(1) Any school district, with the approval of the State Department of Education, may establish and operate a career academy. The purpose of a career academy is to provide students with a career-based educational curriculum. A school district may partner with another school district, an educational service unit, a learning community, a postsecondary educational institution, or a private entity in the establishment and operation of a career academy.
(2) A career academy established pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall:
(a) Recruit students who seek a career-based curriculum, which curriculum shall be based on criteria determined by the department;
(b) Recruit and hire instructors based on their expertise in career-based education; and
(c) Provide a rigorous academic curriculum with a transition component to prepare students for the workforce, including, but not limited to, internships, job training, and skills training.
(3) In addition to funding from the establishing school district or any of the district's partners, a career academy may also receive private donations for operating expenses.
(4) The department shall define standards and criteria for (a) the establishment, evaluation, and continuing approval of career academies, (b) career-based curriculum utilized by career academies, (c) the necessary data elements and collection of data pertaining to career academies, including, but not limited to, the number of students enrolled in a career academy and their grade levels, and (d) the establishment of advisory boards consisting of business and education representatives to provide guidance and direction for the operation of career academies.
(5) The State Board of Education may adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to carry out this section.