First Regular Session

Sixty-first General Assembly

LLS NO. R97@0771.01 MTJ

STATE OF COLORADO




BY SENATOR Alexander;

also REPRESENTATIVE Allen.


SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 97-14

CONCERNING THE CREATION OF AN INTERIM COMMITTEE AND A TASK FORCE TO STUDY TEACHER EVALUATION AND DISMISSAL.


WHEREAS, Public school teachers in Colorado have a responsibility to provide an excellent education to their students; and

WHEREAS, Teachers and the General Assembly have an abiding interest in maintaining and improving the quality of education in this state; and

WHEREAS, Issues have been raised concerning the continued administrative and economic effectiveness of the "Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act of 1990"; and

WHEREAS, It is in the best interests of the people of the state of Colorado to have an effective, workable, and fair system of teacher employment, retention, and dismissal that ensures the highest quality of instructors for Colorado students; and

WHEREAS, The General Assembly seeks to work together with the educational community, including school boards, school district executives, educators, teachers' organizations, and parents, to improve the teacher evaluation and dismissal laws; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty­first General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:

(1)  That there shall be created an interim committee to work through the 1997 interim to study teacher evaluation and dismissal issues. The interim committee may consider, but need not be limited to, the following issues:

(a)  The relationship between education reform and employment protections for teachers;

(b)  The effectiveness of the addition of "unsatisfactory performance" as a ground for dismissal of a teacher;

(c)  The effectiveness of the teacher evaluation system in regard to the implementation of standards­based education and teacher licensure;

(d)  The achievement of a balance of sufficient safeguards and sufficient flexibility to address performance deficiencies; and

(e)  Alternatives to the present process by which a teacher may be dismissed and by which such dismissal may be appealed, including the feasibility of employing teachers through at­will contracts.

(2)  That the interim committee shall consist of six members. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint the members of the interim committee no later than thirty days after passage of this Resolution, as follows:

(a)  The President of the Senate shall appoint three senators to serve on the interim committee, one of whom shall be named chair of the interim committee, no more than two of whom are members of the same political party;

(b)  The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint three representatives to serve on the interim committee, one of whom shall be named vice­chair of the interim committee, no more than two of whom are members of the same political party.

(3)  That the chair and the vice­chair of the interim committee, with the assistance of the Legislative Council staff, shall appoint an advisory task force to assist the committee in performing its study. The chair and the vice­chair of the interim committee shall each appoint a member of the advisory task force to represent each of the following groups:

(a)  School district boards of education;

(b)  School district executives;

(c)  Elementary, middle, and secondary school educators, of whom at least one shall be a classroom teacher;

(d)  Teachers' organizations;

(e)  Parents of children attending public schools who are knowledgeable about teacher evaluation and dismissal issues; and

(f)  The business and industry community.

(4)  That the interim committee shall make findings and recommendations regarding the issues reviewed in this study, including but not limited to any necessary legislation, and shall submit a written report on the interim committee's findings and recommendations to the General Assembly no later than November 15, 1997. Legislation recommended by the interim committee shall be treated as legislation recommended by any other interim committee for purposes of any introduction deadlines or bill limitations imposed by the joint rules of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

(5)  That the interim committee shall meet at least three times to fulfill its responsibilities in this study.

(6)  That the members of the interim committee shall be paid per diem and shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses for attendance at meetings of the interim committee and of the advisory task force.

(7)  That the Legislative Council staff and the Office of Legislative Legal Services shall be made available to assist the interim committee in carrying out its duties. All personnel of the Department of Education shall cooperate with the interim committee and with any persons assisting the interim committee, including the task force, in carrying out its duties.

(8)  That all expenditures incurred while conducting this study shall be approved by the chair of the Legislative Council and paid by vouchers and warrants drawn as provided by law from moneys allocated to the Legislative Council for legislative studies from appropriations made by the General Assembly.