(1) To ensure both equality of opportunity and quality of programs offered, all public schools in the state shall be required to meet quality and performance-based approval or accreditation standards as prescribed by the State Board of Education. The board shall establish a core curriculum standard, which shall include multicultural education and vocational education courses, for all public schools in the state. Accreditation and approval standards shall be designed to assure effective schooling and quality of instructional programs regardless of school size, wealth, or geographic location. Accreditation standards for school districts that are members of a learning community shall include participation in the community achievement plan for the learning community as approved by the board. Accreditation standards for education programs in state institutions under the supervision of the Department of Health and Human Services that house juveniles shall include an annual report to the State Board of Education by the superintendent of institutional schools. The board shall recognize and encourage the maximum use of cooperative programs and may provide for approval or accreditation of programs on a cooperative basis, including the sharing of administrative and instructional staff, between school districts for the purpose of meeting the approval and accreditation requirements established pursuant to this section and section 79-318.
(2) The Commissioner of Education shall appoint an accreditation committee which shall be representative of the educational institutions and agencies of the state and shall include as a member the director of admissions of the University of Nebraska.
(3) The accreditation committee shall be responsible for: (a) Recommending appropriate standards and policies with respect to the accreditation and classification of schools; and (b) making recommendations annually to the commissioner relative to the accreditation and classification of individual schools. No school shall be considered for accreditation status which has not first fulfilled all requirements for an approved school.
(4) All public schools in the state, including, but not limited to, schools operated by school districts and education programs in state institutions under the supervision of the Department of Health and Human Services that house juveniles, shall be accredited.
(5) It is the intent of the Legislature that all public school students shall have access to all educational services required of accredited schools. Such services may be provided through cooperative programs or alternative methods of delivery.