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AB-141 Teacher credentialing: beginning teacher induction programs.(2015-2016)

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Date Published:
AB141:v94#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 14, 2015
Passed  IN  Senate  September 09, 2015
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 10, 2015
Amended  IN  Senate  September 04, 2015
Amended  IN  Senate  July 09, 2015
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 01, 2015
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 07, 2015

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 141


Introduced by Assembly Member Bonilla

January 09, 2015


An act to amend Section 44259 of the Education Code, relating to teacher credentialing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 141, Bonilla. Teacher credentialing: beginning teacher induction programs.
Existing law prescribes the minimum requirements for a clear multiple or single subject teaching credential, including the completion of either a beginning teacher induction program approved by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the Superintendent of Public Instruction pursuant to the Marian Bergeson Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment System, an alternative program of beginning teacher induction that is provided by one or more local educational agencies and has been approved by the commission and the Superintendent on the basis of initial review and periodic evaluations of the program in relation to appropriate standards of credential program quality and effectiveness that have been adopted by the commission, the Superintendent, and the State Board of Education, as provided, or an alternative program of beginning teacher induction that is sponsored by a regionally accredited college or university, in cooperation with one or more local school districts, that addresses the individual professional needs of beginning teachers and meets the commission’s standards of induction, except as provided. Existing law also requires credentials for teaching specialties, including, but not limited to, bilingual education, early childhood education, and special education, to be based upon a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, completion of a program of professional preparation, and any other standards which the commission may establish.
This bill would, commencing with hiring for the 2016–17 school year, and each school year thereafter, prohibit a school district, county office of education, or charter school from charging a fee to a beginning teacher to participate in a beginning teacher induction program that is approved by the commission and the Superintendent, and would define a beginning teacher for purposes of that provision to include a teacher with a preliminary multiple or single subject teaching credential, or a preliminary education specialist credential. The bill also would prohibit a local educational agency from charging a fee to a beginning teacher to participate in an alternative program of beginning teacher induction program that it provides, and would prohibit a school district from charging a fee to a beginning teacher to participate in an alternative program of beginning teacher induction that is sponsored by a regionally accredited college or university, in cooperation with one or more local school districts.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Educators and policymakers have long acknowledged that the skills and competencies needed to be an effective teacher are supported through early and structured mentoring and assessment.
(b) Induction programs help beginning teachers transition into the profession by providing standards-based, individualized assistance that combines the application of theory with intensive mentor-based support and formative assessment.
(c) In 1998, California created its two-tiered teaching credential system and established the completion of a statewide, standards-based induction program, Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA), as a path toward a clear credential.
(d) Until 2009, the state provided $4,000 per participating teacher to BTSA providers as part of the Teacher Credentialing Block Grant.
(e) In order to receive state funding, a local educational agency (LEA) was required to make a local in-kind contribution of $2,000 per participating teacher.
(f) The combined level of dedicated funding was sufficient for running the program and allowed LEAs to provide induction at no charge to beginning teachers.
(g) In 2009, due to the Great Recession, the state gave increased flexibility to LEAs by allowing Teacher Credentialing Block Grant funds to be used for any educational purpose.
(h) In 2013, the state eliminated the majority of K–12 categorical programs, including the Teacher Credentialing Block Grant, with the establishment of the local control funding formula (LCFF).
(i) Although former Teacher Credentialing Block Grant funds are included in LEAs’ base LCFF funding, some induction providers have shifted the costs of induction onto teacher participants, while others have closed their programs altogether.
(j) According to data collected by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, nearly 12 percent of providers are charging teachers an average of $2,000 per year for induction.
(k) The large fees place heavy financial burdens on teachers just starting their careers and put the entire responsibility of identifying, accessing, and completing a quality induction program solely on new teachers.
(l) A new teacher’s inability to access an induction program compromises that teacher’s professional growth and greatly reduces the chance that the teacher will stay in the profession.
(m) This is particularly troubling because enrollment in teacher preparation programs, and the number of new teaching credentials being issued, have reduced considerably in recent years.
(n) In 2013, according to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, there were fewer than 20,000 students enrolled in teacher preparation programs in the state, less than half of the number that were enrolled in 2008.
(o) The shortage is expected to worsen within the next 20 years with projected increases in student enrollment and teacher retirements.
(p) Access to high quality induction programs is critical to addressing the teacher shortage because induction is an important tool for recruiting and retaining teachers.
(q) Teacher retention data collected by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing in 2008 demonstrates the effectiveness of induction, showing that 87 percent of teachers who participated in a BTSA program were still teaching five years later.
(r) The Governor and Legislature recognized induction’s importance by including $490 million in the 2015–16 Budget Act for activities that promote educator quality and effectiveness, including support and mentoring for both beginning teachers and administrators.
(s) The 2015–16 Budget Act also directs the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, by September 1, 2015, to work with stakeholders to evaluate any burdens of existing induction requirements and identify funding recommendations, including state, LEA, and teacher candidate responsibilities.
(t) The allocation and forthcoming report by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing provide a great opportunity to protect and support new teachers by strengthening access and the quality of induction programs.

SEC. 2.

 Section 44259 of the Education Code is amended to read:

44259.
 (a) Except as provided in subparagraphs (A) and (C) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b), each program of professional preparation for multiple or single subject teaching credentials shall not include more than two years of full-time study of professional preparation.
(b) The minimum requirements for the preliminary multiple or single subject teaching credential are all of the following:
(1) A baccalaureate degree or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution of postsecondary education. Except as provided in subdivision (c) of Section 44227, the baccalaureate degree shall not be in professional education. The commission shall encourage accredited institutions to offer undergraduate minors in education and special education to students who intend to become teachers.
(2) Passage of the state basic skills proficiency test that is developed and administered by the commission pursuant to Section 44252.5.
(3) Satisfactory completion of a program of professional preparation that has been accredited by the Committee on Accreditation on the basis of standards of program quality and effectiveness that have been adopted by the commission. In accordance with the commission’s assessment and performance standards, each program shall include a teaching performance assessment as set forth in Section 44320.2 that is aligned with the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. The commission shall ensure that each candidate recommended for a credential or certificate has demonstrated satisfactory ability to assist pupils to meet or exceed academic content and performance standards for pupils adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 60605. Programs that meet this requirement for professional preparation shall include any of the following:
(A) Integrated programs of subject matter preparation and professional preparation pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 44259.1.
(B) Postbaccalaureate programs of professional preparation, pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 44259.1.
(C) Internship programs of professional preparation, pursuant to Section 44321, Article 7.5 (commencing with Section 44325), Article 11 (commencing with Section 44380), and Article 3 (commencing with Section 44450) of Chapter 3.
(4) Study of alternative methods of developing English language skills, including the study of reading as described in subparagraphs (A) and (B), among all pupils, including those for whom English is a second language, in accordance with the commission’s standards of program quality and effectiveness. The study of reading shall meet the following requirements:
(A) Commencing January 1, 1997, satisfactory completion of comprehensive reading instruction that is research based and includes all of the following:
(i) The study of organized, systematic, explicit skills, including phonemic awareness, direct, systematic, explicit phonics, and decoding skills.
(ii) A strong literature, language, and comprehension component with a balance of oral and written language.
(iii) Ongoing diagnostic techniques that inform teaching and assessment.
(iv) Early intervention techniques.
(v) Guided practice in a clinical setting.
(B) For purposes of this section, “direct, systematic, explicit phonics” means phonemic awareness, spelling patterns, the direct instruction of sound/symbol codes and practice in connected text, and the relationship of direct, systematic, explicit phonics to the components set forth in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of subparagraph (A).
A program for the multiple subjects credential also shall include the study of integrated methods of teaching language arts.
(5) Completion of a subject matter program that has been approved by the commission on the basis of standards of program quality and effectiveness pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 44310) or passage of a subject matter examination pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 44280). The commission shall ensure that subject matter standards and examinations are aligned with the academic content and performance standards for pupils adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 60605.
(6) Demonstration of a knowledge of the principles and provisions of the Constitution of the United States pursuant to Section 44335.
(7) Commencing January 1, 2000, demonstration, in accordance with the commission’s standards of program quality and effectiveness, of basic competency in the use of computers in the classroom as determined by one of the following:
(A) Successful completion of a commission-approved program or course.
(B) Successful passage of an assessment that is developed, approved, and administered by the commission.
(c) The minimum requirements for the clear multiple or single subject teaching credential shall include all of the following requirements:
(1) Possession of a valid preliminary teaching credential, as prescribed in subdivision (b), possession of a valid equivalent credential or certificate, or completion of equivalent requirements as determined by the commission.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), completion of a program of beginning teacher induction, including one of the following:
(A) (i) A program of beginning teacher induction approved by the commission and the Superintendent.
(ii) (I) Commencing with hiring for the 2016–17 school year, and each school year thereafter, a school district, county office of education, or charter school shall not charge a fee to a beginning teacher to participate in a beginning teacher induction program.
(II) For purposes of subclause (I), a beginning teacher includes a teacher with a preliminary multiple or single subject teaching credential, or a preliminary education specialist credential.
(B) (i) An alternative program of beginning teacher induction that is provided by one or more local educational agencies and has been approved by the commission and the Superintendent on the basis of initial review and periodic evaluations of the program in relation to appropriate standards of credential program quality and effectiveness that have been adopted by the commission, the Superintendent, and the state board pursuant to this subdivision. The standards for alternative programs shall encourage innovation and experimentation in the continuous preparation and induction of beginning teachers. An alternative program of beginning teacher induction that has met state standards pursuant to this subdivision may apply for state funding pursuant to Sections 44279.1 and 44279.2.
(ii) A local educational agency shall not charge a fee to a beginning teacher to participate in an alternative program of beginning teacher induction that is provided pursuant to this subparagraph.
(C) (i) An alternative program of beginning teacher induction that is sponsored by a regionally accredited college or university, in cooperation with one or more local school districts, that addresses the individual professional needs of beginning teachers and meets the commission’s standards of induction. The commission shall ensure that preparation and induction programs that qualify candidates for professional credentials extend and refine each beginning teacher’s professional skills in relation to the California Standards for the Teaching Profession and the academic content and performance standards for pupils adopted by the state board pursuant to Section 60605.
(ii) A school district shall not charge a beginning teacher a fee to participate in an alternative program of beginning teacher induction that is provided pursuant to this subparagraph.
(3) (A) If a candidate satisfies the requirements of subdivision (b), including completion of an accredited internship program of professional preparation, and if that internship program fulfills induction standards and is approved as set forth in this subdivision, the commission shall determine that the candidate has fulfilled the requirements of paragraph (2).
(B) If an approved induction program is verified as unavailable to a beginning teacher, or if the beginning teacher is required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 6301 et seq.) to complete subject matter coursework to be qualified for a teaching assignment, the commission shall accept completion of an approved clear credential program after completion of a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited institution as fulfilling the requirements of paragraph (2). The commission shall adopt regulations to implement this subparagraph.
(4) Experience that includes the application of knowledge and skills previously acquired in a preliminary credential program, in accordance with commission standards, that addresses the following:
(A) Health education, including study of nutrition, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the physiological and sociological effects of abuse of alcohol, narcotics, and drugs and the use of tobacco. Training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation shall also meet the standards established by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross.
(B) Field experience in methods of delivering appropriate educational services to pupils with exceptional needs in regular educational programs.
(C) Advanced computer-based technology, including the uses of technology in educational settings.
(d) The commission shall develop and implement standards of program quality and effectiveness that provide for the areas of application listed in subparagraphs (A) to (C), inclusive, of paragraph (4) of subdivision (c), starting in professional preparation and continuing through induction.
(e) A credential that was issued before January 1, 1993, shall remain in force as long as it is valid under the laws and regulations that were in effect on the date it was issued. The commission shall not, by regulation, invalidate an otherwise valid credential, unless it issues to the holder of the credential, in substitution, a new credential authorized by another provision in this chapter that is no more restrictive than the credential for which it was substituted with respect to the kind of service authorized and the grades, classes, or types of schools in which it authorizes service.
(f) A credential program that is approved by the commission shall not deny an individual access to that program solely on the grounds that the individual obtained a teaching credential through completion of an internship program when that internship program has been accredited by the commission.
(g) Notwithstanding this section, persons who were performing teaching services as of January 1, 1999, pursuant to the language of this section that was in effect before that date, may continue to perform those services without complying with any requirements that may be added by the amendments adding this subdivision.
(h) Subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) do not apply to any person who, as of January 1, 1997, holds a multiple or single subject teaching credential, or to any person enrolled in a program of professional preparation for a multiple or single subject teaching credential as of January 1, 1997, who subsequently completes that program. It is the intent of the Legislature that the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) be applied only to persons who enter a program of professional preparation on or after January 1, 1997.