17:3805      Education Excellence Fund;  prioritized plan for expenditure;  legislative approval;  fund amounts and investment earnings credited to ineligible entities


A. As required by Article VII, Section 10.8(C)(3)(g) of the constitution, prioritized plans for the expenditure of funds from the Education Excellence Fund which are prepared and submitted to the state Department of Education and approved by the department shall be approved by the legislature, as provided by law, prior to funds being distributed to any school or school system.  The consideration of such plans for approval shall be as provided in this Section.


B. The appropriate standing committees of the legislature shall be the Senate Committee on Education and the House Committee on Education.  Approval by both committees shall be required.  Upon receipt of those plans which have been approved by the state Department of Education, the standing committees shall meet, either separately or jointly, to consider and act on the plans.  Approval shall be by motion which may be offered for all plans considered at any meeting in globo or may, at the discretion of the chairperson conducting the meeting, be acted on separately.  Approval by either committee, meeting separately, shall require a favorable vote on the motion by a majority of the members present and voting, a quorum of the committee being present.  Approval by the two committees, meeting jointly, shall require a favorable vote on the motion by a majority of the members thereof from each house present and voting, each house voting separately, a quorum of the joint committee being present.


C. The plans shall be presented for consideration by the state Department of Education.


D. The chairperson of either the Senate committee or the House committee may invite other members of their respective houses to attend any meeting at which plans are considered for approval, and, if invited, such members may participate as members in the hearings.  However, only members of the standing committees on education will be counted in determining the number of votes necessary for approval and only such members may vote.


E. (1) A plan which has been approved as provided in this Section may be the basis for the expenditure of any funds received in the coming year from the Education Excellence Fund.


(2) Such a plan may be revised and continue to be the basis for expending funds in the coming year upon a showing, satisfactory to the state Department of Education, that the revision is either technical, as provided in this Paragraph, and does not require further approval as provided in this Paragraph or that the planned expenditures are either no longer possible or will not address the goal originally sought to be achieved.  Those revisions which are technical and do not require further approval are those that retain the essential aspects of the original plan approved by the legislature which require only technical or minor revisions that do not result in significant variation from the plan as presented to and approved by the legislature.    Such revisions may be accepted by the department as corrections which do not require further legislative approval.  Those revisions which significantly vary from the original plan, once approved by the department, shall be submitted for the approval of legislative committees as provided for the original approval in this Section.


F. To assure that Education Excellence Fund monies support excellence in educational practice, fund amounts and investment earnings attributable to such amounts credited by the state treasurer for a recipient entity shall revert to the fund whenever the entity no longer meets the conditions required for such entity to be eligible for an allocation from the fund.


Added by Acts 2001, No. 765, § 3, eff. June 26, 2001.  Amended by Acts 2004, No. 384, § 1, eff. June 23, 2004.