Service-Learning/Community Service Addressed in Other State Policies, Statutes or Administrative Code
Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org

Service-Learning/Community Service Addressed in Other State Policies, Statutes or Administrative Code

January 2014


This report highlights other state policies, statutes or administrative code that address service-learning/community service.

Other policies relating to service-learning
Alabama No
Alaska No
Arizona The State Board of Education to is required to adopt guidelines to encourage pupils in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 to volunteer for 20 hours of community service before graduation from high school. Community service may include service learning.

Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-203
Arkansas No
California School districts are authorized to establish and maintain in secondary schools community service classes for adults and children without the approval of the State Department of Education to provide instruction and to contribute to the physical, mental, moral, economic, or civic development. No state funding is provided for community service classes.

Cal. Educ. Code §§ 51810  and 51814


Student body organization funds collected through mandatory fees may be spent on programs of community service.

Cal. Code Regs. tit. 5, § 42659
Colorado The Dropout Prevention Activity Grant Program awards grants, using gifts, grants, or donations to the grant fund, to fund before- and after-school arts-based and vocational activity programs for students in grades 6-12. The Department of Education is required to consider, among other criteria, whether the program includes a partnering relationship with businesses in the community or a component of community service. The stated goal is to fund programs that demonstrate a connection with the community outside the school and provide a benefit to that community.

Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-27.5-104
Connecticut No
Delaware No
District of Columbia No
Florida The College-Preparatory Boarding Academy Pilot Program was created to provide educational opportunities to dependent or at-risk children who are academic underperformers but who have the potential to progress from at-risk to college-bound. The program includes community service and service learning opportunities.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.3305
Georgia No
Hawaii No
Idaho No
Illinois No
Indiana No
Iowa No
Kansas The State Board of Education is required to provide a community service program to be offered to all accredited high schools.

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1126
Kentucky The Department of Education must take into consideration state and federal resources and programs, including service learning programs, when implementing a statewide dropout prevention program.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 158.146


Schools are required to develop students’ ability to become responsible members of a family, work group, or community, including demonstrating effectiveness in community service.

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 158.6451


Service learning is one option for additional coursework required for students enrolled in the Secondary GED Program.

704 Ky. Admin. Regs. 7:150


Secondary career and technical education programs must provide opportunities for students to participate in work-based learning experiences. These work-based learning experiences may include service learning.

705 Ky. Admin. Regs. 4:231
Louisiana The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is authorized to establish a Distinction for Community Service Diploma Endorsement Program to recognize high school students who perform a certain number of hours of community service. The number of service hours required to earn the endorsement are determined by the state board as follows:
  • 9th grade – 10 hours
  • 10th grade – 20 hours
  • 11th grade – 25 hours
  • 12th grade – 25 hours
  • Total – 80 hours
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:264 and
La. Admin. Code tit. 28, pt. CXV, § 2317


To prepare students for choosing a career option in high school, teachers in grades 6-8 must incorporate activities that expose students to career and technical and academic fields of study. The activities may include a number of activities including community service.

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:183.2
La. Admin. Code tit. 28, pt. CXV, § 2397
Maine Students may demonstrate achievement of standards through multiple pathways. Achievement may be demonstrated by evidence documented by course and learning experiences using multiple measures such as examinations, quizzes, portfolios, performances, exhibitions, projects, and community service.

Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 20-A, § 4722
Maryland Private secondary schools are required to include a summary of service learning hours completed on a student’s transcript.
   
Md. Code Regs. 13A.09.10.16
Massachusetts Community service activities are among the items that must be included in a five-year master plan the commissioner of education must prepare and submit to the Secretary of Education.

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 69, § 1A
Michigan No
Minnesota The Governor’s Workforce Development Council is required to work with the Commissioner of Education to study how to combine service-learning and community service activities with work-based learning programs. The resulting curriculum must include strategies for youth community service and mentoring. The service-learning curriculum must provide opportunities for students in grades 7-12, and for young people not currently enrolled in school, to become involved in community service activities, participate in apprenticeship programs and complete high school or postsecondary coursework.

Minn. Stat. § 124D.50


The focus of a state-approved alternative program must include, among other things, work-based learning opportunities, work experience, and youth service to the community.

Minn. Stat. Ann. § 123A.06
Mississippi No
Missouri No
Montana No
Nebraska What Is Community Service-Learning?” is a Nebraska Department of Education publication explaining how to use service-learning as a tool to reconnect disengaged and other at-risk youth in dropout prevention programs.

What is Community Service-Learning? Nebraska Department of Education. http://www.education.ne.gov/federalprograms/sdfs/Promising_Prev_Practices/School_Assets/What_is_CSL.pdf. [Accessed June 22, 2011.]


Nevada No
New Hampshire Among the requirements related to dropout prevention and dropout recovery programs is that they must provide opportunities that may include community service and peer-centered activities encouraging responsibility and other positive social behaviors during non-school hours, including linking youth and adult mentoring, as appropriate.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 189:59
NH ADC ED 903.02


A student who is at least 16 years of age may obtain a waiver from attending the assigned district school provided there is an alternative learning plan in place leading to a high school diploma or equivalent. The alternative learning plan may include community service.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 193:1


The definition of extended learning includes community service.

NH ADC ED 306.02
New Jersey No
New Mexico No
New York A Regents Certificate of Work Readiness may be issued to a student with a disability to document preparation for entry-level employment after high school. Among the requirements for a certificate are that the student has demonstrated knowledge and skills relating to the career development occupational studies learning standards by completing not less than the equivalent of two units of study in career development courses or work-based learning experiences. The equivalent units of study can be earned through career and technical education courses or work-based learning experiences, provided that the student has successfully completed a minimum of 54 hours of documented work-based learning experiences related to career awareness, exploration, or preparation. Work-based learning experiences may include, among other experiences, job shadowing, community service, volunteering, service learning, senior projects, or school based enterprise.

N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 8, § 100.6
North Carolina As part of the basic education program, local boards of education are encouraged to include instruction on certain responsibilities including engaging in meaningful service to schools and their communities. Schools may teach service-learning by incorporating it into their standard curriculum or involving a classroom of students or some other group of students in one or more hands-on community-service projects. All schools are encouraged to provide opportunities for student involvement in community service or service-learning projects.

N.C. Gen. Stat. §115C-81.h1.3
North Dakota The guidelines for Title V Part A: Promoting informed Parental Choice and Innovative Programs include service-learning as an authorized activity.

Title V Part A: Promoting Informed Parental Choice and Innovative Programs.  North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/titleV/info.shtm. [Accessed December 31, 2013.]
Ohio The State Superintendent of Education is required to adopt rules for granting a student special certification, special recognition on a diploma, or special notification in the student's record upon the student's successful completion of an approved community service project.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3313.605
Ohio Admin. Code 3301-16-03


At the request of a local school district board of education, the governing board of an educational service center may provide a community service education program for the local district. The program must include the development and implementation of a community service plan. The plan must be based on the recommendations of an advisory committee and must provide: 
  • Education of students in the value of community service and its contributions to the history of the state and this nation
  • Identification of opportunities for students to provide community service
  • Encouragement of students to provide community service
  • Integration of community service opportunities into the curriculum
  • A community service instructional program for teachers, including strategies for teaching community service education, for discovery of community service opportunities, and for motivation of students to become involved in community service.
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3313.605
Ohio Admin. Code 3301-16-03


The Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to develop guidelines for the development and implementation of a rubric to evaluate and rate community service education projects for use by districts, governing authorities, and governing boards that adopt a community service education plan.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3313.605


The State Board of Education is required to develop a plan to assist school districts with community service activities with the assistance of the Ohio Commission on Service and Volunteerism. The state board must encourage the development of school district programs meeting the requirements for funding under the National and Community Service Act of 1990. The plan must include the investigation of funding from all available sources for school community service education programs, including funds available under the National and Community Service Act of 1990, and the provision of technical assistance to school districts for the implementation of community service education programs. The plan must also provide for technical assistance to be given to school boards to assist in obtaining funds for community service education programs from any source.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3301.70


The State Board of Education is required to disseminate information about school district community service education programs to other school districts and to statewide organizations involved with or promoting volunteerism, recruit additional school districts to develop community service education programs, and identify or develop model community service programs, teacher training courses, and community service curricula and teaching materials for possible use by school districts in their programs.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3301.70
Oklahoma The State Board of Education may assist school districts with the development of youth community service programs by:
  • Establishing and maintaining a list of acceptable projects with a description of each project
  • Verifying that community sponsors have filed assurances with the Department of Education that youth community services students are not displacing employees or reducing the hours for which any employee is paid
  • Assisting school districts in publicizing the youth community service program and in determining whether there is sufficient interest in the district to warrant a youth community service program
  • Monitoring districts to assure that youth community service programs are established in districts where interest warrants
  • Evaluating local youth community service programs
  • Developing in-service training components to be used by local districts for preparation of youth community service program faculty sponsors
  • Assisting local districts in applying for grants from private or governmental sources for youth community service programs.
Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 70, § 11-108.3

Oregon Community learning centers are required to promote identification and coordination of existing resources including, among other things, youth development and service learning activities.

Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 329.157


Alternative education programs are required to provide accountable activities, one of which is supervised community service activities performed as part of the instructional program.

Or. Admin. R. 581-023-0008
Pennsylvania Dropout prevention programs, which include community service, are among services and programs that may be provided to students in grades kindergarten through 12.

24 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 25-2597.4
Rhode Island Located in school districts identified as at risk, urban after school programs are administered for middle schools and junior and senior high schools by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The purpose of the programs is to provide students an opportunity to engage in a gainful activity, such as athletic, cultural, arts, academic, community service, remediation and career exploration after school or during the time the schools are not in session.
 
R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 16-7.1-17


The protocol for interventions in the persistently lowest-achieving schools defines expanded learning time to include service learning.

R.I. Code R. 21 2 55


School districts are required to provide all students with multiple learning opportunities that support meeting proficiency. Among the opportunities that must be provided, districts must establish pathways that represent a set of courses and other programs within its guaranteed and viable comprehensive course of study and that provide students with the means to meet their academic and career goals. These pathways must include Advanced Placement courses, career and technical programs, dual enrollment, and opportunities for extended applied learning such as internships, job shadowing, and community service learning.

R.I. Code R. 21 2 53
South Carolina No
South Dakota No
Tennessee Schools are encouraged to adopt recycling programs that promote student involvement in the recycling process. The programs may include a partnership with a parent-teacher organization, service organization, or other nonprofit group, to provide additional opportunities for instruction about recycling and recycling processes and to provide opportunities for community service by students.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-6-1020


Local boards of education are authorized to implement programs for school-based enterprises, studios, laboratories, and service learning to provide work-based learning experiences in which students learn through work completed at the school site or in the community.

Tenn. Comp. R. & Regs. 0520-01-03-.06
Texas School districts are required to evaluate the performance of schools in community and student engagement and assign a rating. One of the categories of performance that must be rated is opportunities for students to participate in community service projects.

Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 39.0545
Utah Curricular and noncurricular clubs must get authorization from the school. The written application for authorization form requires a statement of the club’s categorization. Among the listed categories is community service/social justice.

Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-1204
Utah Code Ann. § 53A-11-1205
Vermont Regulations related to school quality standards require schools to provide opportunities, appropriate to age and ability, for students to engage in service learning, to develop leadership skills, and to participate in cultural programs.

7-1 Vt. Code R. § 2:2120
Virginia The State Board of Education is required, for board-approved diplomas, to establish criteria for awarding a diploma seal for excellence in civics education and understanding of the state and federal constitutions and the democratic model of government. The seal is awarded to students who:
  • Complete Virginia and United States History and Virginia and United States Government courses with a grade of “B” or higher
  • Have good attendance and no disciplinary infractions as determined by local school board policies
  • Complete 50 hours of voluntary participation in community service or extracurricular activities. Any student who enlists in the United States military prior to graduation will be deemed to have met the community service requirement.
Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-253.13:4
8 Va. Admin. Code § 20-131-50
Washington No
West Virginia No
Wisconsin For purposes of school district education for employment programs, service learning is defined as pupils learning and developing through active participation in thoughtfully organized services that meet the needs of the community. Education for employment programs are intended to prepare elementary and secondary pupils for future employment, ensure technological literacy to promote lifelong learning, promote good citizenship, promote cooperation among business, industry, labor, postsecondary schools, and public schools, and establish a role for public schools in the economic development of Wisconsin.

Wis. Admin. Code PI § 26.01
Wis. Admin. Code PI § 26.02
Wyoming No


This database will be updated as we learn of policy changes. If you have comments about the information presented or the database, please contact Paul Baumann at pbaumann@ecs.org or 303.299.3608. Creation of this database was made possible in part through the support of the State Farm Companies Foundation.

© 2014 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail ecs@ecs.org.
Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy