(a) In order to encourage and support locally-based, interdisciplinary initiatives to combat the many complex problems that lead Tennessee children and youth to drop out of school, there is created the Tennessee model dropout prevention program. After consultation with the executive director of the commission on children and youth, the executive secretary of the council of juvenile and family court judges, the executive director of the state board of education, the commissioners of health and environment, human services, mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and youth development, the commissioner of education shall, on or before November 15 each year, designate up to ten (10) publicly or privately supported, locally-based, interdisciplinary initiatives within the state as model dropout prevention programs. Any initiative so designated as a model program shall be worthy and capable of emulation with respect to one (1) or more activities designed to:
(1) Improve public awareness, within the student population and within the population at large, regarding the individual and societal consequences of the school dropout problem; or
(2) Combat one (1) or more of the many complex problems which lead Tennessee children and youth to drop out of school, including, but not limited to:
(A) Poor self-esteem;
(B) Lack of ambition or motivation;
(C) Poorly defined goals;
(D) Substance abuse;
(F) Emotional distress;
(G) Classroom misconduct;
(H) Teen pregnancy;
(I) Academic failure or sub-par performance;
(K) Poor nutrition;
(L) Poor health;
(M) Insufficient parental encouragement;
(N) Lack of parental involvement in academic matters;
(O) Learning disabilities;
(P) Physical or mental handicapping conditions; and
(Q) Alternative schools remands.
(b) Prior to designating model programs each year, nominations shall be actively solicited from across the state. In selecting model programs, due consideration shall be given to the level of acceptance and support for such programs within the school system or systems and within the community-at-large and also to the techniques by which such acceptance and support have been achieved. Furthermore, due consideration shall be given to the tangible impact the programs have achieved in dropout prevention.
(c) To the extent that funding is available for such purpose within the state's general appropriations act, on each occasion that an initiative is selected as a model dropout prevention program, the model program shall receive from the department of education a state grant in the amount of six thousand dollars ($6,000). The grant shall be paid in addition to all other funds that the program may otherwise receive from or through state government and shall be used exclusively for improvement or expansion of dropout prevention services, outreach, program evaluation or payment of expenses incurred in assisting others to replicate one (1) or more components of the model program. Payment of each such state grant shall be conditional upon the model program's agreement to provide, upon request, technical assistance to others who are interested in replicating one (1) or more components of the model program. In any case in which a state grant is awarded to an LEA or other agency of local government, payment of the grant shall also be conditional upon the agency's written agreement that the state grant will not be used to supplant locally provided funding and resources for dropout prevention. Nothing contained within this section shall be construed to prohibit the commissioner from designating more than one (1) model program within a county, municipality or LEA.
(d) (1) Each year, the commissioner shall undertake appropriate actions to publicize, statewide, all activities to implement this section, as well as the activities and achievements of the model dropout prevention programs. The commissioner may undertake other appropriate actions that may be necessary to encourage and support locally-based, interdisciplinary initiatives to combat the many complex problems which lead Tennessee children and youth to drop out of school.
(2) The commissioner shall annually conduct regional conferences or workshops across the state to improve public awareness of the individual and societal consequences of the dropout problem, to showcase the activities and achievements of the model programs, to provide encouragement and support for replication of the programs, and to improve public awareness of the system of competitive grants provided under the authority of subsection (e). Children, youth, parents, educators, school administrators, taxpayers, business organizations, civic groups, community organizations, religious institutions, officials of local government and other concerned persons shall be invited to attend the conferences or workshops.
(e) (1) Acting in consultation with each of the state officials listed in subsection (a), the commissioner of education shall develop and implement each year on or before November 15, to the extent that funding is provided for such purpose within the general appropriations act, a system of competitive state grants to financially encourage and support creation or expansion of locally based programs or projects that seek to replicate components of those initiatives designated as model programs pursuant to subsection (a). The system of competitive grants shall require each recipient to match on a dollar-per-dollar basis, from locally generated public or private resources, the amount of the competitive state grant.
(2) Prior to receiving a grant to replicate components of model dropout prevention programs, each program or project shall:
(A) Demonstrate a broad base of support within the community-at-large and within the local school system;
(B) Propose a funding plan whereby continuation of the program or project, beyond the period of the grant, is probable;
(C) Submit a written agreement to the effect that, if the program or project will be administered by an LEA or other agency of local government, the state grant will not be used to supplant locally provided funding and resources for dropout prevention; and
(D) Agree to accept the grant subject to reasonable and appropriate conditions and restrictions established by the commissioner.
(3) In awarding the grants, the commissioner shall exercise due care to discourage dependence upon the grant system as a source of recurring financial support for the program or project.
Acts 1990, ch. 1057, § 1; 1997, ch. 518, § 2; 2007, ch. 517, § 1; 2010, ch. 1100, § 72.
Compiler's Notes. Acts 1997, ch. 518, § 2 revived and reenacted this section, which was repealed effective December 31, 1995, by Acts 1990, ch. 1057, § 3. Section 2 further provided that the commissioner of education shall re-establish the Tennessee model dropout prevention program.
Acts 2007, ch. 517, § 5 provided that the board of education is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. The rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.
Acts 2010, ch. 1100, § 153 provided that the commissioner of mental health and developmental disabilities, the commissioner of mental health, the commissioner of intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the commissioner of finance and administration are authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the act. All such rules and regulations shall be promulgated in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.