The bill, as drafted, would require Approved Independent Schools to:
- Obtain accreditation from NEASC or AISNE.
- Report unexcused absences to the Local Education Agency (LEA). NOTE: In Vermont this would be the Supervisory Union.
- Participate in a working group with superintendents and the Agency of Education (AOE) to define reporting requirements for academic progress.
- Comply with the Vermont Public Accommodations Act. NOTE: They are already required to by the State Board of Education rules.
- Annually attest to a compliance checklist compiled by AOE.
- Schools outside Vermont’s are required to have nondiscriminatory admissions policies and shall post such policies on their website.
In a major policy shift, the draft bill would limit eligible receiving schools to a 25-mile radius of the state border. It would also levy a moratorium on initial approval of new approved independent schools until July 1, 2024 (when changes to the State Board of Education rule 7320 go into effect). It also asks the board to create a noncompliance resolution process.
Chairman Conlon identified that this was mostly to get something on paper for people to react to. Of particular concern was the new 25-mile radius requirement.