Colorado Legislative Council StaffREVISED NO FISCAL IMPACT
(replaces fiscal impact dated April 1, 1999)
April 13, 1999
Senate 2nd Reading
Harry Zeid (303-866-4753)
TITLE: CONCERNING PERFORMANCE-BASED TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS.
Summary of Assessment
This bill, as amended in the Senate Appropriations Committee, clarifies the State Board of Education's duty to review and approve teacher preparation programs. On or before July 1, 2000, the State Board of Education would be required to adopt rules specifying requirements and standards for teacher preparation programs offered by institutions of higher education and establish procedures for placing a program on probation or for terminating program approval. The requirements for teacher preparation programs would be established to ensure that each program is designed on a performance-based model, and that each program includes implementation of procedures to monitor and improve the effectiveness of the program. Specific program requirements are identified in the bill.
Beginning July 1, 2000, and prior to July 1, 2003, the State Board of Education would be required to review and approve teacher preparation programs at least every five years. The section of the bill that created a fiscal impact by requiring the State Board of Education to establish a schedule to ensure that the Department of Education reviews each teacher apprentice program implemented within the state at least every three years has been struck from the bill. As amended, the bill states that the Department of Education may provide technical assistance to the school district or BOCS to ensure that the program continues to be operated in a manner that meets the bill's requirements. The technical assistance would be provided by the department at the request of the school district or BOCS. The State Board of Education would design the schedule to coincide with reviews of institutions of higher education by accrediting agencies. If the State Board of Education determines that a program does not meet the requirements adopted, it may place the program on probation or immediately withhold approval of the program. A teacher preparation program that is placed on probation may not accept new students until the state board removes the program from probationary status. If termination of the approval of a program is necessary, the State Board shall allow all students enrolled in the program to complete the program prior to terminating approval of the program.
The Department of Education indicates that the requirements of the amended bill can be accommodated within current program funding and FTE levels. It is therefore, assumed that the Department of Education can provide the appropriate level of technical assistance to school districts within existing department resources.
School districts and boards of cooperative services would be authorized to create teacher apprentice programs, and would be required to collaborate with an institution of higher education to assist in implementing a teacher apprentice program. A school district would be allowed to hire a person as a teacher apprentice who does not have a teacher license or a teacher authorization. Supervision for a teacher apprentice would include an least 100 hours of annual observation and supervision in the classroom. A person holding a baccalaureate degree may be employed by a school district as a teacher apprentice for up to two years. A person who does not hold a baccalaureate degree may be employed by a district for up to four years, during which time the person must obtain a baccalaureate degree. The teacher apprentice must also pass a basic skills assessment in reading, writing, and mathematics and an assessment of subject matter knowledge appropriate to the person's teaching assignment in order to remain in the teacher apprentice program.
The bill requires any person who completes the teacher apprentice program to obtain a provisional teacher license in order to remain employed by the school district as a teacher. The final year of employment as a teacher apprentice may count as one of the three years of continuous employment necessary to achieve nonprobationary teacher status.
School districts would be required to notify the Department of Education of the name and address of and other pertinent information concerning persons employed as teacher apprentices, and requires the Department of Education to provide information concerning teacher licensure requirements to those individuals. Each teacher apprentice program must be approved by the State Board of Education. Finally, the bill requires a school district to demonstrate good cause for not establishing an alternative teacher program or apprentice teacher program prior to obtaining an emergency authorization for a nonlicensed person to teach.
The bill authorizes school districts and boards of cooperative services to establish teacher apprenticeship programs. This provision of the bill is permissive. The intent of the apprenticeship program would be to allow school districts to customize the preparation of their teacher candidates, reduce the number of persons employed under emergency authorizations, and help school districts recruit and employ nontraditional teacher candidates. The apprenticeship program may require the use of teacher mentors. Teacher mentors would most likely be paid between $300 to $500, for each person in the apprenticeship program, or they would receive some other benefit from the school district in lieu of compensation.
It is not known how many school districts will choose to participate in teacher apprenticeship programs, or what the cost to local school districts will be. In some cases, a teacher preparation program may be offered by an institution of higher education. In these instances, tuition would be paid by the teacher directly to the institution of higher education.
The bill would become effective upon signature of the Governor.
Education Colorado Commission on Higher Education