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Georgia State Code
Title      20
Chapter       2  
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Section<<< 154.1 155 156 157 158 160 161 161.1 161.2 162 >>>  
Title 20, Chapter 2, Section 161.1 (20-2-161.1)

(a) For purposes of this Code section, the term:

(1) "Course" means any plan or program of instruction.

(2) "Department" means the State Department of Education.

(3) "Eligible institution" or "institution" means any of the following located within Georgia: any two-year or four-year degree-granting public college or university; any state operated postsecondary technical institution; or, for those pupils eligible under subsection (b) of this Code section who live more than 25 miles from a degree-granting public college or university, any two-year or four-year regionally accredited degree-granting nonproprietary college or university.

(4) "Program" means the arrangement authorized by this Code section whereby a pupil in a public high school may enroll in and take courses at an eligible institution and receive secondary credit.

(5) "Secondary credit" means high school credit for courses taken at an eligible institution under the program.

(b) Any eleventh or twelfth grade pupil or pupil aged 16 or over in any public school in this state may apply to an eligible institution to enroll in selected courses which are offered at that institution and which are approved for secondary credit under subsection (e) of this Code section. It shall be the responsibility of the high school principal and advisement faculty to inform the postsecondary institution of the academic, emotional, social, and other characteristics of the pupil that should be considered in the decision to enroll or not enroll the student. If accepted at an eligible postsecondary institution, such pupil may take any such approved course at that institution, whether or not the course is taught during the regular public school day, and receive secondary credit therefor only under the conditions provided in this Code section. An eligible institution which accepts a pupil authorized to apply for enrollment therein under the program shall not receive any state funds for that pupil unless the institution complies with the requirements of this Code section regarding eligible institutions.

(c) No later than the first day of April each year, each local school system shall provide general information about the program to all its eligible pupils. A local school system shall also provide counseling services to such pupils and their parents or guardians before the pupils enroll in eligible institutions under this Code section to ensure that the pupils and their parents or guardians are aware of the possible consequences of enrolling in an eligible institution. Such counseling services will include information relative to what institutions and courses are eligible for participation; the process for granting academic credits; financial arrangements for tuition, books, and materials; available support services; the need to arrange an appropriate schedule; consequences of failing or not completing a course; the effect of the program on a pupil's ability to complete a course, to participate in extracurricular activities, and to complete required high school graduation requirements; and the academic and social responsibilities of pupils and their parents or guardians, including the continuing responsibility to obey the rules and regulations of the eligible institutions and the high school as appropriate. Prior to enrolling in a course at an eligible institution, the pupil and the pupil's parents or guardians must sign a form that must be provided by the school system or may be provided by an eligible institution stating that they have received the counseling specified in this subsection and that they understand the responsibilities that must be assumed in participating in the program. The department shall develop appropriate forms and counseling guidelines for the program.

(d) A pupil who first enrolls in an eligible institution at the beginning of grade 11 may not enroll in an eligible institution under the program for secondary credit for more than the equivalent of two academic years. A pupil who first enrolls in an eligible institution at the beginning of grade 12 may not enroll in an eligible institution under the program for secondary credit for more than the equivalent of one academic year. If a pupil in grade 11 or 12 first enrolls in an eligible institution for secondary credit after the beginning of the school year, the time of participation in the program authorized by this subsection shall be reduced proportionately. A pupil who has graduated from high school cannot participate in the program. A pupil who has completed course requirements for graduation but who has not received a diploma may participate in the program.

(e)(1) Each eligible institution desiring to participate in the program shall annually submit to the department a description of each course for which the institution seeks approval under the program. The department shall review such submissions and approve any such course which is substantially comparable to any course which is offered for credit in a high school program in this state and which is includable for funding for purposes of the full-time equivalent program count under Code Section 20-2-160 for any local school system in the state. If there is such a comparable high school course, the department shall specify that course and determine the credit for the eligible institution's course. The department shall annually publish a list containing the department's determinations regarding approved comparable courses and credits therefor, which determination shall be a contested case under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," for any eligible institution aggrieved thereby.

(2) A local school system shall grant academic credit to a pupil enrolled in a course in an eligible institution if that course has been listed as approved by the department under paragraph (1) of this subsection and if the pupil successfully completes that course. The secondary credit granted shall be for the comparable course and course hours approved by the department. Upon completion of an eligible institution's approved course, the pupil shall be responsible for requesting that the institution notify the pupil's local school system regarding the pupil's grade in that course.

(3) Secondary school credits granted for eligible institution courses under paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be used to satisfy the state board's requirements in regard to eligibility for extracurricular activities and shall also be counted toward the graduation requirements and subject area requirements of the local school system. Evidence of successful completion of each course and secondary credits granted shall be included in the pupil's secondary school records.

(4) If a pupil enrolls in an eligible institution after leaving secondary school, that institution shall award credit at such institution for any course successfully completed for secondary credit at that institution. Other eligible institutions shall award, after a pupil leaves secondary school, postsecondary credit for any course successfully completed under the program on the same basis on which such credits are customarily awarded. An institution may not charge a pupil for the award of credit.

(5) The department shall develop the necessary rules to require local school systems to award a high school diploma for any pupil who is enrolled at an eligible institution under the program as long as the credit earned at such institution satisfies course requirements needed for the pupil to complete high school graduation. The department shall consult the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and the State Board of Technical and Adult Education in developing rules and regulations regarding the eligibility criteria for program participation.

(f) The department shall establish a secondary options grant account with funds appropriated by the General Assembly. The amount of funds requested by the state board for this account shall be the amount that the participating pupils would earn in the local systems during the portion of the instructional day the students were actually enrolled at the eligible institutions. The department shall pay to eligible institutions from this grant account the lesser of the following amounts for pupils enrolled therein:

(1) The actual costs of tuition, materials, and fees directly related to the approved courses taken by the pupils at such institutions; or

(2) The amount that the pupils would have earned under this article if those pupils had been in equivalent instructional programs in a local school system for that portion of the instructional day in which the pupils were actually enrolled in eligible institutions pursuant to this Code section.

(g) The department shall pay the fees charged for advanced placement tests taken by any eligible high school student who successfully completes an approved advanced placement course. The local high school principal shall certify to the department the number of students taking the advanced placement tests, the total fees charged, and such additional information as the department requires regarding advanced placement tests, and the department shall make payments directly to the testing service from funds dedicated to this purpose within the secondary option grant account.

(h) A pupil enrolled in an eligible institution for secondary credit is not eligible for any other state student financial aid at an eligible institution for courses taken under the program.

(i) Any person who knowingly makes or furnishes any false statement or misrepresentation, or who accepts such statement or misrepresentation knowing it to be false, for the purpose of enabling an eligible institution to obtain wrongfully any payment under this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(j) By agreement between the State Board of Education and the State Board of Technical and Adult Education or the board of regents or a local board operating a postsecondary vocational school, high schools may offer courses in vocational and technical education which qualify for both high school credit and credit at an eligible institution governed by such boards. Such courses shall meet the standards and criteria of and be approved by the State Board of Technical and Adult Education or the board of regents for such credit. Any costs for tuition, fees, or tests required to receive the postsecondary credit shall be paid for as described in subsection (f) of this Code section.

Sunday May 24 11:47 EDT


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