FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 620
94TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES MUSCHANY (Sponsor), CUNNINGHAM (86), BEARDEN, JONES (117), McGHEE, NIEVES, BIVINS, RUESTMAN AND BAKER (123) (Co-sponsors).
Read 1st time January 25, 2007 and copies ordered printed.
D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To repeal section 168.021, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof two new sections relating to teacher certification.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Section 168.021, RSMo, is repealed and two new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as sections 161.375 and 168.021, to read as follows:
161.375. 1. The department of elementary and secondary education shall develop standards for high-quality mentoring for beginning teachers and beginning principals no later than June 30, 2008. The standards shall be applicable to all public schools.
2. Such standards shall be established for both of the required years of mentoring under subsection 3 of section 168.021, RSMo, and shall be based upon, but not be limited to, the following principles:
(1) Every district shall have a teacher-driven mentor program in collaboration with and support of the administration;
(2) Guidance and support are required for all beginning teachers, regardless of when they enter the profession;
(3) Communication between mentors and beginning teachers is open and confidential;
(4) Quality mentors are necessary to establish beginning teachers' trust and respect for their colleagues and profession; and
(5) All staff members provide informal support for beginning teachers.
3. Quality mentor programs shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) An introduction to the cultural environment of the community and the school district;
(2) A systemic and ongoing evaluation by all stakeholders;
(3) An individualized plan for beginning teachers that aligns with the district's goals and needs;
(4) Appropriate criteria for selecting mentors;
(5) Comprehensive mentor training;
(6) A complete list of responsibilities for the mentor, beginning teacher, and administrators; and
(7) Sufficient time for mentors to observe beginning teachers and for the beginning teachers to observe master teachers.
4. In developing such standards, the department shall involve representatives from the state teacher organizations, administration and principal organizations, Missouri advisory council for the certification of educators as created by section 168.015, RSMo, Missouri staff development council, and from colleges and universities.
168.021. 1. Certificates of license to teach in the public schools of the state shall be granted as follows:
(1) By the state board, under rules and regulations prescribed by it,
(a) Upon the basis of college credit;
(b) Upon the basis of examination;
(2) By the state board, under rules and regulations prescribed by the state board with advice from the advisory council established by section 168.015 to any individual who presents to the state board a valid doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting association such as North Central Association. Such certificate shall be limited to the major area of postgraduate study of the holder, shall be issued only after successful completion of the examination required for graduation pursuant to rules adopted by the state board of education, and shall be restricted to those certificates established pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection 3 of this section; or
(3) By the state board, which shall issue the professional certificate classification in both the general and specialized areas most closely aligned with the current areas of certification approved by the state board, commensurate with the years of teaching experience of the applicant, and based upon the following criteria:
(a) Recommendation of a state-approved baccalaureate-level teacher preparation program;
(b) Successful attainment of the Missouri qualifying score on the exit assessment for teachers or administrators designated by the state board of education. Applicants who have not successfully achieved a qualifying score on the designated examinations will be issued a two-year nonrenewable provisional certificate; and
(c) Upon completion of a background check and possession of a valid teaching certificate in the state from which the applicant's teacher preparation program was completed; or
(4) By the state board, under rules and regulations prescribed by it, on the basis of certification by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, for an initial professional certificate of license to teach pending:
(a) Ability to work with children as demonstrated by sixty contact hours within the twenty-four-month period immediately preceding the date of application for certificate of license in any one of the following areas as validated by the school principal:
a. Sixty contact hours in the classroom, of which at least forty-five must be teaching;
b. Sixty contact hours as a substitute teacher, with at least thirty consecutive hours in the same classroom;
c. Sixty contact hours of teaching in a private school; or
d. Sixty contact hours of teaching as a paraprofessional;
(b) Completion of the twenty-four contact hours of professional development within two years, which may include hours spent in class in an appropriate college curriculum;
(c) Validated completion of two years of the mentoring program of the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence or a mentoring program approved by the state board of education; and
(d) Attainment of a successful performance-based teacher evaluation.
2. All valid teaching certificates issued pursuant to law or state board policies and regulations prior to September 1, 1988, shall be exempt from the professional development requirements of this section and shall continue in effect until they expire, are revoked or suspended, as provided by law. When such certificates are required to be renewed, the state board or its designee shall grant to each holder of such a certificate the certificate most nearly equivalent to the one so held. Anyone who holds, as of August 28, 2003, a valid PC-I, PC-II, or continuous professional certificate shall, upon expiration of his or her current certificate, be issued the appropriate level of certificate based upon the classification system established pursuant to subsection 3 of this section.
3. Certificates of license to teach in the public schools of the state shall be based upon minimum requirements prescribed by the state board of education. The state board shall provide for the following levels of professional certification: an initial professional certificate and a career continuous professional certificate.
(1) The initial professional certificate shall be issued upon completion of requirements established by the state board of education and shall be valid based upon verification of actual teaching within a specified time period established by the state board of education. The state board shall require holders of the four-year initial professional certificate to:
(a) Participate in a mentoring program approved and provided by the district for a minimum of two years;
(b) Complete thirty contact hours of professional development, which may include hours spent in class in an appropriate college curriculum; and
(c) Participate in a beginning teacher assistance program;
(2) (a) The career continuous professional certificate shall be issued upon verification of completion of four years of teaching under the initial professional certificate and upon verification of the completion of the requirements articulated in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(b) The career continuous professional certificate shall be continuous based upon verification of actual employment in an educational position as provided for in state board guidelines and completion of fifteen contact hours of professional development per year which may include hours spent in class in an appropriate college curriculum. Should the possessor of a valid career continuous professional certificate fail, in any given year, to meet the fifteen-hour professional development requirement, the possessor may, within two years, make up the missing hours. In order to make up for missing hours, the possessor shall first complete the fifteen-hour requirement for the current year and then may count hours in excess of the current year requirement as make-up hours. Should the possessor fail to make up the missing hours within two years, the certificate shall become inactive. In order to reactivate the certificate, the possessor shall complete twenty-four contact hours of professional development which may include hours spent in the classroom in an appropriate college curriculum within the six months prior to or after reactivating his or her certificate. The requirements of this paragraph shall be monitored and verified by the local school district which employs the holder of the career continuous professional certificate.
(c) A holder of a career continuous professional certificate shall be exempt from the professional development contact hour requirements of paragraph (b) of this subdivision if such teacher has a local professional development plan in place within such teacher's school district and meets two of the three following criteria:
a. Has ten years of teaching experience as defined by the state board of education;
b. Possesses a master's degree; or
c. Obtains a rigorous national certification as approved by the state board of education.
4. Policies and procedures shall be established by which a teacher who was not retained due to a reduction in force may retain the current level of certification. There shall also be established policies and procedures allowing a teacher who has not been employed in an educational position for three years or more to reactivate his or her last level of certification by completing twenty-four contact hours of professional development which may include hours spent in the classroom in an appropriate college curriculum within the six months prior to or after reactivating his or her certificate.
5. The state board shall, upon an appropriate background check, issue a professional certificate classification in the areas most closely aligned with an applicant's current areas of certification, commensurate with the years of teaching experience of the applicant, to any person who is hired to teach in a public school in this state and who possesses a valid teaching certificate from another state, provided that the certificate holder shall annually complete the state board's requirements for such level of certification, and shall establish policies by which residents of states other than the state of Missouri may be assessed a fee for a certificate license to teach in the public schools of Missouri. Such fee shall be in an amount sufficient to recover any or all costs associated with the issuing of a certificate of license to teach.
6. The state board may assess to holders of an initial professional certificate a fee, to be deposited into the excellence in education revolving fund established pursuant to section 160.268, RSMo, for the issuance of the career continuous professional certificate. However, such fee shall not exceed the combined costs of issuance and any criminal background check required as a condition of issuance.
7. Any member of the public school retirement system of Missouri who entered covered employment with ten or more years of educational experience in another state or states and held a certificate issued by another state and subsequently worked in a school district covered by the public school retirement system of Missouri for ten or more years who later became certificated in Missouri shall have that certificate dated back to his or her original date of employment in a Missouri public school.