Text: H.R.6362 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/29/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6362

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to improve school safety.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 29, 2010

Mrs. McCarthy of New York introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor


A BILL

To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to improve school safety.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Safe Schools Against Violence in Education Act” or the “SAVE Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) The Secretary of Education reports that from 2003 to 2009 there have never been more than 47 schools in the entire Nation reported annually as persistently dangerous.

(2) The Office of the New York State Comptroller’s May 2006 report found that at schools sampled for this report more than 80 percent of the documented incidents were not reported to the State, and in a number of instances the most serious types of incidents, such as sexual offenses and incidents involving the use of a weapon, were unreported.

(3) In December 2009, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a joint report that contains the most recent data, based on self-reported information and surveys, available on crime and student safety, titled “Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2009” (the “Indicators” report).

(4) According to the “Indicators” report, in the 2007–2008 school year, there were an estimated 55,700,000 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The report shows that among youth ages 5 to 18, there were 43 school-associated violent deaths from July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008. In 2007, among students ages 12 to 18, there were about 1.5 million victims of nonfatal crimes at school, including 826,800 thefts and 684,100 violent crimes (simple assault and serious violent crime).

(5) In 2007, 10 percent of male students in grade 9 through grade 12 reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property in the past year, compared to 5 percent of female students.

(6) The “Indicators” report states that in 2007, 5 percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported that they had been afraid of attack at school.

(7) The “Indicators” report states in 2007, 32 percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported having been bullied in schools during the school year.

(8) The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) was developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. NIBRS currently collects data on all reported incidents of crime, including crime occurring at school.

(9) Accurate data is important to meet the educational goal of safe climate for academic achievement. Accurate data enables administrators to assess the impact of programs that have been implemented to promote school safety and to assess whether additional efforts are needed.

(10) Students involved in bullying are at a significant risk of experiencing a wide spectrum of psychosomatic symptoms, running away from home, alcohol and drug abuse, absenteeism and, above all, self-inflicted, accidental or perpetrated injuries.

(11) Unlike traditional forms of bullying, youth who are the targets of cyberbullying at school are at greater risk for depression than are the youth who bully them, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

SEC. 4. School safety choice option.

(a) In general.—Section 9532 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7912) is amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 9532. Safe school climate.

“(a) State policies and Report.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—As a condition of receiving funds under part A of title I, a State shall—

“(A) establish and implement—

“(i) a statewide policy requiring that—

“(I) a student described in paragraph (2) be allowed to attend a public elementary school or secondary school (including a public charter school) within a local educational agency under the jurisdiction of the State that has a safe climate for academic achievement; and

“(II) determinations with respect to which public elementary schools and secondary schools in the State do not have a safe climate for academic achievement are made in accordance with subsection (b); and

“(ii) a statewide policy with respect to offenders described in paragraph (3); and

“(B) report to the Secretary, on an annual basis—

“(i) the number of schools determined by the State to not have a safe climate for academic achievement;

“(ii) the number of students who have transferred from such schools; and

“(iii) the number of offenders who have been removed from school pursuant to this section.

“(2) DESCRIPTION OF STUDENT.—A student described in this paragraph is a student—

“(A) who is attending a public elementary school or secondary school that does not have a safe climate for academic achievement, as determined by the State in accordance with subsection (b); or

“(B) who becomes a victim of a violent criminal offense, as determined by State law—

“(i) while in or on the grounds of a public elementary school or secondary school that the student attends;

“(ii) at a school event or activity under the control and supervision of such school; or

“(iii) on a school bus under the control and supervision of such school.

“(3) POLICIES WITH RESPECT TO OFFENDERS.—A State policy with respect to offenders shall—

“(A) permit a public elementary or secondary school in which a violent criminal offense described in paragraph (2)(B) occurs or, in a case in which such offense did not occur in or on school grounds, a public elementary school or secondary school that had control and supervision over the event or activity or on the school bus where such offense occurred, to provide appropriate counseling and educational services to the offender of the offense in an alternative setting if removal of the offender from the school is determined to be appropriate by the school; and

“(B) require that a school described in subparagraph (A) that knows that an offender of a violent criminal offense described in paragraph (2)(B) is returning to the school notify, as soon as practicable prior to the offender’s return to the school, the parents of each victim of the offense committed by the offender that the offender is returning to the school.

“(b) Determinations of safe climate.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—A State policy with respect to determining which public elementary schools and secondary schools in the State do not have a safe climate for academic achievement shall require that—

“(A) a State make such determinations—

“(i) by consulting with—

“(I) a representative sample of local educational agencies, parent groups, and local law enforcement agencies; or

“(II) other experts in the area of school safety;

“(ii) based, at a minimum, on school crime statistics and data—

“(I) collected by the State pursuant to section 4141 and under subsection (c) of this section; and

“(II) made available by the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to subsection (d); and

“(iii) in time to permit a local educational agency to allow a student enrolled in a school that does not have a safe climate for academic achievement to instead enroll, at least 45 days before the start of the school year, at a school with a safe climate for academic achievement;

“(B) after making determinations in accordance with subparagraph (A), the State shall—

“(i) notify each local educational agency in the State serving schools that are determined to not have a safe climate for academic achievement of such schools; and

“(ii) require that within a week of receiving notice under clause (i), a local educational agency shall provide to the parent of each student enrolled in each such school, a notice of the determination with respect to the school that meets the requirements of paragraph (2); and

“(C) a school determined under this paragraph to not have a safe climate for academic achievement develop, in consultation with parents, students, school employees, local law enforcement, representatives of local public health and mental health agencies, and experts in school safety, an intervention plan to create a safer school environment that is based on an analysis of the data and school crime statistics with respect to such school—

“(i) collected by the State under section 4141 and subsection (c) of this section; and

“(ii) made available by the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to subsection (d).

“(2) FORM OF NOTICE.—A notice to a parent under paragraph (1)(B)(ii) shall—

“(A) describe the determination with respect to the school in which the child of the parent is enrolled and explain that, by reason of the determination and pursuant to subsection (a)(1)(A)(i), the child may attend a school that has a safe climate for academic achievement within the local educational agency; and

“(B) be written in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, in a language that the parent can understand.

“(c) Collection of relevant information and school crime statistics.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—As a condition of receiving funds under part A of title I, a State shall—

“(A) collect the data described in paragraph (2) for use in determinations of whether a school has a safe climate for academic achievement for purposes of subsection (a)(1)(A)(i); and

“(B) not later than 1 year after the first time information is collected under subparagraph (A) and annually thereafter—

“(i) prepare, publish, and distribute, in a timely manner and through appropriate publications, mailings, or the Internet, to all students enrolled in a public elementary school or secondary school in the State, the families of such students, and school staff, an annual report containing, at a minimum, the school crime statistics collected under paragraph (2)(G); and

“(ii) submit to the Secretary such statistics.

“(2) DESCRIPTION OF DATA.—The data described in this paragraph include—

“(A) truancy rates with respect to each public elementary school and secondary school in the State;

“(B) the frequency, seriousness, and incidence of bullying, cyberbullying, violence, and drug-related offenses, at—

“(i) any event or activity under the control and supervision of an public elementary school or secondary school in the State; or

“(ii) on school buses under the control and supervision of any such school or the State;

“(C) suspension rates for 1 day or more, including in-school suspensions, and expulsion rates, desegregated by the categories described in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(viii), with respect to each elementary school and secondary school in the State;

“(D) the types of violence prevention curricula, programs, and services provided by the chief executive officer, the State educational agency, and local educational agencies, in the State;

“(E) the incidence and prevalence, age of onset, perception of health risk, and perception of social disapproval of drug use and violence by youth in each public elementary school and secondary school in the State and community served by each such school;

“(F) the existence and implementation of emergency preparedness plans in each elementary school and secondary school in the State; and

“(G) the school crime statistics described in paragraph (3) with respect to each public elementary school and secondary school in the State.

“(3) SCHOOL CRIME STATISTICS.—The school crime statistics described in this paragraph include statistics concerning the occurrence of any criminal offenses reported to local police agencies that have occurred at a school, on school grounds, or at school-sponsored activities during the most recent calendar year and the 2 preceding calendar years, including—

“(A) murder;

“(B) sex offenses, forcible or nonforcible;

“(C) robbery;

“(D) aggravated assault;

“(E) burglary;

“(F) manslaughter;

“(G) arson; and

“(H) crimes for which a person has been arrested or referred for disciplinary action, including for liquor law violations, drug-related violations, or weapons possession.

“(4) DATA COLLECTION REQUIREMENTS.—Data collected by a State under paragraph (1) shall be based on information that—

“(A) is verifiable and reported—

“(i) in a consistent and uniform manner; and

“(ii) in a manner consistent with the guidance provided under subsection (g); and

“(B) allows for State-by-State comparison and the evaluation described in subsection (i).

“(5) SECRETARIAL DUTIES.—The Secretary shall—

“(A) review the school crime statistics submitted under paragraph (1)(B)(ii);

“(B) report to Congress on the school crime statistics; and

“(C) make such information publicly available.

“(6) IDENTIFICATION OF INDIVIDUALS.—The school crime statistics collected and published under paragraph (1) may not identify victims of crimes or persons accused of crimes.

“(7) INADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, evidence regarding compliance or noncompliance with this subsection shall not be admissible as evidence in any proceeding of any court, agency, board, or other entity, except with respect to an action to enforce this subsection.

“(d) FBI information.—

“(1) REPORT ON INDICATORS OF SCHOOL CRIME AND SAFETY.—The Secretary shall request the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to make available for inclusion in the annual report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety, produced jointly by the National Center for Education Statistics and the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Department of Justice, any data or other information the Federal Bureau of Investigation has available through the Uniform Crime Reporting System or National Incident-Based Reporting System on the occurrence and incidence of school-related crime in elementary schools and secondary schools.

“(2) AVAILABILITY TO STATES.—The Secretary shall make available any data or other information it receives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation under paragraph (1) to the States for consideration when determining which schools do not have a safe climate for academic achievement for purposes of subsection (a).

“(e) Evaluations by states.—As a condition of receiving funds under part A of title I, each State shall, on an ongoing basis, using verifiable documentation, monitor and evaluate the extent to which local educational agencies are in compliance with this section.

“(f) Certification.—As a condition of receiving funds under part A of title I, a State shall certify in writing to the Secretary that the data and crime statistics used are verifiable and that the State is in compliance with this section.

“(g) Best practices.—The Secretary shall provide to States guidance on best practices for implementing and monitoring the policies required by this section.

“(h) Handbook for school crime, offense, and incident reporting.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of the SAVE Act, the Secretary shall publish a handbook for school crime, offense, and incident reporting, modeled after the Handbook for Campus Crime Reporting published by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the Department of Education, to—

“(A) provide clear guidance to States and local educational agencies on specifically which crimes, offenses, and incidents must be reported to meet the reporting and crime disclosure requirements of this section;

“(B) provide assistance to States and local educational agencies and explanations in a step-by-step and readable manner with respect to the reporting requirements;

“(C) provide contact information at the Department of Education if further assistance is necessary; and

“(D) recommendations of the Secretary on using consistent national definitions for the crimes, offenses, and incidents which are required to be reported pursuant to this section.

“(i) Periodic evaluation.—The Inspector General of the Department of Education shall conduct an independent annual evaluation of the extent to which States are in compliance with this section. Each annual evaluation shall cover a sample of States selected on a rotating basis.

“(j) Rules of construction.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to—

“(1) authorize the Secretary to require particular policies, procedures, or practices by schools and local educational agencies with respect to crimes committed at school, on school grounds, or at school-sponsored activities;

“(2) confer a private right of action upon any person to enforce this section;

“(3) require the reporting or disclosure of privileged information;

“(4) create a cause of action against any school or any employee of a school for any civil liability or establish any standard of care; or

“(5) permit a school, or an officer, employee, or agent of a school, participating in any program under this Act to retaliate, intimidate, threaten, coerce, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to the implementation of any provision of this section.

“(k) Definitions.—In this section:

“(1) BULLYING.—The term ‘bullying’ means conduct that—

“(A) adversely affects the ability of one or more students to participate in or benefit from a school’s educational programs or activities by placing the student (or students) in reasonable fear of physical harm; and

“(B) includes conduct that is based on—

“(i) a student’s actual or perceived—

“(I) race;

“(II) color;

“(III) national origin;

“(IV) sex;

“(V) disability;

“(VI) sexual orientation;

“(VII) gender identity; or

“(VIII) religion;

“(ii) any other distinguishing characteristics that may be defined by a State or local educational agency; or

“(iii) association with a person or group with one or more of the actual or perceived characteristics listed in clause (i) or (ii).

“(2) CYBERBULLYING.—The term ‘cyberbulling’ means using the Internet, a cell phone (such as by text messaging), a video game system, or other technology to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another individual.”.

(b) Conforming amendment.—The table of contents at the beginning of such Act is amended by striking the item relating to section 9532 and inserting the following:


“Sec. 9532. Safe School Climate.”.

SEC. 5. Gun-free requirements.

Section 4141 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7151) is amended—

(1) in subsection (d)—

(A) in paragraph (1) by striking “; and” at the end;

(B) in paragraph (2)—

(i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting “or any modifications allowed under subsection (b) that result in removals or long-term suspensions rather than expulsions,” after “subsection (b),”;

(ii) in subparagraph (B), by inserting “, removed, or suspended for a long term” after “expelled”; and

(iii) in subparagraph (C), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; and”; and

(C) by adding at the end the following:

“(3) a description of the circumstances surrounding every incident in which any person, including a student or non-student, who is not legally permitted to possess a firearm is determined to have brought a firearm to, or to have possessed a firearm at, a school served by such local education agency, an event or activity under the control and supervision of the school or local educational agency, or on a school bus under the control and supervision of the school or local educational agency, including—

“(A) the name of the school concerned;

“(B) the number of persons, including students and non-students, involved; and

“(C) the type of firearms concerned; and

“(4) a certification that the information in the application is accurate and complete.”; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

“(i) Evaluations by states.—Each State receiving Federal funds under any title of this Act shall, on an ongoing basis, evaluate the extent to which local educational agencies are in compliance with this section. The evaluation shall include an assessment of the accuracy of the information provided under subsection (d). A local educational agency that intentionally fails to report complete and accurate information under subsection (d) shall be determined to be noncompliant with this section and shall not, during any period of noncompliance, receive any funds made available to the State under any title of this Act.

“(j) Periodic evaluation.—The Inspector General of the Department of Education shall conduct an independent annual evaluation of the extent to which States are in compliance with this section. Each annual evaluation shall cover a sample of States selected on a rotating basis.”.

SEC. 6. National programs.

(a) School climate survey.—Section 4121(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 7131) is amended—

(1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1)—

(A) by inserting “bullying and cyberbullying and” after “prevent”; and

(B) by inserting “, including emergency preparedness,” after “safety”;

(2) in paragraph (1)—

(A) by inserting “students, ” after “parents,”; and

(B) by inserting “, bullying and cyberbullying prevention, and emergency preparedness” after “violence prevention”;

(3) in paragraph (8) by striking “and” at the end;

(4) by redesignating paragraph (9) as paragraph (10); and

(5) by inserting after paragraph (8) the following:

“(9) the administration of a schoolwide climate survey of students, parents, and school personnel that—

“(A) should be used as a pre- or post- intervention measure to—

“(i) promote student participation and the recognition of the student voice;

“(ii) build authentic school-home-community partnerships;

“(iii) promote an authentic learning community;

“(iv) prevent bullying and cyberbullying, and

“(iv) create a collaborative plan for school improvement; and

“(B) should measure—

“(i) the degree to which collaborative leadership and a professional learning community exist, including—

“(I) the degree to which school administrators are effective in communicating with different role groups and in setting high performance expectations for teachers and students;

“(II) the establishment of an effective school leadership team; and

“(III) the amount and quality of involvement of parents and community members in the school;

“(ii) the personalization of the school environment, including—

“(I) the quality of the interpersonal and professional relationships between teachers and students;

“(II) student self-discipline and tolerance for others, including incidents of bullying and cyberbullying; and

“(III) students’ care and respect for one another and their mutual cooperation; and

“(iii) the strength of the curriculum, instruction, and assessment, including—

“(I) student attention to task and concern for achievement at school;

“(II) the identification of a set of essential knowledge and skills in core academic areas in which students must demonstrate achievement in order to advance to the next level; and

“(III) the promotion of service programs and student activities as integral to an education, providing opportunities that support and extend academic learning for all students; and”.

(b) Funding priority; Definitions.—Section 4121 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 7131) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(c) Priority.—In determining which entities are to receive grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements under subsection (a), the Secretary shall consider the extent to which the proposed grant, contract, or cooperative agreement will benefit schools determined under section 9532(b) to not have a safe climate for academic achievement and shall give extra weight to proposals that will benefit such schools.

“(d) Definitions.—In this section, the terms ‘bullying’ and ‘cyberbullying’ have the meanings given such terms in section 9532(k).”.

SEC. 7. Sense of Congress.

It is the sense of Congress that the amount authorized and appropriated for part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311 et seq.) should be increased by such sums as may be necessary for States to carry out the requirements of section 9532 of such Act.

SEC. 8. Effective date.

This Act, and the amendments made by this Act, shall take effect not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.