Bill Text: AZ SB1491 | 2020 | Fifty-fourth Legislature 2nd Regular | Engrossed


Bill Title: Literacy; dyslexia; screening; appropriations

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 5-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2020-05-19 - House ED Committee action: Held, voting: (0-0-0-0-0-0) [SB1491 Detail]

Download: Arizona-2020-SB1491-Engrossed.html

 

 

 

Senate Engrossed

 

 

 

State of Arizona

Senate

Fifty-fourth Legislature

Second Regular Session

2020

 

 

 

SENATE BILL 1491

 

 

 

AN ACT

 

amending sections 15‑211, 15-501.01, 15-533 and 15‑704, Arizona Revised Statutes; relating to school instruction.

 

 

(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 


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

Section 1.  Section 15-211, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-211.  K-3 reading program; dyslexia specialist; dyslexia training; receipt and use of monies; additional funding; report; program termination

A.  The department of education shall administer a K‑3 reading program to improve the reading proficiency of pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one, two and three in the public schools of this state.

B.  The department of education shall designate a dyslexia specialist for the department to provide school districts and charter schools with support and resources that are necessary to assist students with dyslexia.

C.  On or before July 1, 2021 2022, each school district and charter school shall ensure that at least one kindergarten through third grade teacher in each school has received training related to dyslexia that complies with the requirements prescribed in section 15‑219.

D.  Each school district and charter school shall submit to the department of education a plan for improving the reading proficiency of the school district's or the charter school's pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one, two and three.  The plan shall include baseline data on the reading proficiency of the school district's or the charter school's pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one, two and three and a budget for spending monies from both the K‑3 support level weight and the K‑3 reading support level weight established in section 15‑943.  Each school district and charter school shall annually submit to the department of education on or before October 1 an updated K‑3 reading program plan that includes data on program expenditures and results, except that a school district or charter school that is assigned a letter grade of A or B pursuant to section 15‑241 shall submit this plan only in odd-numbered years.

E.  School districts and charter schools shall use monies generated by the K‑3 reading support level weight established in section 15‑943 only on instructional purposes based on the plan submitted pursuant to subsection D of this section intended to improve reading proficiency for pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one, two and three with particular emphasis on pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one and two.

F.  Each school district and charter school that is assigned a letter grade of C, D or F pursuant to section 15‑241 or that has more than ten percent of its pupils in grade three who do not demonstrate sufficient reading skills as established by the state board of education according to the reading portion of the statewide assessment shall receive monies generated by the K‑3 reading support level weight established in section 15‑943 only after the K‑3 reading program plan of the school district or charter school has been submitted, reviewed and recommended for approval by the department of education and approved by the state board.  The state board must give approval to a school district or charter school before any portion of the monies generated by the K‑3 reading support level weight may be distributed to the school district or charter school pursuant to this subsection.

G.  Pupils in a charter school that is in its first year of operation and that is sponsored by 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 are eligible for the K-3 reading support level weight.

H.  The department of education shall solicit gifts, grants and donations from any lawful public or private source in order to provide additional funding for the K‑3 reading program.

I.  The state board of education may establish rules and policies for the K‑3 reading program, including:

1.  The proper use of monies in accordance with subsection E of this section.

2.  The distribution of monies by the department of education in accordance with subsection D of this section.

3.  The compliance of reading proficiency plans submitted pursuant to subsection D of this section with section 15‑704.

J.  Pursuant to subsection I of this section, the department of education shall develop program implementation guidance for school districts and charter schools to assist schools in administering an effective K‑3 evidence‑based reading program plan.  This guidance shall include identifying and recommending appropriate program expenditures, providing technical oversight and assistance for annually updating reading program plans, selecting and adopting evidence-based reading curricula and providing and promoting teacher professional development that is based on evidence‑based reading research.  The department shall prioritize supports and interventions, including enrollment in reading trainings and professional development, for school districts and charter schools that have the highest percentage of pupils who do not demonstrate sufficient reading skills as established by the state board of education.  The department shall deposit any monies received for offering reading trainings or professional development, including coaching, in the department of education professional development revolving fund established by section 15‑237.01.

K.  On or before December 15, the department of education shall submit an annual report on the K‑3 reading program to the governor, the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives and shall provide a copy of this annual report to the secretary of state, the state board of education and the chairpersons of the education committees of the senate and the house of representatives.  The report shall contain all of the following:

1.  Information on the improvement of K‑3 reading in this state, including achievement data statewide and achievement data at the school district and charter school level.  The information pursuant to this paragraph shall include data and information on continued proficiency on the statewide assessment in subsequent grades.

2.  A description of the activities of the department to support school districts and charter schools in improving K‑3 reading.

3.  Specific findings on methods by which the department may continue to improve support and assistance for school districts and charter schools in the administration of K‑3 reading program plans.

4.  Information and data on K‑3 reading program plans throughout this state and the expenditure of K‑3 reading monies by school districts and charter schools.

5.  Data reported pursuant to section 15‑701, subsection A, paragraph 2, subdivision (d).

L.  The program established by this section ends on July 1, 2022 pursuant to section 41‑3102. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Section 15-501.01, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-501.01.  Requirements for teachers; teaching certificates; rules; reciprocity; placement

A.  Notwithstanding any other law, all teachers who are certificated pursuant to this section must have a baccalaureate degree and a valid fingerprint clearance card.

B.  The state board of education shall adopt rules for the issuance of the following types of certificates for teachers to reflect the source of the training the teacher obtains:

1.  Standard teaching certificate.

2.  Alternative teaching certificate for persons who obtain training pursuant to subsection C, paragraph 1 of this section.

3.  Subject‑matter expert standard teaching certificate for persons who obtain training pursuant to subsection C, paragraph 5 of this section.

4.  Classroom‑based standard teaching certificate for persons who obtain training from a school district or charter school.

5.  Career and technical education teaching certificate.

C.  The state board of education shall adopt rules to carry out the purposes of this section.  The rules:

1.  Shall provide for a variety of alternative teacher and administrator preparation programs that allow for variations in program sequence and design to apply for program approval.  The state board shall adopt rules pursuant to this paragraph designed to allow for a variety of formats and shall not require a prescribed answer or design from the program provider in order to obtain approval from the state board.  Any rules adopted by the state board pursuant to this paragraph shall be substantially different from the rules adopted for the approval of traditional preparation programs and may not unnecessarily restrict a variety of alternative preparation programs from operating and providing instruction in this state.  The state board shall evaluate each program provider based on the program's ability to prepare teachers and administrators and to recruit teachers and administrators with a variety of experiences and talents.  The state board shall allow universities under the jurisdiction of the Arizona board of regents, community colleges in this state, private postsecondary institutions licensed by this state, school districts, charter schools, professional organizations, nonprofit organizations and private entities to apply for program approval and shall create application procedures and certification criteria that are substantially less restrictive than those for traditional preparation programs.  At the completion of an alternative preparation program, graduates shall:

(a)  Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary education institution.

(b)  If applicable, demonstrate professional knowledge and subject knowledge proficiency pursuant to section 15‑533.

(c)  Obtain a valid fingerprint clearance card pursuant to section 15‑534.

(d)  If applicable, complete training in structured English immersion as prescribed by the state board pursuant to section 15‑756.09.

(e)  If applicable, complete training in research‑based systematic phonics instruction as prescribed in paragraph 2 of this subsection.

(f)  Demonstrate the required proficiency in the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona as prescribed in section 15‑532.

2.  Shall require applicants for all certificates for common school instruction to complete, from a public or private provider, at least forty‑five classroom hours or three college‑level credit hours, or the equivalent, in both research‑based all of the following:

(a)  Research‑based systematic phonics instruction.

(b)  Research‑based science of reading instruction.

(b)  (c)  Research‑based reading instruction, including training on assessments, instructional practices and interventions to improve student reading proficiency.  Beginning July 1, 2021, instruction provided pursuant to this subdivision must meet the requirements for dyslexia training prescribed in section 15‑219.

3.  Shall not require a teacher to obtain a master's degree or to take any additional graduate courses as a condition of certification or recertification.

4.  Shall allow but shall not require the superintendent of a school district to obtain certification from the state board of education.

5.  Shall provide for the issuance of a subject‑matter expert standard teaching certificate to persons who have expertise in a content area or subject matter.  Persons who are certified pursuant to this paragraph shall complete training, if applicable, in structured English immersion as prescribed by the state board pursuant to section 15‑756.09. Persons who are certified pursuant to this paragraph are exempt from the subject knowledge proficiency requirements prescribed in section 15‑533 and from the proficiency requirements prescribed in section 15‑532 on the Constitutions of the United States and Arizona.  Persons who are subject to subdivision (a) of this paragraph are also exempt from the professional knowledge proficiency requirements pursuant to section 15‑533.  A person who obtains a subject‑matter expert standard teaching certificate pursuant to this paragraph may provide instruction in the person's field of expertise in grades six through twelve at any public school in this state. Issuance of the subject‑matter expert standard teaching certificate may not be conditioned on the person's employment with a local education agency.  A person who meets the requirements of this paragraph shall be issued a subject‑matter expert standard teaching certificate without having to demonstrate professional knowledge proficiency pursuant to section 15‑533, except that the person shall have at least two years to demonstrate professional knowledge proficiency pursuant to section 15‑533. School districts shall evaluate and provide support pursuant to section 15‑537 to teachers who are certified pursuant to this paragraph.  If a person fails to meet the professional knowledge requirements of this section within two years, the department of education or state board of education may temporarily suspend the subject‑matter expert standard teaching certificate.  A certificate that is temporarily suspended pursuant to this paragraph is not considered a disciplinary action, and a person shall be allowed to correct the deficiency within the remaining time of the subject‑matter expert standard teaching certification.  This paragraph does not require a person who has obtained another type of teaching certificate from the state board to obtain a subject‑matter expert standard teaching certificate pursuant to this paragraph in order to provide instruction in grades six through twelve.  A person is eligible for a subject‑matter expert standard teaching certificate pursuant to this paragraph if the person has a baccalaureate degree and meets any of the following requirements:

(a)  Has taught courses relevant to a content area or subject matter for the last two consecutive years and for a total of at least three years at one or more regionally or nationally accredited public or private postsecondary institutions.  A person demonstrates compliance with this requirement by providing the state board with written proof of employment for specific durations from one or more qualifying postsecondary institutions.

(b)  Has either a baccalaureate degree, a master's degree or a doctoral degree in a specific subject area that is relevant to a content area or subject matter taught in public schools.

(c)  Demonstrates expertise through relevant work experience of at least five years in a field that is relevant to a content area or subject matter taught in public schools.  A person demonstrates compliance with this requirement by providing the state board with written proof of employment.

6.  Notwithstanding section 15‑533, shall exempt persons applying for a secondary education certificate from the subject knowledge portion of the proficiency examination if the state board determines that the person has work experience in science, technology, engineering or mathematics and can demonstrate adequate knowledge of a particular subject through a postsecondary education degree or twenty‑four credit hours of relevant coursework.

7.  Shall allow for a certificate issued to a person pursuant to subsection B, paragraph 1, 3, 4 or 5 of this section or section 15‑203 or 15‑782.01, as applicable, to be both issued and renewed for at least twelve years and may not require more than fifteen hours of continuing education credits each year in order to renew that certificate pursuant to this paragraph.

8.  Shall allow for a certificate issued to a person pursuant to subsection B of this section or section 15‑132, 15‑203 or 15‑782.01, as applicable, and any endorsement or approved area related to that certificate, to be renewed at least two years but not more than ten years after that certificate expires without any other requirements adopted by the state board of education or the department of education if the person is in good standing, has at least ten years of verified full‑time experience in this state in the area in which the person is seeking renewed certification and possesses a valid fingerprint clearance card issued pursuant to section 15‑534.  A certificate renewed pursuant to this paragraph shall be identical to the expired certificate.

D.  The rules for certification reciprocity shall include a requirement that the applicant possess a comparable valid certification from another state and be in good standing with that other state.  An applicant who possesses a valid certification from another state and a fingerprint clearance card pursuant to section 15‑534 and who is in good standing with that other state shall be issued a comparable standard certificate or a comparable certificate issued pursuant to section 15‑132, 15‑203 or 15‑782.01, as applicable, without any other requirements from the state board of education or the department of education.  A person who is issued a certificate pursuant to this subsection is not required to meet any requirement prescribed in section 15‑533.

E.  Placement decisions of teaching intern certificate holders issued pursuant to subsection C, paragraph 1 of this section and section 15‑552 shall be based on agreements between the teacher preparation provider, the provider's partner organizations and the local education agency.  The practices of the department of education and the rules and policies of the state board of education may not restrict placement of teaching intern certification holders based on local education agency instructional models and may only consider the academic quality of the school, the effectiveness of the teaching intern certification holder's on‑site mentor and the opportunity for a wide variety of schools and school models to access teaching intern certification holders.

F.  Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, the following persons are not required to have a baccalaureate degree:

1.  A teacher who is otherwise exempt by law from obtaining a baccalaureate degree and who provides instruction in STEM or career and technical education pursuant to section 15‑782.01.

2.  A person who obtains any of the following:

(a)  A Native American language certificate.

(b)  A student teaching intern certificate.

(c)  A junior reserve officer training corps certificate.

(d)  An athletic coaching certificate.

(e)  An emergency substitute certificate. END_STATUTE

Sec. 3.  Section 15-533, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-533.  Proficiency examination; examination reciprocity

A.  To qualify for a standard teaching certificate, or equivalent certificate later adopted by the state board of education, a person must pass each component of the proficiency examination developed and administered by the state board of education.  The proficiency examination shall consist of only a professional knowledge test and a subject knowledge test.  The subject knowledge test for early childhood education and elementary education must include an examination on reading instruction to ensure that candidates for certification are prepared for reading instruction.

B.  A person is not required to take the examination if the person possesses a comparable valid certification from another state and is in good standing with that other state pursuant to section 15‑203, subsection A, paragraph 27 15-501.01, subsection D.  

C.  A person who is applying for a standard teaching certificate, or any other certificate adopted by the state board of education, is not required to take the professional knowledge test, the subject knowledge test or the entire proficiency examination if the person has passed corresponding portions of an examination adopted by a state agency in another state that is substantially similar to the examination adopted by the state board of education.  A person who is applying for a standard teaching certificate, or any other certificate adopted by the state board of education, is not required to take any portion of the proficiency examination if the person has been a full-time teacher in any state, including this state, for at least three years in the same area of certification in which the person is applying for certification in this state.  

D.  An applicant for a standard teaching certificate or any other certificate adopted by the state board of education may demonstrate subject knowledge proficiency instead of taking the subject knowledge test required pursuant to this section by meeting any of the following:

1.  Has taught courses relevant to a content area or subject matter for the last two consecutive years and for a total of at least three years at one or more regionally or nationally accredited public or private postsecondary institutions.   The person shall demonstrate compliance with this requirement by providing the state board with written proof of employment for specific durations from one or more qualifying postsecondary institutions.

2.  Has either a baccalaureate degree, a master's degree or a doctoral degree in a subject area that is relevant to a content area or subject matter taught in public schools.

3.  Demonstrates expertise through relevant work experience of at least five years in a field that is relevant to a content area or subject matter taught in public schools.   The person shall demonstrate compliance with this requirement by providing the state board with written proof of employment.

E.  A person who obtained structured English immersion training in another state that the state board of education determines is comparable to the structured English immersion training required in this state shall is not be required to obtain additional structured English immersion training in this state pursuant to section 15‑756.09.

F.  The state board of education may grant a standard teaching certificate for at least three years to a teacher who has not met the requirements of this section at the time of application.

G.  A person is not required to pass the proficiency examination or the equivalent examination more than once.  The state board of education may adopt rules to modify the requirements of subsection B or C of this section for persons who have taught, obtained certification or obtained a master's degree in another country.   

H.  A person who is not required to pass the proficiency examination developed and administered in this state by the state board of education pursuant to this section shall only be granted reciprocity for those proficiency examinations required in this state that pertain to the grade levels and content areas that the person is certified to teach in another state. END_STATUTE

Sec. 4.  Section 15-704, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-704.  Reading proficiency; dyslexia screening plan; appropriations; purposes; exemptions; definitions

A.  Each school district or charter school that provides instruction in kindergarten programs and grades one through three shall select and administer screening, ongoing diagnostic and classroom‑based instructional reading assessments, including a motivational assessment, as defined by the state board of education, to monitor student progress.  Each school shall use the diagnostic information to plan evidence‑based appropriate and effective instruction and intervention.

B.  On or before July 1, 2020 2021, the department of education shall develop a dyslexia screening plan that meets all of the following requirements:

1.  Ensures that within forty‑five calendar days after the beginning of each school year or within forty‑five calendar days after a student enrollment occurs after the first day of school, every student who is enrolled in a kindergarten program or grade one in a public school in this state is screened for indicators of dyslexia.

2.  Provides guidance for notifications sent by public schools to parents of students who are identified as having indicators of dyslexia based on a screening for indicators.

3.  Is developed collaboratively with the dyslexia specialist for the department designated pursuant to section 15‑211, and other experts on dyslexia, including representatives in this state of an international organization on dyslexia.

4.  Ensures that screening for indicators of dyslexia includes the following:

(a)  Phonological and phonemic awareness.

(b)  Rapid naming skills.

(c)  Correspondence between sounds and letters.

(d)  Nonsense word repetition fluency.

(e)  Sound symbol recognition.

C.  The screening for indicators of dyslexia may be integrated with reading proficiency screenings as prescribed in this section.

D.  Each school district or charter school that provides instruction for pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one through three shall conduct a curriculum evaluation and adopt an evidence‑based reading curriculum that includes the essential components of reading instruction. All school districts and charter schools that offer instruction in kindergarten programs and grades one through three shall provide ongoing teacher training based on evidence‑based reading research.

E.  Each school district or charter school that provides instruction in kindergarten programs and grades one through three shall devote reasonable amounts of time to explicit evidence‑based instruction and independent reading in grades one through three.

F.  A pupil in grade three who does not demonstrate proficiency on the reading standards measured by the statewide assessment administered pursuant to section 15‑741 shall be provided core reading instruction and intensive, evidence‑based reading instruction as defined by the state board of education until the pupil meets these standards.

G.  The governing board of each school district and the governing body of each charter school shall determine the percentage of pupils at each school in grade three who do not demonstrate proficiency on the reading standards prescribed by the state board of education and measured by the statewide assessment administered pursuant to section 15‑741.  If more than twenty percent of students in grade three at either the individual school level or at the school district level do not demonstrate proficiency on the standards, the governing board or governing body shall conduct a review of its reading program that includes curriculum and professional development in light of current, evidence‑based reading research.

H.  Based on the review required in subsection G of this section, the governing board or governing body and the school principal of each school that does not demonstrate proficiency on the reading standards, in conjunction with school council members, if applicable, shall develop methods of best practices for teaching reading based on essential components of reading instruction and supported by evidence‑based reading research.  These methods shall be adopted at a public meeting and shall be implemented the following academic year.

I.  Subsections G and H of this section shall be coordinated with efforts to develop and implement an improvement plan if required pursuant to section 15‑241.02.

J.  The sum of $800,000 is appropriated from the state general fund in fiscal year 2020-2021 and each fiscal year thereafter to the department of education to distribute to school districts and charter schools to provide pupil screening for indicators of dyslexia.  The appropriations made in this subsection are exempt from the provisions of section 35-190 relating to lapsing of appropriations.

K.  The sum of $280,000 is appropriated from the state general fund in fiscal year 2020-2021 and each fiscal year thereafter to the department of education for the following purposes:

1.  Adding three full-time employee positions to implement the requirements of this section and section 15-211.

2.  Providing early literacy professional development to teachers in this state.

3.  Augmenting the reading programs established pursuant to this section and sections 15-211 and 15-701.

4.  Gathering, aggregating and analyzing statewide data related to early literacy and dyslexia.

5.  Establishing a regional training model for teacher training and enhancing awareness of the indicators of dyslexia.

L.  The appropriations made in subsection K of this section are exempt from the provisions of section 35-190 relating to lapsing of appropriations.

J.  M.  For the purposes of this section:

1.  "Essential components of reading instruction" means explicit and systematic instruction in the following:

(a)  Phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness.

(b)  Phonics encoding and decoding.

(c)  Vocabulary development.

(d)  Reading fluency as demonstrated by automatic reading of text.

(e)  Reading comprehension of written text.

(f)  Written and oral expression, including spelling and handwriting.

2.  "Evidence‑based reading research" means research that demonstrates either:

(a)  A statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on either:

(i)  Strong evidence from at least one well‑designed and well‑implemented experimental study.

(ii)  Moderate evidence from at least one well‑designed and well‑implemented quasi‑experimental study.

(iii)  Promising evidence from at least one well‑designed and well‑implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias.

(b)  A rationale based on high‑quality research findings or positive evaluation that an activity, strategy or intervention is likely to improve student outcomes or other relevant outcomes and that includes ongoing efforts to examine the effects of these activities, strategies or interventions.

3.  "Reading" means a complex system of deriving meaning from written text that requires all of the following:

(a)  The skills and knowledge to understand how phonemes or speech sounds are connected to written text.

(b)  The ability to decode unfamiliar words.

(c)  The ability to read fluently.

(d)  Sufficient background information and vocabulary to foster reading comprehension.

(e)  The development of appropriate active strategies to construct meaning from written text.

(f)  The development and maintenance of a motivation to read. END_STATUTE

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