Among the legislation's key details, SB 975:
• Authorizes South Texas College to partner with school districts in Hidalgo County with a dropout rate higher than 15% to operate a dropout recovery program on its campus starting September 1, 2012. It allows for statewide implementation September 1, 2013;
• Allows students less than 26 years old to participate if they: lack 3 or fewer credits to graduate; or failed a school exit exam;
• Allows a community college that operates a dropout recovery program to receive from the partnering school district a negotiated amount out of the Foundation School Program for participating students. The colleges can also receive grants, donations and other funds such as dropout prevention and recovery program funds appropriated to TEA;
• Requires that students enrolled in the program receive a diploma from their school district;
• Requires that the dropout recovery model include classes, academic support, transition counseling and information on support services that will ensure quality preparation and successful transition to college and to a career (to the extent that funds are available for student success in the first year of college);
• Allows the school district to retain accountability for each student; and
• Allows the school district to retain control over the amount of funding that follows the student to a community college that decides to operate a dropout recovery program, (the amount would be "negotiated" in the articulation agreement that establishes the partnership).