Connecticut Seal

Substitute Senate Bill No. 1093

Public Act No. 03-174

AN ACT CONCERNING MINOR REVISIONS TO THE EDUCATION STATUTES.

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

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 Subsection (d) of section 10-14n of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(d) [If] Student scores on each component of the state-wide tenth grade mastery examination may be included on the permanent record and transcript of each student who takes such examination provided, for a student who meets or exceeds the state-wide mastery goal level on [each] any component of the state-wide tenth grade mastery examination, certification of [such mastery] having met or exceeded such goal level shall be made on the permanent record and the transcript of each such student and such student shall be issued a certificate of mastery for such component. 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.

Sec. 2. Subsection (d) of section 10-145f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(d) Any person who is first issued a certificate valid after July 1, 1989, or who is reissued a certificate after July 1, 1989, shall, except as otherwise provided in this subsection, be required to achieve a satisfactory evaluation on a professional knowledge clinical assessment [within two years after commencing teaching in a public school] not later than the end of the second year of teaching in a public school if hired prior to January first or, if hired on or after January first, not later than the end of the second full school year of teaching following the year in which such person was hired in order to retain the certificate. The commissioner (1) may waive the requirement that such satisfactory evaluation on a professional knowledge clinical assessment be achieved upon a determination that such assessment is not valid for the person's teaching assignment, or (2) upon a showing of good cause, may extend the time limit for the assessment [by one year] for a period of time not exceeding two years. The requirement of a clinical assessment shall not apply to any such person who has completed at least three years of successful teaching in a public school or a nonpublic school approved by the appropriate state board of education during the ten years immediately preceding the date of application or who successfully taught with a provisional teaching certificate during the year immediately preceding an application for a provisional educator certificate as an employee of a local or regional board of education or facility approved for special education by the State Board of Education. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, [to the contrary,] the State Board of Education may reissue an initial educator certificate to a person who held such certificate and did not achieve a satisfactory evaluation on a professional knowledge clinical assessment provided the person submits evidence demonstrating significant intervening study and experience, in accordance with standards established by the State Board of Education.

Sec. 3. Subsection (d) of section 10-220a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(d) The [state] Department of Education may fund, within available appropriations, in cooperation with one or more regional educational service centers: (1) A cooperating teacher program to train Connecticut public school teachers and certified teachers at private special education facilities approved by the Commissioner of Education and at other facilities designated by the commissioner, who participate in the supervision, training and evaluation of student teachers; (2) institutes to provide continuing education for Connecticut public school educators, assessors and cooperating teachers and teacher mentors, including institutes to provide continuing education for Connecticut public school educators offered in cooperation with the Connecticut Humanities Council; and (3) a beginning teacher support and assessment program to train Connecticut public school teachers and other qualified persons approved by the Commissioner of Education and certified teachers at such private special education and other designated facilities who serve as mentors or assessors for beginning teachers and who supervise, train and assist or assess beginning teachers in their initial years in teaching and to pay stipends to assessors. Funds available under this subsection shall be paid directly to school districts for the provision of substitute teachers when cooperating teachers, teacher mentors, beginning teachers and assessors are released from regular classroom responsibilities and for the provision of professional development activities for cooperating and student teachers, teacher mentors, assessors and beginning teachers. The cooperating teacher and beginning teacher support and assessment programs shall operate in accordance with regulations which shall be adopted by the State Board of Education pursuant to chapter 54. Student teachers shall be placed with trained cooperating teachers. Beginning teachers shall participate in a beginning teacher support and assessment program as made available by the board. School districts shall be responsible for providing support to beginning teachers which shall include, but not be limited to, the placement of beginning teachers with trained teacher mentors who may be full or part-time teachers in the same or a different building than the beginning teacher and provision of trained assessors to conduct assessments of beginning teachers. Cooperating teachers, teacher mentors and assessors may serve concurrently in more than one capacity and may be assigned more than one student teacher or beginning teacher in each such capacity. The assessment of each beginning teacher shall be based upon, but not limited to, data obtained from observations conducted by assessors using an assessment instrument. [Notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, the State Board of Education may require less than six observations as part of such assessment for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1992, and may establish different assessment standards for use during such fiscal year. Notwithstanding any regulation to the contrary, a] A beginning teacher [need not] shall be assessed by [a certified teacher who holds a certification endorsement] educators with teaching experience in the same general subject area as such beginning teacher. Cooperating teachers and teacher mentors who are Connecticut public school teachers and assessors who are employed by school districts shall be selected by local and regional boards of education. Cooperating teachers and teacher mentors and assessors at such private special education and other designated facilities shall be selected by the authority responsible for the operation of such facilities. If a board of education is unable to identify a sufficient number of individuals to serve in such positions, the commissioner may select qualified persons who are not employed by the board of education to serve in such positions. Such regulations shall require primary consideration of teachers' classroom experience and recognized success as educators. The provisions of sections 10-153a to 10-153n, inclusive, shall not be applicable to the selection, placement and compensation of persons participating in the cooperating teacher and beginning teacher support and assessment programs pursuant to the provisions of this section and to the hours and duties of such persons. The State Board of Education shall protect and save harmless, in accordance with the provisions of section 10-235, any cooperating teacher, teacher mentor or assessor while serving in such capacity.

Sec. 4. Subsection (b) of section 10-226a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(b) As used in sections 10-226a to 10-226e, inclusive, "pupils and teachers of racial minorities" means those whose [racial ancestry] race is defined as other than white, or whose ethnicity is defined as Hispanic or Latino by the federal Office of Management and Budget for use by the Bureau of Census of the United States Department of Commerce.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2003) No examination required for students in the seventh through twelfth grades, inclusive, pursuant to chapter 163c of the general statutes, or in accordance with the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, P. L. 107-110, shall be administered earlier than nine o'clock a. m.

Sec. 6. Subsections (b) and (c) of section 10-261a of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(b) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall, annually, no later than the first day of August submit the equalized net grand list for each town to the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education for purposes of computing the amount of grant payable to any town under the provisions of said section 10-262i.

(c) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall, annually, no later than the first day of May mail to the chief executive officer and the assessor in each town [and to the State Board of Education,] notification concerning the equalized net grand list computed with respect to such town. Within fifteen days following receipt of such notification, any town may appeal to the secretary for a hearing concerning such equalized net grand list, provided such appeal shall be in writing and include a statement as to the reasons for such appeal. The secretary shall, within fifteen days following receipt of such appeal, grant or deny such hearing by notification in writing, including in the event of denial, a statement as to the reasons for such denial. If any town is aggrieved by the action of the secretary following such hearing or in denying any such hearing, such town may, within thirty days, appeal to the superior court for the judicial district in which such town is located. Such appeal shall be a preferred case, to be heard, unless cause appears to the contrary, at the first session, by the court. Upon all such appeals which are denied, costs may be taxed against the town at the discretion of the court, but no costs shall be taxed against the state.

Sec. 7. Section 10-262k of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, [to the contrary,] the board of education which has jurisdiction over the schools in any town (1) with a total population, as defined in subdivision (7) of subsection (a) of section 10-261, greater than twenty thousand, and (2) in which the grant mastery percentage, as defined in subdivision [(8)] (12) of section 10-262f, is greater than twenty per cent may annually apply to the Commissioner of Education, on such forms as the commissioner may prescribe, to receive not more than two per cent of the town's grant entitlement pursuant to section 10-262h for the subsequent fiscal year for compensatory education programs. At the time of application, the board of education shall notify the board of finance in each town or city having a board of finance, the board of selectmen in each town having no board of finance or otherwise the authority making appropriations for the school district of the application. Upon submission of a timely application to the commissioner, the commissioner shall deduct such amount from the payment made to the town in October of such subsequent fiscal year pursuant to section 10-262i, and the board of education shall receive a grant in such amount.

Sec. 8. Subsection (a) of section 10-76g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(a) (1) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1984, and each fiscal year thereafter, in any case in which special education is being provided at a private residential institution, including the residential components of regional educational service centers, to a child for whom no local or regional board of education can be found responsible under subsection (b) of section 10-76d, the Department of Children and Families shall pay the costs of special education to such institution pursuant to its authority under sections 17a-1 to 17a-26, inclusive, 17a-28 to 17a-50, inclusive, and 17a-52. (2) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1993, and each fiscal year thereafter, any local or regional board of education which provides special education and related services for any child (A) who is placed by a state agency in a private residential facility or who is placed in a facility or institution operated by the Department of Children and Families and who receives such special education at a program operated by a regional education service center or program operated by a local or regional board of education, and (B) for whom no local or regional board of education can be found responsible under subsection (b) of section 10-76d, shall be eligible to receive one hundred per cent of the reasonable costs of special education for such child as defined in the regulations of the State Board of Education. Any such board eligible for payment shall file with the [state] Department of Education, in such manner as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education, annually, on or before December first a statement of the cost of providing special education for such child, provided a board of education may submit, not later than [February] March first, claims for additional children or costs not included in the December filing. Payment by the state for such costs shall be made to the local or regional board of education as follows: Seventy-five per cent of the cost in February and the balance in [April] May.

Sec. 9. Subsection (b) of section 10-265l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(b) Subject to the provisions of this subsection, each local and regional board of education for a priority school district shall require (1) for the 2000-2001 school year, and each school year thereafter, students in the schools under its jurisdiction who fail to reach the state-wide standard for remedial assistance on the reading component of such fourth grade mastery examination to attend school the summer following the examination on which they failed to reach such standard, and (2) within available appropriations, for the 2001-2002 school year, and each school year thereafter, students in the schools under its jurisdiction who fail to reach the state-wide standard for remedial assistance on such sixth grade mastery examination to attend school the summer following the examination on which they failed to reach such standard. The superintendent of schools may exempt an individual student from such requirement, upon the recommendation of the school principal, based on the student's progress with the additional instruction provided pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. If a student does not receive such an exemption, has been offered the opportunity to attend a summer school program and fails to attend summer school, the local or regional board of education shall not promote the student to the next grade.

Sec. 10. Subsection (b) of section 10-262n of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(b) Local and regional boards of education shall apply to the department for grants at such time and in such manner as the Commissioner of Education prescribes. In order to be eligible for a grant, a local or regional board of education shall: (1) Have a technology plan that was developed or updated during the [two-year] three-year period preceding the date of application for grant funds and, once the Commission for Educational Technology develops the long-range plan required pursuant to subdivision (5) of subsection (c) of section 4d-80, the local technology plan shall be consistent with such long-range plan, (2) provide that each school and superintendent's office be able to communicate with the Department of Education using the Internet, (3) present evidence that it has applied or will apply for a grant from the federal Universal Service Fund, and (4) submit a plan for the expenditure of grant funds in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

Sec. 11. Subsection (a) of section 10-19o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(a) The Commissioner of Education shall establish a program to provide grants to youth service bureaus in accordance with this section. Only youth service bureaus which were eligible to receive grants pursuant to this section for the fiscal year ending June 30, [2001] 2003, or which applied for a grant by June 30, [2001] 2003, with prior approval of the town's contribution pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, shall be eligible for a grant pursuant to this section for any fiscal year commencing on or after July 1, [2001] 2003. Each such youth service bureau shall receive a grant of fourteen thousand dollars. The Department of Education may expend an amount not to exceed two per cent of the amount appropriated for purposes of this section for administrative expenses. If there are any remaining funds, each such youth service bureau that was awarded a grant in excess of fifteen thousand dollars in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, shall receive a percentage of such funds. The percentage shall be determined as follows: For each such grant in excess of fifteen thousand dollars, the difference between the amount of the grant awarded to the youth service bureau for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, and fifteen thousand dollars shall be divided by the difference between the total amount of the grants awarded to all youth service bureaus that were awarded grants in excess of fifteen thousand dollars for said fiscal year and the product of fifteen thousand dollars and the number of such grants for said fiscal year.

Sec. 12. Subsection (b) of section 10-4 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) Said board shall submit to the Governor [, as provided in section 4-60,] and to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education [, a detailed statement of the activities of the board and] an account of the condition of the public schools and of the amount and quality of instruction therein and such other information as will assess the true condition, progress and needs of public education.

Sec. 13. Section 17a-248d of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (e) as follows (Effective October 1, 2003):

(NEW) (e) The state-wide system shall include a system for required notification to any local or regional school board of education no later than January first of each year of any child who resides in the local or regional school district, participates in the state-wide program and will attain the age of three during the next fiscal year.

Sec. 14. Section 10-266t of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (h) as follows (Effective July 1, 2003):

(NEW) (h) Notwithstanding subsections (d) and (e) of this section, a school district may charge fees for participation in after-school academic enrichment, support or recreational programs, provided the fees are calculated on a sliding scale based on ability to pay and that no fee exceeds seventy-five per cent of the average cost of participation. No school district may exclude a student from participation in such after-school academic enrichment, support and recreational programs due to inability to pay a fee.

Sec. 15. Subsection (a) of section 10-153b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2003):

(a) Whenever used in this section or in sections 10-153c to 10-153n, inclusive: (1) The "administrators' unit" means the certified professional employee or employees in a school district not excluded from the purview of sections 10-153a to 10-153n, inclusive, employed in positions requiring an intermediate administrator or supervisor certificate, or the equivalent thereof, and whose administrative or supervisory duties, for purposes of determining membership in the administrators' unit, shall equal at least fifty per cent of the assigned time of such employee. Certified professional employees covered by the terms and conditions of a contract in effect prior to October 1, 1983, shall continue to be covered by such contract or any successor contract until such time as the employee is covered by the terms and conditions of a contract negotiated by the exclusive bargaining unit of which the employee is a member for purposes of collective bargaining pursuant to the provisions of this section. (2) The "teachers' unit" means the group of [certified] professional employees who hold a certificate or durational shortage area permit issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, and are employed by a local or regional board of education in positions requiring such a [teaching or other] certificate or durational shortage area permit and are not included in the administrators' unit or excluded from the purview of sections 10-153a to 10-153n, inclusive. (3) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Education. (4) "To post a notice" means to post a copy of the indicated material on each bulletin board for teachers in every school in the school district or, if there are no such bulletin boards, to give a copy of such information to each employee in the unit affected by such notice. (5) "Budget submission date" means the date on which a school district is to submit its itemized estimate of the cost of maintenance of public schools for the next following year to the board of finance in each town having a board of finance, to the board of selectmen in each town having no board of finance and, in any city having a board of finance, to said board, and otherwise to the authority making appropriations therein. (6) "Days" means calendar days.

Approved June 26, 2003