Bill Text For SB0067 - Engrossed

 1|ENGROSSED SENATE                                                       |
  |BILL NO. 67                          By: Simpson of the Senate         |
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  |                                         McCall and Lawson of the      |
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 7|       An Act relating to teacher certification; amending 70           |
  |       O.S. 2011, Section 6-187, as last amended by Section            |
 8|       1, Chapter 139, O.S.L. 2020 (70 O.S. Supp. 2020,                |
  |       Section 6-187), which relates to competency                     |
 9|       examinations for teacher certification; allowing the            |
  |       State Board of Education to grant exceptions to the             |
10|       certification examinations for certain teacher                  |
  |       candidates who are deaf; providing definition;                  |
11|       providing criteria for exceptions; providing for                |
  |       promulgation of rules; providing for applicable                 |
12|       teaching environments; providing an effective date;             |
  |       and declaring an emergency.                                     |
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15|BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:                  |
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16|    SECTION 1.     AMENDATORY     70 O.S. 2011, Section 6-187, as      |
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17|last amended by Section 1, Chapter 139, O.S.L. 2020 (70 O.S. Supp.     |
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18|2020, Section 6-187), is amended to read as follows:                   |
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19|    Section 6-187.  A.  Prior to July 1, 2014, a competency            |
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20|examination shall be adopted by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher    |
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21|Preparation and beginning July 1, 2014, a competency examination       |
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22|shall be adopted by the Commission for Educational Quality and         |
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23|Accountability for the general education, professional education and   |
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24|various subject areas and grade levels for purposes of ensuring        |
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 1|academic achievement and competency of each teacher candidate or       |
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 2|teacher in the subject area the person is seeking certification to     |
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 3|teach which shall also include certification as an administrator, as   |
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 4|prescribed by the State Board of Education.                            |
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 5|    The Commission, consistent with the purposes of this section,      |
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 6|shall promulgate rules and procedures to guarantee the                 |
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 7|confidentiality of examinations.                                       |
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 8|    B.  No teacher candidate shall be eligible for certification       |
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 9|until successfully completing the competency examination except        |
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10|those candidates who make application to the State Board and meet      |
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11|the criteria for the alternative placement program pursuant to         |
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12|Section 6-122.3 of this title.  Certification shall be limited to      |
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13|areas of approval in which the certified teacher has successfully      |
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14|completed the examination.  Subject to the provisions of subsection    |
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15|C of this section, testing for certification for subjects in which a   |
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16|teacher candidate or teacher is seeking a minor teaching assignment    |
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17|or an endorsement to teach shall be limited to the specific subject    |
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18|area test.                                                             |
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19|    A teacher candidate or teacher may take the general education,     |
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20|professional education or subject area portions of the examination     |
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21|subject to any limit imposed by the Commission.                        |
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22|    C.  1.  Except as otherwise provided for in this subsection, a     |
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23|teacher may be certified in as many areas as the teacher meets the     |
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 1|necessary requirements provided by law and has successfully            |
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 2|completed the subject area portion of the examination.                 |
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 3|    2.  Except as otherwise provided for in this paragraph,            |
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 4|certification in early childhood, elementary, or special education     |
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 5|shall require completion of an appropriate teacher education program   |
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 6|approved by the Commission.                                            |
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 7|    Any teacher who is certified to teach elementary education may     |
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 8|be certified in early childhood education upon meeting the             |
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 9|requirements provided in law and successful completion of the          |
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10|appropriate subject area portion of the examination.  Any teacher      |
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11|who is certified to teach early childhood education may be certified   |
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12|in elementary education upon meeting the requirements provided in      |
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13|law and successful completion of the appropriate subject area          |
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14|portion of the examination.  Any special education teacher who         |
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15|becomes certified to teach through completion of an accredited         |
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16|teacher preparation program may be certified in early childhood or     |
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17|elementary education upon meeting the requirements provided in law     |
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18|and successful completion of the appropriate subject portion of the    |
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19|examination.  Any teacher who becomes certified to teach through       |
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20|completion of an accredited teacher preparation program or becomes     |
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21|alternatively certified to teach through the Troops to Teachers        |
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22|program may be certified in special education upon meeting the         |
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23|requirements provided in law and successful completion of the          |
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24|appropriate subject area portion of the examination.  Any special      |
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 1|education teacher who has not completed a Commission-approved          |
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 2|teacher education program in elementary education or early childhood   |
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 3|education but who has successfully completed the subject area          |
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 4|portion of the examination may be certified in elementary education    |
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 5|or early childhood education for the purpose of providing direct       |
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 6|instruction and serving as the teacher of record for grading           |
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 7|purposes in special education settings only.                           |
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 8|    D.  The Commission shall offer the competency examination at       |
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 9|least four times per calendar year on dates to be established by the   |
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10|Commission.                                                            |
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11|    E.  If a teacher candidate or teacher is a non-native-English      |
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12|speaker, the Commission shall offer the subject area competency        |
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13|examination in the native language of the teacher candidate or         |
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14|teacher only if the teacher candidate or teacher is employed or has    |
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15|been offered employment by a school district as a teacher in a         |
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16|foreign language immersion program offered by the school district.     |
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17|If a non-native-English speaker who has received certification in a    |
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18|subject area after taking the subject area competency examination in   |
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19|the native language of the speaker seeks to add a certification area   |
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20|in the future and that person is no longer employed as a teacher in    |
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21|a foreign language immersion program, the examination for the          |
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22|additional certification area shall be taken in English.  The State    |
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23|Board of Education shall issue a restricted license or certificate     |
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24|to any teacher who has completed a subject area competency             |
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 1|examination in the native language of the teacher as provided for in   |
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 2|this subsection restricting the teacher to teaching only in a          |
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 3|foreign language immersion program.                                    |
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 4|    F.  1.  Nothing in the Oklahoma Teacher Preparation Act shall      |
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 5|restrict the right of the State Board of Education to issue an         |
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 6|emergency or provisional certificate, as needed.  Provided, however,   |
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 7|prior to the issuance of an emergency certificate, the district        |
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 8|shall document substantial efforts to employ a teacher who holds a     |
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 9|provisional or standard certificate.  In the event a district is       |
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10|unable to hire an individual meeting this criteria, the district       |
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11|shall document efforts to employ an individual with a provisional or   |
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12|standard certificate in another curricular area with academic          |
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13|preparation in the field of need.  Only after these alternatives       |
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14|have been exhausted shall the district be allowed to employ an         |
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15|individual meeting minimum standards as established by the State       |
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16|Board of Education for the issuance of emergency certificates.         |
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17|    2.  The State Board of Education may renew the emergency or        |
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18|provisional certificate of an individual who has been employed by a    |
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19|school district board of education for at least two (2) years if the   |
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20|following criteria are met:                                            |
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21|         a.    the individual has been granted an emergency or         |
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22|              provisional certificate pursuant to paragraph 1 of       |
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23|              this subsection for two (2) years,                       |
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 1|         b.    the individual has not successfully completed the       |
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 2|              competency examinations required by this section,        |
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 3|         c.    the individual submits a portfolio of his or her work   |
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 4|              to the State Board of Education, which shall include     |
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 5|              evidence of progress toward standard certification,      |
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 6|         d.    the employing school district board of education        |
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 7|              agrees to renew the individual's contract to teach for   |
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 8|              the ensuing fiscal year, and                             |
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 9|         e.    the superintendent of the employing school district     |
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10|              submits to the State Board of Education the reason the   |
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11|              emergency or provisional certificate should be renewed   |
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12|              and provides evidence of the district's inability to     |
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13|              hire a teacher who holds a standard certificate.         |
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14|    3.  Individuals employed by a school district under an emergency   |
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15|or provisional certificate shall not be considered career teachers     |
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16|and therefore not entitled to the protections of the Teacher Due       |
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17|Process Act of 1990.                                                   |
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18|    G.  The State Board of Education may grant an exception to the     |
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19|requirements for all certification examinations for teacher            |
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20|candidates who are "deaf," which for the purposes of this section      |
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21|shall mean having a hearing loss so severe that the person cannot      |
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22|process auditory linguistic information with or without                |
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23|accommodation and whose primary language and teaching environment is   |
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24|American Sign Language.  The Board may grant an exception upon:        |
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 1|    1.  Verification by a licensed audiologist of a hearing loss so    |
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 2|severe that the teacher candidate cannot process auditory linguistic   |
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 3|information with or without accommodation;                             |
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 4|    2.  Demonstration of fluency in American Sign Language;            |
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 5|    3.  Demonstration of competency in the subject area of             |
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 6|specialization as approved by the Board in lieu of certification       |
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 7|examinations; and                                                      |
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 8|    4.  Sponsorship by a certified deaf education teacher for a        |
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 9|mentorship program.                                                    |
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10|    The Board may promulgate rules and other requirements as           |
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11|necessary to grant the exceptions described in this subsection.        |
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12|Applicable teaching environments may include American Sign Language    |
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13|immersion programs, the Oklahoma School for the Deaf, programs for     |
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14|the deaf or other classroom settings in which American Sign Language   |
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15|is the language of instruction.                                        |
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16|    SECTION 2.  This act shall become effective July 1, 2021.          |
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17|    SECTION 3.  It being immediately necessary for the preservation    |
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18|of the public peace, health or safety, an emergency is hereby          |
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19|declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and    |
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20|be in full force from and after its passage and approval.              |
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21|    Passed the Senate the 4th day of March, 2021.                      |
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  |                                    Presiding Officer of the Senate    |
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 1|    Passed the House of Representatives the ____ day of __________,    |
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 2|2021.                                                                  |
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  |                                     Presiding Officer of the House    |
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