Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 1155

Public Act No. 03-168

AN ACT CONCERNING THE FEDERAL NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT AND TEACHER CERTIFICATION.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 10-14n of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(a) (1) Each student enrolled in the fourth grade in any public school shall annually take a state-wide mastery examination. For purposes of this section, a state-wide mastery examination is defined as an examination which measures whether or not a student has mastered essential grade-level skills in reading, language arts and mathematics. The mastery examination shall be provided by and administered under the supervision of the State Board of Education.

[(b)] (2) Each student enrolled in the sixth grade and each student enrolled in the eighth grade in any public school shall annually take a state-wide mastery examination. Such mastery examination shall be provided by and administered under the supervision of the State Board of Education.

[(c)] (3) Annually each student enrolled in the tenth grade in any public school or any endowed or incorporated high school or academy approved by the State Board of Education pursuant to section 10-34 shall take a state-wide mastery examination. Such mastery examination shall be provided by and administered under the supervision of the State Board of Education.

(b) Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, the state-wide mastery examinations pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be administered in April.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the state-wide mastery examinations pursuant to this section shall be administered as follows:

(1) Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, each student enrolled in grades three to eight, inclusive, and ten in any public school shall, annually, in April, take a state-wide mastery examination that measures the essential and grade-appropriate skills in reading, writing and mathematics; and

(2) Beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, each student enrolled in grades five, eight and ten in any public school shall, annually, in April, take a state-wide mastery examination in science.

(d) Mastery examinations pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall be provided by and administered under the supervision of the State Board of Education.

[(d)] (e) If a student meets or exceeds the state-wide mastery goal level on each component of the state-wide tenth grade mastery examination, certification of such mastery shall be made on the permanent record and the transcript of each such student. Each student who fails to meet the mastery goal level on each component of said mastery examination may annually take or retake each such component at its regular administration until such student scores at or above each such state-wide mastery goal level or such student graduates or reaches age twenty-one.

[(e)] (f) No such public school or endowed or incorporated high school or academy may require achievement of a satisfactory score on the state-wide mastery examination, or any subsequent retest on a component of such examination as the sole criterion of promotion or graduation.

(g) On and after July 1, 2003, mastery testing pursuant to this section shall be in conformance with the testing requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110 provided (1) any costs of such conformance to the state and local or regional boards of education that are attributable to additional federal requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110 shall be paid exclusively from federal funds received by the state and local or regional boards of education pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110, and (2) the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education shall, on or before February 1, 2004, evaluate the estimated additional cost to the state and its local and regional boards of education for compliance with the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110, net of appropriated federal funds for such purpose, and the comparable amount of estimated federal funds to be received by the state and its local and regional boards of education pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110 and report its findings and recommendations, if any, pursuant to the provisions of section 11-4a.

Sec. 2. Subsection (e) of section 10-266aa of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(e) Once the program is in operation in the region served by a regional educational service center pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the Department of Education shall provide an annual grant to such a regional educational service center to assist school districts in its area in administering the program and to provide staff to assist students participating in the program to make the transition to a new school and to act as a liaison between the parents of such students and the new school district. Each regional educational service center shall determine which school districts in its area are located close enough to a priority school district to make participation in the program feasible in terms of student transportation pursuant to subsection [(e)] (f) of this section, provided any student participating in the program prior to July 1, 1999, shall be allowed to continue to attend the same school such student attended prior to said date in the receiving district until the student completes the highest grade in such school. Each regional educational service center shall convene, annually, a meeting of representatives of such school districts in order for such school districts to report, by March thirty-first, the number of spaces available for the following school year for out-of-district students under the program. Annually, each regional educational service center shall provide a count of such spaces to the Department of Education by April fifteenth. If there are more students who seek to attend school in a receiving district than there are spaces available, the regional educational service center shall assist the school district in determining attendance by the use of a lottery or lotteries designed to preserve or increase racial, ethnic and economic diversity, except that the regional educational service center shall give preference to siblings and to students who would otherwise attend a school that has lost its accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges or identified as in need of improvement pursuant to the No Child Left Behind Act, P.L. 107-110. The admission policies shall be consistent with section 10-15c and this section. No receiving district shall recruit students under the program for athletic or extracurricular purposes. Each receiving district shall allow out-of-district students it accepts to attend school in the district until they graduate from high school.

Sec. 3. Section 10-145d of the general statutes is amended by adding subsections (f) and (g) as follows (Effective from passage):

(NEW) (f) An endorsement to teach elementary education shall be valid for grades kindergarten to six, inclusive, and an endorsement to teach comprehensive special education shall be valid for grades kindergarten to twelve, inclusive.

(NEW) (g) For the purposes of issuance of certificates, permits and authorizations by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, as amended by this act, teaching experience in approved nonpublic schools shall include teaching experience in birth-to-three programs approved by the Department of Mental Retardation.

Sec. 4. Subsection (a) of section 10-145d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(a) The State Board of Education shall, pursuant to chapter 54, adopt such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of sections 10-144o, 10-145a to 10-145d, inclusive, 10-145f and 10-146b. Such regulations shall provide for (1) the establishment of an appeal panel to review any decision to deny the issuance of a certificate authorized under said section 10-145b; (2) the establishment of requirements for subject area endorsements; (3) the extension of the time to complete requirements for certificates under said section 10-145b; (4) the establishment of requirements for administrator and supervisor certificates; (5) the composition of, and the procedures to be utilized by, the assessment teams in implementing the beginning educator program; (6) procedures and criteria for issuing certificates to persons whose certificates have lapsed or persons with non-public-school or out-of-state teaching experience; (7) the criteria for defining a major course of study; (8) a requirement that on and after July 1, 1993, in order to be eligible to obtain an initial educator certificate with an elementary endorsement, each person be required to complete a survey course in United States history comprised of not fewer than three semester hours; and (9) a requirement that on and after July 1, [2003] 2004, in order to be eligible to obtain an initial educator certificate with an early childhood nursery through grade three or an elementary endorsement, each person be required to complete a comprehensive reading instruction course comprised of not less than six semester hours. Such regulations may provide for exceptions to accommodate specific certification endorsement areas.

Sec. 5. Section 10-145i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-146b, inclusive, and 10-149, the State Board of Education shall not issue or reissue any certificate, authorization or permit pursuant to said sections if (1) the applicant for such certificate, authorization or permit has been convicted of any of the following: (A) A capital felony, as defined in section 53a-54b; (B) arson murder, as defined in section 53a-54d; (C) any Class A felony; (D) any Class B felony except a violation of section 53a-122, 53a-252 or 53a-291; (E) a crime involving an act of child abuse or neglect as described in section 46b-120; or (F) a violation of section 53-21, 53-37a, 53a-60b, 53a-60c, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b, 53a-73a, 53a-88, 53a-99, 53a-103a, 53a-181c, 53a-191, 53a-196, 53a-196c, 53a-216, 53a-217b or 21a-278 or a violation of subsection (a) of section 21a-277, and (2) the applicant completed serving the sentence for such conviction within the five years immediately preceding the date of the application.

Sec. 6. Section 17a-101c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

Within forty-eight hours of making an oral report, a mandated reporter shall submit a written report to the Commissioner of Children and Families or his representative. When a mandated reporter is a member of the staff of a public or private institution or facility that provides care for such child or public or private school he shall also submit a copy of the written report to the person in charge of such institution, school or facility or the person's designee. In the case of a report concerning a [certified] school employee holding a certificate, authorization or permit issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-146b, inclusive, as amended by this act, and 10-149, a copy of the written report shall also be sent by the person in charge of such institution, school or facility to the Commissioner of Education or his representative. In the case of an employee of a facility or institution that provides care for a child which is licensed by the state, a copy of the written report shall also be sent by the mandated reporter to the executive head of the state licensing agency.

Sec. 7. Subsection (b) of section 17a-101i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(b) After an investigation has been completed and the Commissioner of Children and Families, based upon the results of the investigation, has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused by a staff member of a public or private institution or facility providing care for children or private school, the commissioner shall notify the executive director of such institution, school or facility and shall provide records, whether or not created by the department concerning such investigation to such executive director. Such institution, school or facility may suspend such staff person. Such suspension shall be with pay and shall not result in diminution or termination of benefits to such employee. Such suspension shall remain in effect until the incident of abuse has been satisfactorily resolved by the employer of the staff person. If such staff member has a professional license or [certification] certificate issued by the state or a permit or authorization issued by the State Board of Education, the commissioner shall forthwith notify the state agency responsible for issuing such license, [or certification of] certificate, permit or authorization to the staff member and provide records, whether or not created by the department, concerning such investigation.

Sec. 8. (Effective from passage) Notwithstanding the adoption of sections 10-145d-620 to 10-145d-805, inclusive, of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies, the Department of Education shall operate under the teacher certification regulations under section 10-145d of the general statutes, as amended by this act, in effect on the effective date of this section during the period from the effective date of this section to January 1, 2005.

Approved June 26, 2003