A.1. Beginning with the first semester of the 1996-1997 school year, the State Board of Education shall implement a statewide system of alternative education programs which shall be phased-in within seven (7) years. The statewide system shall include but not be limited to Alternative Approaches grant programs, funded pursuant to Section 1210.561 of this title, and alternative academies or alternative programs implemented pursuant to this section.
2. Beginning with the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year, the State Board of Education shall implement a statewide system of alternative education. The statewide system shall include alternative education programs implemented pursuant to this section.
B. All school districts of this state serving students in grades seven through twelve shall provide alternative education programs that conform to the requirements of statutes and rules applicable to alternative education. A program shall:
1. Allow class sizes and student/teacher ratios which are conducive to effective learning for at-risk students;
2. Incorporate appropriate structure, curriculum, and interaction and reinforcement strategies designed to provide effective instruction;
3. Include an intake and screening process to determine eligibility of students;
4. Demonstrate that teaching faculty are appropriately certified teachers;
5. Demonstrate that teaching faculty have been selected on the basis of a record of successful work with at-risk students or personal and educational factors that qualify them for work with at-risk students;
6. Reflect appropriate collaborative efforts with state agencies and local agencies serving youth;
7. Provide courses that meet the academic curricula standards adopted by the State Board of Education and additional remedial courses;
8. Offer individualized instruction;
9. State clear and measurable program goals and objectives;
10. Include counseling and social services components;
11. Require a plan leading to graduation be developed for each student in the program which will allow the student to participate in graduation exercises at the sending school or district after meeting the requirements of the school district as specified in the individual graduation plan for that student; provided, the graduation plan required by this paragraph shall not be separate from the plan required by Section 1210.508-4 of this title;
12. Offer life skills instruction;
13. Provide opportunities for hands-on arts education to students, including artist residency programs coordinated with the Oklahoma Arts Council;
14. Provide a proposed annual budget;
15. Be appropriately designed to serve middle school, junior high school and high school students in grades seven through twelve who are most at risk of not completing a high school education for a reason other than that identified in Section 13-101 of this title; and
16. Allow students in the alternative education program, who otherwise meet all of the participation requirements, to participate in vocational programs and extracurricular activities at the sending school or district, including but not limited to athletics, band, and clubs.
C. The alternative education program of a school district shall be operational and serving students by September 1 of each school year.
D.1. Each alternative education program of a school district shall receive funding based on the average daily membership (ADM) of students served by an alternative education program in the prior school year according to the annual statistical report conducted by the State Department of Education. The per-student funding amount shall be based on the funding available for the program each fiscal year.
2. Of the funding available for alternative education programs each fiscal year, the State Department of Education shall designate up to fifteen percent (15%) for districts participating in cooperative agreements for alternative education services, which shall be allocated on a pro rata basis as an incentive to each participating district. The incentive amount received by each district for participating in a cooperative agreement shall not exceed Six Thousand Dollars ($6,000.00) per fiscal year and shall be in addition to the per-student funding amount required by paragraph 1 of this subsection. Any funds remaining after allocations required by this paragraph are made shall be distributed to districts in accordance with paragraph 1 of this subsection.
3. Statewide alternative education funding shall not be used to supplant existing school district resources or to support programs that do not meet all the criteria for the statewide alternative education system.
E. All statewide alternative education funds received and expended for students participating in an alternative education program shall be reported to the State Department of Education by major object codes and by program classifications pursuant to the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System as adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to Section 5-135 of this title.
F. Elementary school districts, as defined in Section 5-103 of this title, may request a waiver by May 15 of each year from the State Board of Education from the requirements of this section to implement and provide an alternative education program. Any request for a waiver shall be accompanied by an assurance that the school district does not have students in need of alternative education services. If a school district is granted a waiver, no statewide alternative education funding shall be allocated to the district.
G.1. The State Board of Education shall:
a. provide initial and ongoing training of personnel who will educate at-risk populations through alternative education programs,
b. provide technical assistance to school districts to enhance the probability of success of their alternative education programs,
c. evaluate state-funded alternative education programs,
d. report the evaluation results of state-funded alternative education programs, and
e. provide in-depth program analysis and evaluation of state-funded alternative education programs.
2. The State Board of Education may create an evaluation schedule for effective and highly effective programs, requiring them to be evaluated not less than once every three (3) years.
3. The State Board of Education may contract with a technical assistance provider in order to meet the requirements of this subsection.
4. The State Board of Education shall have the authority to suspend funds for an alternative education program that does not meet the requirements of subsection B of this section. Provided, any school district under consideration for suspension of funds may request a hearing before the Board with a review of the evaluation prior to the Board's final determination.
H. All alternative education programs shall be subject to statutes and rules applicable to alternative education, including any exemptions from statutory or regulatory requirements authorized by statutes or rule.
I. An alternative education program may be offered by an individual school district or may be offered jointly by school districts that have formed interlocal cooperative agreements pursuant to Section 5-117b of this title. Any school district submitting a plan for an alternative education program serving fewer than ten students shall enter into a cooperative agreement with another school district to jointly provide the program unless the program has been granted a waiver from this requirement by the State Board of Education. A school district participating in a cooperative agreement shall be required to send its alternative education funding allocation to the cooperative.
J. Any materials or equipment purchased by a school district with revenue received for students participating in an alternative education program shall be used only in or directly for the alternative education program offered by the district or any subsequent alternative education program offered to students enrolled in that district. Such materials and equipment shall be made available exclusively to alternative education students during the hours that the alternative education program is operating; provided, the material or equipment may be used for other purposes when the alternative education program is not operating.