Title 17. Education

Chapter 1. General School Law

Part III. Public Schools and School Children

Subpart C. School Attendance


17:221.4     Louisiana School Dropout Prevention Act


A. This Section shall be known and may be cited as the “Louisiana School Dropout Prevention Act”.


B. (1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall work with city, parish, and other local public school systems that have the lowest four-year cohort graduation rates. The state board shall incorporate specific dropout prevention strategies, target resources, and gather data that will improve graduation rates and educational outcomes in all grades in all schools.


(2) The state board shall develop specific methods of targeted intervention or identify appropriate existing methods for city, parish, and other local public school systems that have a four-year cohort graduation rate of less than eighty percent as determined by the state board. These intervention methods may include:


(a) Early intervention for students who are at risk of failing Algebra I or any ninth grade math class.


(b) Alternative programs designed to reengage dropouts.


(c) Increased availability of advanced placement courses.


(d) Comprehensive coaching for middle school students who are below grade level in reading and math.


(e) Teacher advisories such as the use of graduation coaches and other supports that are designed to specifically address the needs of youth most at risk of dropping out of school.


(f) Strategies specifically designed to improve the high school graduation rate of students at highest risk for dropping out, including youth in the foster care system, pregnant and parenting youth, Limited English Proficient students, and students with special education needs.


(g) Communicating with students and their parents or legal guardians about the availability of local after school programs and the academic enrichment and other activities the programs offered.


(h) Opportunities for credit recovery.


(i) Opportunities to participate in the Jobs for America’s Graduates program.


(3) The state board shall also gather the following data to ensure that all programs are research-based and data-driven and use such data for continuous program improvement:


(a) Total number of high school suspensions and expulsions.


(b) Total number of students enrolled in alternative schools.


(c) Total number of students who have failed Algebra I or English I.


(d) Total number of students who are repeating the ninth grade.


(e) Total number of students required to repeat a ninth grade course.


(4) City, parish, and other local public school systems that fail to show a decline in their annual dropout rates shall prepare and submit to the state board each year a written report that documents:


(a) The outcomes of the dropout prevention strategies to date at the school system level.


(b) How the school system dropout prevention strategies and activities will be modified, based on the data.


(5) Each city, parish, and other local public school system shall:


(a) Post the four-year cohort graduation rate for each high school in the system and for the system as a whole on its Internet website.


(b) Send a written notice to the parent or other legal guardian of each high school student that contains the following information:


(i) The four-year cohort dropout rate of the school in which the student is enrolled.


(ii) The number of students in the school in which the student is enrolled that have been identified as failing pursuant to the school and district accountability system.


C. A student who is under eighteen years of age, who withdraws from school prior to graduating from high school, and who has not enrolled in a dropout recovery program as provided in R.S. 17:221.6 shall exercise one of the following options within one hundred twenty days of leaving school:


(1) Reenroll in school and make continual progress toward completing the requirements for high school graduation.


(2) Enroll in a high school equivalency diploma program and make continual progress toward completing the requirements for earning such diploma.


(3) Enlist in the Louisiana National Guard or a branch of the United States Armed Forces, with a commitment for at least two years of service, and earn a high school equivalency diploma during such service period.


D. The provisions of Subsection C of this Section shall apply only to students who have been ruled to be truants, pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 15 of Title VII of the Louisiana Children’s Code, by a court of competent jurisdiction and ordered by the court to comply with the provisions thereof.


Added by Acts 2008, No. 742, § 1. Amended by Acts 2010, No. 557, § 1; Acts 2010, No. 666, § 1; Acts 2014, No. 530, § 1; Acts 2015, No. 392, § 1.