Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 6678

Public Act No. 05-290

AN ACT CONCERNING CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR BILINGUAL EDUCATORS.

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

Section 1. Section 10-145h of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (d) as follows (Effective July 1, 2005):

(NEW) (d) (1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, for the period from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2008, the State Board of Education shall require an applicant for certification as a bilingual education teacher to demonstrate competency in English and the other language of instruction as a condition of certification. Competency in English shall be demonstrated by successful passage of the oral proficiency test in English and an essential skills test approved by the State Board of Education. Oral and written competency in the other language shall be demonstrated on an examination, if available, of comparable difficulty as specified by the Department of Education. If such an examination is not available, competency shall be demonstrated by an appropriate alternative method as specified by the department.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, for the period from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2008, the State Board of Education shall require persons seeking to become (A) elementary level bilingual education teachers to be certified in (i) bilingual education and achieve a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved assessment for elementary education, or (ii) elementary education and have completed six semester hours of credit in English as a second language course work as approved by the State Board of Education, and (B) secondary level bilingual education teachers to be certified in (i) bilingual education and achieve a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved subject area assessment, or (ii) the subject area they will teach and have completed six semester hours of credit in English as a second language course work as approved by the State Board of Education. Such certificates shall be valid for subject-specific bilingual education. Certification in elementary bilingual education shall be valid for grades kindergarten to eight, inclusive, and certification in secondary subject-specific bilingual education shall be valid for grades seven to twelve, inclusive.

Sec. 2. Subsection (d) of section 10-17f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2005):

(d) Each local and regional board of education shall limit the time an eligible student spends in a program of bilingual education to thirty months, whether or not such months are consecutive, except that summer school and two-way language programs pursuant to subsection (i) of this section shall not be counted. If an eligible student does not meet the English mastery standard at the end of thirty months, the local or regional board of education shall provide language transition support services to such student. Such services may include, but need not be limited to, English as a second language programs, sheltered English programs, English immersion programs, tutoring and homework assistance, provided such services may not include a program of bilingual education. Families may also receive guidance from school professionals to help their children make progress in their native language. If an eligible student enrolls in a secondary school when the student has fewer than thirty months remaining before graduation, the local or regional board of education shall assign the student to an English as a second language program and may provide intensive services to the student to enable the student to speak, write and comprehend English by the time the student graduates and to meet the course requirements for graduation.

Approved July 13, 2005