application, the district: 1-22 (1) may request a waiver of a requirement, 2-1 restriction, or prohibition imposed by this code or rule of the 2-2 board or commissioner; and 2-3 (2) shall provide a detailed plan, including a budget, 2-4 student attendance verification methodology, accountability plan, 2-5 descriptions of populations of Texas public school students to be 2-6 served, length of time of the effectiveness of the waiver, and 2-7 descriptions of the course or courses to be offered. 2-8 (d) The commissioner shall implement the pilot project no 2-9 later than May 1, 2002. To allow maximum flexibility in funding 2-10 attendance, the commissioner may waive a requirement, restriction, 2-11 or prohibition relating to the calculation of daily attendance that 2-12 would prevent the implementation of the pilot. 2-13 (e) The commissioner may limit the number of districts 2-14 participating in the pilot, but shall include rural and urban 2-15 school districts with disproportionate numbers of at-risk youths or 2-16 with high dropout rates. 2-17 (f) The commissioner may consult the comptroller, Department 2-18 of Information Resources, or other state agency, board, or 2-19 commission for assistance regarding technical standards for 2-20 auditing and verifying attendance in the electronic courses. 2-21 (g) The commissioner shall report to the Legislature, no 2-22 later than December 1, 2002, on issues including: 2-23 (1) methods for funding electronic courses and the 2-24 fiscal costs or benefits of such methods; 2-25 (2) the laws or rules waived for districts 2-26 participating in the electronic courses pilot project and the laws 3-1 and rules requested to be waived by any district applying; 3-2 (3) methods for verifying electronic attendance, such 3-3 as biometric attendance; 3-4 (4) security of providing electronic courses and any 3-5 privacy issues encountered; and 3-6 (5) educational benefits of the electronic courses. 3-7 (h) Subsection (g) shall expire December 31, 2002. 3-8 SECTION 2. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives 3-9 a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as 3-10 provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this 3-11 Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this 3-12 Act takes effect September 1, 2001.