HB 465: "An Act relating to employment of teachers and school administrators and to public school collective bargaining."

00HOUSE BILL NO. 465 01 "An Act relating to employment of teachers and school administrators and to 02 public school collective bargaining." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 14.20.145 is amended to read: 05  Sec. 14.20.145. AUTOMATIC REEMPLOYMENT. If notification of 06 nonretention is not given according to AS 14.20.140, and if the teacher is not laid 07 off under AS 14.20.177, a teacher is entitled to be reemployed in the same district for 08 the following school year on the contract terms the teacher and the employer may 09 agree upon, or, if no terms are agreed upon, the provisions of the previous contract are 10 continued for the following school year, subject to AS 14.20.158. Except as provided 11 in AS 14.20.177(e), the [THE] right to automatic reemployment under [BE 12 REEMPLOYED ACCORDING TO] this section expires if the teacher does not accept 13 reemployment within 30 days after the date on which the teacher receives a contract 14 of reemployment. A teacher who is on family leave under AS 23.10.500 - 23.10.550

01 must comply with the 30-day deadline in this section to retain the teacher's 02 reemployment rights under this section. 03 * Sec. 2. AS 14.20.147(b) is amended to read: 04  (b) When a school operated by a federal agency is transferred to or absorbed 05 into a new or existing school district, the teachers shall also be transferred if mutually 06 agreed by the teacher or teachers and the school board of the new or existing district. 07 A teacher transferred from a federal agency school that [, WHICH] does not have an 08 official salary schedule or teacher tenure in the same manner as a public school district 09 in the state [,] shall be placed on a position on the salary schedule of the absorbing 10 district; the salary may not be less than the teacher would have received in the federal 11 agency school. If the teacher taught three [TWO] or more years in the federal agency 12 school and, at the time of transfer, had a valid Alaska teaching certificate, that teacher 13 shall be placed on tenure in the absorbing district. 14 * Sec. 3. AS 14.20 is amended by adding a new section to read: 15  Sec. 14.20.149. TEACHER EVALUATION. (a) A school board shall adopt 16 by July 1, 1997, a teacher evaluation system for evaluation and improvement of the 17 performance of the district's teachers. The evaluation system does not apply to the 18 district's superintendent. The evaluation system must include 19  (1) evaluation criteria based on professional performance standards; 20  (2) an annual observation and evaluation of each teacher in the district; 21  (3) an opportunity for students, parents, community members, and 22 administrators to provide information on the performance of the teacher who is the 23 subject of the evaluation; and 24  (4) peer review of the teacher. 25  (b) A school board shall consider information from students, parents, 26 community members, classroom teachers, and administrators in the design and periodic 27 review of the district's teacher evaluation system. 28  (c) A person may not conduct an evaluation under this section until the person 29 has completed training in the use of the school district's teacher evaluation system. 30  (d) A school district shall provide a tenured teacher whose performance is 31 found after evaluation to be less than acceptable with a plan of improvement. The

01 plan of improvement must address ways in which the tenured teacher's performance 02 can be improved and shall last for no more than one year. If, at the conclusion of the 03 plan of improvement, the tenured teacher's performance is again evaluated to be less 04 than acceptable, the district may nonretain the teacher under AS 14.20.175(b)(1). 05  (e) A teacher whose performance is found to be incompetent is not entitled to 06 a plan of improvement under this section and shall be immediately dismissed under 07 AS 14.20.170(a). 08  (f) An administrator's individual contract with the school district must provide 09 that the administrator's failure to carry out duties concerning evaluations under this 10 section is grounds for dismissal. 11 * Sec. 4. AS 14.20.150 is amended to read: 12  Sec. 14.20.150. ACQUISITION OF TENURE RIGHTS. (a) A teacher 13 acquires tenure rights in a district when the teacher 14  (1) possesses a standard teaching certificate; and 15  (2) has been employed as a teacher in the same district continuously 16 for three [TWO] full school years and is reemployed for the school year immediately 17 following the three [TWO] full school years. 18  (b) The tenure rights acquired under (a) of this section become effective on the 19 first day the teacher performs teaching services in the district during the school year 20 immediately following the three [TWO] full school years. 21 * Sec. 5. AS 14.20.155(a) is amended to read: 22  (a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a [A] teacher who has 23 acquired tenure rights has the right to employment within the district during continuous 24 service. 25 * Sec. 6. AS 14.20.160 is amended to read: 26  Sec. 14.20.160. LOSS OF TENURE RIGHTS. Tenure rights are lost when the 27 teacher's employment in the district is interrupted or terminated. However, a teacher 28 on layoff status does not lose tenure rights during the period of layoff except as 29 provided under AS 14.20.177. 30 * Sec. 7. AS 14.20.175(b) is amended to read: 31  (b) A teacher who has acquired tenure rights is subject to nonretention for the

01 following school year only for the following causes: 02  (1) failure, after imposition of a plan of improvement, to receive an 03 evaluation of at least acceptable performance under the teacher evaluation system 04 under AS 14.20.149 [INCOMPETENCY, WHICH IS DEFINED AS THE INABILITY 05 OR THE UNINTENTIONAL OR INTENTIONAL FAILURE TO PERFORM THE 06 TEACHER'S CUSTOMARY TEACHING DUTIES IN A SATISFACTORY 07 MANNER]; 08  (2) immorality, which is defined as the commission of an act that, 09 under the laws of the state, constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude; or 10  (3) substantial noncompliance with the school laws of the state, the 11 regulations or bylaws of the department, the bylaws of the district, or the written rules 12 of the superintendent [; OR 13  (4) A NECESSARY REDUCTION OF STAFF OCCASIONED BY A 14 DECREASE IN SCHOOL ATTENDANCE]. 15 * Sec. 8. AS 14.20 is amended by adding a new section to read: 16  Sec. 14.20.177. REDUCTIONS IN FORCE. (a) A school district may 17 implement a layoff plan under this section if it is necessary for the district to reduce 18 the number of tenured teachers because 19  (1) school attendance in the district has decreased; 20  (2) the school board has determined that there will be a decrease of at 21 least two percent in per pupil revenue for the next school year over the per pupil 22 revenue available in the current school year; 23  (3) the school board has determined that the district revenue averaged 24 over the past five school years has failed to keep pace, for the same period, with 25 inflation or the cost of changes in the requirements imposed on the district by state and 26 federal law; or 27  (4) the school board has determined that the district is not able to meet 28 its financial obligations with available revenue. 29  (b) Before a school district lays off any tenured teacher, the school board shall 30 adopt a layoff plan. The plan must identify academic and other programs that the 31 district intends to maintain in implementing the layoff plan. The plan must also

01 include procedures for layoff and recall of tenured teachers consistent with this section. 02  (c) Except as provided in this subsection, a school district may place a tenured 03 teacher on layoff status only after the district has given notice of nonretention to all 04 nontenured teachers. However, a school district may retain a nontenured teacher and 05 place on layoff status a tenured teacher if there is no tenured teacher in the district 06 who is qualified to replace the nontenured teacher. 07  (d) For purposes of this section, a tenured teacher is considered qualified for 08 a position if the position is in 09  (1) grades K - 5 and the teacher has an elementary endorsement; or 10  (2) grades 6 - 12 and the teacher has an endorsement for each subject 11 area in which the teacher filling the position will spend at least 40 percent of the 12 teacher's time or the teacher can show evidence of acceptable teaching experience in 13 the subject. 14  (e) For a period of three years after layoff, a teacher is on layoff status and is 15 entitled to a hiring preference in the district where the teacher had been employed. 16 The hiring preference applies only to vacant teaching positions for which the teacher 17 is qualified. If a teacher is offered a teaching position under this subsection and the 18 teacher declines the offer or fails to accept it within 30 days, the teacher is no longer 19 considered to be on layoff status and is no longer entitled to a hiring preference under 20 this section unless the teacher declines the offer because the teacher is contractually 21 obligated to provide professional services to another private or public educational 22 program in this state. 23  (f) Notwithstanding any provision of AS 23.40, the terms of a collective 24 bargaining agreement entered into between a school district and a bargaining 25 organization representing teachers on or after the effective date of this section may not 26 be inconsistent with the provisions of this section. 27  (g) A teacher on layoff status is not entitled to be reemployed under 28 AS 14.20.145 and does not accrue leave. However, layoff status does not constitute 29 a break in service for retaining tenure rights and accrued sick leave. 30  (h) In this section, "school district" or "district" means a city or borough 31 school district or a regional educational attendance area.

01 * Sec. 9. AS 14.20.180 is repealed and reenacted to read: 02  Sec. 14.20.180. PROCEDURES UPON NOTICE OF DISMISSAL OR 03 NONRETENTION. (a) Before a teacher is dismissed, the employer shall give the 04 teacher written notice of the proposed dismissal and a pretermination hearing. A 05 pretermination hearing under this section must comport with the minimum 06 requirements of due process, including an explanation of the employer's evidence and 07 basis for the proposed dismissal and an opportunity for the teacher to respond. If, 08 following a pretermination hearing, an employer determines that dismissal is 09 appropriate, the provisions of (b) and (c) of this section apply. 10  (b) An employer shall provide written notice, including a statement of cause 11 and a complete bill of particulars, of a decision 12  (1) after a pretermination hearing under (a) of this section, to dismiss 13 a teacher; and 14  (2) to nonretain a tenured teacher; the notice of nonretention must 15 comply with AS 14.20.140(a). 16  (c) Within 15 days after receipt of a decision of dismissal or nonretention 17 under (b) of this section, a teacher may notify the employer in writing that the teacher 18 is requesting a hearing before the school board. Upon receipt of a request for a 19 hearing, the employer shall immediately schedule a hearing and notify the teacher in 20 writing of the date, time, and place of the hearing. The teacher may elect to have 21 either a public or a private hearing, and to have the hearing under oath or affirmation. 22 The parties have a right to be represented by counsel and to cross-examine witnesses. 23 The teacher has the right to subpoena a person who has made statements that are used 24 as a basis for the employer's decision to dismiss or nonretain. A written transcript, 25 tape, or similar recording of the proceedings shall be kept. A copy of the recording 26 shall be furnished to the teacher, for cost, upon request of the teacher. A decision of 27 the school board requires a majority vote of the membership, by roll call. The board's 28 decision shall be in writing and must contain specific findings of fact and conclusions 29 of law. A copy of the decision shall be furnished to the teacher within 10 days after 30 the date of the decision. If the school board sustains the dismissal or nonretention, the 31 teacher is entitled to mandatory advisory arbitration conducted by a neutral third party.

01 If, after arbitration, the decision of the school board remains unfavorable to the 02 teacher, the teacher may appeal the decision to the superior court, in accordance with 03 applicable rules of court, for a judicial review based on the record. 04 * Sec. 10. AS 23.40 is amended by adding a new section to read: 05  Sec. 23.40.235. PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN SCHOOL DISTRICT 06 NEGOTIATIONS. Before beginning bargaining, the school board of a city or borough 07 school district or a regional educational attendance area shall provide opportunities for 08 public comment on the issues to be addressed in the collective bargaining process. 09 Initial proposals, last-best-offer proposals, tentative agreements before ratification, and 10 final agreements reached by the parties are public documents and are subject to 11 inspection and copying under AS 09.25.110 - 09.25.140. 12 * Sec. 11. AS 14.20.205 is repealed. 13 * Sec. 12. APPLICABILITY TO INDIVIDUALS. The amendments to AS 14.20.147(b) 14 and 14.20.150, made by secs. 2 and 4 of this Act, apply only to an individual 15 (1) first hired as a teacher by a school district or regional educational 16 attendance area, including Mt. Edgecumbe High School, on or after the effective date of this 17 Act; and 18 (2) rehired as a teacher by a school district or regional educational attendance 19 area, including Mt. Edgecumbe High School, on or after the effective date of this Act and 20 following an interruption in continuous service that resulted in 21  (A) a loss of tenure rights under AS 14.20.160, as that section appeared 22 on the day before the effective date of this Act; or 23  (B) failure to acquire tenure rights under AS 14.20.150, as that section 24 appeared on the day before the effective date of this Act. 25 * Sec. 13. APPLICABILITY TO CONTRACTS. (a) Nothing in this Act affects a 26 collective bargaining agreement in effect on the effective date of this Act. 27 (b) AS 14.20.149(f), enacted by sec. 3 of this Act, does not apply to a contract 28 between an employer and a school administrator in effect on the effective date of this Act.