Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1098

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 5232

 

*05232_______ED_*

Referred to Committee on EDUCATION

 

Introduced by:

 

(ED)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING TEACHER CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SHORTAGE AREAS, INTERSTATE AGREEMENTS FOR TEACHER CERTIFICATION RECIPROCITY, MINORITY TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION AND CULTURAL COMPETENCY INSTRUCTION.

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

Section 1. Subsection (c) of section 10-145b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(c) (1) The State Board of Education, upon request of a local or regional board of education, shall issue a temporary ninety-day certificate to any applicant in the certification endorsement areas of elementary education, middle grades education, secondary academic subjects, special subjects or fields, special education, early childhood education and administration and supervision or in the certification endorsement areas corresponding to teacher shortage areas, as determined by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to section 10-8b, when the following conditions are met:

(A) The employing agent of a board of education makes a written request for the issuance of such certificate and attests to the existence of a special plan for supervision of temporary ninety-day certificate holders;

(B) The applicant meets the following requirements, except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (C) of this subdivision:

(i) Holds a bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or Office of Higher Education or regionally accredited with a major either in or closely related to the certification endorsement area in which the requesting board of education is placing the applicant or, in the case of secondary or special subject or field endorsement area, possesses at least the minimum total number of semester hours of credit required for the content area, except as provided in section 10-145l;

(ii) Has met the requirements pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-145f;

(iii) Presents a written application on such forms as the Commissioner of Education shall prescribe;

(iv) Has successfully completed an alternate route to certification program provided by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or the Office of Higher Education or public or independent institutions of higher education, regional educational service centers or private teacher or administrator training organizations and approved by the State Board of Education;

(v) Possesses an undergraduate college overall grade point average of at least "B" or, if the applicant has completed at least twenty-four hours of graduate credit, possesses a graduate grade point average of at least "B"; and

(vi) Presents supporting evidence of appropriate experience working with children; and

(C) The Commissioner of Education may waive the requirements of subparagraphs (B)(v) or (B)(vi), or both, of this subdivision upon a showing of good cause.

(2) A person serving under a temporary ninety-day certificate shall participate in a beginning support and assessment program pursuant to section 10-220a, as amended by this act, which is specifically designed by the state Department of Education for holders of temporary ninety-day certificates.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section to the contrary, on and after July 1, 1989, the State Board of Education, upon receipt of a proper application, shall issue an initial educator certificate, which shall be valid for three years, to any person who has taught successfully while holding a temporary ninety-day certificate and meets the requirements [pursuant to] established in regulations adopted pursuant to section 10-145d, as amended by this act.

Sec. 2. Section 10-146c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

The Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee, as agent for the state [may] shall establish or join interstate agreements to facilitate the certification of qualified educators from other states, territories or possessions of the United States, or the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, provided candidates for certification, at a minimum, hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, [fulfill assessment requirements as approved by the State Board of Education] have taught under an appropriate certificate issued by another state, territory or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and meet all conditions as mandated by such interstate agreement. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 10-145b, as amended by this act, and 10-145f, the State Board of Education shall issue an initial educator certificate, provisional educator certificate or professional educator certificate to any person who satisfies the requirements of this section and the appropriate interstate agreement.

Sec. 3. Subdivision (3) of subsection (h) of section 10-145b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(3) [Upon] Except as otherwise provided in section 10-146c, as amended by this act, upon receipt of a proper application, the State Board of Education shall issue to a teacher from another state, territory or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico who (A) is nationally board certified by an organization deemed appropriate by the Commissioner of Education to issue such certifications, (B) has taught in another state, territory or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for a minimum of [three] two years in the preceding ten years, and (C) holds a master's degree in an appropriate subject matter area, as determined by the State Board of Education, related to such teacher's certification endorsement area, a professional educator certificate with the appropriate endorsement, subject to the provisions of subsection (i) of this section relating to denial of applications for certification. Applicants who have taught under an appropriate certificate issued by another state, territory or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for [three] two or more years shall be exempt from completing the beginning educator program based upon such teaching experience upon a showing of effectiveness as a teacher, as determined by the State Board of Education, which may include, but need not be limited to, a demonstrated record of improving student achievement. An applicant with [three or more years of] teaching experience in this state at a nonpublic school, approved by the State Board of Education, [in the past ten years] shall be exempt from completing the beginning educator program based upon such teaching experience upon a showing of effectiveness as a teacher, as determined by the State Board of Education, which may include, but need not be limited to, a demonstrated record of improving student achievement.

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, 2015):

(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, as amended by this act, inclusive, 10-145f and 10-146b, as amended by this act. 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 section 10-145b, as amended by this act; (2) the establishment of requirements for subject area endorsements; (3) the extension of the time to complete requirements for certificates under section 10-145b, as amended by this act; (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 (A) complete a survey course in United States history comprised of not fewer than three semester hours, or (B) achieve a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved subject area assessment; and (9) a requirement that on and after July 1, 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. Subsection (f) of section 10-145d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(f) An endorsement issued [prior to] on or after July 1, 2013, to teach elementary education grades one to six, inclusive, shall be valid for grades kindergarten to six, inclusive. [, and for such an endorsement issued on or after July 1, 2013, the endorsement shall be valid for grades one to six, inclusive, except such an endorsement issued between July 1, 2013, and July 1, 2017, to any student who was admitted to and successfully completes a teacher preparation program, as defined in section 10-10a, in the certification endorsement area of elementary education on or before June 30, 2017, shall be valid for grades kindergarten to six, inclusive.] An endorsement to teach comprehensive special education grades one to twelve, inclusive, shall be valid for grades kindergarten to twelve, inclusive, provided, on and after September 1, 2013, any (1) certified employee applying for a comprehensive special education endorsement, or (2) applicant for an initial, provisional or professional educator certificate and a comprehensive special education endorsement shall achieve a satisfactory score on the reading instruction examination approved by the State Board of Education on April 1, 2009, or a comparable reading instruction examination with minimum standards that are equivalent to the examination approved by the State Board of Education on April 1, 2009.

Sec. 6. Section 10-155d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) The Office of Higher Education shall encourage and support experimentation and research in the preparation of teachers for public elementary and secondary schools. To help fulfill the purposes of this section, the Office of Higher Education shall appoint an advisory council composed of qualified professionals which shall render assistance and advice to the office. In carrying out its activities pursuant to this section, the office shall consult with the State Board of Education and such other agencies as it deems appropriate to assure coordination of all activities of the state relating to the preparation of teachers for public elementary and secondary schools.

(b) The Office of Higher Education, with the approval of the Commissioner of Education, shall expand, within available appropriations, participation in its summer alternate route to certification program and its weekend and evening alternate route to certification program. The office shall expand the weekend and evening program for participants seeking certification in a subject shortage area pursuant to section 10-8b. The office, in collaboration with the Department of Education, shall develop (1) a regional alternate route to certification program targeted to the subject shortage areas, and (2) an alternate route to certification program for former teachers whose certificates have expired and who are interested in resuming their teaching careers.

(c) [The] Not later than July 1, 2016, the Office of Higher Education, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall develop alternate route to certification programs for (1) school administrators and superintendents, and (2) early childhood education teachers. The programs shall include mentored apprenticeships and criteria for admission to the programs. The Office of Higher Education shall begin implementation of the programs on or before July 1, 2017.

Sec. 7. (Effective from passage) The Department of Education shall study and develop strategies to increase and improve the recruitment, preparation, and retention of minority teachers, as defined in section 10-155l of the general statutes, in public schools in the state. Such study shall include, but need not be limited to, an examination of current state-wide and school district demographics and a review of best practices. Not later than January 1, 2016, the department shall submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes.

Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) On and after July 1, 2015, the Office of Higher Education shall annually submit a report on teacher candidate demographics in teacher preparation programs leading to professional certification offered at institutions of higher education in the state to the State Board of Education and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, teacher candidate enrollment by subgroups, such as race, ethnicity and gender, with respect to the recruitment, preparation and retention of quality minority teachers, as defined in section 10-155l of the general statutes.

Sec. 9. Section 10-265o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, and each fiscal year thereafter, the Department of Education shall establish the municipal aid for new educators grant program. On or before March first of each year, the program shall, within available appropriations, provide grants of up to two hundred thousand dollars to the local or regional board of education for an [educational reform] alliance district, as defined in section 10-262u, as amended by this act, for the purpose of extending offers of employment to [up to five] students who are enrolled in a teacher preparation program offered by a public or private institution of higher education, [in the state,] are graduating seniors and are academically in the top ten per cent of their graduating class.

Sec. 10. Subsection (d) of section 10-262u of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(d) The local or regional board of education for a town designated as an alliance district may apply to the Commissioner of Education, at such time and in such manner as the commissioner prescribes, to receive any increase in funds received over the amount the town received for the prior fiscal year pursuant to subsection (a) of section 10-262i. Applications pursuant to this subsection shall include objectives and performance targets and a plan that may include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) A tiered system of interventions for the schools under the jurisdiction of such board based on the needs of such schools, (2) ways to strengthen the foundational programs in reading, through the intensive reading instruction program pursuant to section 10-14u, to ensure reading mastery in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, with a focus on standards and instruction, proper use of data, intervention strategies, current information for teachers, parental engagement, and teacher professional development, (3) additional learning time, including extended school day or school year programming administered by school personnel or external partners, (4) a talent strategy that includes, but is not limited to, teacher and school leader recruitment and assignment, career ladder policies that draw upon guidelines for a model teacher evaluation program adopted by the State Board of Education, pursuant to section 10-151b, and adopted by each local or regional board of education. Such talent strategy may include provisions that demonstrate increased ability to attract, retain, promote and bolster the performance of staff in accordance with performance evaluation findings and, in the case of new personnel, other indicators of effectiveness, (5) training for school leaders and other staff on new teacher evaluation models, (6) provisions for the cooperation and coordination with early childhood education providers to ensure alignment with district expectations for student entry into kindergarten, including funding for an existing local Head Start program, (7) provisions for the cooperation and coordination with other governmental and community programs to ensure that students receive adequate support and wraparound services, including community school models, (8) provisions for implementing and furthering state-wide education standards adopted by the State Board of Education and all activities and initiatives associated with such standards, (9) strategies for attracting and recruiting minority teachers and administrators, and [(9)] (10) any additional categories or goals as determined by the commissioner. Such plan shall demonstrate collaboration with key stakeholders, as identified by the commissioner, with the goal of achieving efficiencies and the alignment of intent and practice of current programs with conditional programs identified in this subsection. The commissioner may (A) require changes in any plan submitted by a local or regional board of education before the commissioner approves an application under this subsection, and (B) permit a local or regional board of education, as part of such plan, to use a portion of any funds received under this section for the purposes of paying tuition charged to such board pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (k) of section 10-264l or subsection (b) of section 10-264o.

Sec. 11. Subsection (i) of section 10-145a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(i) On and after July 1, 2012, any candidate entering a program of teacher preparation leading to professional certification shall be required to complete training in competency areas contained in the professional teaching standards established by the State Board of Education, including, but not limited to, development and characteristics of learners, evidence-based and standards-based instruction, evidence-based classroom and behavior management, assessment and professional behaviors and responsibilities and the awareness and identification of the unique learning style of gifted and talented children, [and] social and emotional development and learning of children, and cultural competency. The training in social and emotional development and learning of children shall include instruction concerning a comprehensive, coordinated social and emotional assessment and early intervention for children displaying behaviors associated with social or emotional problems, the availability of treatment services for such children and referring such children for assessment, intervention or treatment services. The training in cultural competency shall include instruction concerning the awareness of students' background and experience that lead to the development of skills, knowledge and behaviors that enable educators and students to build positive relationships and work effectively in cross-cultural situations.

Sec. 12. Subsection (a) of section 10-220a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) Each local or regional board of education shall provide an in-service training program for its teachers, administrators and pupil personnel who hold the initial educator, provisional educator or professional educator certificate. Such program shall provide such teachers, administrators and pupil personnel with information on (1) the nature and the relationship of drugs, as defined in subdivision (17) of section 21a-240, and alcohol to health and personality development, and procedures for discouraging their abuse, (2) health and mental health risk reduction education which includes, but need not be limited to, the prevention of risk-taking behavior by children and the relationship of such behavior to substance abuse, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV-infection and AIDS, as defined in section 19a-581, violence, teen dating violence, domestic violence, child abuse and youth suicide, (3) the growth and development of exceptional children, including handicapped and gifted and talented children and children who may require special education, including, but not limited to, children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or learning disabilities, and methods for identifying, planning for and working effectively with special needs children in a regular classroom, including, but not limited to, implementation of student individualized education programs, (4) school violence prevention, conflict resolution, the prevention of and response to youth suicide and the identification and prevention of and response to bullying, as defined in subsection (a) of section 10-222d, except that those boards of education that implement any evidence-based model approach that is approved by the Department of Education and is consistent with subsection (d) of section 10-145a, sections 10-222d, 10-222g and 10-222h, subsection (g) of section 10-233c and sections 1 and 3 of public act 08-160*, shall not be required to provide in-service training on the identification and prevention of and response to bullying, (5) cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other emergency life saving procedures, (6) computer and other information technology as applied to student learning and classroom instruction, communications and data management, (7) the teaching of the language arts, reading and reading readiness for teachers in grades kindergarten to three, inclusive, (8) second language acquisition in districts required to provide a program of bilingual education pursuant to section 10-17f, (9) the requirements and obligations of a mandated reporter, [and] (10) the teacher evaluation and support program adopted pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-151b, and (11) cultural competency, consistent with the training in cultural competency described in subsection (i) of section 10-145a, as amended by this act. Each local and regional board of education may allow any paraprofessional or noncertified employee to participate, on a voluntary basis, in any in-service training program provided pursuant to this section. The State Board of Education, within available appropriations and utilizing available materials, shall assist and encourage local and regional boards of education to include: (A) Holocaust and genocide education and awareness; (B) the historical events surrounding the Great Famine in Ireland; (C) African-American history; (D) Puerto Rican history; (E) Native American history; (F) personal financial management; (G) domestic violence and teen dating violence; (H) mental health first aid training; and (I) topics approved by the state board upon the request of local or regional boards of education as part of in-service training programs pursuant to this subsection.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2015

10-145b(c)

Sec. 2

July 1, 2015

10-146c

Sec. 3

July 1, 2015

10-145b(h)(3)

Sec. 4

July 1, 2015

10-145d(a)

Sec. 5

July 1, 2015

10-145d(f)

Sec. 6

July 1, 2015

10-155d

Sec. 7

from passage

New section

Sec. 8

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 9

July 1, 2015

10-265o

Sec. 10

July 1, 2015

10-262u(d)

Sec. 11

July 1, 2015

10-145a(i)

Sec. 12

July 1, 2015

10-220a(a)

Statement of Purpose:

To permit the State Board of Education to issue a temporary ninety-day certificate in the endorsement areas of teacher shortage areas, to require the Commissioner of Education to enter teacher certification reciprocity agreements with other states, to make revisions to the teacher certification statutes relating to the certification requirements for out-of-state teachers, testing requirements, the endorsement in elementary education, the alternative route to certification program for school administrators and early childhood educators, to require the Department of Education to study and develop strategies to increase minority teacher recruitment and retention, to expand the municipal aid for new educators grant program, and to include cultural competency instruction in teacher preparation programs and in-service training for educators.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]