Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1102

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 5080

 

*05080_______ED_*

Referred to Committee on EDUCATION

 

Introduced by:

 

(ED)

 

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 Section 10-17g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

Annually, the board of education for each local and regional school district that is required to provide a program of bilingual education, pursuant to section 10-17f, may make application to the State Board of Education and shall thereafter receive a grant in an amount equal to the product obtained by multiplying the total appropriation available for such purpose by the ratio which the number of eligible children in the school district bears to the total number of such eligible children state-wide. The board of education for each local and regional school district receiving funds pursuant to this section shall annually, on or before September first, submit to the State Board of Education a progress report which shall include (1) measures of increased educational opportunities for eligible students, including language support services and language transition support services provided to such students, (2) program evaluation and measures of the effectiveness of its bilingual education and English as a second language programs, including data on students in bilingual education programs and students educated exclusively in English as a second language programs, and (3) certification by the board of education submitting the report that any funds received pursuant to this section have been used for the purposes specified. The State Board of Education shall annually evaluate programs conducted pursuant to section 10-17f. For purposes of this section, measures of the effectiveness of bilingual education and English as a second language programs include mastery examination results, under section 10-14n, and graduation and school dropout rates. Any unexpended funds appropriated to the Department of Education for purposes of this section shall not lapse at the end of the fiscal year but shall be available for expenditures relating to recruitment and training of bilingual educators during the next fiscal year. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2009, to June 30, 2015, inclusive, the amount of grants payable to local or regional boards of education under this section shall be reduced proportionately if the total of such grants in such year exceeds the amount appropriated for such grants for such year.

Sec. 2. Subsection (c) of section 10-145f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section and section 10-145b, the following persons shall be eligible for a nonrenewable temporary certificate: (1) A person who has resided in a state other than Connecticut during the year immediately preceding application for certification in Connecticut and meets the requirements for certification, excluding successful completion of the competency examination and subject matter assessment, if such person holds current teacher certification in a state other than Connecticut and has completed at least one year of successful teaching in another state in a public school or a nonpublic school approved by the appropriate state board of education, (2) a person who has graduated from a teacher preparation program at a college or university outside of the state and regionally accredited, and meets the requirements for certification, excluding successful completion of the competency examination and subject matter assessment, and (3) a person hired by a charter school after July first in any school year for a teaching position that school year, provided the person hired after said date could reasonably be expected to complete the requirements prescribed in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of section 10-145b. The nonrenewable temporary certificate shall be valid for one year from the date it is issued, except the State Board of Education may extend a temporary certificate in the certification endorsement area of bilingual education issued under this subsection for an additional two years to a person who is employed by a local or regional board of education and providing instruction as part of a program of bilingual instruction, as defined in section 10-17e.

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

(a) On and after July 1, [1999] 2015, the State Board of Education shall require an applicant for certification as a bilingual education teacher to demonstrate written competency in English and written and oral competency in the other language of instruction as a condition of certification. [Competency] Written competency in English shall be demonstrated by successful passage of the essential skills test approved by the State Board of Education. [Competency] 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. Oral competency in the other language shall be demonstrated by an appropriate method specified by the Department of Education.

(b) On and after July 1, [2003] 2015, the State Board of Education shall require persons seeking to become (1) elementary level bilingual education teachers to [be certified] meet coursework requirements in elementary education and bilingual education, and (2) secondary level bilingual education teachers to [be certified] meet coursework requirements in both the subject area they will teach and in bilingual education. [Such dual certification requirement may be met by earning a bachelor's degree in one field and meeting the requirements for an endorsement in the other field.] The State Board of Education may issue an endorsement in bilingual education to an applicant who has (A) completed coursework requirements in (i) elementary education and bilingual education or (ii) the subject area they will teach and bilingual education, and (B) successful passage of examination requirements for bilingual education, as approved by the State Board of Education.

(c) On and after July 1, 2000, the State Board of Education shall require bilingual education teachers holding provisional educator certificates to meet the requirements of this subsection in order to qualify for a professional educator certificate to teach bilingual education. (1) Such bilingual education teachers who teach on the elementary level shall take fifteen credit hours in bilingual education and fifteen credit hours in language arts, reading and mathematics. (2) Such bilingual education teachers who teach on the middle or secondary level shall take fifteen credit hours in bilingual education and fifteen credit hours in the subject matter that they teach. Such professional educator certificate shall be valid for bilingual education and the grade level and content area of preparation.

[(d) (1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, for the period from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2010, inclusive, 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 by passage of 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 June 30, 2010, inclusive, 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. 4. Section 10-145k 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, upon the request of a local or regional board of education, issue an international teacher permit in a subject shortage area pursuant to section 10-8b, provided the conditions for issuance of such permit pursuant to the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section are met. Such permits shall be issued for one year and may be renewed for a period of up to one year, upon the request of the local or regional board of education, provided the teacher whose permit is to be renewed maintains, at the time of such renewal, a valid J-1 Visa issued by the United States Department of State at the time such permit is renewed.

(b) The local or regional board of education requesting the issuance of an international teacher permit shall attest to the existence of a plan for the supervision of the teacher.

(c) The teacher shall:

(1) Hold a J-1 visa issued by the United States Department of State;

(2) Be in the United States to teach (A) in accordance with a memorandum of understanding between Connecticut and the country from which the teacher is entering, or (B) as part of the Exchange Visitor Program administered by the United States Department of State Teacher Exchange Branch;

(3) (A) Hold the equivalent of a bachelor's degree, from a regionally accredited institution of higher education, as determined by a foreign credentialing agency recognized by the Commissioner of Education, with a major in or closely related to the certification endorsement area in which the teacher is to teach, [or] (B) hold such a degree without such a major and have successfully completed the teacher assessment for the appropriate subject area, as approved by the State Board of Education, or (C) for persons providing instruction as part of a program of bilingual instruction, as defined in section 10-17e, completed coursework or training prescribed by the State Board of Education;

(4) Have completed, in the country from which the teacher is entering, the equivalent of a regionally accredited teacher preparation program; and

(5) Have achieved the level of oral proficiency in English as determined by an examination approved by the Commissioner of Education.

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

Section 1

July 1, 2015

10-17g

Sec. 2

July 1, 2015

10-145f(c)

Sec. 3

July 1, 2015

10-145h

Sec. 4

July 1, 2015

10-145k

Statement of Purpose:

To increase the number of bilingual education teachers in the state by providing flexibility in the certification requirements for such teachers.

[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.]