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Substitute House Bill No. 7128

Public Act No. 17-56

AN ACT CONCERNING THE LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONERS' RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TECHNICAL REVISIONS TO THE HIGHER EDUCATION STATUTES.

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

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 10a-1d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) There is established an Office of Higher Education. The Office of Higher Education shall administer the programs set forth in sections [10-19g,] 10-155d, 10a-10a, 10a-11, 10a-11a, 10a-17d, 10a-19g, 10a-34 to 10a-34f, inclusive, as amended by this act, 10a-35, 10a-166, 10a-168a, 10a-169a, 10a-169b and 10a-173. The Office of Higher Education shall be responsible for approving any action taken pursuant to sections 10a-34 to 10a-34f, inclusive, as amended by this act.

Sec. 2. Section 10-156bb of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

There is established a Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council within the Department of Education. The council shall consist of (1) the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee, (2) two representatives from the minority teacher recruitment task force, established pursuant to section 10-156aa, as amended by this act, (3) one representative from each of the exclusive bargaining units for certified employees, chosen pursuant to section 10-153b, (4) the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or the president's designee, and (5) a representative from an alternate route to certification program, appointed by the Commissioner of Education. The council shall hold quarterly meetings and advise, at least quarterly, the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee, on ways to (A) encourage minority middle and secondary school students to attend institutions of higher education and enter teacher preparation programs, (B) recruit minority students attending institutions of higher education to enroll in teacher preparation programs and pursue teaching careers, (C) recruit and retain minority teachers in Connecticut schools, (D) recruit minority teachers from other states to teach in Connecticut schools, and (E) recruit minority professionals in other fields to enter teaching. The council shall report, annually, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, on the recommendations given to the commissioner, or the commissioner's designee, pursuant to the provisions of this section, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education. For purposes of this section, "minority" means individuals whose 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. 3. Subsection (c) of section 10a-57d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) Not later than March 1, 2019, the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities shall report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education regarding the uniform naming convention designed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and the determination made from the tuition review required under subsection (b) of this section.

Sec. 4. Subdivision (4) of subsection (b) of section 32-39g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(4) Advise the Governor, the General Assembly, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, the president of The University of Connecticut and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities on matters relating to science, engineering and technology that may have an impact on state policies, programs, employers and residents, and on job creation and retention;

Sec. 5. Subsection (l) of section 10a-34 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(l) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) to (j), inclusive, of this section and subject to the authority of the State Board of Education to regulate teacher education programs, new programs of higher learning and program modifications proposed by an independent institution of higher education, as defined in section 10a-173, shall not be subject to approval by the Office of Higher Education, until July 1, 2018, provided (1) the institution maintains eligibility to participate in financial aid programs governed by Title IV, Part B of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended from time to time, (2) the United States Department of Education has not determined that the institution has a financial responsibility score that is less than 1.5 for the most recent fiscal year for which the data necessary for determining the score is available, and (3) the institution has been located in the state and accredited as a degree-granting institution in good standing for ten years or more by a regional accrediting association recognized by the Secretary of the United States Department of Education and maintains such accreditation status. All institutions that are exempt from program approval by the Office of Higher Education under this subsection shall [annually] file with said office not later than July first, and annually thereafter, (A) a list and brief description of any new programs of higher learning introduced by the institution in the preceding academic year and any existing programs of higher learning discontinued by the institution in the preceding academic year, (B) the institution's current program approval process, and (C) the institution's financial responsibility composite score, as determined by the United States Department of Education, for the most recent fiscal year for which the data necessary for determining the score is available.

Sec. 6. Subdivision (8) of subsection (b) of section 10-156aa of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(8) The president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or the president's designee;

Sec. 7. Subdivision (5) of subsection (b) of section 10-16p of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(5) Any individual with an [associate's] associate degree with twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, as determined by the commissioner or the president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after consultation with the commissioner, from an institution of higher education (A) accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or Office of Higher Education, and (B) regionally accredited, who has been employed in the same early childhood education program that accepts state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program since 1995 shall be considered to meet the staff qualifications required under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection until June 30, 2025. On and after July 1, 2025, such individual shall hold a childhood development associate credential or an equivalent credential, described in subparagraph (A) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, or otherwise meet the staff qualifications required under subparagraph (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection. Any such individual who terminates his or her employment with such early childhood education program on or before June 30, 2025, and accepts a position at another early childhood education program accepting state funds for spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program shall submit documentation of such individual's progress toward meeting the staff qualification requirements set forth in subparagraph (B) or (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection in a manner determined by the office.

Approved June 20, 2017