Bill Text: VA SB1196 | 2021 | Regular Session | Prefiled


Bill Title: Teachers and other licensed school board employees; cultural competency.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Engrossed - Dead) 2021-02-08 - Continued to Special Session 1 in Education by voice vote [SB1196 Detail]

Download: Virginia-2021-SB1196-Prefiled.html
21101992D
SENATE BILL NO. 1196
Offered January 13, 2021
Prefiled January 11, 2021
A BILL to amend and reenact §§22.1-253.13:5 and 22.1-298.1 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 22.1-298.7, relating to teachers and other licensed school board employees; cultural competency.
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Patron-- Locke
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Referred to Committee on Education and Health
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That §§22.1-253.13:5 and 22.1-298.1 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted and that the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 22.1-298.7 as follows:

§22.1-253.13:5. Standard 5. Quality of classroom instruction and educational leadership.

A. Each member of the Board of Education shall participate in high-quality professional development programs on personnel, curriculum and current issues in education as part of his service on the Board.

B. Consistent with the finding that leadership is essential for the advancement of public education in the Commonwealth, teacher, principal, and superintendent evaluations shall be consistent with the performance standards included in the Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents. Evaluations shall include student academic progress as a significant component and an overall summative rating. Teacher evaluations shall include regular observation and evidence that instruction is aligned with the school's curriculum. Evaluations shall include identification of areas of individual strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for appropriate professional activities. Evaluations shall include an evaluation of cultural competency.

C. The Board of Education shall provide guidance on high-quality professional development for (i) teachers, principals, supervisors, division superintendents, and other school staff; (ii) principals, supervisors, and division superintendents in the evaluation and documentation of teacher and principal performance based on student academic progress and the skills and knowledge of such instructional or administrative personnel; (iii) school board members on personnel, curriculum and current issues in education; and (iv) programs in Braille for teachers of the blind and visually impaired, in cooperation with the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

The Board shall also provide technical assistance on high-quality professional development to local school boards designed to ensure that all instructional personnel are proficient in the use of educational technology consistent with its comprehensive plan for educational technology.

D. Each local school board shall require (i) its members to participate annually in high-quality professional development activities at the state, local, or national levels on governance, including, but not limited to, personnel policies and practices; the evaluation of personnel, curriculum, and instruction; use of data in planning and decision making; and current issues in education as part of their service on the local board and (ii) the division superintendent to participate annually in high-quality professional development activities at the local, state, or national levels, including the Standards of Quality, Board of Education regulations, and the Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents.

E. Each local school board shall provide a program of high-quality professional development (i) in the use and documentation of performance standards and evaluation criteria based on student academic progress and skills for teachers, principals, and superintendents to clarify roles and performance expectations and to facilitate the successful implementation of instructional programs that promote student achievement at the school and classroom levels; (ii) as part of the license renewal process, to assist teachers and principals in acquiring the skills needed to work with gifted students, students with disabilities, and students who have been identified as having limited English proficiency and to increase student achievement and expand the knowledge and skills students require to meet the standards for academic performance set by the Board of Education; (iii) in educational technology for all instructional personnel which is designed to facilitate integration of computer skills and related technology into the curricula; and (iv) for principals and supervisors designed to increase proficiency in instructional leadership and management, including training in the evaluation and documentation of teacher and principal performance based on student academic progress and the skills and knowledge of such instructional or administrative personnel.

In addition, each local school board shall also provide teachers and principals with high-quality professional development programs each year in (a) instructional content; (b) the preparation of tests and other assessment measures; (c) methods for assessing the progress of individual students, including Standards of Learning assessment materials or other criterion-referenced tests that match locally developed objectives; (d) instruction and remediation techniques in English, mathematics, science, and history and social science; (e) interpreting test data for instructional purposes; (f) technology applications to implement the Standards of Learning; and (g) effective classroom management.

F. Schools and school divisions shall include as an integral component of their comprehensive plans required by §22.1-253.13:6, high-quality professional development programs that support the recruitment, employment, and retention of qualified teachers and principals. Each school board shall require all instructional personnel to participate each year in these professional development programs.

G. Each local school board shall annually review its professional development program for quality, effectiveness, participation by instructional personnel, and relevancy to the instructional needs of teachers and the academic achievement needs of the students in the school division.

§22.1-298.1. Regulations governing licensure.

A. As used in this section:

"Alternate route to licensure" means a nontraditional route to teacher licensure available to individuals who meet the criteria specified in the guidelines developed pursuant to subsection N or regulations issued by the Board of Education.

"Industry certification credential" means an active career and technical education credential that is earned by successfully completing a Board of Education-approved industry certification examination, being issued a professional license in the Commonwealth, or successfully completing an occupational competency examination.

"Licensure by reciprocity" means a process used to issue a license to an individual coming into the Commonwealth from another state when that individual meets certain conditions specified in the Board of Education's regulations.

"Professional teacher's assessment" means those tests mandated for licensure as prescribed by the Board of Education.

"Provisional license" means a nonrenewable license issued by the Board of Education for a specified period of time, not to exceed three years, to an individual who may be employed by a school division in the Commonwealth and who generally meets the requirements specified in the Board of Education's regulations for licensure, but who may need to take additional coursework, pass additional assessments, or meet alternative evaluation standards to be fully licensed with a renewable license.

"Renewable license" means a license issued by the Board of Education for 10 years to an individual who meets the requirements specified in the Board of Education's regulations.

B. The Board of Education shall prescribe, by regulation, the requirements for the licensure of teachers and other school personnel required to hold a license. Such regulations shall include procedures for (i) the denial, suspension, cancellation, revocation, and reinstatement of licensure; (ii) written reprimand of license holders on grounds established by the Board, in accordance with law, notice of which shall be made by the Superintendent of Public Instruction to division superintendents or their designated representatives; and (iii) the immediate and thorough investigation by the division superintendent or his designee of any complaint alleging that a license holder has engaged in conduct that may form the basis for the revocation of his license. At a minimum, such procedures for investigations contained in such regulations shall require (a) the division superintendent to petition for the revocation of the license upon completing such investigation and finding that there is reasonable cause to believe that the license holder has engaged in conduct that forms the basis for revocation of a license; (b) the school board to proceed to a hearing on such petition for revocation within 90 days of the mailing of a copy of the petition to the license holder, unless the license holder requests the cancellation of his license in accordance with Board regulations; and (c) the school board to provide a copy of the investigative file and such petition for revocation to the Superintendent of Public Instruction at the time that the hearing is scheduled. The Board of Education shall revoke the license of any person for whom it has received a notice of dismissal or resignation pursuant to subsection F of §22.1-313 and, in the case of a person who is the subject of a founded complaint of child abuse or neglect, after all rights to any administrative appeal provided by § 63.2-1526 have been exhausted. Regardless of the authority of any other agency of the Commonwealth to approve educational programs, only the Board of Education shall have the authority to license teachers to be regularly employed by school boards, including those teachers employed to provide nursing education.

The Board of Education shall prescribe by regulation the licensure requirements for teachers who teach only online courses, as defined in §22.1-212.23. Such license shall be valid only for teaching online courses. Teachers who hold a 10-year renewable license issued by the Board of Education may teach online courses for which they are properly endorsed.

C. The Board of Education's regulations shall include requirements that a person seeking initial licensure:

1. Demonstrate proficiency in the relevant content area, communication, literacy, and other core skills for educators by achieving a qualifying score on professional assessments or meeting alternative evaluation standards as prescribed by the Board;

2. Complete study in attention deficit disorder;

3. Complete study in gifted education, including the use of multiple criteria to identify gifted students; and

4. Complete study in methods of improving communication between schools and families and ways of increasing family involvement in student learning at home and at school.

D. In addition, such regulations shall include requirements that:

1. Every person seeking initial licensure and persons seeking licensure renewal as teachers who have not completed such study shall complete study in child abuse recognition and intervention in accordance with curriculum guidelines developed by the Board of Education in consultation with the Department of Social Services that are relevant to the specific teacher licensure routes;

2. Every person seeking renewal of a license shall complete all renewal requirements, including professional development in a manner prescribed by the Board, except that no person seeking renewal of a license shall be required to satisfy any such requirement by completing coursework and earning credit at an institution of higher education;

3. Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall provide evidence of completion of certification or training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators. The certification or training program shall (i) be based on the current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator, such as a program developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, and (ii) include hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The Board shall provide a waiver for this requirement for any person with a disability whose disability prohibits such person from completing the certification or training;

4. Every person seeking licensure with an endorsement as a teacher of the blind and visually impaired shall demonstrate proficiency in reading and writing Braille;

5. Every teacher seeking an initial license in the Commonwealth with an endorsement in the area of career and technical education shall have an industry certification credential in the area in which the teacher seeks endorsement. If a teacher seeking an initial license in the Commonwealth has not attained an industry certification credential in the area in which the teacher seeks endorsement, the Board may, upon request of the employing school division or educational agency, issue the teacher a provisional license to allow time for the teacher to attain such credential;

6. Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall complete awareness training, provided by the Department of Education, on the indicators of dyslexia, as that term is defined by the Board pursuant to regulations, and the evidence-based interventions and accommodations for dyslexia;

7. Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement as a school counselor shall complete training in the recognition of mental health disorder and behavioral distress, including depression, trauma, violence, youth suicide, and substance abuse; and

8. Every person seeking initial licensure as a teacher who has not received the instruction described in subsection D of §23.1-902 shall receive instruction or training on positive behavior interventions and supports; crisis prevention and de-escalation; the use of physical restraint and seclusion, consistent with regulations of the Board of Education; and appropriate alternative methods to reduce and prevent the need for the use of physical restraint and seclusion;

9. Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall complete instruction or training in cultural competency; and

10. Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement in history and social sciences shall complete instruction in African American history, as prescribed by the Board.

E. No teacher who seeks a provisional license shall be required to meet any requirement set forth in subdivision D 1, 3, 6, or 8 as a condition of such licensure, but each such teacher shall complete each such requirement during the first year of provisional licensure.

F. The Board shall issue a license to an individual seeking initial licensure who has not completed professional assessments as prescribed by the Board, if such individual (i) holds a provisional license that will expire within three months or, at the discretion of the school board and division superintendent, within six months if the individual has received a satisfactory mid-year performance review in the current school year; (ii) is employed by a school board; (iii) is recommended for licensure by the division superintendent; (iv) has attempted, unsuccessfully, to obtain a qualifying score on the professional assessments as prescribed by the Board; (v) has received an evaluation rating of proficient or above on the performance standards for each year of the provisional license, and such evaluation was conducted in a manner consistent with the Guidelines for Uniform Performance Standards and Evaluation Criteria for Teachers, Principals, and Superintendents; and (vi) meets all other requirements for initial licensure.

G. Each local school board or division superintendent may waive for any individual whom it seeks to employ as a career and technical education teacher and who is also seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement in the area of career and technical education any applicable requirement set forth in subsection C or subdivision D 2, 4, or 6.

H. The Board's regulations shall require that initial licensure for principals and assistant principals be contingent upon passage of an assessment as prescribed by the Board.

I. The Board shall establish criteria in its regulations to effectuate the substitution of experiential learning for coursework for those persons seeking initial licensure through an alternate route as defined in Board regulations. Such alternate routes shall include eligibility for any individual to receive, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a renewable one-year license to teach in public high schools in the Commonwealth if he has:

1. Received a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education;

2. Completed at least 30 credit hours of teaching experience as an instructor at a regionally accredited institution of higher education;

3. Received qualifying scores on the professional teacher's assessments prescribed by the Board, including the communication and literacy assessment and the content-area assessment for the endorsement sought; and

4. Met the requirements set forth in subdivisions D 1 and 3.

J. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Board (i) may provide for the issuance of a provisional license, valid for a period not to exceed three years, pursuant to subdivision D 5 or to any person who does not meet the requirements of this section or any other requirement for licensure imposed by law and (ii) shall provide for the issuance of a provisional license, valid for a period not to exceed three years, to any former member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Virginia National Guard who has received an honorable discharge and has the appropriate level of experience or training but does not meet the requirements for a renewable license.

K. The Board's licensure regulations shall also provide for licensure by reciprocity:

1. With comparable endorsement areas for those individuals holding a valid out-of-state teaching license and national certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards or a nationally recognized certification program approved by the Board of Education. The application for such individuals shall require evidence of such valid licensure and national certification and shall not require official student transcripts;

2. For any spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the Commonwealth who has obtained a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, that is in force at the time the application for a Virginia license is received by the Department of Education. Each such individual shall establish a file in the Department of Education by submitting a complete application packet, which shall include official student transcripts. No service requirements or licensing assessments shall be required for any such individual; and

3. For individuals who have obtained a valid out-of-state license, with full credentials and without deficiencies, that is in force at the time the application for a Virginia license is received by the Department of Education. Each such individual shall establish a file in the Department of Education by submitting a complete application packet, which shall include official student transcripts. No service requirements or licensing assessments shall be required for any such individual.

L. The Board shall include in its regulations an alternate route to licensure for elementary education preK-6 and an alternate route to licensure for special education general curriculum K-12. Each such alternate route to licensure shall require individuals to (i) meet the qualifying scores on the content area assessment prescribed by the Board for the endorsements sought and (ii) complete an alternative certification program that provides training in the pedagogy and methodology of the respective content or special education areas prescribed by the Board. The curriculum of any such alternative certification program shall be approved by the Board. Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the Board from establishing other alternate routes to licensure.

M. The Board, in its regulations providing for licensure by reciprocity established pursuant to subsection K, shall (i) permit applicants to submit third-party employment verification forms and (ii) grant special consideration to individuals who have successfully completed a program offered by a provider that is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

N. The Board shall develop guidelines that establish a process to permit a school board or any organization sponsored by a school board to petition the Board for approval of an alternate route to licensure that may be used to meet the requirements for a provisional or renewable license or any endorsement. Any such alternate route may include alternatives to the regulatory requirements for teacher preparation, including alternative professional assessments and coursework. The petitioner may proffer or the Board may impose conditions in conjunction with the approval of such petition.

§22.1-298.7. Teachers and other licensed school board employees; cultural competency training.

Each school board shall adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and any other school board employee holding a license issued by the Board to complete cultural competency training, in accordance with guidance issued by the Board, at least every two years.

2. That no later than December 31, 2021, the Board of Education shall issue guidance that establishes minimum standards for the cultural competency training required pursuant to §22.1-298.7 of the Code of Virginia, as created by this act.

3. That each school board employee who is required to complete a cultural competency training pursuant to §22.1-298.7 of the Code of Virginia, as created by this act, shall complete at least one such training no later than the beginning of the 20222023 school year.

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