An Act To Provide for a Professional Wage and Support for New Educators
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §13012-A, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2017, c. 381, §14, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §13013, sub-§2-B, ¶B, as enacted by PL 2017, c. 235, §12 and affected by §41, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §13013, sub-§6 is enacted to read:
Prior to July 1, 2020, the dean or director of an approved teacher preparation program in compliance with the requirements of paragraphs A to D may request that the commissioner waive the grade point average requirements established under paragraphs A and D due to extenuating circumstances.
If an educational institution through its teacher preparation program is unable to meet the grade point average requirements by July 1, 2020, the educational institution may request up to 2 one-year extensions from the commissioner. The commissioner may not provide an extension that commences on or after July 1, 2022.
For the purposes of this subsection, "practicum" means direct student engagement, including but not limited to tutoring, planning and implementing lesson plans and otherwise directly interacting with students on an individual basis or in a group setting. "Practicum" does not include activities that are composed solely of observing classrooms or students.
Sec. 4. 20-A MRSA §13015-A is enacted to read:
§ 13015-A. Support and mentoring system
A support and mentoring system is separate from local practices and procedures regarding the supervision and evaluation of a teacher for retention by a school administrative unit.
(1) Observations of classroom instruction for a minimum of 4 classes; and
(2) Formative feedback and improvement conversations throughout the school year.
Sec. 5. 20-A MRSA §13406, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 635, §6, is amended to read:
§ 13406. Minimum salaries for certified teachers
Each school administrative unit shall establish a minimum salary of $30,000 for certified teachers for the school year starting after June 30, 2007 and in each subsequent to the school year starting after June 30, 2019. A school administrative unit shall establish a minimum salary of $40,000 for certified teachers for the school year starting after June 30, 2020 and in each subsequent school year. A certified teacher's salary may not remain at the minimum level for longer than 2 years. A school administrative unit shall provide to the department annually on or before October 1st the number of teachers eligible for incremental salary increases as defined in section 15689, subsection 7-A, paragraph A.
Sec. 6. 20-A MRSA §15689, sub-§7-A is enacted to read:
(1) The amount of increased funds provided to qualifying school administrative units under this subsection must be the amount necessary to fund the percentage of the incremental salary increases specified in this subsection.
(2) The number of teachers eligible for incremental salary increases in a qualifying school administrative unit for a fiscal year must be based on the local staff information supplied to the department pursuant to section 13406 in that fiscal year.
(3) The increased funds provided under this subsection must be issued to qualifying school administrative units as an adjustment to the state school subsidy for distribution to the teachers. Qualifying school administrative units must use the payments provided under this subsection to provide salary adjustments to those teachers eligible for incremental salary increases. The department shall collect the necessary data to allow the funds to be included in a qualifying school administrative unit's monthly subsidy payments beginning no later than February 1st of each fiscal year.
Sec. 7. 20-A MRSA §15689-A, sub-§28 is enacted to read:
Sec. 8. State Board of Education; rulemaking. The State Board of Education shall amend the standards and procedures for the review and approval of preparation programs for education personnel established in its rule Chapter 114: Purpose, Standards and Procedures for the Review and Approval of Preparation Programs for Education Personnel to articulate and outline clear standards for a memorandum of understanding between student teachers, teacher preparation programs and participating school administrative units. The State Board of Education shall solicit comments from teacher preparation programs, teachers and school administrative unit leaders as to the appropriate standards that should be part of the memorandum of understanding. The proposed amendments to the rules must include:
1. A memorandum of understanding template, which must be developed with teacher preparation programs and cooperating teachers, that clearly outlines the requirements for both participants. Student teachers, teacher preparation programs and school administrative units hosting cooperating teachers must be required to sign a memorandum of understanding outlining the expectations of all parties involved in the student teaching experience and practicum as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 13013, subsection 6;
2. Ways to increase the number of cooperating teachers, including but not limited to financial compensation, a positive effect on the performance evaluation of a cooperating teacher, recertification credit and college credit; and
3. Rules to implement the grade point average requirement provisions for teacher preparation programs established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 13013, subsection 6, paragraph A.
Rules adopted or amended pursuant to this section are major substantive rules as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A. The State Board of Education shall submit the provisionally adopted amendments to its rule Chapter 114: Purpose, Standards and Procedures for the Review and Approval of Preparation Programs for Education Personnel to the Executive Director of the Legislative Council by January 12, 2020.
Sec. 9. Professional Standards Board. The Governor shall appoint members for all vacant positions on the Professional Standards Board established under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, chapter 502-B no later than November 1, 2019, and the Professional Standards Board shall convene a meeting no later than December 1, 2019.
Sec. 10. Costs. The Department of Education shall determine the amount of state funds necessary to meet the requirements of the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 15689, subsection 7-A and shall report that amount to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs no later than December 15, 2019. The committee shall report out a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature to provide the necessary funding.
Sec. 11. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.
FINANCE AUTHORITY OF MAINE
Student Financial Assistance Programs 0653
Initiative: Provides funding to pay the costs of doubling the funds available for loans awarded to eligible students from the Educators for Maine Program established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 12502.
|GENERAL FUND TOTAL||$250,000||$250,000|
This bill proposes to improve teacher quality in the State by amending the current statutes related to programs involving teacher preparation, support systems for conditionally certified teachers and educational specialists, teacher certification and teacher salaries and funding college loans for students enrolled in a program of study leading to certification as a teacher.
The bill expands the student teaching experience and academic achievement requirements for candidates for a professional teacher certificate. It specifies the number of hours of practicum an applicant must complete and clarifies the time frame during which the student teaching experience must occur. The bill enacts a grade point average requirement with respect to applicants recommended by educational institutions offering teacher preparation programs.
The bill strengthens the support and mentoring systems required to provide assistance for teachers, including teachers certified for less than 5 years, and requires the Commissioner of Education to pay salary supplements to teachers who are involved in the operation of such systems. The bill provides that a school administrative unit may not employ a conditionally certified teacher or educational specialist unless it has an approved, locally designed support and mentoring system or has received specific authorization from the commissioner.
The bill increases the minimum salary for certified teachers to $40,000 beginning with the 2020-2021 school year and provides that a certified teacher's salary may not remain at the minimum level for longer than 2 years. The bill includes in the school funding formula state funding for the incremental costs of meeting this minimum in fiscal year 2020-21, state funding for 66% of these incremental costs in fiscal year 2021-22 and state funding for 33% of these incremental costs in fiscal year 2022-23.
The bill requires the State Board of Education to amend its rule Chapter 114: Purpose, Standards and Procedures for the Review and Approval of Preparation Programs for Education Personnel to articulate and outline clear standards for a memorandum of understanding between student teachers, teacher preparation programs and participating school administrative units.
The bill directs the Governor to appoint members to vacant positions on the Professional Standards Board by November 1, 2019 and directs the board to convene a meeting by December 1, 2019.
The bill provides additional appropriations for the Educators for Maine Program within the Finance Authority of Maine in order to double the annual investment of state loan funds awarded to eligible students.