HOUSE BILL REPORT
As Reported By House Committee on:
Title: An act relating to the local master's degree teacher training program.
Brief Description: Establishing the local master's degree teacher training program.
Sponsor(s): Representatives Jacobsen, Wood, Fraser, Miller, Prince, Brumsickle, Ludwig, Ogden, Winsley, Wynne, Wineberry, Pruitt, Bray and Basich.
Reported by House Committee on:
Education, February 20, 1991, DPS;
Appropriations, March 10, 1991, DPS(ED)-A.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON
Majority Report: That Substitute House Bill No. 1293 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 15 members: Representatives Peery, Chair; G. Fisher, Vice Chair; Vance, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Betrozoff; Broback; Dorn; P. Johnson; Jones; Neher; Orr; Phillips; Rasmussen; Roland; H. Sommers; and Valle.
Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 1 member: Representative Brough, Ranking Minority Member.
Staff: Susan Kirkpatrick (786-7291).
Background: In 1987, the Legislature passed legislation requiring all teachers performing instructional duties and acquiring professional level certificate status after August 31, 1992, to possess, as a requirement of professional status, a masters degree in teaching or a masters degree in the arts, sciences, and/or humanities.
There is some concern that there is not a sufficient number of master's degree programs available to meet the needs of teachers required to obtain a master's degree. There is also concern that it may be difficult for teachers in isolated areas removed from institutions of higher education to obtain their master's degree.
Summary of Substitute Bill: The Higher Education Coordinating (HEC) Board is required to establish a pilot program for the development of master's degree teacher training programs to be offered in local school districts. The goals of the program are to test the feasibility of offering master's degrees in the local school district, to build a research base necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of such programs, and to develop collaborative relationships between four-year institutions and local school districts on innovative models for teacher education.
The HEC Board can award up to five grants to local school districts or institutions of higher education. Special consideration must be given to proposals that involve cooperatives formed by two or more school districts where teachers could be considered placebound. The pilot projects must be submitted to the HEC Board by August 1992 and the HEC Board must make its decision regarding the grants by December 30, 1992.
The pilot project proposals are to be developed by local advisory boards. The local advisory boards include representation from higher education institutions, local school districts, and classroom teachers, with at least 50 percent of the membership being teachers. Higher education participation is limited to institutions whose main campuses are located in Washington.
A review committee is established to make grant recommendations to the HEC Board. The composition of the review committee consists of two participants from higher education institutions, two representatives of the Superintendent of Public Instruction's Office (SPI), two representatives of the State Board of Education, and one representative designated by the HEC Board.
In granting the pilot project awards, the HEC Board must ensure that the proposed degrees provide graduate level education comparable in quality to that available at existing campus-based graduate programs.
The HEC Board is required to submit an initial report on the program to the Legislature by January 31, 1993.
Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill: Grants can be given to institutions of higher education, as well as local school districts. The requirement that a minimum of two grants be awarded for proposals involving cooperatives formed by two or more school districts and that at least one of the cooperatives be a rural school district is replaced by the requirement that special consideration be given to proposals that involve cooperatives where teachers could be considered placebound. The appropriation is removed.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date of Substitute Bill: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Testimony For: The purpose of the bill is to promote collaboration between school districts and institutions of higher education to establish site-based master degree programs to meet the specialized needs of the local school districts. According to a HEC Board study, there are over 8,000 teachers wanting to get into master's degree programs. The bill is not intended to solve the supply problem, but could work toward models that would alleviate some of the top concerns identified in the HEC Board study, including the cost of tuition and fees, scheduling problems, distance, usefulness, and time. In order to establish innovative university programs, the local school districts must first make a commitment to support their teachers in opening up their classrooms. A very important component of the bill in awarding grants is the degree of local district(s) commitment. The bill must be funded so that adequate planning and research may be accomplished.
Testimony Against: None.
Witnesses: Bob Pickles, Washington Education Association (favors bill); and Marilyn Baker, Higher Education Coordinating Board (favors bill but suggested that the HEC Board be allowed to make grants to institutions of higher education in addition to local school districts, that the minimum requirements regarding involvement of rural cooperatives be expanded from one to two, that the review committee include an equitable mix of representatives of higher education and the common schools, that the appropriation be made to the HEC Board, instead of SPI, and that a null and void provision be included). Note: The substitute bill addressed some of the suggestions made by the witnesses.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON
Majority Report: The substitute bill by Committee on Education be substituted therefor and the substitute bill as amended by Committee on Appropriations do pass. Signed by 28 members: Representatives Locke, Chair; Inslee, Vice Chair; Spanel, Vice Chair; Silver, Ranking Minority Member; Morton, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Appelwick; Belcher; Bowman; Braddock; Brekke; Dorn; Ebersole; Ferguson; Fuhrman; Hine; Lisk; May; McLean; Mielke; Nealey; Peery; Pruitt; Rust; H. Sommers; Valle; Vance; Wang; and Wineberry.
Staff: Jack Daray (786-7148).
Summary of Recommendation of Committee on Appropriations Compared to Recommendation of Committee on Education: The bill is null and void unless funded in the budget.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date of Substitute Bill as Amended: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Testimony For: None.
Testimony Against: None.