Education Bills Passed in the 2016 “Regular” Session of the Louisiana Legislature

LAP Members,

I hope the information provided in this posting is helpful.

Thanks to Mr. Frank Pasqua and Mr. Hennessy Melancon for forwarding this information to me.

Ken Friedlander
Legislative Advocate

Education Bills Passed in the 2016 “Regular” Session of the Louisiana Legislature

Frank Pasqua, Director of Child Welfare and Attendance
Lafourche Parish School Board

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks during the opening of the 2016 Regular Session

The 2016 Regular Legislative Session

Convened at noon on Monday, March 14, 2016
Final adjournment was at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, June 6, 2016

The effective date of Acts passed this session is August 1, 2016 unless the bill otherwise specifically provides, such as, upon the Governor’s signature.

The following is a summary of: “Education Bills Passed in the 2016 Regular Legislative Session”

To print a COPY of any of the Bills/Acts listed, please visit the website of the Louisiana State Legislature at

Gov. John Bel Edwards has called for a special session that began on June 6, 2016
after the regular session ended to deal with an expected $600 million revenue shortfall.
Because revenues could not be raised in the “regular” session, new taxes or reductions
in existing tax incentives will have to be dealt with in this 2nd Extraordinary Session.


“Legislation That May Be of Interest to CWA Personnel & Administrators”:

ACT 522 SB 317 – Donahue - STUDENTS: Establishes an Advisory Council on Student Behavior and Discipline. Addresses certain use of seclusion and physical restraint of students with exceptionalities. It requires BESE to adopt rules establishing guidelines and procedures for School Boards to follow regarding the reporting of incidents of seclusion and restraint, Requires each school board’s adopted guidelines and procedures be posted on school and School Board websites after submitting them to the DOE. Provides for related matters. (gov. sig)

ACT 364 HB 712 – Jackson - CHILDREN/EXCEPTIONAL: Provides relative to assignment of students with exceptionalities, except gifted or talented students, to schools requested by their parents provided all of certain conditions are met including recommendation of at least two licensed physicians. This Act shall be known as “Aeden’s Law”. (8/1/16)

ACT 523 SB 353 --- Bishop - SCHOOLS: Establishes the Louisiana Expectant and Parenting Students Act to recognize Federal Title IX obligations. It requires School Boards to adopt policies that support expectant and parenting students. Such policy is to be posted on the school or school’s governing authority’s website. It further requires the Dept. of Education to report to the Legislature before the 2017 Regular Session a summary of data on graduation rates for students who are expecting and parenting and recommendations for legislation. It specifies that no personal identifiable student information shall be reported. (8/1/16)

ACT 480 SB 270 – Boudreaux - STUDENTS: Provides that a local public school system and a Type 2 charter school that enrolls students who reside within the geographic boundaries of such system shall enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to exchange information necessary
to verify student enrollment and residency status. Requires the system and school to keep this information confidential and to use it only for the purpose of verifying student enrollment and residency. Requires that the MOU comply with all applicable state and federal present law, including F.E.R.P.A. Applies penalty to any person who knowingly and willfully fails to maintain the confidentiality of the information exchanged. (gov. sig)

ACT 303 SB 335 – Claitor - STUDENTS: Prohibits public schools, including charter
schools, from requiring the parent or legal guardian of a student to disclose medical information or special education needs prior to enrolling the student, unless otherwise specifically required by law. Provides for the submission of petitions to determine eligibility for a high school diploma by certain students with exceptionalities who are no longer enrolled in public school who were denied graduation solely for failing exit exams requirements. To provide for procedures, guidelines, and rules relative to such petitions. Provides for reporting requirements; and related matters.
Effective upon signature of the governor (June 2, 2016).

ACT 482 SB 275 – Mizell - CURRICULA: Requires cursive writing be taught in
all public schools, including charter schools. Requires schools to ensure that such instruction is introduced by the third grade and incorporated into the curriculum in grades 4 through 12. Effective on July 1, 2017.

ACT 624 HB 401 – Reynolds - CURRICULA: Requires, rather than authorizes, public elementary or secondary schools to offer instruction in personal financial management; Was optional previously. (Changes “may” offer to “shall” offer). (8/1/16)

ACT 149 HB 868 – Hunter - ATHLETICS/TRAINERS: Authorizes the governing authority of each public school to require (school boards may require) that at least one member of the coaching staff of each extracurricular sport offered by the school be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), first aid, and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). This Act shall be known as the "Cole Tracey Act". (8/1/16)

ACT 18 SB 174 – Donahue - TOPS: Retains the requirement that a student have a minimum ACT score equal to or greater than the state average, rounded off to a whole number, but never less than 20.
Provides that, beginning with the 2017-2018 award year:
(1) The amount awarded by the state to a student who is the recipient of any TOPS award, shall be equal to the award amount established for each respective award at the postsecondary institution in which the student is enrolled for the 2016-2017 award year. (2) The legislature may, by law, increase the amount awarded in any given award year. (3) Any increase in award amounts shall be established as the minimum amount to be awarded. (4) The amount awarded shall not be less than the amount paid for the previous award year, (5) Retains payment of the supplemental amounts established in prior law for a recipient of a Performance or Honors award. (gov. sig- May 9, 2016))

ACT 503 SB 470 – Morrish - TOPS: Provides relative to reduction of TOPS award amounts in the event of insufficient funding. Instead of providing for the elimination of students, it requires the reduction of award amounts on a pro rata basis (divided proportionally); Provides that a student whose award is reduced shall not be required to accept payment of his award or to enroll or maintain continuous enrollment in an eligible college during the time period for which there is a funding shortfall and may defer acceptance of his award benefits. Provides that upon the deferment, the student shall:
(1) Be eligible, upon enrollment or re-enrollment, to receive all applicable award benefits for any remaining semester or semesters of his unused eligibility. (2) Meet all academic and other eligibility requirements. (3) Exhaust all unused award eligibility within five years of his initial reduction This law does not apply to students receiving TOPS-Tech Early Start Awards. (gov. sig)

ACT 388 SB 329 – Claitor - TOPS: Increases the minimum GPA required for the Performance and Honors Awards. Provides that a student, who graduates during or after the 2020-2021 school year, retains the 2.50 GPA requirement for the Opportunity Award, but requires a minimum GPA of 3.25 for a Performance Award and 3.50 for an Honors Award instead of a 3.0 for each. (gov. sig – June 5, 2016)

ACT 539 HB 19 – Dwight - CRIME: Prohibits use of an “unmanned aircraft system” to conduct surveillance or gather evidence or photographically or electronically record over correctional facilities or a school and school premises as defined by La. R. S. 14:40.6 (B). Adds penalties for first offense and subsequent offenses. (8/1/16)

ACT 234 HB 97 – Smith - CHILDREN/ABUSE: Requires that each public school, including charter schools, post on its website the number for the child
protection toll-free hotline operated by the Dept. of Children and Family Services to receive reports of child abuse and neglect.
To report child abuse and neglect, call the DCFS Child Protection hotline at 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437) toll free 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (8/1/16)

ACT 302 SB 326 – Claitor - CRIME/PUNISHMENT: Adds starvation and malnutrition to the definition of “serious bodily injury” relative to the reporting of child abuse, and provision of certain information to the legislature by the Department of Children and Family Services. (8/1/16)

ACT 337 SB 102 – Smith - WEAPONS: Adds that in a firearm-free zone the possession of firearms is prohibited, within 1,000 feet except as specifically set forth in a list of about a dozen exceptions, such as, a military base or a law enforcement officer etc. Signs indicating that such area is a firearm-free zone are to provide notice that armed law enforcement officers are permitted within the firearm-free zone by including in the signs or other markings the language "Law Enforcement Weapons Permitted" or language substantially similar thereto. (8/1/16).

ACT 425 HB 123 – Pierre – SCHOOLS: Provides that each high school have an automated external defibrillator (AED) on its premises if funding is available and shall have the authority to accept donations of AEDs or funds to acquire AEDs. Notification of the Department of Health and Hospitals is no longer required when an AED is acquired; however, a local provider of emergency medical services shall still be notified of the acquisition, location, and type of AED. The requirement for each high school to have an AED on its premises shall become operative and enforceable on Jan. 1, 2018. Note: An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. (8/1/18)

ACT 498 SB 262 – Morrish - EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY: Provides that for the 2016-2017 school year BESE shall collect assessment data but shall not require use of the results for evaluating teacher performance or making placement decisions for fourth and eighth grade students. Additionally, it continues the requirement that the distribution of school and district letter grades shall not vary from that in the 2012-2013 school year, unless the school or district has improved in its performance. (gov. sig)

ACT 130 HB 217 – Hoffmann - TEACHERS/CERTIFICATION: Provides a list of criteria that a person must meet to be granted an educational leadership certificate by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) indicating eligibility for employment as a supervisor, director, or coordinator of special education for a public school system. (8/1/16).

ACT 466 HB 1156 – Landry - TEACHERS/SALARY: Creates an exception to the prohibition of reduction in amount of annual salary provisions to allow for reduction of pay when related to the elimination, discontinuance, or reorganization of the position which employee is assigned. The employee‘s salary cannot be reduced for that academic year, but after that year it may be. (8/1/16)

ACT 504 SB 477 – Boudreaux - TEACHERS: It “reduces” the emphasis on the Value Added Model in teacher and administrators evaluations from 50% to 35%. The remaining 15% will consider other measures of student growth, such as student learning targets. The VAM formula only applies to the one-third of Louisiana teachers whose students take high-stakes tests. (gov. sig)


“Other Education Legislation”

ACT 336 SB 100 – Smith - DRIVER EDUCATION: Provides for adding trailer safety to driver education courses. (8/1/16)

ACT 80 HB 107 – Willmott - LEGISLATION: Made technical amendment in statues relative to the Safe Haven Law and raises age of infant to be relinquished to the state in safety and anonymity without fear of prosecution to sixty days old from thirty days old to conform with
Ch. C. Art. 1149. (8/1/16)

ACT 672 HB 887 – Carter - SCHOOLS: Creates a pilot, independent , residential, public school in Baton Rouge for certain at-risk students in grades six through twelve called the “ Thrive Academy”. Effective July 1, 2017.

ACT 128 HB 147 – Pierre - SCHOOLS: Requires each high school in any parish with a population of more than 200,000 and less than 225,000 (Lafayette) to keep an automated external defibrillator on its premises relative to funding availability and subject to appropriations. (8/1/16)

ACT 454 HB 964 – Smith - SCHOOLS/EMPLOYEES: Adds to the definition of an “unlicensed diabetes care assistant” to also mean an employee of an entity that contracts with the school or school system to provide school nurses. (8/1/16)

ACT 164 SB 68 -- Walsworth - LEGISLATIVE AGENCIES: Provides relative to the Legislative Youth Advisory Council. (gov. sig)

ACT 604 HB 991 – Foil - EXCEPTIONAL PERSONS: Provides that the La. Tuition Trust Authority shall administer the ABLE account program, which supports persons with disabilities.

ACT 317 HB 1138 – Montoucet - MTR VEHICLE/DRIVER LIC: Provides for the issuance and requirement of a Class "E" temporary instructional permit for driver's education students. (8/1/16)

ACT 365 HB 758 – Pugh - MTR VEHICLE/INSPECTION: Provides an inspection fee of $20 for student transportation vehicles beginning Jan.1, 2017. The $20 fee must be distributed as follows: $14.75 remains with the inspection station operator; $4 must be transferred to the office of state police for traffic law enforcement purposes; and $1.25 must be transferred to the office of motor vehicles for motor vehicle and financial responsibility programs. Effective 1/1/17.

ACT 535 SB 379 – Martiny - TRAFFIC: Requires oncoming traffic on a two lane road with a continuous left turn lane to stop for school buses. A highway with one lane in each direction and a dedicated two-way left-turn lane shall not be considered a divided highway for purposes of school buses and other drivers shall be required to stop for the school bus on such highways. (8/1/16)

ACT 555 HB 880 – Richard - TAX/SALES-USE, LOCAL: Authorizes the Lafourche Parish School Board to levy and collect an additional sales and use tax

ACT 180 SB 457 – LeFleur - SCHOOLS: Authorizes the Avoyelles Parish School Board to levy and collect an additional sales tax, subject to voter approval. (gov. sig)

ACT 548 HB 429 – Broadwater - PUBLIC CONTRACT/BIDS: Provides with respect to the purchasing of materials, equipment, and supplies by public school districts. Changes language regarding “school district purchasing cooperative” to “agreement with one or more qualified group purchasing organizations”. Requires submission of price list which must remain in effect for not less than three months and shall be binding during the effective period of agreement. Price lists shall be public records. (8/1/16).

ACT 151 HB 899 – Leger - SCHOOLS/DISTRICTS: Provides relative to the allocation of local funds by the Orleans Parish School Board for schools transferred to the Recovery School District.

ACT 520 SB 207 – Colomb - LOCAL FINANCE: Defines “proposed budget” and “adopted budget” relative to the Louisiana Local Government Budget Act, and provides other technical amendments. (8/1/16)

ACT 226 HB 862 – Falconer - LIABILITY/CIVIL: Limits liability for damages caused by persons with developmental disabilities. (8/1/16)

ACT 500 SB 303 – Morrell - EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY: Provides for educational programs in juvenile justice facilities. (8/1/16)

ACT 81 HB 175 – Hilferty - CHILDREN/CARE: Provides for requirements for training early learning center employees on recognizing and preventing shaken baby syndrome.

ACT 411 HB 197 – Pylant - CRIME: Creates crime of failure to properly operate a child day care center.

ACT 646 HB 830 – Seabaugh - CHILDREN/CARE: Provides relative to criminal background checks for owners, employees, volunteers, and inspectors of early learning centers.

ACT 659 HB 361 – Pylant - CHILDREN/CARE: Provides penalties for persons operating early learning centers without a valid license.

ACT 473 SB 109 – Barrow - EARLY CHILDHOOD ED: Provides for confidentiality of applications and client case records for child care assistance clients. (gov. sig)

ACT 485 SB 310 – Claitor - EDUCATION DEPARTMENT: Requires the Dept. of Education to collect and report certain special education data. (8/1/16)

ACT 347 SB 355 – Cortez - SCHOOLS: For new contracts as of August 1, 2016, any person purporting to enter contracts on behalf of a school district shall do so in compliance with policies and procedures of the School Board in effect at the time the contract is executed. (8/1/16)

ACT 623 HB 369 – Bishop - REAPPORTIONMENT: Requires each local governing body to submit its redistricting plan in a specified format to the Secretary of State within 10 days. (8/1/16).

ACT 15 SB 110 – Ward - CULT/REC/TOUR DEPARTMENT: Re-creates the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. (6/30/16)

ACT 121 HB 562 – Leger - SCHOOLS/CHARTER: Allows a public school board in a district in which 50% or more of the public schools are charter schools and the district uses a single application and enrollment process for public school enrollment, to assign students to charter schools based on the preferences of the parents, the charter school's admission requirements and contract, and local school board policies. (8/1/16)

ACT 297 SB 260 – Morrish - SCHOOLS: Provides relative to local charter authorizers and Type 1B charter schools. Revises definition of a chartering authority, removing “local charter authorizers”. (gov. sig).

ACT 91 SB 432 – Peterson - SCHOOLS: Provides for return of certain RSD schools to the transferring school board. Requires the Orleans Parish superintendent of schools to work with a 13 member panel to create a plan returning schools to local control by July of 2017. If problems arise, the transfer of some schools could be delayed until no later than 2019
by either the local school board or the state education board. (gov. sig)

ACT 151 HB 899 – Leger - SCHOOLS/DISTRICTS: Provides relative to the allocation of local funds by the Orleans Parish School Board for schools transferred to the Recovery School District. (8/1/16)

ACT 306 HB 906 – Armes - HIGHER EDUCATION: Provides relative to postsecondary education services for homeless and foster youth. (8/1/16)

ACT 401 HB 940 – Gaines - HIGHER EDUCATION: Requires that student identification cards issued by public postsecondary education institutions meet certain requirements. (8/1/16)

ACT 558 HB 948 – Carter - HIGHER EDUCATION: Provides relative to facilities of public postsecondary education institutions. (8/1/16)

ACT 619 SB 446 – Hewitt - POSTSECONDARY ED: Requires the Board of Regents to conduct a comprehensive review of the postsecondary needs of the state and each of its regions. (gov. sig)

ACT 314 HB 842 – Broadwater - HIGHER ED/BD REGENTS: Provides for the consolidation of certain boards and commissions into the Board of Regents. (81/116)

ACT 511 HB 1160 – Davis - HIGHER EDUCATION: Provides relative to construction projects undertaken by nonprofit corporations that support the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. (8/1/16)

ACT 677 HB 459 – Danahay - REGISTRARS OF VOTERS: (Constitutional Amendment) Provides that the manner of appointment and qualifications of the registrar are to be provided by law.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment
Do you support an amendment to provide that the manner for the appointment for the Registrar of Voters in each parish is as provided by law and to require that the qualifications for registrar to be provided by law?

ACT 678 HB 505 – Johnson - TAX/AD VALOREM TAX: (Constitutional Amendment) Establishes a total ad valorem property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces of the Unites States, the La. National Guard, the La. State Police, or a law enforcement or fire protection officer killed in the line of duty.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment
Do you support an amendment to authorize an exemption from ad valorem property tax for the total assessed value of the homestead of an unmarried surviving spouse of a person who died while on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, or the Louisiana National Guard, or while performing their duties as a state police, law enforcement, or fire protection officer? (effective December 1, 2016.)

ACT 679 HB 603 – Leger - FUNDS/FUNDING: (Constitutional Amendment) Establishes the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment
Do you support an amendment to establish the Revenue Stabilization Trust Fund for the deposit of recurring mineral and corporate tax revenues, to restrict the use of the fund to 10 % of the balance when the balance reaches $5 billion, to restrict the use of the fund to construction projects and transportation infrastructure, and to allocate recurring mineral revenues to the payment of state employee retirement debt?

ACT 680 SB 80 – Morrish - POSTSECONDARY ED: Constitutional amendment to authorize the postsecondary education management boards to establish tuition and fee amounts charged by institutions under their supervision and management.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment
Do you support an amendment to authorize the postsecondary management boards to establish the tuition and mandatory fee amounts charged by institutions under their supervision and management without legislative approval?

ACT 681 SB 201 – Allain - FUNDS/FUNDING: Constitutional amendment to revise the circumstances that would allow the reduction of constitutionally protected expenditures and dedications to eliminate a projected deficit in an ensuing fiscal year.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment
Do you support an amendment to authorize the use of up to five percent of current year appropriations or allocations from statutorily or certain constitutionally created funds or up to one percent of the current year’s balances in certain constitutionally created funds to eliminate a projected deficit in the next fiscal year if the official forecast for the next fiscal year is less than the official forecast for the current fiscal year or if the official forecast has been reduced by at least one percent from the most recently adopted estimate for the ensuring fiscal year, and to exempt certain funds and mandates from being used to eliminate a projected deficit?

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