SECTION 1 (TITLE):
This act shall be known as the Early College High School Act.
SECTION 2 (PURPOSE):
This act expands the availability of early college high school programs to allow more students to earn an associate’s degree and increase graduation rates for both high school and college.
SECTION 3 (PROVISIONS):
(a) It is the goal of STATE to offer evidence-based early college high school programs to interested students.
(b) Accordingly, within 100 days the Department is directed to produce and post publicly a plan to expand the availability of early college high schools in STATE by 25 percent over five years.
(c) The plan may include (1) expansion of existing early college high school programs; (2) creation of new early college high school programs; (3) plans to obtain and leverage federal and foundation grant funding, and use existing state grant funds or other available state resources; and (4) any other initiatives the Department identifies that would result in an efficient expansion of early college high school program offerings. The plan should target expansion of early college high school programs by at least 5% per year.
(d) The plan should detail which actions the Department can pursue on its own without additional legislative action, and, within 60 days of the plan’s publication, the Department shall commence those actions.
(e) For aspects of the plan that would require additional action by the legislature, the Department shall include in the plan specific requests and outlines of legislative action needed, including budget requests.
- (i) “Early college high school” as defined in this section means an evidence-based whole-school approach that provides students, including those traditionally underrepresented in post-secondary education, with the opportunity to access college-level courses and college degree credits in high school with the combined support of high school and college staff and resource.