Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 481

    February Session, 2018

Substitute Senate Bill No. 455

Senate, April 12, 2018

The Committee on Education reported through SEN. SLOSSBERG of the 14th Dist. and SEN. BOUCHER of the 26th Dist., Chairpersons of the Committee on the part of the Senate, that the substitute bill ought to pass.

AN ACT CONCERNING MINORITY TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2018) On or before January 1, 2019, the Department of Education, in consultation with the Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council, shall (1) identify relevant research and successful practices to enhance minority teacher recruitment throughout the state, (2) identify and establish public, private and philanthropic partnerships to increase minority teacher recruitment, (3) utilize innovative methods to attract minority candidates to the teaching profession, particularly in subject areas in which a teacher shortage exists, as determined by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to section 10-8b of the general statutes, (4) modernize the process for educators to obtain professional certification by eliminating obstacles to certification to increase competitiveness with other states, (5) identify and utilize high quality, affordable and bias-free educator assessments, (6) adopt cut scores for educator assessments, that do not exceed the multi-state cut scores, to increase competitiveness with surrounding states, (7) support new and existing educator preparation programs that commit to enrolling greater numbers of minority teacher candidates in a manner that supports interstate reciprocity, and (8) advise and support local and regional boards of education to prioritize minority teacher recruitment and develop innovative strategies to attract and retain minority teachers within their districts. For purposes of this section, "minority" has the same meaning as provided in section 10-156bb of the general statutes.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 10-145d of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(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, as amended by this act, 10-145a to 10-145d, inclusive, as amended by this act, 10-145f, as amended by this act, and 10-146b. 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, provided no subject area endorsement, including vocational endorsements, shall require more than five years of occupational, trade or work experience; (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. 3. Section 10-145q of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) Subject to the provisions of subdivision (5) of subsection (b) of section 10-66dd, the State Board of Education, upon the request of the state charter school governing council, may issue a charter school educator permit to a person who is employed by a charter school as a teacher or administrator and who does not hold [the] an initial educator, provisional educator or professional educator certificate if such person (1) 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, (2) achieves a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved subject area assessment, and (3) demonstrates evidence of effectiveness. Such permit shall authorize a person to serve as an administrator or teacher in the charter school employing such person. Each such charter school educator permit may be renewed by the Commissioner of Education for good cause upon the request of the state charter school governing council employing such person at the time the charter for the school is renewed.

(b) The State Board of Education shall issue a provisional educator certificate to any person who has completed at least three years of successful teaching while holding a charter school educator permit and who demonstrates (1) a commitment to continued education and professional development, and (2) effectiveness for three consecutive school years while holding the charter school educator permit.

Sec. 4. Subdivision (5) of section 10-144o of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(5) "Provisional educator certificate" means a license to teach, issued on or after July 1, 1989, to a person who has (A) [has] successfully completed a beginning educator program, if there is such a program for such person's certification endorsement area, and not less than one school year of successful teaching in a public school, (B) [has] completed at least three years of successful teaching in a public or nonpublic school approved by the State Board of Education or appropriate governing body in another state within ten years prior to application for such provisional educator certificate, [or] (C) [has] successfully taught with a provisional teaching certificate for the year immediately preceding application for such provisional educator certificate as an employee of a local or regional board of education or facility approved for special education by the State Board of Education, or (D) completed at least three years of successful teaching while holding a charter school educator permit and otherwise satisfies the requirements of section 10-145q, as amended by this act;

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Not later than January 1, 2019, the Department of Education shall develop a definition of educator effectiveness that includes (1) a focus on an educator's demonstrated record of improving student achievement, summative ratings of proficient or exemplary on performance evaluations conducted pursuant to section 10-151b of the general statutes, and (2) methods by which an educator can demonstrate evidence of effectiveness. In developing the definition of educator effectiveness, the department shall solicit input from the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council established pursuant to section 10-151d of the general statutes, superintendents, community leaders, industry leaders, parents and representatives from interdistrict magnet school programs and charter schools. The department shall make the definition of educator effectiveness available to local and regional boards of education and publish such definition on its Internet web site.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 10-145b of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) The State Board of Education, upon receipt of a proper application, shall issue an initial educator certificate to any person who (1) 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 is regionally accredited, and (2) has completed (A) an educator preparation program approved by the State Board of Education or the appropriate governing body in the state in which the institution of higher education is located, or (B) an alternate route to certification program approved by the State Board of Education or the appropriate governing body in the state in which such alternate route to certification program is located, and satisfies the requirements for a temporary ninety-day certificate, pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, or a resident teacher certificate, pursuant to section 10-145m. In addition, on and after July 1, [1993] 2018, each applicant shall have completed a subject area major as defined by the State Board of Education, except (i) as provided in section 10-145l, or (ii) where an applicant achieves a satisfactory score on a relevant examination or has completed advanced coursework in a relevant subject area. Each such initial educator certificate shall be valid for three years, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, and may be extended by the Commissioner of Education for an additional year for good cause upon the request of the superintendent in whose school district such person is employed or upon the request of the assessment team reviewing such person's performance.

Sec. 7. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 10-156aa of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(a) There is established a task force to study and develop strategies to increase and improve the recruitment, preparation and retention of minority teachers, as defined in section 10-155l, in public schools in the state. Such study shall include, but need not be limited to, (1) an analysis of the causes of minority teacher shortages in the state, (2) an examination of current state-wide and school district demographics, and (3) a review of best practices.

(b) The task force shall consist of the following members:

(1) One appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;

(2) One appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;

(3) One appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, who [shall be] is a member of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus of the General Assembly;

(4) One appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;

(5) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;

(6) One appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;

(7) The Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee;

(8) The president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or the president's designee;

(9) The executive director of the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, or the executive director's designee; and

(10) [The] Three appointed by the executive director of the Commission on Equity and Opportunity, [or the executive director's designee] one of whom has expertise in African American affairs, one of whom has expertise in Latino and Puerto Rican affairs, and one of whom has expertise in Asian Pacific American affairs.

Sec. 8. Subsection (c) of section 10-4 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(c) Said board shall prepare every five years a five-year comprehensive plan for elementary, secondary, vocational, career and adult education. [Said] Such comprehensive plan shall include, but need not be limited to, (1) a policy statement of the State Board of Education's long-term goals and short-term objectives, including, for any comprehensive plan prepared on or after July 1, 2018, a policy statement that the demographics of educators in the public schools should reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the total population of the state, (2) an analysis of cost implications and measurement criteria and how said board's programs and operations relate to such goals and objectives, and (3) specific action plans, target dates and strategies and methods of implementation for achieving such goals and objectives. The State Board of Education shall establish, every five years, an advisory committee to assist the board in the preparation of the comprehensive plan. Members of the advisory committee shall be appointed by the State Board of Education with representation on the committee to include, but not be limited to, representatives of the Connecticut Advisory Council on Vocational and Career Education, education organizations, parent organizations, student organizations, business and industry, organized labor and appropriate state agencies. Notwithstanding any requirement for submission of a plan for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1984, pursuant to section 10-96a of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 1983, the State Board of Education shall not be required to submit the master plan for vocational and career education but shall submit, pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the comprehensive plan for elementary and secondary, vocational, career and adult education to the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education on or before September 1, 1996, and every five years thereafter provided, the master plan currently in effect shall remain in effect until the comprehensive plan is submitted. The State Board of Education shall be responsible for annually updating the progress in implementing the goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan and shall report on such progress to the Governor and to said standing committee annually. The State Board of Education shall provide opportunity for public comment prior to its adoption of a plan.

Sec. 9. (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a task force to review the feasibility of establishing and implementing an individualized, accelerated program of study for school paraprofessionals that recognizes the classroom experience of school paraprofessionals and provides high quality education for the transition from school paraprofessional to certified teacher. The task force shall examine the financial implications and structural changes associated with establishing and implementing such program of study.

(b) The task force shall consist of the following members:

(1) The Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee;

(2) The president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or the president's designee;

(3) The executive director of the Commission on Equity and Opportunity, or the executive director's designee;

(4) A representative from the School Paraprofessional Advisory Council, established pursuant to section 10-155k of the general statutes, designated by the council;

(5) A school paraprofessional from each state-wide bargaining representative organization that represents school paraprofessionals with instructional responsibilities, designated by such organization;

(6) A representative from the Connecticut Education Association, designated by the association;

(7) A representative from the American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut, designated by the federation; and

(8) A representative from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, designated by the association.

(c) All appointments to the task force shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the designating authority.

(d) The chairperson of the task force shall be elected from among the members of the task force. The Commissioner of Education shall schedule the first meeting of the task force, which shall be held not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section.

(e) Not later than January 1, 2019, the task force shall submit such study and any recommendations to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education and higher education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. The task force shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or January 1, 2019, whichever is later.

Sec. 10. Subsection (b) of section 10-145f of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2018):

(b) (1) Any person who does not hold a valid certificate pursuant to section 10-145b, as amended by this act, shall achieve a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved subject area assessment in order to be eligible for a certificate pursuant to said section unless such assessment has not been approved by the State Board of Education at the time of application, in which case the applicant shall not be denied a certificate solely because of the lack of an evaluation on such assessment.

(2) Any person applying for an additional certification endorsement shall achieve a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved subject area assessment in order to be eligible for such additional endorsement, unless such assessment has not been approved by the State Board of Education at the time of application, in which case the applicant shall not be denied the additional endorsement solely because of the lack of an evaluation on such assessment.

(3) On and after July 1, 1992, any teacher who held a valid teaching certificate but whose certificate lapsed and who had completed all requirements for the issuance of a new certificate pursuant to section 10-145b, as amended by this act, except for filing an application for such certificate, prior to the date on which the lapse occurred, may file, within one year of the date on which the lapse occurred, an application with the Commissioner of Education for the issuance of such certificate. Upon the filing of such an application, the commissioner may grant such certificate and such certificate shall be retroactive to the date on which the lapse occurred, provided the commissioner finds that the lapse of the certificate occurred as a result of a hardship or extenuating circumstances beyond the control of the applicant. If such teacher has attained tenure and is reemployed by the same board of education in any equivalent unfilled position for which the person is qualified as a result of the issuance of a certificate pursuant to this subdivision, the lapse period shall not constitute a break in employment for such person reemployed and shall be used for the purpose of calculating continuous employment pursuant to section 10-151. If such teacher has not attained tenure, the time unemployed due to the lapse of a certificate shall not be counted toward tenure, except that if such teacher is reemployed by the same board of education as a result of the issuance of a certificate pursuant to this subdivision, such teacher may count the previous continuous employment immediately prior to the lapse towards tenure. Using information provided by the Teachers' Retirement Board, the Department of Education shall annually notify each local or regional board of education of the name of each teacher employed by such board of education whose provisional certificate will expire during the period of twelve months following such notice. Upon receipt of such notice the superintendent of each local and regional board of education shall notify each such teacher in writing, at such teacher's last-known address, that the teacher's provisional certificate will expire.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection to the contrary, to be eligible for a certificate to teach subjects for which a bachelor's degree is not required, any applicant who is otherwise eligible for certification in such endorsement areas shall be entitled to a certificate without having met the requirements of the competency examination and subject area assessment pursuant to this subsection for a period not to exceed two years, except that for a certificate to teach skilled trades or trade-related or occupational subjects, the commissioner may waive the requirement that the applicant take the competency examination. The commissioner may, upon the showing of good cause, extend the certificate.

(5) On and after July 1, 2011, any person applying for a certification in the endorsement area of elementary education shall achieve a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved mathematics assessment in order to be eligible for such elementary education endorsement.

(6) On and after July 1, 2018, any person who holds an initial, provisional or professional educator certificate and achieves a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved subject area assessment shall be issued a cross endorsement in the relevant certification endorsement area corresponding to a teacher shortage area, as determined by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to section 10-8b.

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

Section 1

July 1, 2018

New section

Sec. 2

July 1, 2018

10-145d(a)

Sec. 3

July 1, 2018

10-145q

Sec. 4

July 1, 2018

10-144o(5)

Sec. 5

from passage

New section

Sec. 6

July 1, 2018

10-145b(a)

Sec. 7

July 1, 2018

10-156aa(a) and (b)

Sec. 8

July 1, 2018

10-4(c)

Sec. 9

from passage

New section

Sec. 10

July 1, 2018

10-145f(b)

Statement of Legislative Commissioners:

In Section 6(a), "1993" was changed to "[1993] 2018" for accuracy and in Section 7(b)(10) "Asian and Pacific Islander" was changed to "Asian Pacific American" for statutory consistency.

ED

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

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill makes a number of procedural changes involving teacher certification laws, which do not result in a fiscal impact. The bill also includes several additional requirements for the State Department of Education (SDE) involving minority teacher recruitment and teacher certification, which do not result in a fiscal impact as SDE has the expertise necessary to implement the requirements. Lastly, the bill expands the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force and establishes a new task force for school paraprofessionals to become teachers. This does not result in a fiscal impact as PA 17-236 prohibits transportation allowances for task force members.

The Out Years

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact: None

OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 455

AN ACT CONCERNING MINORITY TEACHER RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION.

SUMMARY

This bill makes a number of changes in the teacher certification laws to make it easier, in certain areas, to obtain certification or cross endorsement.

It also:

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018, except the provisions regarding a definition of educator effectiveness and the paraprofessionals task force are effective upon passage.

2-4, 6, & 10 — TEACHER CERTIFICATION

The bill makes a number of changes in teacher certification laws regarding required vocational experience, charter schools, initial certifications, and cross endorsements for those already holding a certification. It requires SBE to adopt regulations to carry out the changes.

Vocational Endorsement ( 2)

Existing law requires SBE to adopt regulations to establish the requirements for subject area endorsements. Subject endorsements specify what areas, and at what grade level, a certified teacher can teach (e.g., high school math). The bill limits these regulations to requiring a maximum of five years of occupational, trade, or work experience necessary for vocational or other endorsements. Current regulations require at least eight years of field experience for occupational subjects in technical high schools (Conn. Agencies Reg. 10-145d-511).

Charter School Educator Permit and Provisional Certificates ( 3 & 4)

By law, the three levels of teacher certification are initial, provisional, and professional, with professional being the highest level. Existing law also allows SBE to issue a charter school educator permit to a person employed as a teacher or administrator at a charter school if the person meets certain standards, including achieving a satisfactory score on the appropriate SBE-approved subject area test.

The bill requires SBE to issue a provisional educator certificate to any person who completed at least three years of successful teaching while holding a charter school educator permit and demonstrates (1) a commitment to continued education and professional development and (2) evidence of effectiveness for three consecutive school years while holding the charter school educator permit. The bill also makes conforming changes to the definition of “provisional educator certificate.”

Initial Educator Certifications ( 6)

Current law requires SBE to issue an initial educator certificate to any person who (1) holds a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education and (2) has completed (a) an approved educator preparation program or (b) an approved alternate route to certification (ARC) program and satisfies the requirements for one of Connecticut's temporary certificates (either 90-day or resident certificate). The applicant also must complete an SBE-defined subject area major or qualify for the subject area major waiver. The bill provides another option by allowing a satisfactory score on a relevant examination or completion of advanced coursework in a relevant subject area instead of completing a subject area major.

Cross Endorsements ( 10)

The bill requires any person who holds an initial, provisional, or professional educator certificate and achieves a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate SBE-approved subject area assessment to be issued a cross endorsement in the relevant certification endorsement area corresponding to a teacher shortage area. By law, each year the commissioner must issue a list designating the subject shortage areas for certified teachers (CGS 10-8b).

1 — RESEARCH, PRACTICES, AND RELATED STEPS

The bill requires SDE, on or before January 1, 2019, in consultation with the Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council, to:

For purposes of this section, “minority” means individuals whose race is other than white, or whose ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino as used by the U.S. Census Bureau.

5 — EDUCATOR EFFECTIVENESS DEFINITION

The bill requires SDE to develop, by January 1, 2019, a definition of educator effectiveness that includes:

By law, the teacher evaluation system uses four levels: (1) exemplary, (2) proficient, (3) developing, and (4) below standard (CGS 10-151b(c)).

Under the bill, in developing the definition SDE must solicit input from the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council (which the law required to craft teacher evaluation guidelines that SBE then adopted), superintendents, community leaders, industry leaders, parents, and representatives from interdistrict magnet school programs and charter schools. The department must make the definition of educator effectiveness available to boards of education and publish it on its website.

7 — MINORITY TEACHER RECRUITMENT TASK FORCE

Under current law the Commission on Equity and Opportunity executive director, or her designee, is a member of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force. The bill increases the task force's membership from 10 to 12 by allowing the executive director to appoint three members, one each with expertise in African American affairs, in Latino and Puerto Rican affairs, and in Asian Pacific American affairs.

8 — SBE'S FIVE-YEAR EDUCATION PLAN

Current law requires that SBE craft and adopt a five-year comprehensive plan for elementary, secondary, vocational, career and adult education that addresses certain issues. Under the bill, any plan adopted after July 1, 2018 must include a policy statement that the demographics of public school educators should reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the state's total population. The current five-year plan expires in 2021.

9 — PARAPROFESSIONAL TASK FORCE

The bill establishes a task force to review the feasibility of establishing and implementing an individualized, accelerated program for school paraprofessionals that recognizes their classroom experience and provides high quality education for transitioning from school paraprofessional to certified teacher. It must examine the financial implications and structural changes related to establishing and implementing the program.

Under the bill, the following are members of the task force or may designate a representative:

It also requires a representative from each of the following organizations, with the representative designated by the organization:

Under the bill, all appointments must be made within 30 days after the bill is enacted. Any vacancy will be filled by the designating authority.

The task force chairperson is elected from among the members and the education commissioner must schedule the first meeting, which must be within 60 days after the bill is enacted. The bill requires the task force to submit the study and any recommendations, by January 1, 2019, to the Education and Higher Education and Employment Advancement committees. The task force terminates on the date it submits the report or January 1, 2019, whichever is later.

BACKGROUND

Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council

The council is part of SDE and includes parties from outside the department including members of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force and representatives from higher education institutions and educator unions (CGS 10-156bb).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

35

Nay

0

(03/23/2018)

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