Referred to Committee
June 5, 2012
June 4, 2012(Key vote)
Title: Amends Teacher Tenure System
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that limits the length of a teacher's contracts and requires students to achieve a third grade reading proficiency prior to entering fourth grade, effective the 2012-2013 school year.
Limits to 1 year any contract regarding teachers who have been employed by the local school board for less than 3 years (Sec. 14).
Authorizes contracts for up to 4 year for teachers who have been employed by the local school board for 3 or more years (Sec. 14).
Prohibits local school boards from dismissing a teacher or reducing a teacher's salary for disciplinary reasons during the term of a teacher's contract, unless the dismissal includes, but is not limited to, any of the following reasons (Sec. 14):
Inadequate performance, based on evaluation reports;
Neglect of duty;
Physical or mental incapacity;
Habitual use of alcohol or a non-medical controlled substance;
Conviction of a felony;
Advocating the overthrow of the government; or
Failure to maintain a valid teaching license.
Requires kindergarten students to undergo the following evaluations (Sec. 1):
A developmental screening of early language, literacy, and math skills within 30 days of enrollment; and
A kindergarten entry assessment within 60 days of enrollment.
Requires kindergarten, first, second, and third graders to take a diagnostic reading assessment and be provided with instructional support and services if any difficulty with reading is found (Sec. 1).
Limits eligibility for the prekindergarten program to children whose family incomes do not exceed 75 percent of the state median income (Sec. 11).
Exempts children of active duty members of the Armed Forces and children of members of the Armed Forces who were killed on active duty from the limitation on eligibility for the prekindergarten program (Sec. 11).
Authorizes up to 20 percent of children enrolled in the prekindergarten program to have family incomes greater than 75 percent of the state median income if the children have other “designated risk factors” (Sec. 11).
Requires a student who is unable to demonstrate a third grade reading proficiency on a state approved standardized test to remain in the third grade, unless the student fulfills any of the following requirements (Sec. 1):
Has limited English proficiency because the student has had less than 2 years of instruction in the English as a Second Language program;
Completes alternative assessments because the student has disabilities;
Demonstrates third grade reading proficiency on an alternative assessment approved by the State Board of Education;
Demonstrates third grade reading proficiency through a reading portfolio; or
Has received reading intervention and has previously been retained more than once in kindergarten, first, second or third grade.
Requires a student who is held back in third grade to be placed in an accelerated reading class or a transitional third and fourth grade class combination (Sec. 1).
Requires the Department of Education to grade overall school performance using a numerical score on a scale of 0 to 100 and a letter grade on a scale of A to F that reflects student performance on subject specific assessments, college and workplace readiness, and graduation rates (Sec. 3).
Prohibits schools from opening earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and closing later than the Friday closest to June 11 (Sec. 5).
Requires schools to provide instruction for 185 school days or 1,025 instructional hours over a 9 month period (Sec. 5).
Authorizes an eligible educator to claim a $250 deduction on state income tax forms for the following purchases (Sec. 13):
Computer equipment, software, and services; and
Defines an “eligible educator” as a kindergarten through grade 12 teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide in a school for at least 900 hours during a school year (Sec. 13).