January Session, 2011
Senate, April 13, 2011
The Committee on Education reported through SEN. STILLMAN of the 20th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 10-66dd of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2011):
(b) (1) Subject to the provisions of this subsection and except as may be waived pursuant to subsection (d) of section 10-66bb, charter schools shall be subject to all federal and state laws governing public schools.
(2) [At] Subject to the provisions of subdivision (5) of this subsection, at least one-half of the persons providing instruction or pupil services in a charter school shall possess the proper certificate other than (A) a certificate issued pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of section 10-145b, or (B) a temporary certificate issued pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-145f on the day the school begins operation and the remaining persons shall possess a certificate issued pursuant to [said] subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of section 10-145b or such temporary certificate on such day.
(3) The commissioner may not waive the provisions of chapters 163c and 169 and sections 10-15c, 10-153a to 10-153g, inclusive, 10-153i, 10-153j, 10-153m and 10-292.
(4) The state charter school governing council shall act as a board of education for purposes of collective bargaining. The school professionals employed by a local charter school shall be members of the appropriate bargaining unit for the local or regional school district in which the local charter school is located and shall be subject to the same collective bargaining agreement as the school professionals employed by said district. A majority of those employed or to be employed in the local charter school and a majority of the members of the governing council of the local charter school may modify, in writing, such collective bargaining agreement, consistent with the terms and conditions of the approved charter, for purposes of employment in the charter school.
(5) (A) (i) For the school year commencing July 1, 2011, and each school year thereafter, the Commissioner of Education may waive the requirements of subdivision (2) of this subsection for any person providing instruction or pupil services in a charter school who does not hold the initial educator, provisional educator or professional educator certificate if such person (I) achieves satisfactory scores on the state reading, writing and mathematics competency examination prescribed by and administered under the direction of the State Board of Education, or qualifies for a waiver of such test based on criteria approved by the State Board of Education, (II) achieves a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved subject area assessment, and (III) demonstrates evidence of teacher effectiveness. The commissioner may reissue such waiver upon the renewal of the charter for the school at which such person is employed.
(ii) For the school year commencing July 1, 2012, and each school year thereafter, not more than fifteen per cent of the persons providing instruction or pupil services in a charter school may hold a waiver issued by the commissioner pursuant to clause (i) of this subparagraph for the school year.
(B) (i) For the school year commencing July 1, 2011, and each school year thereafter, the commissioner may waive the provisions of chapter 166 relating to professional certification for any administrator of a charter school who (I) achieves satisfactory scores on the state reading, writing and mathematics competency examination prescribed by and administered under the direction of the State Board of Education, or qualifies for a waiver of such test based on criteria approved by the State Board of Education, (II) achieves a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved subject area assessment, and (III) demonstrates evidence of effectiveness. The commissioner may reissue such waiver upon the renewal of the charter for the school at which such administrator is employed.
(ii) For the school year commencing July 1, 2012, and each school year thereafter, not more than fifteen per cent of the administrators employed in a charter school may hold a waiver issued by the commissioner pursuant to clause (i) of this subparagraph for the school year.
(iii) Any person who has received a waiver issued by the commissioner pursuant to clause (i) of this subparagraph shall be authorized to supervise and conduct performance evaluations of any person providing instruction or pupil services in such charter school.
This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:
July 1, 2011
Joint Favorable Subst.
The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.
OFA Fiscal Note
The bill is not anticipated to result in a fiscal impact as the per pupil grant to charter schools will not be impacted, and in order to qualify for the Teachers' Retirement Board, you must be a certified teacher.
The bill makes two changes to certification requirements; 1) it allows the education commissioner, starting in the 2011-2012 school year, to waive state certification for teachers and administrators working at charter schools, if they meet certain qualifications, and 2) it limits the number of charter school teachers and administrators who may hold certification waivers, to no more than 15% of the school's teachers and 15% of the school's administrators, starting in the 2012-2013 school year.
The Out Years
OLR Bill Analysis
This bill allows the education commissioner, starting in the 2011-12 school year, to waive state certification for teachers and administrators working at charter schools, if they meet certain qualifications. Starting with the 2012-13 school year, the bill limits the number of charter school teachers and administrators who may hold the waivers to no more than 15% of the school's teachers and 15% of its administrators.
Current law requires all teachers and administrators working in charter schools to hold either (1) the proper state certification for their positions or (2) a temporary 90-day or a temporary nonrenewable state certificate (see BACKGROUND). Under current law, at least half of those providing instruction or pupil services at a charter school must have the proper certification for the positions they hold, and no more than half may be working under the temporary certificates.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011
The bill allows the education commissioner to waive state certification for a charter school teacher or administrator who:
1. either passes the state reading, writing, and math competency test for teacher certification candidates (currently Praxis I) or meets the State Board of Education's (SBE) criteria for a testing waiver;
2. passes the same state test as a teacher or administrator certification candidate seeking to work the same subject or administrative area (currently the appropriate Praxis II subject test); and
3. demonstrates effectiveness as a teacher or school administrator, as appropriate.
The bill allows the commissioner to reissue the certification waivers when the SBE renews the charter for the school where the teacher or administrator is employed. By law, most charters are renewable every five years.
Administrator Supervision Authority
The bill authorizes an administrator who holds a certification waiver issued by the education commissioner to supervise, and evaluate the performance of, anyone who teaches or provides other pupil services at the charter school where the administrator works, regardless of whether the person being supervised or evaluated is certified.
Temporary 90-Day Certificate
By law, SBE may issue a temporary 90-day teaching certificate at the written request of an employing board of education or charter school to an applicant who successfully completes an SBE-approved alternative route to certification program and who:
1. holds a bachelor's degree from an accredited higher education institution, with a major in or closely related to the subject or certification endorsement area in which the person will be placed, or if the person will be working in a secondary subject or special endorsement area, has either the minimum number of semester hours required for that area or receives a waiver of the requirement after achieving an excellent score on the SBE-designated subject area test;
2. passes the state's required teacher competency and subject area tests;
3. has an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) or, if the person has at least 24 graduate credits a graduate GPA, of at least B; and
4. demonstrates appropriate experience working with children.
The commissioner can waive the last two requirements for good cause.
A person holding a 90-day temporary certificate must complete a special teacher education and mentoring program for such certificate holders. In addition, the employing board or charter school must attest that it has a special plan for supervising the person.
The state board may issue a temporary 90-day certificate in any of the following endorsement areas: elementary education, middle grades education, secondary academic subjects, special subjects or fields, special education, early childhood education, or administration and supervision (CGS § 10-145b(c)(1) & (2); Conn. Agency Regs., § 10-145d-414).
Nonrenewable Temporary Certificate
SBE may issue a nonrenewable temporary teaching certificate, good for one year, to:
1. an applicant who lived in another state in the year before applying, is certified in that state, taught successfully for at least a year at a public or approved private school there, and meets all requirements for Connecticut certification except passage of the competency and subject tests;
2. an applicant who graduated from an out-of-state teacher preparation program and meets all requirements for Connecticut certification except the competency and subject tests; or
3. an applicant hired by a charter school after July 1 for a teaching position in the coming school year who can reasonably be expected to meet the same requirements listed above for a temporary 90-day certificate by the beginning of the following school year (CGS § 10-145f(c)).
A charter school is a nonsectarian public school organized as a nonprofit corporation and operated independently of a local or regional board of education. The SBE grants and renews the charters, usually for five years and, as part of the charter, may waive certain statutory requirements applicable to other public schools. A charter school may enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 in accordance with its charter.
Charter schools are open to all students, including special education students, though they may limit the geographic areas from which students may attend. If a school has more applicants than spaces, it must admit students through a lottery.
Joint Favorable Substitute