BEFORE THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the adoption of New Rule I pertaining to state diplomas
NOTICE OF ADOPTION
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On April 15, 2022, the Superintendent of Public Instruction published MAR Notice No. 10-66-102 pertaining to the proposed adoption of the above-stated rule at page 451 of the 2022 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 7.
2. The superintendent has adopted the following rule as proposed, but with the following changes from the original proposal, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:
NEW RULE I (10.66.301) STATE DIPLOMAS (1) through (1)(b) remain as proposed.
(i) completes a high school equivalency
diploma exam under ARM Title 10, chapter 6 66, subchapter 1 with a score at least 20% above the minimum passing score;
(ii) through (3) remain as proposed.
AUTH: 20-3-110, MCA
IMP: 20-3-110, MCA
3. The superintendent has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received and the Superintendent's responses are as follows:
COMMENT #1: One commenter urged use of the phrase "Montana Proficiency-Based Diploma" to reflect the language of 20-3-110, MCA, rather than "state diploma" as used in proposed New Rule I.
RESPONSE #1: The superintendent appreciates the public comment. The phrase "state diploma" was chosen to simplify the reference to diplomas issued pursuant to 20-3-110, MCA, and to acknowledge that the state superintendent, not a local school district, is responsible for establishing the process, eligibility, and qualifications for issuance of the diploma.
COMMENT #2: One commenter identified two typographical errors in proposed New Rule I(1)(b)(i), one in the chapter number reference and one in the phrase "high school equivalency diploma" that should instead be "high school equivalency exam."
RESPONSE #2: The superintendent appreciates the public comment, agrees with the comment, and has made the changes in the adoption of the final rule.
COMMENT #3: Two commenters urged the removal of the mentorship requirement in proposed New Rule I(1)(b)(ii). The commenters asserted that the provision exceeded the requirements of 20-3-110, MCA. One commenter also stated that the requirement would unnecessarily limit the availability of the diplomas by excluding most gifted and talented students who otherwise might meet the criteria. The other commenter also stated that the requirement was not clearly defined.
RESPONSE #3: The superintendent appreciates the public comment. The mentorship requirement aligns with the provision in 20-3-110(1)(b), MCA, requiring a demonstration of "the application of knowledge to real-world situations." The commenters did not propose an alternative means for meeting the statutory requirement. The mentorship requirement was designed to be flexible to encourage innovation in how that requirement would be met.
COMMENT #4: One commenter urged the removal of the written plan requirement in proposed New Rule I(1)(b)(iii). The commenter asserted that the provision exceeded the requirements of 20-3-110, MCA, and that the requirement was not clearly defined.
RESPONSE #4: Please see Response #3.
COMMENT #5: One commenter recommended inclusion of language stating that an individual enrolled in a home school or nonpublic school is not eligible for the diploma, as stated in 20-3-110(3), MCA.
RESPONSE #5: The superintendent appreciates the public comment. The eligibility limitation referenced by the commenter already exists in statute and, thus, does not need to be repeated in the rule implementing the statute.
4. The effective date of this new rule is June 10, 2022.
/s/ Robert Stutz /s/ Elsie Arntzen
Robert Stutz Elsie Arntzen
Rule Reviewer Superintendent of Public Instruction
Office of Public Instruction
Certified to the Secretary of State May 17, 2022.