Bill Summary for S 599 (2017-2018)

Summary date: 

Jun 21 2017

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2017-2018 Session
Senate Bill 599 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 4, 2017
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR PREPARATION AND STANDARDS COMMISSION, TO AUTHORIZE THE EXPANSION OF EDUCATOR PREPARATION PROGRAMS AND TO CREATE A SYSTEM THAT HOLDS ALL PROGRAMS ACCOUNTABLE, TO REORGANIZE AND CLARIFY THE EDUCATOR LICENSURE PROCESS, AND TO ENSURE AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION ON TEACHER VACANCIES OCCURRING IN NORTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Intro. by Barefoot.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.

Amends proposed GS 115C-268.5, regarding the powers and duties of the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (Commission). Directs the Commission, in developing and recommending rules related to the appropriate courses for calculation of individual and cohort grade point averages (GPAs) for admission to educator preparation programs (EPPs), to consider which of two methods of calculating GPA would be most appropriate for clinical residency students.

Amends proposed GS 115C-269.15, regarding minimum admissions requirements for EPPs. Creates an exception to the individual GPA requirements for clinical resident students if the hiring local school administrative unit determines that the student has at least 10 years of relevant experience. Amends the exception to the individual GPA requirement for a program leading to licensure in career and technical education to provide that the determination that the student has at least five years of relevant experience is to be made by the hiring local school administrative unit. Makes organizational changes, clarifying that the cohort GPA requirements apply to all EPP students, regardless of whether their program leads to licensure in career and technical education.

Amends proposed GS 115C-269.25, regarding clinical partnerships and practice in educator preparation programs. Requires an EPP to ensure that clinical educators that supervise students in internships be rated at least at the "proficient" level (3rd edition: at the "accomplished" level). Provides that the principal must determine which clinical educator best meets the needs of each intern, and shall assign the most appropriate clinical educator to that intern, with priority consideration for clinical educators rated "distinguished" and "accomplished." Requires documentation of reasons for determining that a teacher rated as "proficient" is the most appropriate clinical educator for an intern. Amends the requirements for Clinical mentors, replacing the requirement that an educator be rated "accomplished" with requirements identical to those at proposed GS 115C-300.1(c), for mentor teachers (added in this committee substitute, see below).

Amends GS 115C-284(e). Authorizes a local board of education to select a retired principal or retired assistant principal to serve as an interim principal for the remainder of any school year, regardless of licensure status. Makes a conforming change.

Amends proposed GS 115C-300.1, regarding new teacher induction programs. Deletes the requirement that the State Board of Education (SBOE) conduct a study of the needs of new teachers. Replaces the currently proposed requirements for the SBOE's criteria in selecting mentor teachers, now requiring them to be rated at least as "proficient," or to be retired. Provides that the principal shall determine which mentor teacher best meets the needs of each new teacher, and shall assign the most appropriate mentor teacher to that new teacher, with priority consideration for those mentor teachers rated as "distinguished" and "accomplished." Requires documentation of reasons that a teacher rated as "proficient," or a retired teacher, was selected as the most appropriate mentor. Provides for "accomplished" teachers to be mentors at a different school building from which the mentor is assigned under certain criteria. Deletes provisions directing SBOE to allot funding for mentoring services.

Amends proposed GS 115C-270.20, regarding licensure requirements. Amends the requirements for retirement licensure to require that the licensee have been employed by a local school administrative unit after retirement, either as a substitute teacher, or as a part-time provider of listed services, including tutoring and teacher mentoring.

Amends proposed GS 115C-270.30, regarding licensure renewal. Amends the literacy-related continuing education requirements to make them apply only to elementary school teachers (3rd edition also applied them to middle school teachers). Makes a conforming change to the requirements for renewal of retirement licensure. Provides that a member of the General Assembly is exempt from the continuing education credit requirements for teachers during any five-year licensure renewal cycle in which the member serves in the General Assembly, as long as the member notifies the Department of Public Instruction of the exemption during that five-year licensure renewal cycle.

Provides that any professional educator license issued by SBOE before the effective date of this act continues in effect until the expiration of that license. Authorizes SBOE to continue to issue lateral entry licenses for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years in accordance with State Board Policy LICN-001 as it was in effect on the effective date of this act.

Creates a three-year Educator Preparation Pilot Program from the 2017-18 to 2019-20 school years. Directs SBOE, upon recommendation of the superintendent, to select up to two new EPPs to be part of the program by October 1, 2017. Provides requirements for the selection of the EPPs, and provides that they are deemed recognized EPPs for the duration of the pilot period, and are permitted to recommend clinical residency candidates for licensure without receiving State approval.

Amends GS 115C-218.90. Requires the board of directors of each charter school located in a local school administrative unit to adopt a policy that mirrors the local board of education's policy, if any, that provides for periodic checks of criminal history of employees. Directs the board of directors to indicate, upon inquiry by another local board of education, charter school, or regional school in the State, as to the reason for an employee's resignation or dismissal, if an employee's criminal history was relevant to the employee's resignation or dismissal.

Amends GS 115C-238.73. Authorizes the board of directors of a regional school to adopt a policy providing for uniform periodic checks of criminal history of employees, which shall not be required to be paid for by the employees. Directs a board of directors to indicate, upon inquiry by any other local board of education, charter school, or regional school in the State as to the reason for an employee's resignation or dismissal. Directs the board of directors to report the reason for an employee's resignation to SBOE if a teacher's criminal history is relevant to a teacher's resignation.

Amends GS 115C-325. Creates an exemption to the meeting, notice, and reply requirements in subsection (f) prior to suspending a career employee without pay, for when the teacher is incarcerated or in the custody of a local, State, private, or federal correctional facility. When that is the case, the superintendent must provide written notice of charges, written explanation of the basis for the charges, and an opportunity for the teacher to respond in writing. Amends subsection (o) to require that a local board of education notify SBOE if a teacher's criminal history is relevant to a teacher's resignation without the consent of the superintendent.

Amends GS 115C-325.5, creating an exemption identical to that created in the amendments to GS 115C-325(f).

Amends GS 115C-325.9, creating a notification requirement identical to that created in the amendments to GS 115C-325(o).

Amends GS 115C-332. Authorizes local boards of education to adopt a policy for periodic checks of criminal history of employees, identical to that authorized in the amendments to GS 115C-238.73.

Subject to the enactment of H 155 (Modify Educator Licensure Requirements), 2017 Regular Session, amends GS 115C-325(f) and (o), as amended by this act, to replace the term "teacher" with either "career employee," and to delete a reference to "probationary employees."

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