File No. 35003

This rule was published in the July 15, 2011, issue (Vol. 2011, No. 14) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Education, Administration

Rule R277-726

Statewide Public Education Online Program

Notice of 120-Day (Emergency) Rule

DAR File No.: 35003
Filed: 06/30/2011 04:48:54 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

This new rule is in response to S.B. 65, 2011 General Session. The purpose of this rule is to define necessary terms, provide and describe a public education online registration agreement and provide other requirements for local education agencies (LEAs), the Utah State Office of Education, parents and students, and providers for Statewide Public Education Online Program implementation and accountability.

Summary of the rule or change:

The rule provides definitions, minimal standards and procedures for the course credit acknowledgment (CCA) process, eligible student/parent rights and responsibilities, local education agency requirements and responsibilities, Utah State Board of Education requirements and responsibilities, and provider requirements and responsibilities.

Emergency rule reason and justification:

Regular rulemaking procedures would place the agency in violation of federal or state law.

Justification: This rule is submitted as a 120-Day (Emergency) rule because the new law that provides for the Statewide Public Education Online Program becomes effective on 07/01/2011 and a rule with standards and procedures must be in place to provide for the Program.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 53A-15-1210
  • Section 53A-15-1213
  • Subsection 53A-1-401(3)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

There are no anticipated costs or savings to the state budget. Utah State Office of Education staff will implement the Statewide Public Education Online Program with existing staff and within existing budgets.

local governments:

There may be some costs to local education agencies (LEAs) for students participating in the Statewide Public Education Online Program because funding to online Providers for students taking online courses will be transferred from the primary LEA to the designated Provider. Numbers of students and costs are too speculative to determine at this time.

small businesses:

There are no anticipated costs to businesses. The Statewide Public Education Online Program applies to public education entities and does not affect businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

There may be costs to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities. The rule does not provide for fee waivers for computer equipment and internet connectivity for participants in the Statewide Public Education Online Program. Students who do not have computer equipment or internet connectivity may be unable to participate due to the cost of the Program. Costs for individual students are speculative at this point.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There are no compliance costs for affected persons (public providers of online courses). Providers will receive public education funds for providing online courses.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

I have reviewed this rule and I see no fiscal impact on businesses.

Larry K. Shumway, State Superintendent

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

250 E 500 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-3272

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Carol Lear at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7835, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at

This rule is effective on:


Authorized by:

Carol Lear, Director, School Law and Legislation


R277. Education, Administration.

R277-726. Statewide Public Education Online Program.

R277-726-1. Definitions.

A. "Actively participates" means the student actively participates as defined by the provider.

B. "Board" means the Utah State Board of Education.

C. "Course completion" means that a student has completed a course with a passing grade and the provider has transmitted the grade and credit to primary LEA of enrollment.

D. "Course Credit Acknowledgment (CCA)" means the agreement and registration record using the USOE provided Statewide Public Education Online Program form. The CCA shall be signed by the student, parent, designee of primary school of enrollment and qualified online Provider.

E. "Eligible student" means a student enrolled in grades 9-12 in a public school, but does not include students enrolled in adult education programs.

F. "Enrollment confirmation" means the student initially registered and actively participated, as defined under R277-726-1A.

G. "Executed CCA" means that all parties have signed the CCA and the CCA has been received by the USOE. Following enrollment confirmation and participation, the USOE directs funds to Provider, consistent with Sections 53A-15-1206 and 1207.

H. "LEA" means a local education agency in Utah that has local administrative control and direction for public education.

I. "Online course" means a course of instruction offered through the Statewide Public Education Online Program.

J. "Online course payment" means the amount withheld from the student's primary LEA and disbursed to the designated Provider following satisfaction of the requirements of the law, and as directed in Section 53A-15-1207.

K. "Online course provider (Provider)" means a district school, a charter school or an LEA program created for the purpose of serving Utah students grades 9-12 online.

L. "Primary LEA of enrollment" means the student's LEA defined under Section 53A-15-1202(9).

M. "Primary school of enrollment" means a student's school of record, where the student takes the majority of his classes and the school that maintains the student's cumulative file, enrollment information and transcript.

N. "SEOP" means student education occupation plan as defined in R277-700.

O. "Statewide assessment" means Criterion-Referenced tests or adaptive tests required under R277-404.

P. "Statewide Public Education Online Program (Program)" means courses offered to students from Providers other than the students' primary LEAs of enrollment.

Q. "USOE" means the Utah State Office of Education.

R. "USOE course code" means a code for a designated subject matter course assigned by the USOE.

S. "Withdrawal from online course" means that a student withdraws or ceases participation in an online course within 10 days of student enrollment confirmation by the USOE in the online course. Withdrawal may also occur as the result of a student suspension from an online course following adequate due process by the Provider.


R277-726-2. Authority and Purpose.

A. This rule is authorized by Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3 which vests general control and supervision of public education in the Board, Section 53A-15-1210 which requires the Board to make rules providing for the administration of statewide assessments to students enrolled in online courses and requiring an online course provider to proctor the state-designated assessments, Section 53A-15-1213 which requires the Board to make rules that establish a course credit acknowledgment form and procedures for completing and submitting the form to the Board, and Section 53A-1-401(3) which permits the Board to adopt rules in accordance with its responsibilities.

B. The purpose of this rule is to define necessary terms, provide and describe a public education online registration agreement and provide other requirements for LEAs, the USOE, parents and students, and Providers for Program implementation and accountability.


R277-726-3. Course Credit Acknowledgment (CCA) Process.

A. A student or student's parent may initiate a CCA by filing a CCA with the student's primary school of enrollment.

B. A counselor designated by the primary school of enrollment shall review the CCA to ensure consistency with graduation requirements, the student's SEOP, and the student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 plan, if applicable. If approved, the counselor gives preliminary approval to the CCA and submits the CCA.

C. The USOE shall develop and administer procedures for facilitation of the CCA that inform all appropriate parties.


R277-726-4. Eligible Student/Parent Rights and Responsibilities.

A. Eligible students may register for up to two Program credits in the 2011-2012 school year.

B. Eligible students may register for more than two online credits if the student's current SEOP indicates specifically that the student intends to complete high school graduation requirements and exit high school before the rest of the student's high school cohort and the student's schedule demonstrates progress toward early graduation.

C. Eligible students are expected to complete courses in which they enroll in a timely manner consistent with Section 53A-15-1206.

D. An eligible student may not enroll in an online course under the Program for a given semester after the first 10 school days of enrollment by the student or within 10 days of student's initial enrollment.


R277-726-5. LEA Requirements and Responsibilities.

A. A primary school of enrollment shall facilitate student enrollment with any and all eligible Providers selected by eligible students consistent with course credit limits.

B. A primary school of enrollment shall use the CCA form, records and processes provided by the USOE for the Program. A school counselor shall use a separate form for each course selected by parent/student.

C. A primary school of enrollment shall provide information about available online courses and programs in registration materials or through other reasonable communication and on the LEA's or school's website.

D. A primary school of enrollment shall include a student's online courses in student's enrollment records and, upon course completion, include online course grades and credits on student transcripts.


R277-726-6. State Board of Education (Board) Requirements and Responsibilities.

A. The Board shall develop and provide a website for the Program that provides information required under Section 53A-15-1212 and other information as determined by the Board.

B. The Board shall direct Providers to administer state-designated assessments consistent with R277-404 and R277-473 for identified courses using LEA-adopted and state-approved assessments.

C. The Board may determine space available standards and appropriate course load standards for online courses consistent with Sections 53A-15-1006(2) and 53A-15-1204(1)(b). Course load standards may differ based on subject matter and differing accreditation standards.

D. The Board shall withhold funds from primary LEAs of enrollment and make payments to Providers consistent with Sections 53A-15-1206 and 1207.

E. The Board shall establish an appeals process for students who request more than two online courses in the 2011-2012 school year and who are first denied by their primary LEA or school of enrollment.

F. The Board may refuse to provide funds under a CCA if the Board finds that information has been submitted fraudulently or in violation of the law or Board requirements by any of the parties to a CCA.

G. The USOE or the Board's designee shall receive, investigate complaints and impose sanctions, if appropriate, regarding course integrity, financial mismanagement, enrollment fraud or inaccuracy, or violations of the law or this rule specific to the requirements and provisions of this Program.

H. If a Board investigation finds that a Provider has violated IDEA or Section 504 provisions for students taking online courses, the Provider shall compensate the student's primary LEA of enrollment for all costs related to compliance.

I. The USOE may audit, at the Board's sole discretion, an LEA's or Program participant's compliance with any requirement of state or federal law or Board rule under the Program. All participants shall provide timely access to all records, student information, financial data or other information requested by the Board, the Board's auditors, the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee upon request.

J. The Board may impose penalties, withhold funds, or sanction Program participants for participants' failure to comply with reasonable requests for records or information.

K. All records related to the Program that do not disclose protected student information are public records and shall be available upon request under Section 63G-2-301or 63G-2-305.


R277-726-7. Provider Requirements and Responsibilities.

A. Providers shall administer state-designated assessments as directed by the Board, including proctoring, consistent with R277-473. Providers shall pay administrative and proctoring costs for all state-designated assessments.

B. Providers shall provide parents/students with email and telephone contacts for the provider during regular business hours in order to facilitate parent information.

C. Providers and third parties working with Providers shall satisfy all Board requirements for consistency with course curriculum, criminal background checks for Provider employees, documentation of student enrollment and participation and compliance with IDEA, Section 504, and requirements for ELL students for all eligible students.

D. Providers shall receive payments for students properly enrolled in the Program from the USOE consistent with Board procedures, timelines and Sections 53A-15-1206, 53A-15-1207 and 53A-15-1208.

E. Providers may charge fees consistent with other secondary schools. If the Provider intends to charge fees, the Provider:

(1) shall notify the primary school of enrollment with whom the Provider has the CCA of the purpose for fees, amounts of fees, and provide timely notice to parents of required fees and fee waiver opportunities, and post fees on Provider website.

(2) shall be responsible for fee waivers for eligible students, including all materials for students designated fee waiver eligible by a student's primary school of enrollment.

F. Providers shall maintain student records and comply with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, including protecting the confidentiality of student records and providing parents and eligible students access to records.

G. Except as provided in R277-726-8A, the Provider shall submit a student's credit and grade within 30 days after a student satisfactorily completes an online semester course to the USOE, primary school of enrollment, and parent(s).

H. Providers shall not withhold students' credits, grades, or transcripts from students, parents or students' schools of enrollment for any reason.

I. If a Provider desires to suspend a student from an online course for disciplinary reasons, the Provider is responsible for all student due process procedures, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 20 U.S.C. 1400 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If a student is suspended for more than 10 days, the Provider shall notify the USOE of a withdrawal.

J. Providers shall provide to the USOE a list of course options using the USOE-provided course codes (all courses shall be coded as semester courses). Course offerings shall be updated in January and August annually.

K. Providers shall serve all students on a first-come-first-served basis who desire to take courses and who are designated eligible by a primary school of enrollment if desired courses have space available.

L. Providers shall provide all records maintained as part of a public online school or program, including financial and enrollment records, and information for accountability and audit purposes upon request by the USOE, and the Provider's external auditor(s).

M. Providers shall maintain documentation of student work, including dates of submission, for Program audit purposes.

N. Providers are primarily responsible for complete and timely submissions of record changes to executed CCAs and submission of other reports and records as required by the USOE.

O. Providers shall inform students and parents of expectations for active participation in course work.

P. LEAs may participate in the Program as Providers by offering schools or programs or both to Utah students in grades 9-12 who are not resident students of the LEA consistent with Section 53A-15-1205(3).

Q. Program schools or programs:

(1) shall be accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission consistent with R277-413;

(2) shall have a designated administrator who meets the requirements of Section 53A-6-110 or Section 53A-1a-512(5);

(3) shall ensure that students who qualify for fee waivers shall receive all services offered by and through the public schools consistent with Section 53A-12-103 and R277-407;

(4) shall maintain student records consistent with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 34 CFR Part 99; and

(5) shall offer course work aligned with Utah Core standards, course requirements, and the provisions of R277-700 and R277-404, and R277-473.

R. LEAs that offer online programs or schools as Providers under the Program:

(1) shall employ only licensed Utah educators as teachers;

(2) shall not employ individuals whose educator licenses have been suspended or revoked;

(3) shall require all employees to meet requirements of Section 53A-3-410 and R277-516 prior to the Provider offering services to students;

(4) shall only employ teachers who meet the requirements of R277-510, Educator Licensing - Highly Qualified Assignment;

(5) shall agree to administer and have the capacity to carry out state-designated assessments, including proctoring, consistent with Section 53A-15-1210(2), R277-404 and R277-473;

(6) shall provide services to students consistent with requirements of the IDEA, Section 504, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for English Language Learners (ELL);

(7) shall maintain copies of all CCAs (for audit purposes);

(8) shall agree that funds shall be withheld by the USOE consistent with Section 53A-15-1206. A Provider shall cooperate with the USOE in providing timely documentation of student participation, enrollment, and other additional data consistent with Board directives and procedures and as requested; and

(9) shall ensure that third parties assisting with LEA online schools or programs comply with R277-726-7R, R277-404 and R277-473.


R277-726-8. Other Information.

A. Primary schools of enrollment shall set reasonable timelines and standards and Providers shall adhere to timelines and standards for student grades and enrollment in online courses for purposes of:

(1) school awards and honors;

(2) Utah High School Activities Association participation; and

(3) high school graduation.

B. Withholding of the online course payment from a primary LEA of enrollment and payments to the eligible Provider shall occur at the nearest monthly transfer of funds subject to verification of information.

C. The USOE shall pay the Provider consistent with Minimum School Program funding transfer schedules.

D. The Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee may make decisions on questions or issues unresolved by Section 53A-15-1002 et seq. or R277-726 on a case-by-case basis. The Superintendent shall report decisions to the Board consistent with the purposes of the law and this rule.


KEY: public education online program

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: June 30, 2011

authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: Art X Sec 3; 53A-15-1210; 53A-15-1213; 53A-1-401(3)


Additional Information

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Carol Lear at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7835, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at