Bill Text: AZ HB2110 | 2020 | Fifty-fourth Legislature 2nd Regular | Engrossed


Bill Title: Schools; employees; employment; discipline

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2020-03-10 - Senate majority caucus: Do pass [HB2110 Detail]

Download: Arizona-2020-HB2110-Engrossed.html

 

 

 

House Engrossed

 

 

 

 

State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-fourth Legislature

Second Regular Session

2020

 

 

 

 

HOUSE BILL 2110

 

 

 

AN ACT

 

amending sections 15-183, 15-203, 15-251 and 15-350, arizona revised statutes; amending Title 15, chapter 5, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 15-505; amending sections 15-512, 15-514, 15‑534.02, 15-534.04, 15-550 and 41-1092.02, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to school employees.

 

 

(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Section 15-183, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-183.  Charter schools; application; requirements; immunity; exemptions; renewal of application; reprisal; fee; funds; annual reports

A.  An applicant seeking to establish a charter school shall submit a written application apply in writing to a proposed sponsor as prescribed in subsection C of this section.  The application, application process and application time frames shall be posted on the sponsor's website and shall include the following, as specified in the application adopted by the sponsor:

1.  A detailed educational plan.

2.  A detailed business plan.

3.  A detailed operational plan.

4.  Any other materials required by the sponsor.

B.  The sponsor of a charter school may contract with a public body, private person or private organization for the purpose of establishing a charter school pursuant to this article.

C.  The sponsor of a charter school may be either the state board of education, the state board for charter schools, a university under the jurisdiction of the Arizona board of regents, a community college district or a group of community college districts, subject to the following requirements:

1.  An applicant may not submit an application apply for sponsorship to any person or entity other than those prescribed in this subsection.

2.  The applicant may submit the application apply to the state board of education or the state board for charter schools.  Notwithstanding any other law, neither the state board for charter schools nor the state board of education shall grant a charter to a school district governing board for a new charter school or for the conversion of an existing district public school to a charter school.  The state board of education or the state board for charter schools may approve the application if the application meets the requirements of this article and may approve the charter if the proposed sponsor determines, within its sole discretion, that the applicant is sufficiently qualified to operate a charter school and that the applicant is applying to operate as a separate charter holder by considering factors such as whether:

(a)  The schools have separate governing bodies, governing body membership, staff, facilities and student population.

(b)  Daily operations are carried out by different administrators.

(c)  The applicant intends to have an affiliation agreement for the purpose of providing enrollment preferences.

(d)  The applicant's charter management organization has multiple charter holders serving varied grade configurations on one physical site or nearby sites serving one community.

(e)  It The applicant is reconstituting an existing school site population at the same or new site.

(f)  It The applicant is reconstituting an existing grade configuration from a prior charter holder with at least one grade remaining on the original site with the other grade or grades moving to a new site.  The state board of education or the state board for charter schools may approve any charter schools transferring charters.  If the state board of education or the state board for charter schools rejects the preliminary application, the state board of education or the state board for charter schools shall notify the applicant in writing of the reasons for the rejection and of suggestions for improving the application.  An applicant may submit a revised application for reconsideration by the state board of education or the state board for charter schools.  The applicant may request, and the state board of education or the state board for charter schools may provide, technical assistance to improve the application.

3.  The applicant may submit the application to a university under the jurisdiction of the Arizona board of regents, a community college district or a group of community college districts.  A university, a community college district or a group of community college districts shall not grant a charter to a school district governing board for a new charter school or for the conversion of an existing district public school to a charter school.  A university, a community college district or a group of community college districts may approve the application if it meets the requirements of this article and if the proposed sponsor determines, in its sole discretion, that the applicant is sufficiently qualified to operate a charter school.

4.  Each applicant seeking to establish a charter school shall submit a full set of fingerprints to the approving agency for the purpose of obtaining a state and federal criminal records check pursuant to section 41‑1750 and Public Law 92‑544.  If an applicant will have direct contact with students, the applicant shall possess a valid fingerprint clearance card that is issued pursuant to title 41, chapter 12, article 3.1.  The department of public safety may exchange this fingerprint data with the federal bureau of investigation.  The criminal records check shall be completed before the issuance of a charter.

5.  All persons engaged in instructional work directly as a classroom, laboratory or other teacher or indirectly as a supervisory teacher, speech therapist or principal shall have a valid fingerprint clearance card that is issued pursuant to title 41, chapter 12, article 3.1, unless the person is a volunteer or guest speaker who is accompanied in the classroom by a person with a valid fingerprint clearance card.  A charter school shall not employ a teacher person in a position that requires a valid fingerprint clearance card whom the state board of education has taken disciplinary action against as prescribed in section 15-505 or whose certificate has been suspended, surrendered or revoked, unless the teacher's person's certificate has been subsequently reinstated by the state board of education.  All other personnel shall be fingerprint checked pursuant to section 15‑512, or the charter school may require those personnel to obtain a fingerprint clearance card issued pursuant to title 41, chapter 12, article 3.1.  Before employment, the charter school shall make documented, good faith efforts to contact previous employers of a person to obtain information and recommendations that may be relevant to the person's fitness for employment as prescribed in section 15‑512, subsection F, including checking the educator information system that is maintained by the department of education pursuant to section 15‑505.  The charter school shall notify the department of public safety if the charter school or sponsor receives credible evidence that a person who possesses a valid fingerprint clearance card is arrested for or is charged with an offense listed in section 41‑1758.03, subsection B.  A person who is employed at a charter school that has met the requirements of this paragraph is not required to meet any additional requirements that are established by the department of education or that may be established by rule by the state board of education.  The state board of education may not adopt rules that exceed the requirements for persons who are qualified to teach in charter schools prescribed in title I of the every student succeeds act (P.L. 114-95) or the individuals with disabilities education improvement act of 2004 (P.L. 108-446).  Charter schools may hire personnel who have not yet received a fingerprint clearance card if proof is provided of the submission of an application to the department of public safety for a fingerprint clearance card and if the charter school that is seeking to hire the applicant does all of the following:

(a)  Documents in the applicant's file the necessity for hiring and placement of placing the applicant before receiving the applicant receives a fingerprint clearance card.

(b)  Ensures that the department of public safety completes a statewide criminal records check on the applicant.  A statewide criminal records check shall be completed by the department of public safety every one hundred twenty days until the date that the fingerprint check is completed or the fingerprint clearance card is issued or denied.

(c)  Obtains references from the applicant's current employer and the two most recent previous employers except for applicants who have been employed for at least five years by the applicant's most recent employer.

(d)  Provides general supervision of the applicant until the date that the fingerprint card is obtained.

(e)  Completes a search of criminal records in all local jurisdictions outside of this state in which the applicant has lived in the previous five years.

(f)  Verifies the fingerprint status of the applicant with the department of public safety.

6.  A charter school that complies with the fingerprinting requirements of this section shall be deemed to have complied with section 15‑512 and is entitled to the same rights and protections provided to school districts by section 15‑512.

7.  If a charter school operator is not already subject to a public meeting or hearing by the municipality in which the charter school is located, the operator of a charter school shall conduct a public meeting at least thirty days before the charter school operator opens a site or sites for the charter school.  The charter school operator shall post notices of the public meeting in at least three different locations that are within three hundred feet of the proposed charter school site.

8.  A person who is employed by a charter school or who is an applicant for employment with a charter school, who is arrested for or charged with a nonappealable offense listed in section 41‑1758.03, subsection B and who does not immediately report the arrest or charge to the person's supervisor or potential employer is guilty of unprofessional conduct and the person shall be immediately dismissed from employment with the charter school or immediately excluded from potential employment with the charter school.

9.  A person who is employed by a charter school and who is convicted of any nonappealable offense listed in section 41‑1758.03, subsection B or is convicted of any nonappealable offense that amounts to unprofessional conduct under section 15‑550 shall immediately do all of the following:

(a)  Surrender any certificates issued by the department of education.

(b)  Notify the person's employer or potential employer of the conviction.

(c)  Notify the department of public safety of the conviction.

(d)  Surrender the person's fingerprint clearance card.

D.  An entity that is authorized to sponsor charter schools pursuant to this article has no legal authority over or responsibility for a charter school sponsored by a different entity.  This subsection does not apply to the state board of education's duty to exercise general supervision over the public school system pursuant to section 15‑203, subsection A, paragraph 1.

E.  The charter of a charter school shall do all of the following:

1.  Ensure compliance with federal, state and local rules, regulations and statutes relating to health, safety, civil rights and insurance.  The department of education shall publish a list of relevant rules, regulations and statutes to notify charter schools of their responsibilities under this paragraph.

2.  Ensure that it is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies and employment practices and all other operations.

3.  Ensure that it provides a comprehensive program of instruction for at least a kindergarten program or any grade between grades one and twelve, except that a school may offer this curriculum with an emphasis on a specific learning philosophy or style or certain subject areas such as mathematics, science, fine arts, performance arts or foreign language.

4.  Ensure that it designs a method to measure pupil progress toward the pupil outcomes adopted by the state board of education pursuant to section 15‑741.01, including participation in the statewide assessment and the nationally standardized norm‑referenced achievement test as designated by the state board and the completion and distribution of an annual report card as prescribed in chapter 7, article 3 of this title.

5.  Ensure that, except as provided in this article and in its charter, it is exempt from all statutes and rules relating to schools, governing boards and school districts.

6.  Ensure that, except as provided in this article, it is subject to the same financial and electronic data submission requirements as a school district, including the uniform system of financial records as prescribed in chapter 2, article 4 of this title, procurement rules as prescribed in section 15‑213 and audit requirements.  The auditor general shall conduct a comprehensive review and revision of the uniform system of financial records to ensure that the provisions of the uniform system of financial records that relate to charter schools are in accordance with commonly accepted accounting principles used by private business.  A school's charter may include exceptions to the requirements of this paragraph that are necessary as determined by the university, the community college district, the group of community college districts, the state board of education or the state board for charter schools.  The department of education or the office of the auditor general may conduct financial, program or compliance audits.

7.  Ensure compliance with all federal and state laws relating to the education of children with disabilities in the same manner as a school district.

8.  Ensure that it provides for a governing body for the charter school that is responsible for the policy decisions of the charter school.  Notwithstanding section 1‑216, if there is a vacancy or vacancies on the governing body, a majority of the remaining members of the governing body constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, unless that quorum is prohibited by the charter school's operating agreement.

9.  Ensure that it provides a minimum of one hundred eighty instructional days before June 30 of each fiscal year unless it is operating on an alternative calendar approved by its sponsor.  The superintendent of public instruction shall adjust the apportionment schedule accordingly to accommodate a charter school utilizing an alternative calendar.

F.  A charter school shall keep in the personnel file of all each current employees employee who provide provides instruction to pupils at the charter school information about the employee's educational and teaching background and experience in a particular academic content subject area.  A charter school shall inform parents and guardians of the availability of the information and shall make the information available for inspection on request of parents and guardians of pupils enrolled at the charter school.  This subsection does not require any charter school to release personally identifiable information in relation to any teacher or employee, including the teacher's or employee's address, salary, social security number or telephone number.

G.  The charter of a charter school may be amended at the request of the governing body of the charter school and on the approval of the sponsor.

H.  Charter schools may contract, sue and be sued.

I.  The charter is effective for fifteen years from the first day of the fiscal year as specified in the charter, subject to the following:

1.  At least eighteen months before the expiration of the charter expires, the sponsor shall notify the charter school that the charter school may apply for renewal and shall make the renewal application available to the charter school.  A charter school that elects to apply for renewal shall file a complete renewal application at least fifteen months before the expiration of the charter expires.  A sponsor shall give written notice of its intent not to renew the charter school's request for renewal to the charter school at least twelve months before the expiration of the charter.  The sponsor shall make data used in making renewal decisions available to the school and the public and shall provide a public report summarizing the evidence basis for each decision.  The sponsor may deny the request for renewal if, in its judgment, the charter holder has failed to do any of the following:

(a)  Meet or make sufficient progress toward the academic performance expectations set forth in the performance framework.

(b)  Meet the operational performance expectations set forth in the performance framework or any improvement plans.

(c)  Meet the financial performance expectations set forth in the performance framework or any improvement plans.

(d)  Complete the obligations of the contract.

(e)  Comply with this article or any provision of law from which the charter school is not exempt.

2.  A charter operator may apply for early renewal.  At least nine months before the charter school's intended renewal consideration, the operator of the charter school shall submit a letter of intent to the sponsor to apply for early renewal.  The sponsor shall review fiscal audits and academic performance data for the charter school that are annually collected by the sponsor, review the current contract between the sponsor and the charter school and provide the qualifying charter school with a renewal application.  On submission of a complete application, the sponsor shall give written notice of its consideration of the renewal application.  The sponsor may deny the request for early renewal if, in the sponsor's judgment, the charter holder has failed to do any of the following:

(a)  Meet or make sufficient progress toward the academic performance expectations set forth in the performance framework.

(b)  Meet the operational performance expectations set forth in the performance framework or any improvement plans.

(c)  Meet the financial performance expectations set forth in the performance framework or any improvement plans.

(d)  Complete the obligations of the contract.

(e)  Comply with this article or any provision of law from which the charter school is not exempt.

3.  A sponsor shall review a charter at five‑year intervals using a performance framework adopted by the sponsor and may revoke a charter at any time if the charter school breaches one or more provisions of its charter or if the sponsor determines that the charter holder has failed to do any of the following:

(a)  Meet or make sufficient progress toward the academic performance expectations set forth in the performance framework.

(b)  Meet the operational performance expectations set forth in the performance framework or any improvement plans.

(c)  Meet the financial performance expectations set forth in the performance framework or any improvement plans.

(d)  Comply with this article or any provision of law from which the charter school is not exempt.

4.  In determining whether to renew or revoke a charter holder, the sponsor must consider making sufficient progress toward the academic performance expectations set forth in the sponsor's performance framework as one of the most important factors.

5.  At least sixty days before the effective date of the proposed revocation, the sponsor shall give written notice to the operator of the charter school of its intent to revoke the charter.  Notice of the sponsor's intent to revoke the charter shall be delivered personally to the operator of the charter school or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the address of the charter school.  The notice shall incorporate a statement of reasons for the proposed revocation of the charter.  The sponsor shall allow the charter school at least sixty days to correct the problems associated with the reasons for the proposed revocation of the charter.  The final determination of whether to revoke the charter shall be made at a public hearing called for such that purpose.

J.  The charter may be renewed for successive periods of twenty years.

K.  A charter school that is sponsored by the state board of education, the state board for charter schools, a university, a community college district or a group of community college districts may not be located on the property of a school district unless the district governing board grants this authority.

L.  A governing board or a school district employee who has control over personnel actions shall not take unlawful reprisal against another employee of the school district because the employee is directly or indirectly involved in an application to establish a charter school.  A governing board or a school district employee shall not take unlawful reprisal against an educational program of the school or the school district because an application to establish a charter school proposes the conversion of to convert all or a portion of the educational program to a charter school.  For the purposes of this subsection, "unlawful reprisal" means an action that is taken by a governing board or a school district employee as a direct result of a lawful application to establish a charter school and that is adverse to another employee or an education program and:

1.  With respect to a school district employee, results in one or more of the following:

(a)  Disciplinary or corrective action.

(b)  Detail, transfer or reassignment.

(c)  Suspension, demotion or dismissal.

(d)  An unfavorable performance evaluation.

(e)  A reduction in pay, benefits or awards.

(f)  Elimination of the employee's position without a reduction in force by reason of lack of monies or work.

(g)  Other significant changes in duties or responsibilities that are inconsistent with the employee's salary or employment classification.

2.  With respect to an educational program, results in one or more of the following:

(a)  Suspension or termination of the program.

(b)  Transfer or reassignment of the program to a less favorable department.

(c)  Relocation of the program to a less favorable site within the school or school district.

(d)  Significant reduction or termination of funding for the program.

M.  Charter schools shall secure insurance for liability and property loss.  The governing body of a charter school that is sponsored by the state board of education or the state board for charter schools may enter into an intergovernmental agreement or otherwise contract to participate in an insurance program offered by a risk retention pool established pursuant to section 11‑952.01 or 41‑621.01 or the charter school may secure its own insurance coverage.  The pool may charge the requesting charter school reasonable fees for any services it performs in connection with the insurance program.

N.  Charter schools do not have the authority to acquire property by eminent domain.

O.  A sponsor, including members, officers and employees of the sponsor, is immune from personal liability for all acts done and actions taken in good faith within the scope of its authority.

P.  Charter school sponsors and this state are not liable for the debts or financial obligations of a charter school or persons who operate charter schools.

Q.  The sponsor of a charter school shall establish procedures to conduct administrative hearings on determination by the sponsor that grounds exist to revoke a charter.  Procedures for administrative hearings shall be similar to procedures prescribed for adjudicative proceedings in title 41, chapter 6, article 10.  Except as provided in section 41‑1092.08, subsection H, final decisions of the state board of education and the state board for charter schools from hearings conducted pursuant to this subsection are subject to judicial review pursuant to title 12, chapter 7, article 6.

R.  The sponsoring entity of a charter school shall have oversight and administrative responsibility for the charter schools that it sponsors.  In implementing its oversight and administrative responsibilities, the sponsor shall ground its actions in evidence of the charter holder's performance in accordance with the performance framework adopted by the sponsor.  The performance framework shall be publicly available, shall be placed on the sponsoring entity's website and shall include:

1.  The academic performance expectations of the charter school and the measurement of sufficient progress toward the academic performance expectations.

2.  The operational expectations of the charter school, including adherence to all applicable laws and obligations of the charter contract.

3.  The financial expectations of the charter school.

4.  Intervention and improvement policies.

S.  Charter schools may pledge, assign or encumber their assets to be used as collateral for loans or extensions of credit.

T.  All property accumulated by a charter school shall remain the property of the charter school.

U.  Charter schools may not locate a school on property that is less than one‑fourth mile from agricultural land regulated pursuant to section 3‑365, except that the owner of the agricultural land may agree to comply with the buffer zone requirements of section 3‑365.  If the owner agrees in writing to comply with the buffer zone requirements and records the agreement in the office of the county recorder as a restrictive covenant running with the title to the land, the charter school may locate a school within the affected buffer zone.  The agreement may include any stipulations regarding the charter school, including conditions for future expansion of the school and changes in the operational status of the school that will result in a breach of the agreement.

V.  A transfer of a charter to another sponsor, a transfer of a charter school site to another sponsor or a transfer of a charter school site to a different charter shall be completed before the beginning of the fiscal year that the transfer is scheduled to become effective.  An entity that sponsors charter schools may accept a transferring school after the beginning of the fiscal year if the transfer is approved by the superintendent of public instruction.  The superintendent of public instruction shall have the discretion to consider each transfer during the fiscal year on a case‑by‑case basis.  A charter holder seeking to transfer sponsors shall comply with the current charter terms regarding assignment of the charter.  A charter holder transferring sponsors shall notify the current sponsor that the transfer has been approved by the new sponsor.

W.  Notwithstanding subsection V of this section, a charter holder on an improvement plan must notify parents or guardians of registered students of the intent to transfer the charter and the timing of the proposed transfer.  On the approved transfer, the new sponsor shall enforce the improvement plan but may modify the plan based on performance.

X.  Notwithstanding subsection Y of this section, the state board for charter schools shall charge a processing fee to any charter school that amends its contract to participate in Arizona online instruction pursuant to section 15‑808.  The charter Arizona online instruction processing fund is established consisting of fees collected and administered by the state board for charter schools.  The state board for charter schools shall use monies in the fund only for the processing of contract amendments for charter schools participating in Arizona online instruction.  Monies in the fund are continuously appropriated.

Y.  The sponsoring entity may not charge any fees to a charter school that it sponsors unless the sponsor has provided services to the charter school and the fees represent the full value of those services provided by the sponsor.  On request, the value of the services provided by the sponsor to the charter school shall be demonstrated to the department of education.

Z.  Charter schools may enter into an intergovernmental agreement with a presiding judge of the juvenile court to implement a law‑related education program as defined in section 15‑154.  The presiding judge of the juvenile court may assign juvenile probation officers to participate in a law‑related education program in any charter school in the county. The cost of juvenile probation officers who participate in the program implemented pursuant to this subsection shall be funded by the charter school.

AA.  The sponsor of a charter school shall modify previously approved curriculum requirements for a charter school that wishes to participate in the board examination system prescribed in chapter 7, article 6 of this title.

BB.  If a charter school decides not to participate in the board examination system prescribed in chapter 7, article 6 of this title, pupils enrolled at that charter school may earn a Grand Canyon diploma by obtaining a passing score on the same board examinations.

CC.  Notwithstanding subsection Y of this section, a sponsor of charter schools may charge a new charter application processing fee to any applicant.  The application fee shall fully cover the cost of application review and any needed technical assistance.  Authorizers may approve policies that allow a portion of the fee to be returned to the applicant whose charter is approved.

DD.  A charter school may choose to provide a preschool program for children with disabilities pursuant to section 15‑771.

EE.  Pursuant to the prescribed graduation requirements adopted by the state board of education, the governing body of a charter school operating a high school may approve a rigorous computer science course that would fulfill a mathematics course required for graduation from high school.  The governing body may approve a rigorous computer science course only if the rigorous computer science course includes significant mathematics content and the governing body determines the high school where the rigorous computer science course is offered has sufficient capacity, infrastructure and qualified staff, including competent teachers of computer science.

FF.  A charter school may permit the use of school property, including school buildings, grounds, buses and equipment, by any person, group or organization for any lawful purpose, including a recreational, educational, political, economic, artistic, moral, scientific, social, religious or other civic or governmental purpose.  The charter school may charge a reasonable fee for the use of the school property.

GG.  A charter school and its employees, including the governing body, or chief administrative officer, are immune from civil liability with respect to all decisions made and actions taken to allow the use of school property, unless the charter school or its employees are guilty of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.  This subsection does not limit any other immunity provisions that are prescribed by law.

HH.  Sponsors authorized pursuant to this section shall submit an annual report to the auditor general on or before October 1.  The report shall include:

1.  The current number of charters authorized and the number of schools operated by authorized charter holders.

2.  The academic, operational and financial performance of the sponsor's charter portfolio as measured by the sponsor's adopted performance framework.

3.  For the prior year, the number of new charters approved, the number of charter schools closed and the reason for the closure.

4.  The sponsor's application, amendment, renewal and revocation processes, charter contract template and current performance framework as required by this section.

II.  The auditor general shall prescribe the format for the annual report required by subsection HH of this section and may require that the annual report be submitted electronically.  The auditor general shall review the submitted annual reports to ensure that the reports include the required items in subsection HH of this section and shall make the annual reports available on request.  If the auditor general finds significant noncompliance or if a sponsor fails to submit the annual report required by subsection HH of this section, on or before December 31 of each year the auditor general shall report to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the chairs of the senate and house education committees or their successor committees, and the legislature shall consider revoking the sponsor's authority to sponsor charter schools. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Section 15-203, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-203.  Powers and duties; definition

A.  The state board of education shall:

1.  Exercise general supervision over and regulate the conduct of the public school system and adopt any rules and policies it deems necessary to accomplish this purpose.

2.  Keep a record of its proceedings.

3.  Make rules for its own government.

4.  Determine the policy and work undertaken by it.

5.  Subject to title 41, chapter 4, article 4, employ staff.

6.  Prescribe and supervise the duties of its employees pursuant to title 41, chapter 4, article 4, if not otherwise prescribed by statute.

7.  Delegate to the superintendent of public instruction the execution of board policies and rules.

8.  Recommend to the legislature changes or additions to the statutes pertaining to schools.

9.  Prepare, publish and distribute reports concerning the educational welfare of this state.

10.  Prepare a budget for expenditures necessary for proper maintenance of the board and accomplishment of its purposes and present the budget to the legislature.

11.  Aid in the enforcement of laws relating to schools.

12.  Prescribe a minimum course of study in the common schools, minimum competency requirements for the promotion of pupils from the third grade and minimum course of study and competency requirements for the promotion of pupils from the eighth grade.  The state board of education shall prepare a fiscal impact statement of any proposed changes to the minimum course of study or competency requirements and, on completion, shall send a copy to the director of the joint legislative budget committee and the executive director of the school facilities board.  The state board of education shall not adopt any changes in the minimum course of study or competency requirements in effect on July 1, 1998 that will have a fiscal impact on school capital costs.

13.  Prescribe minimum course of study and competency requirements for the graduation of pupils from high school.  The state board of education shall prepare a fiscal impact statement of any proposed changes to the minimum course of study or competency requirements and, on completion, shall send a copy to the director of the joint legislative budget committee and the executive director of the school facilities board.  The state board of education shall not adopt any changes in the minimum course of study or competency requirements in effect on July 1, 1998 that will have a fiscal impact on school capital costs.

14.  Pursuant to section 15‑501.01, supervise and control the certification of persons engaged in instructional work directly as any classroom, laboratory or other teacher or indirectly as a supervisory teacher, speech therapist, principal or superintendent in a school district, including school district preschool programs, or any other educational institution below the community college, college or university level, and prescribe rules for certification. 

15.  Adopt a list of approved tests for determining special education assistance to gifted pupils as defined in and as provided in chapter 7, article 4.1 of this title.  The adopted tests shall provide separate scores for quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning and nonverbal reasoning and shall be capable of providing reliable and valid scores at the highest ranges of the score distribution.

16.  Adopt rules governing the methods for the administration of all proficiency examinations.

17.  Adopt proficiency examinations for its use and determine the passing score for the proficiency examinations.

18.  Include within its budget the cost of contracting for the purchase, distribution and scoring of the examinations as provided in paragraphs 16 and 17 of this subsection.

19.  Supervise and control the qualifications of professional nonteaching school personnel and prescribe standards relating to qualifications.  The standards shall not require the business manager of a school district to obtain certification from the state board of education.

20.  Impose such disciplinary action, including disciplinary action pursuant to section 15-505 or the issuance of a letter of censure, suspension, suspension with conditions or revocation of a certificate, on a finding of immoral or unprofessional conduct.

21.  Establish an assessment, data gathering and reporting system for pupil performance as prescribed in chapter 7, article 3 of this title, including qualifying examinations for the college credit by examination incentive program pursuant to section 15‑249.06.

22.  Adopt a rule to promote braille literacy pursuant to section 15‑214.

23.  Adopt rules prescribing procedures for the investigation by the department of education of every written complaint alleging that a certificated person, a person seeking certification or a noncertificated person has engaged in immoral or unprofessional conduct.

24.  For purposes of federal law, serve as the state board for vocational and technological education and meet at least four times each year solely to execute the powers and duties of the state board for vocational and technological education.

25.  Develop and maintain a handbook for use in the schools of this state that provides guidance for the teaching of moral, civic and ethical education.  The handbook shall promote existing curriculum frameworks and shall encourage school districts to recognize moral, civic and ethical values within instructional and programmatic educational development programs for the general purpose of instilling character and ethical principles in pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one through twelve.

26.  Require pupils to recite the following passage from the declaration of independence for pupils in grades four through six at the commencement of the first class of the day in the schools, except that a pupil shall not be required to participate if the pupil or the pupil's parent or guardian objects:

We hold these truths to be self‑evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . . .

27.  Adopt rules that provide for certification reciprocity pursuant to section 15‑501.01.

28.  Adopt rules that provide for the presentation of an honorary high school diploma to a person who has never obtained a high school diploma and who meets both of the following requirements:

(a)  Currently resides in this state.

(b)  Provides documented evidence from the department of veterans' services that the person enlisted in the armed forces of the United States and served in World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict or the Vietnam conflict.

29.  Cooperate with the Arizona‑Mexico commission in the governor's office and with researchers at universities in this state to collect data and conduct projects in the United States and Mexico on issues that are within the scope of the duties of the department of education and that relate to quality of life, trade and economic development in this state in a manner that will help the Arizona‑Mexico commission to assess and enhance the economic competitiveness of this state and of the Arizona‑Mexico region.

30.  Adopt rules to define and provide guidance to schools as to the activities that would constitute immoral or unprofessional conduct of certificated and noncertificated persons.

31.  Adopt guidelines to encourage pupils in grades nine, ten, eleven and twelve to volunteer for twenty hours of community service before graduation from high school.  A school district that complies with the guidelines adopted pursuant to this paragraph is not liable for damages resulting from a pupil's participation in community service unless the school district is found to have demonstrated wanton or reckless disregard for the safety of the pupil and other participants in community service.  For the purposes of this paragraph, "community service" may include service learning.  The guidelines shall include the following:

(a)  A list of the general categories in which community service may be performed.

(b)  A description of the methods by which community service will be monitored.

(c)  A consideration of risk assessment for community service projects.

(d)  Orientation and notification procedures of community service opportunities for pupils entering grade nine, including the development of a notification form.  The notification form shall be signed by the pupil and the pupil's parent or guardian, except that a pupil shall not be required to participate in community service if the parent or guardian notifies the principal of the pupil's school in writing that the parent or guardian does not wish the pupil to participate in community service.

(e)  Procedures for a pupil in grade nine to prepare a written proposal that outlines the type of community service that the pupil would like to perform and the goals that the pupil hopes to achieve as a result of community service.  The pupil's written proposal shall be reviewed by a faculty advisor, a guidance counselor or any other school employee who is designated as the community service program coordinator for that school.  The pupil may alter the written proposal at any time before performing community service.

(f)  Procedures for a faculty advisor, a guidance counselor or any other school employee who is designated as the community service program coordinator to evaluate and certify the completion of community service performed by pupils.

32.  To facilitate the transfer of military personnel and their dependents to and from the public schools of this state, pursue, in cooperation with the Arizona board of regents, reciprocity agreements with other states concerning the transfer credits for military personnel and their dependents.  A reciprocity agreement entered into pursuant to this paragraph shall:

(a)  Address procedures for each of the following:

(i)  The transfer of student records.

(ii)  Awarding credit for completed coursework.

(iii)  Permitting a student to satisfy the graduation requirements prescribed in section 15‑701.01 through the successful performance on comparable exit‑level assessment instruments administered in another state.

(b)  Include appropriate criteria developed by the state board of education and the Arizona board of regents.

33.  Adopt guidelines that school district governing boards shall use in identifying pupils who are eligible for gifted programs and in providing gifted education programs and services.  The state board of education shall adopt any other guidelines and rules that it deems necessary in order to carry out the purposes of chapter 7, article 4.1 of this title.

34.  For each of the alternative textbook formats of human-voiced audio, large‑print and braille, designate alternative media producers to adapt existing standard print textbooks or to provide specialized textbooks, or both, for pupils with disabilities in this state.  Each alternative media producer shall be capable of producing alternative textbooks in all relevant subjects in at least one of the alternative textbook formats.  The board shall post the designated list of alternative media producers on its website.

35.  Adopt a list of approved professional development training providers for use by school districts as provided in section 15‑107, subsection J.  The professional development training providers shall meet the training curriculum requirements determined by the state board of education in at least the areas of school finance, governance, employment, staffing, inventory and human resources, internal controls and procurement.

36.  Adopt rules to prohibit a person who violates the notification requirements prescribed in section 15‑183, subsection C, paragraph 8 or section 15‑550, subsection D from certification pursuant to this title until the person is no longer charged or is acquitted of any offenses listed in section 41‑1758.03, subsection B.  The state board shall also adopt rules to prohibit a person who violates the notification requirements, certification surrender requirements or fingerprint clearance card surrender requirements prescribed in section 15‑183, subsection C, paragraph 9 or section 15‑550, subsection E from certification pursuant to this title for at least ten years after the date of the violation.

37.  Adopt rules for the alternative certification of teachers of nontraditional foreign languages that allow for the passing of a nationally accredited test to substitute for the education coursework required for certification.

38.  Adopt rules to define competency‑based educational pathways for college and career readiness that may be used by schools.  The rules shall include the following components:

(a)  The establishment of learning outcomes that will be expected for students in a particular subject.

(b)  A process and criteria by which assessments may be identified or established to determine whether students have reached the desired competencies in a particular subject.

(c)  A mechanism to allow pupils in grades seven through twelve who have demonstrated competency in a subject to immediately obtain credit for the mastery of that subject.  The rules shall include a list of applicable subjects, including the level of competency required for each subject.

39.  In consultation with the department of health services, the department of education, medical professionals, school health professionals, school administrators and an organization that represents school nurses in this state, adopt rules that prescribe the following for school districts and charter schools:

(a)  Annual training in the administration of auto‑injectable epinephrine for designated medical and nonmedical school personnel.  The annual training prescribed in this subdivision is optional during any fiscal year in which a school does not stock epinephrine auto‑injectors at the school during that fiscal year.

(b)  Annual training for all school site personnel on the recognition of anaphylactic shock symptoms and the procedures to follow when anaphylactic shock occurs, following the national guidelines of the American academy of pediatrics.  The annual training prescribed in this subdivision is optional during any fiscal year in which a school does not stock epinephrine auto‑injectors at the school during that fiscal year.

(c)  Procedures for the administration of epinephrine auto‑injectors in emergency situations.

(d)  Procedures for annually requesting a standing order for epinephrine auto‑injectors pursuant to section 15‑157 from the chief medical officer of the department of health services, the chief medical officer of a county health department, a doctor of medicine licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or a doctor of osteopathic medicine licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 17.

(e)  Procedures for reporting the use of epinephrine auto‑injectors to the department of health services.

40.  In consultation with the department of education, medical professionals, school health professionals, school administrators and an organization that represents school nurses in this state, adopt rules that prescribe the following for school districts and charter schools that elect to administer inhalers:

(a)  Annual training in the recognition of respiratory distress symptoms and the procedures to follow when respiratory distress occurs, in accordance with good clinical practice, and the administration of inhalers, as directed on the prescription protocol, by designated medical and nonmedical school personnel.

(b)  Requirements for school districts and charter schools that elect to administer inhalers to designate at least two employees at each school to be trained in the recognition of respiratory distress symptoms and the procedures to follow when respiratory distress occurs, in accordance with good clinical practice, and at least two employees at each school to be trained in the administration of inhalers, as directed on the prescription protocol.

(c)  Procedures for the administration of inhalers in emergency situations, as directed on the prescription protocol.

(d)  Procedures for annually requesting a standing order for inhalers and spacers or holding chambers pursuant to section 15‑158 from the chief medical officer of a county health department, a physician licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17 or a nurse practitioner licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 15.

(e)  Procedures for notifying a parent once an inhaler has been administered.

41.  Adopt rules for certification that allow substitute teachers who can demonstrate primary teaching responsibility in a classroom as defined by the state board of education to use the time spent in that classroom toward the required capstone experience for standard teaching certification.

B.  The state board of education may:

1.  Contract.

2.  Sue and be sued.

3.  Distribute and score the tests prescribed in chapter 7, article 3 of this title.

4.  Provide for an advisory committee or hearing officers to conduct hearings and screenings to determine whether grounds exist to impose disciplinary action against a certificated person, whether grounds exist to reinstate a revoked or surrendered certificate, and whether grounds exist to approve or deny an initial application for certification or a request for renewal of a certificate and whether grounds exist to impose or lift disciplinary action against a noncertificated person.  The board may delegate its responsibility to conduct hearings and screenings to its advisory committee or hearing officers.  Hearings shall be conducted pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 6.

5.  Proceed with the disposal of any complaint requesting disciplinary action or with any disciplinary action against a noncertificated person after the board has imposed disciplinary action pursuant to section 15-505 or a person holding a certificate as prescribed in subsection A, paragraph 14 of this section after the suspension or expiration of the certificate or surrender of the certificate by the holder.

6.  Assess costs and reasonable attorney fees against a person who files a frivolous complaint or who files a complaint in bad faith.  Costs assessed pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed the expenses incurred by the department of education in the investigation of the complaint.

C.  For the purposes of this section, "noncertificated person" has the same meaning prescribed in section 15-505. END_STATUTE

Sec. 3.  Section 15-251, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-251.  Powers and duties

The superintendent of public instruction shall:

1.  Superintend the schools of this state.

2.  Request the auditor general to investigate when necessary the accounts of school monies kept by any state, county or district officer.

3.  Subject to supervision by the state board of education, apportion to the several counties the monies to which each county is entitled for the year.  Apportionment shall be made as provided in chapter 9 of this title.

4.  Execute, under the direction of the state board of education, the policies that have been decided on by the state board.

5.  Direct the performance of executive, administrative or ministerial functions by the department of education or divisions or employees of the department.

6.  Direct and oversee the work of all investigators related to the investigation of investigating certificated persons, or persons seeking certification and noncertificated persons for immoral or unprofessional conduct under this title and rules adopted pursuant to this title.  The investigators shall be housed within and are employees of the department of education.  For the purposes of this paragraph, "noncertificated person" has the same meaning prescribed in section 15-505.

7.  Provide information to the state board of education related to the powers and duties set forth in section 15‑203. END_STATUTE

Sec. 4.  Section 15-350, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-350.  Investigation of immoral or unprofessional conduct; confidentiality; definition

A.  On request of the state board of education or the department of education, any school or school district that has employed a certificated or noncertificated person during the time in which the person is alleged to have engaged in conduct constituting grounds for disciplinary action shall make available the attendance and testimony of witnesses, documents and any physical evidence within the school district's control for examination or copying.  All information received and records or reports kept by the state board of education or the department of education during an investigation of immoral or unprofessional conduct are confidential and are not a public record.

B.  Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, the department of education may provide information, records or reports relating to the investigation of a certificate holder certificated or noncertificated person to any of the following:

1.  Any school or school district that currently employs the certificate holder certificated or noncertificated person

2.  Any school or school district to which the certificated or noncertificated person has applied for employment.

3.  Any third-party entity that contracts with a school or school district to provide educators and to which the person has applied for employment.

4.  Any agency as defined in section 41-1001 that has received and is investigating an application by the certificated or noncertificated person for a certificate or license or that is conducting an investigation of the person in order to make a certification or licensure decision.

5.  A state education agency in another state, or the equivalent, in which a person holds a certificate or is applying for a certificate.

C.  All information, records or and reports received by any school or school district pursuant to this subsection section shall be used for employment purposes only, are confidential and are not a public record.

C.  D.  An investigator who is regularly employed and paid by the department of education has the authority to access criminal history records and criminal history record information, as defined in section 41‑1750, from law enforcement agencies.

E.  For the purposes of this section, "noncertificated person" has the same meaning prescribed in section 15-505. END_STATUTE

Sec. 5.  Title 15, chapter 5, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 15-505, to read:

START_STATUTE15-505.  Discipline; educator information system; personnel list; definitions

A.  Pursuant to the rules and procedures adopted pursuant to section 15-203, the department of education shall investigate written complaints alleging that a noncertificated person engaged in immoral or unprofessional conduct.

B.  The state board of education may review a complaint and determine whether to take disciplinary action against a noncertificated person who has engaged in immoral or unprofessional conduct, including prohibiting the person's employment at a school district or charter school for up to five years except as otherwise prescribed in section 15-550.  The state board shall adopt rules and procedures for disciplinary action of noncertificated persons that are substantially similar to the rules and procedures for certificated persons.

C.  Before employing a certificated or noncertificated person, school districts and charter schools shall conduct a search of the educator information system that is maintained by the department of education on the prospective employee.

D.  A school district or charter school may not employ either of the following persons in a position that requires a valid fingerprint clearance card:

1.  A certificated person whose certificate has been suspended, surrendered or revoked, unless the state board of education has subsequently reinstated the person's certificate.

2.  A noncertificated person who has been prohibited from employment at a school district or charter school by the state board of education pursuant to subsection B of this section.

E.  Each school district and charter school shall annually submit to the department of education a list of certificated and noncertificated persons who are employed at the school district or charter school.  The department shall issue guidance to school districts and charter schools regarding this subsection.

F.  For the purposes of this section:

1.  "Noncertificated person":

(a)  Means a school district or charter school employee who both:

(i)  Does not possess a certificate issued pursuant to rules adopted by the state board of education under section 15-203, subsection A, paragraph 14.

(ii)  Is required or allowed to provide services directly to pupils without the supervision of a certificated employee.

(b)  Does not include a person who does not hold a certificate and who is one of the following at a school district or charter school:

(i)  A transportation employee as defined in section 15-513.

(ii)  A food service employee or contractor.

(iii)  A maintenance worker.

(iv)  An employee or contractor of the school district or charter school that is not required to possess a valid fingerprint clearance card.

2.  "Supervision" means under the direction of and, except for brief periods of time during a school day or school activity, within sight of a certificated employee when providing direct services to pupils.  END_STATUTE

Sec. 6.  Section 15-512, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-512.  Noncertificated personnel; fingerprinting personnel; background investigations; affidavit; civil immunity; violation; classification; definition

A.  Noncertificated personnel and personnel who are not paid employees of the school district and who are not either the parent or the guardian of a pupil who attends school in the school district but who are required or allowed to provide services directly to pupils without the supervision of a certificated employee and who are initially hired by a school district after January 1, 1990 shall be fingerprinted as a condition of employment except for personnel who are required as a condition of licensing to be fingerprinted if the license is required for employment or for personnel who were previously employed by a school district and who reestablished employment with that district within one year after the date that the employee terminated employment with the district.  A school district may require noncertificated personnel and personnel who are not paid employees of the school district and who are not either the parent or the guardian of a pupil who attends school in the school district but who are required or allowed to provide services directly to pupils without the supervision of a certificated employee to obtain a fingerprint clearance card as a condition of employment.  Even if the school district does not require a fingerprint clearance card as a condition of employment, noncertificated personnel and personnel who are not paid employees of the school district and who are not either the parent or the guardian of a pupil who attends school in the school district but who are required or allowed to provide services directly to pupils without the supervision of a certificated employee may apply for a fingerprint clearance card.  A school district may release the results of a background check or communicate whether the person has been issued or denied a fingerprint clearance card to another school district for employment purposes.  The employee's fingerprints and the form prescribed in subsection D of this section shall be submitted to the school district within twenty days after the date an employee begins work.  A school district may terminate an employee if the information on the form provided under subsection D of this section is inconsistent with the information received from the fingerprint check or the information received in connection with a fingerprint clearance card application.  The school district shall develop procedures for fingerprinting employees.  For the purposes of this subsection, "supervision" means under the direction of and, except for brief periods of time during a school day or a school activity, within sight of a certificated employee when providing direct services to pupils.

B.  Fingerprints submitted pursuant to this section shall be used to conduct a state and federal criminal records check pursuant to section 41‑1750 and Public Law 92‑544.  The department of public safety may exchange this fingerprint data with the federal bureau of investigation.

C.  The school district shall assume the costs of fingerprint checks and fingerprint clearance cards and may charge these costs to its fingerprinted employee, except that the school district may not charge the costs of the fingerprint check or the fingerprint clearance card to personnel of the school district who are not paid employees.  The fees charged for fingerprinting shall be deposited with the county treasurer who shall credit the deposit to the fingerprint fund of the school district.  The costs charged to a fingerprinted employee are limited to and the proceeds in the fund may only be applied to the actual costs, including personnel costs, incurred as a result of the fingerprint checks or the fingerprint clearance cards.  The fingerprint fund is a continuing fund that is not subject to reversion.

D.  Personnel required to be fingerprinted or obtain a fingerprint clearance card as prescribed in subsection A of this section shall certify on forms that are provided by the school and notarized whether they are awaiting trial on or have ever been convicted of or admitted in open court or pursuant to a plea agreement committing any of the following criminal offenses in this state or similar offenses in another jurisdiction, including a charge or conviction that has been vacated, set aside or expunged:

1.  Sexual abuse of a minor.

2.  Incest.

3.  First or second degree murder.

4.  Kidnapping.

5.  Arson.

6.  Sexual assault.

7.  Sexual exploitation of a minor.

8.  Felony offenses involving contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

9.  Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor.

10.  Felony offenses involving sale, distribution or transportation of, offer to sell, transport, or distribute or conspiracy to sell, transport or distribute marijuana or dangerous or narcotic drugs.

11.  Felony offenses involving the possession or use of marijuana, dangerous drugs or narcotic drugs.

12.  Misdemeanor offenses involving the possession or use of marijuana or dangerous drugs.

13.  Burglary in the first degree.

14.  Burglary in the second or third degree.

15.  Aggravated or armed robbery.

16.  Robbery.

17.  A dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13‑705.

18.  Child abuse.

19.  Sexual conduct with a minor.

20.  Molestation of a child.

21.  Manslaughter.

22.  Aggravated assault.

23.  Assault.

24.  Exploitation of minors involving drug offenses.

E.  A school district may refuse to hire or may review or terminate personnel who have been convicted of or admitted committing any of the criminal offenses prescribed in subsection D of this section or of a similar offense in another jurisdiction.  A school district that is considering terminating an employee pursuant to this subsection shall hold a hearing to determine whether a person already employed shall be terminated.  In conducting a review, the governing board shall utilize the guidelines, including the list of offenses that are not subject to review, as prescribed by the state board of education pursuant to section 15‑534, subsection C.  In considering whether to hire or terminate the employment of a person, the governing board shall take into account the following factors:

1.  The nature of the crime and the potential for crimes against children.

2.  Offenses committed as a minor for which proceedings were held under the jurisdiction of a juvenile or an adult court.

3.  Offenses that have been expunged by a court of competent jurisdiction, if the person has been pardoned or if the person's sentence has been commuted.

4.  The employment record of the person since the commission of the crime if the crime was committed more than ten years before the governing board's consideration of whether to hire or terminate the person.

5.  The reliability of the evidence of an admission of a crime unless made under oath in a court of competent jurisdiction.

F.  Before employment with the school district, the district shall make documented, good faith efforts to contact previous employers of a person to obtain information and recommendations that may be relevant to a person's fitness for employment, including conducting a search of the educator information system that is maintained by the department of education as described in section 15-505.  A school district may not employ a person in a position that requires a valid fingerprint clearance card whom the state board of education has taken disciplinary action against as prescribed in section 15-505 or whose certificate has been suspended, surrendered or revoked, unless the state board has subsequently reinstated the person's certificate.  A governing board shall adopt procedures for conducting background investigations required by this subsection, including one or more standard forms for use by school district officials to document their efforts to obtain information from previous employers.  A school district may provide information received as a result of a background investigation required by this section to any other school district, to any other public school and to any public entity that agrees pursuant to a contract or intergovernmental agreement to perform background investigations for school districts or other public schools.  School districts and other public schools may enter into intergovernmental agreements pursuant to section 11‑952 and cooperative purchasing agreements pursuant to rules adopted in accordance with section 15‑213 for the purposes of performing or contracting for the performance of background investigations and for sharing the results of background investigations required by this subsection. Information obtained about an employee or applicant for employment by any school district or other public school in the performance of a background investigation, including any records indicating that a current or former employee of a school or school district was disciplined for violating policies of the school district governing board pursuant to section 15-153, may be retained by that school district or the other public school or by any public entity that agrees pursuant to contract to perform background investigations for school districts or other public schools and may be provided to any school district or other public school that is performing a background investigation required by this subsection.

G.  A school district may fingerprint or require any other employee of the district to obtain a fingerprint clearance card, whether paid or not, or any other applicant for employment with the school district not otherwise required by this section to be fingerprinted or obtain a fingerprint clearance card on the condition that the school district may not charge the costs of the fingerprint check or fingerprint clearance card to the fingerprinted applicant or nonpaid employee.

H.  A contractor, subcontractor or vendor or any employee of a contractor, subcontractor or vendor who is contracted to provide services on a regular basis at an individual school shall obtain a valid fingerprint clearance card pursuant to title 41, chapter 12, article 3.1.  A school district governing board shall adopt policies to exempt a person from the requirements of this subsection if the person's normal job duties are not likely to result in independent access to or unsupervised contact with pupils.  A school district, its governing board members, its school council members and its employees are exempt from civil liability for the consequences of adoption and implementation of policies and procedures pursuant to this subsection unless the school district, its governing board members, its school council members or its employees are guilty of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

I.  Subsection A of this section does not apply to a person who provides instruction or other education services to a pupil, with the written consent of the parent or guardian of the pupil, under a work release program, advance placement course or other education program that occurs off school property.

J.  Public entities that agree pursuant to contract to perform background investigations, public schools, the department of education and previous employers who provide information pursuant to this section are immune from civil liability unless the information provided is false and is acted on by the school district to the harm of the employee and the public entity, the public school, the previous employer or the department of education knows the information is false or acts with reckless disregard of the information's truth or falsity.  A school district that relies on information obtained pursuant to this section in making employment decisions is immune from civil liability for use of the information unless the information obtained is false and the school district knows the information is false or acts with reckless disregard of the information's truth or falsity.

K.  The superintendent of a school district or chief administrator of a charter school or the person's designee who is responsible for implementing the governing board's policy regarding background investigations required by subsection F of this section and who fails to carry out that responsibility is guilty of unprofessional conduct and is subject to disciplinary action by the state board.

L.  A school district may hire noncertificated personnel before receiving the results of the fingerprint check or a fingerprint clearance card but may terminate employment if the information on the form provided in subsection D of this section is inconsistent with the information received from the fingerprint check or the fingerprint clearance card.  In addition to any other conditions or requirements deemed necessary by the superintendent of public instruction to protect the health and safety of pupils, a school district may hire noncertificated personnel who are required or allowed unsupervised contact with pupils before the results of a fingerprint check are received or a fingerprint clearance card is issued if the school district does all of the following:

1.  Documents in the applicant's file the necessity for hiring and placing the applicant before a fingerprint check could be completed or a fingerprint clearance card could be issued.

2.  Ensures that the department of public safety completes a statewide criminal history information check on the applicant every one hundred twenty days until the date that the fingerprint check is completed or the fingerprint clearance card is issued or denied.

3.  Obtains references from the applicant's current employer and two most recent previous employers except for applicants who have been employed for at least five years by the applicant's most recent employer.

4.  Provides general supervision of the applicant until the date that the fingerprint check is completed or the fingerprint clearance card is issued or denied.

5.  Reports to the superintendent of public instruction on June 30 and December 31 each year the number of applicants hired before the completion of a fingerprint check or the issuance of a fingerprint clearance card.  In addition, the school district shall report the number of applicants for whom fingerprint checks were not received or fingerprint clearance cards were not issued after one hundred twenty days and after one hundred seventy‑five days of hire.

M.  Notwithstanding any other law, this section does not apply to pupils who attend school in a school district and who are also employed by a school district.

N.  A person who makes a false statement, representation or certification in any application for employment with the school district is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.

O.  For the purposes of this section, "background investigation" means any communication with an employee's or applicant's former employer that concerns the education, training, experience, qualifications and job performance of the employee or applicant and that is used for the purpose of evaluating the employee or applicant for employment.  Background investigation does not include the results of any state or federal criminal history records check. END_STATUTE

Sec. 7.  Section 15-514, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-514.  Immoral or unprofessional conduct; duty to report; immunity; definition

A.  Any certificated or noncertificated person or governing board member who reasonably suspects or receives a reasonable allegation that a person certificated by the state board of education or a noncertificated person has engaged in conduct involving minors that would be subject to the reporting requirements of section 13‑3620 shall report or cause reports to be made to the department of education in writing as soon as is reasonably practicable but not later than three business days after the person first suspects or receives an allegation of the conduct.

B.  The superintendent of a school district or the chief administrator of a charter school who reasonably suspects or receives a reasonable allegation that an act of immoral or unprofessional conduct that would constitute grounds for dismissal or criminal charges by a certificated or noncertificated person has occurred shall report the conduct to the department of education.

C.  A person who reports or provides information pursuant to this section regarding the immoral or unprofessional conduct of a certificated or noncertificated person in good faith is not subject to an action for civil damages as a result.

D.  A governing board or school or school district employee who has control over personnel decisions shall not take unlawful reprisal against an employee because the employee reports in good faith information as required by this section.  For the purposes of this subsection, "unlawful reprisal" means an action that is taken by a governing board as a direct result of a lawful report pursuant to this section and, with respect to the employee, results in one or more of the following:

1.  Disciplinary action.

2.  Transfer or reassignment.

3.  Suspension, demotion or dismissal.

4.  An unfavorable performance evaluation.

5.  Other significant changes in duties or responsibilities that are inconsistent with the employee's salary or employment classification.

E.  Failure to report information as required by this section by a certificated or noncertificated person constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the state board of education.

F.  A governing board or school district employee who has control over personnel decisions and who reasonably suspects or receives a reasonable allegation that a person certificated by the state board of education or a noncertificated person has engaged in conduct involving minors that would be subject to the reporting requirements of section 13‑3620 and this article shall not accept the resignation of the certificate holder or noncertificated person until these suspicions or allegations have been reported to the state board of education.

G.  For the purposes of this section, "noncertificated person" has the same meaning prescribed in section 15-505. END_STATUTE

Sec. 8.  Section 15-534.02, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-534.02.  Restrictions on applications for certification after the surrender, revocation or denial of certificate; definition

A.  A person shall not submit an application for certification with the state board of education for a period of five years if either any of the following occurs:

1.  The person surrenders a certificate issued by the state board of education.

2.  The person's certificate is revoked by the state board of education on grounds of immoral or unprofessional conduct pursuant to rules adopted by the state board of education pursuant to section 15‑203.

3.  The state board of education prohibits a noncertificated person from employment in a school district or charter school as described in section 15-505 for a period of five years.

B.  If a person's application for certification is denied by the state board of education on grounds of immoral or unprofessional conduct pursuant to rules adopted by the state board of education pursuant to section 15‑203, the state board of education shall determine that the person is prohibited from submitting an application for certification for a specified period up to five years.  

C.  The periods of time prescribed in subsections A and B of this section begin on the date that the state board of education accepts a surrendered certificate, makes a final decision to revoke a certificate or makes a final determination to deny an application for certification.

D.  A person who has had a certificate revoked against whom the state board of education has taken disciplinary action pursuant to section 15‑550 is not eligible to apply for certification with the state board of education.

E.  The department of education shall not process an application for certification submitted by a person who is prohibited from submitting an application pursuant to subsection A, B or D of this section.

F.  For the purposes of this section, "noncertificated person" has the same meaning prescribed in section 15-505. END_STATUTE

Sec. 9.  Section 15-534.04, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-534.04.  Reciprocal discipline; definition

A.  A final adjudication or judgment in another jurisdiction that a certificated or noncertificated person has engaged in immoral or unprofessional conduct shall be treated as immoral or unprofessional conduct for the purposes of any disciplinary proceeding conducted against that person in this state.

B.  An applicant for certification who has been disciplined in another jurisdiction for immoral or unprofessional conduct shall successfully complete the disciplinary process in that jurisdiction before that person may apply for certification in this state.

C.  After receiving notification that a person's educator certificate has been revoked in another jurisdiction, the state board of education may revoke all certificates issued in this state to that person in a manner that is consistent with the terms of revocation in the other jurisdiction, unless that person requests a hearing pursuant to title 41, chapter 6, article 6.  After conducting a hearing requested pursuant to this subsection, the state board of education shall determine whether to uphold the revocation or to decline the revocation.

D.  For the purposes of this section, "noncertificated person" has the same meaning prescribed in section 15-505. END_STATUTE

Sec. 10.  Section 15-550, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-550.  Unprofessional conduct; penalty; definition

A.  A teacher person who has been convicted of a dangerous crime against children as defined in section 13-705 or has been convicted of a violation of section 13‑1404 or 13‑1406 in which the victim was a minor or section 13‑1405 or an act committed in another state or territory that if committed in this state would have been a dangerous crime against children or a violation of section 13‑1404 or 13‑1406 in which the victim was a minor or a violation of section 13‑1405 is guilty of unprofessional conduct and the teacher's person's certificate shall be revoked permanently immediately on notification of conviction by the clerk of the court or the magistrate.

B.  A teacher person who has been convicted of a preparatory offense as prescribed in section 13‑1001 of any of the offenses prescribed in subsection A of this section or any crime that requires the teacher person to register as a sex offender is guilty of unprofessional conduct and the teacher's person's certificate shall be permanently revoked on notification of the conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction.

C.  The state board of education shall permanently prohibit a noncertificated person who is convicted of an offense described in subsection A or B of this section from employment at a school district or charter school.

C.  D.  A person who is employed by a school district or who is an applicant for employment with a school district, who is arrested for or charged with any nonappealable offense listed in section 41‑1758.03, subsection B and who does not immediately report the arrest or charge to the person's supervisor or potential employer is guilty of unprofessional conduct and the person shall be immediately dismissed from employment with the school district or immediately excluded from potential employment with the school district.  This subsection does not entitle a person dismissed pursuant to this subsection to a right to a hearing pursuant to section 15‑539, subsection F.

D.  E.  A person who is employed by a school district and who is convicted of any nonappealable offense listed in section 41‑1758.03, subsection B or is convicted of any nonappealable offense that amounts to unprofessional conduct under this section shall immediately do all of the following:

1.  Surrender any certificates issued by the department of education.

2.  Notify the person's employer or potential employer of the conviction.

3.  Notify the department of public safety of the conviction.

4.  Surrender the person's fingerprint clearance card.

F.  For the purposes of this section, "Noncertificated person" has the same meaning prescribed in section 15-505. END_STATUTE

Sec. 11.  Section 41-1092.02, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE41-1092.02.  Appealable agency actions; application of procedural rules; exemption from article

A.  This article applies to all contested cases as defined in section 41‑1001 and all appealable agency actions, except contested cases with or appealable agency actions of:

1.  The state department of corrections.

2.  The board of executive clemency.

3.  The industrial commission of Arizona.

4.  The Arizona corporation commission.

5.  The Arizona board of regents and institutions under its jurisdiction.

6.  The state personnel board.

7.  The department of juvenile corrections.

8.  The department of transportation, except as provided in title 28, chapter 30, article 2.

9.  The department of economic security except as provided in section 46‑458.

10.  The department of revenue regarding:

(a)  Income tax or withholding tax.

(b)  Any tax issue related to information associated with the reporting of income tax or withholding tax unless the taxpayer requests in writing that this article apply and waives confidentiality under title 42, chapter 2, article 1.

11.  The board of tax appeals.

12.  The state board of equalization.

13.  The state board of education, but only in connection with contested cases and appealable agency actions related to applications for issuance or renewal of a certificate and discipline of certificate holders and noncertificated persons pursuant to sections 15‑203, 15‑505, 15‑534, 15‑534.01, 15‑535, 15‑545 and 15‑550.

14.  The board of fingerprinting.

15.  The department of child safety except as provided in sections 8‑506.01 and 8‑811.

B.  Unless waived by all parties, an administrative law judge shall conduct all hearings under this article, and the procedural rules set forth in this article and rules made by the director apply.

C.  Except as provided in subsection A of this section:

1.  A contested case heard by the office of administrative hearings regarding taxes administered under title 42 shall be subject to section 42‑1251.

2.  A final decision of the office of administrative hearings regarding taxes administered under title 42 may be appealed by either party to the director of the department of revenue, or a taxpayer may file and appeal directly to the board of tax appeals pursuant to section 42‑1253.

D.  Except as provided in subsections A, B, E, F and G of this section and notwithstanding any other administrative proceeding or judicial review process established in statute or administrative rule, this article applies to all appealable agency actions and to all contested cases.

E.  Except for a contested case or an appealable agency action regarding unclaimed property, sections 41‑1092.03, 41‑1092.08 and 41‑1092.09 do not apply to the department of revenue.

F.  The board of appeals established by section 37‑213 is exempt from:

1.  The time frames for hearings and decisions provided in section 41‑1092.05, subsection A, section 41‑1092.08 and section 41‑1092.09.

2.  The requirement in section 41‑1092.06, subsection A to hold an informal settlement conference at the appellant's request if the sole subject of an appeal pursuant to section 37‑215 is the estimate of value reported in an appraisal of lands or improvements.

G.  Auction protest procedures pursuant to title 37, chapter 2, article 4.1 are exempt from this article. END_STATUTE

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