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H.R. 1435 (114th): Supportive School Climate Act of 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Mar 18, 2015.

Supportive School Climate Act of 2015

Amends the school improvement program under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to require each state that wants to use a part A grant to provide students with positive behavioral interventions and support to submit a plan to the Secretary of Education that describes specified steps it will take to: (1) create a positive school climate for all students, (2) improve engagement for disconnected youths, (3) create disciplinary policies that are fair and work to keep students in school, and (4) enable those who are removed from school to resume their education upon returning to school.

Requires each school receiving school improvement funds to provide parents with the number of incidents, disaggregated by specified student subgroups, of school violence, bullying, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and certain disciplinary actions involving its students.

Requires the school improvement plan of each local educational agency (LEA) to describe how the LEA will support positive behavior interventions and supports by: (1) establishing parental notification requirements for specified disciplinary actions that remove students from instruction, (2) establishing systems to engage families and community members with the school in meaningful and sustained ways, and (3) establishing best practices for a school conduct and discipline code that:

protects students and staff from harm; provides students with constructive opportunities to learn from their mistakes without being excluded from school; fosters a positive learning community by providing a continuum of interventions, supports, and strategies within a tiered prevention framework; keeps students in school; and shows mindful consideration of the negative impacts that may result from a student's involvement with the criminal justice system. Amends part D (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk) of title I of the ESEA to require states applying for part D grants to establish:

procedures to ensure that students who have been placed in the juvenile justice system are promptly re-enrolled in secondary school or placed in the re-entry programs that best meet their educational and social needs, procedures to facilitate the transfer of the credits that such students earn during placement, and opportunities for such students to participate in postsecondary and career pathways. Requires LEAs receiving part D subgrants to describe the activities they will undertake to facilitate the transition of youths from the juvenile justice system into their schools or, as appropriate, into postsecondary and career and technical education programs.

Requires correctional facilities receiving part D funds to: (1) develop an initial educational services transition plan for entering youths, and (2) consult with LEAs upon a youth's discharge to coordinate educational services so as to minimize disruption to the youth's achievement.

Requires the Secretary, under part A (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities) of title IV of the ESEA, to provide to states, LEAs, and other recipients of part A funding technical assistance for activities that may include developing comprehensive, evidence-based professional development and training programs for relevant school staff and contractors to improve school safety and climate for students and staff.