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AB-2122 California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program.(2015-2016)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  May 27, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 14, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2122


Introduced by Assembly Member McCarty

February 17, 2016


An act to amend Sections 44391, 44392, and 44393 of, and to repeal and add Section 44390 of, the Education Code, relating to teacher credentialing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2122, as amended, McCarty. California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program.
The Wildman-Keeley-Solis Exemplary Teacher Training Act of 1997 establishes the California School Paraprofessional Teacher Training Program for the purpose of recruiting paraprofessionals to participate in a program designed to encourage them to enroll in teacher training programs and to provide instructional service as teachers in the public schools. The act requires, among other things, that the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, in consultation with certain other educational entities, to select, pursuant to specified criteria, 24 or more school districts or county offices of education representing rural, urban, and suburban areas that apply to participate in the program. The act requires a school district or county office of education to require a person participating in the program to commit to fulfilling certain specified obligations relating to obtaining a teaching credential and employment as a teacher in the school district or county office of education. The act requires a school district or county office of education to require a program participant to obtain a certificate of clearance from the commission and provide verification of a specified level of academic achievement prior to participating in the program. The act expresses the intent of the Legislature that that, in each fiscal year, funding for the California School Paraprofessional Teacher Training Program be allocated to the commission for grants to school districts and county offices of education, limits grants to $3,500 per program participant per year, and makes funding for the grants contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act.
This bill would substantially revise those provisions to instead establish the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program for the purposes purpose of recruiting classified school employees to participate in a program designed to encourage them to enroll in teacher training programs and to provide instructional service as teachers in the public schools. Subject to an appropriation for these purposes in the annual Budget Act, the bill would require the commission to issue a request for proposals to all school districts and county offices of education in the state in order to solicit applications for funding. The bill would require the criteria adopted by the commission for the selection of school districts or county offices of education to participate in the program to include, among other things, the extent to which the applicant’s plan for recruitment attempts to meet the demand of teacher shortages in shortage areas in kindergarten transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 to 12, inclusive. The bill would require an applicant that is selected to participate to provide information about the program to all eligible classified school employees in the school district or county office of education and to provide assistance to each classified school employee it recruits under the program regarding admission to a teacher training program. The bill would also require an applicant to require participants to satisfy specified requirements before participating in the program, including passing a background check, and to certify that it has received a commitment from each participant that he or she will accomplish certain things, including completing all of the requirements for, and obtain, a multiple subject, single subject, or education specialist teaching credential. The bill would require the commission to contract with an independent evaluator with a proven record of experience in assessing teacher training programs to conduct an evaluation to determine the success of the program and would require the evaluation to be conducted once every 5 years, with the first evaluation being completed on or before July 1, 2021. The bill would also require the commission, on or before January 1 of each year, to report to the Legislature regarding the status of the program, as specified. The bill would state the Legislature’s intent that that, each fiscal year, funding for the program be allocated to the commission for grants for up to 1,000 new participants per year and would prohibit a grant to an applicant from exceeding $4,000 per participant per year. The bill would make funding for grants to applicants contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 44390 of the Education Code is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 44390 is added to the Education Code, to read:

44390.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) All children deserve a highly qualified teacher.
(b) California faces a severe teacher shortage.
(c) The demand for new teachers is growing due to the inability to attract new teachers into the profession, the high attrition rate of new teachers, and the retirement of existing teachers.
(d) California has a 50-percent higher pupil-to-teacher ratio than any other state in the country at 24 to 1.
(e) It is estimated that California will need 60,000 additional teachers to maintain the current pupil-to-teacher ratio. bring pupil-to-teacher ratios back to prerecession levels.
(f) If California will were to reduce pupil-to-teacher ratios to the national average of 16 to 1, school districts would need to hire 135,000 additional teachers in order to return to the prerecession pupil-to-teacher ratio of 16 to 1. teachers.
(g) Teacher shortages vary by subject and region.
(h) Enrollment in teacher credentialing programs dropped 76 percent between 2002 and 2014.
(i) In 2014 and 2015, 40 percent of credentials were awarded to underprepared teachers.
(j) The diversity in the teacher workforce in California does not match the diversity of the pupil population.
(k) Roughly 65 percent of teachers are white, 20 percent are Hispanic, and 15 percent are a different race or ethnicity.
(l) Classified school employees currently working in public schools represent a potential pool of future teachers.
(m) Classified school employees as a group make up the most diverse segment of the professional school community.
(n) Providing incentives for classified school employees to obtain a bachelor’s degree and become fully credentialed teachers is a proven strategy to increase the number of highly qualified teachers in California’s schools.

SEC. 3.

 Section 44391 of the Education Code is amended to read:

44391.
 This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program.

SEC. 4.

 Section 44392 of the Education Code is amended to read:

44392.
 For the purposes of this article, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) “Applicant” means a school district or county office of education applying for program funds under the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program.
(b) “Institutions of higher education” means the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, and private not-for-profit institutions of higher education that offer a commission-approved teacher preparation program.
(c) “Participant” means a classified school employee who elects to participate in the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program.
(d) “Program” means the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program.
(e) “Classified school employee” means a noncertificated school employee currently working in a public school pursuant to this chapter.
(f) “Teacher training program” means an undergraduate or graduate program of instruction conducted by a campus of an institution of higher education teacher preparation program approved by the commission that includes a developmentally sequenced career ladder to provide instruction, coursework, and clearly defined tasks for each level of the ladder, and that is designed to qualify students enrolled in the program for a teaching credential authorizing instruction in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive.

SEC. 5.

 Section 44393 of the Education Code is amended to read:

44393.
 (a) The California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program is hereby established for the purpose of recruiting classified school employees to participate in a program designed to encourage them to enroll in teacher training programs and to provide instructional service as teachers in the public schools.
(b) Subject to an appropriation for these purposes in the annual Budget Act, the commission shall issue a request for proposals to all school districts and county offices of education in the state in order to solicit applications for funding. The criteria adopted by the commission for the selection of school districts or county offices of education to participate in the program shall include all of the following:
(1) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates the capacity and willingness to accommodate the participation of classified school employees in teacher training programs conducted at institutions of higher education.
(2) The extent to which the applicant’s plan for the implementation of its recruitment program involves the active participation of one or more local campuses of the participating institutions of higher education in the development of coursework and teaching programs for participating classified school employees. Each selected applicant shall be required to enter into a written articulation agreement with the participating campuses of the institutions of higher education.
(3) The extent to which the applicant’s plan for recruitment attempts to meet the demand of teacher shortages in shortage areas in kindergarten transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1 to 12, inclusive. Each classified school employee selected to participate shall have successfully completed at least two years of undergraduate college or university coursework and shall have demonstrated an interest in obtaining a multiple subject or single subject teaching credential.
(4) The extent to which a developmentally sequenced series of job descriptions leads from an entry-level classified school employee position to an entry-level teaching position in that school district or county office of education.
(5) The extent to which the applicant’s plan for recruitment attempts to meet its own specific teacher needs.
(c) An applicant that is selected to participate pursuant to subdivision (b) shall provide information about the program to all eligible classified school employees in the school district or county office of education and assistance to each classified school employee it recruits under the program regarding admission to a teacher training program.
(d) (1) An applicant shall require participants to satisfy all both of the following requirements before participating in the program:
(A) Pass a criminal background check.
(B) Provide verification of one of the following:
(i) Has earned an associate or higher level degree.
(ii) Has successfully completed at least two years of study at a postsecondary educational institution.
(2) An applicant shall certify that it has received a commitment from each participant that he or she will accomplish all of the following:
(A) Graduate from an institution of higher education under the program with a bachelor’s degree.
(B) Complete all of the requirements for, and obtain, a multiple subject, single subject, or education specialist teaching credential.
(C) Complete one school year of classroom instruction in the school district or county office of education for each year that he or she receives assistance for books, fees, and tuition while attending an institution of higher education under the program.
(e) The commission shall contract with an independent evaluator with a proven record of experience in assessing teacher training programs to conduct an evaluation to determine the success of the program. The evaluation shall be conducted once every five years, with the first evaluation being completed on or before July 1, 2021. The commission shall submit the completed evaluation to the Governor and the education policy and fiscal committees of the Assembly and Senate.
(f) On or before January 1 of each year, the commission shall report to the Legislature regarding the status of the program, including, but not limited to, the number of classified school employees recruited, the academic progress of the classified school employees recruited, the number of classified school employees recruited who are subsequently employed as teachers in the public schools, the degree to which the applicant meets the teacher shortage needs of the school district or county office of education, and the ethnic and racial composition of the participants in the program. The report shall be made in conformance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that that, each fiscal year, funding for the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program be allocated to the commission for grants for up to 1,000 new participants per year. A grant to an applicant shall not exceed four thousand dollars ($4,000) per participant per year. Funding for grants to applicants shall be contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act.