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AB-1505 Certificated school employee evaluations: COVID-19: exemptions.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/20/2021 04:00 AM
AB1505:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1505


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Section 44664 of the Education Code, relating to school employees.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1505, as introduced, Rodriguez. Certificated school employee evaluations: COVID-19: exemptions.
Existing law requires the State Board of Education to develop guidelines that school districts may use in the development of teacher evaluation procedures, and distribute those guidelines to every school district. Existing law requires the governing board of each school district to establish standards of expected pupil achievement at each grade level in each area of study and to evaluate and assess certificated employee performance as it reasonably relates to the progress of pupils toward the established standards and, if applicable, the state adopted academic content standards, as provided. Existing law authorizes school district governing boards to develop and adopt additional evaluation and assessment guidelines or criteria.
Existing law requires an evaluation and assessment of the performance of a certificated employee to be made on a continuing basis, including annually for probationary certificated employees, biennially for certificated employees with permanent status, and, if the evaluator and the certificated employee being evaluated agree, at least every 5 years for a certificated employee with permanent status, who has been employed at least 10 years with the school district, is highly qualified, and occupies a position that is required to be filled by a highly qualified professional, as provided.
This bill would require school districts that have closed their schoolsites and implemented distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic to exempt all certificated employees with permanent status, and all employees with certificated status who have worked in the same position for at least 2 years, from formal evaluations during distance learning. The bill would prohibit resuming formal evaluations of the exempted certificated employees until schoolsites have reopened.
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) The COVID-19 global pandemic has required schools to close for several months.
(b) These closures have required school staff to transition to distance learning.
(c) Distance learning has created tremendous disruptions to the educational process.
(d) Evaluating school employees during a time of closures creates numerous challenges for both educators and administrators that could negatively impact the evaluation of these employees.
(e) It is impossible for current employee evaluation tools to accurately measure the performance of certificated employees during school closures.
(f) Employee evaluations of permanent employees, and temporary employees who have served at least two years in the same position, should be postponed until schools have reopened.

SEC. 2.

 Section 44664 of the Education Code is amended to read:

44664.
 (a) Evaluation and assessment of the performance of each certificated employee shall be made on a continuing basis as follows:
(1) At least once each school year for probationary personnel.
(2) At least every other year for personnel with permanent status.
(3) At least every five years for personnel with permanent status who have been employed at least 10 years with the school district, are highly qualified, if those personnel occupy positions that are required to be filled by a highly qualified professional by the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 6301, et seq.), as defined in 20 U.S.C. Sec. 7801, and whose previous evaluation rated the employee as meeting or exceeding standards, if the evaluator and certificated employee being evaluated agree. The certificated employee or the evaluator may withdraw consent at any time.
(b) The evaluation shall include recommendations, if necessary, as to areas of improvement in the performance of the certificated employee. If an a certificated employee is not performing his or her the employee’s duties in a satisfactory manner according to the standards prescribed by the governing board, the employing authority shall notify the employee in writing of that fact and describe the unsatisfactory performance. The employing authority shall thereafter confer with the certificated employee making specific recommendations as to areas of improvement in the employee’s performance and endeavor to assist the employee in his or her the employee’s performance. If any a permanent certificated employee has received an unsatisfactory evaluation, the employing authority shall annually evaluate the employee until the employee achieves a positive evaluation or is separated from the school district.
(c) Any An evaluation performed pursuant to this article which that contains an unsatisfactory rating of an a certificated employee’s performance in the area of teaching methods or instruction may include the requirement that the certificated employee shall, as determined necessary by the employing authority, participate in a program designed to improve appropriate areas of the employee’s performance and to further pupil achievement and the instructional objectives of the employing authority. If a school district participates in the California Peer Assistance and Review Program for Teachers established pursuant to Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 44500), any a certificated employee who receives an unsatisfactory rating on an evaluation performed pursuant to this section shall participate in the California Peer Assistance and Review Program for Teachers.
(d) Hourly and temporary hourly certificated employees, other than those employed in adult education classes who are excluded by the provisions of Section 44660, and substitute teachers may be excluded from the provisions of this section at the discretion of the governing board. board of the school district.
(e) (1) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), a school district that has closed schoolsites and implemented distance learning for the schools within its jurisdiction due to the COVID-19 pandemic shall exempt all permanent certificated employees who instruct pupils from any formal evaluations during any period of distance learning.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 44660 and subdivision (d), the exemption described in paragraph (1) shall also apply to all temporary certificated employees who instruct pupils or who are employed in adult education classes who have served at least two years in the same position.
(3) Formal evaluations for the certificated employees who are exempt pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not resume until schoolsites have reopened.