SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Reported by Senate Committee On:
Early Learning & K-12 Education, February 23, 2018
Ways & Means, February 26, 2018
Title: An act relating to expanding the current and future educator workforce supply through evidence-based strategies to improve and incentivize the recruitment and retention of highly effective educators, especially in high-need subject, grade-level, and geographic areas, and to establish a cohesive continuum of high quality professional learning from preparation programs to job embedded induction, mentoring, collaboration, and other professional development opportunities.
Brief Description: Expanding the current and future educator workforce supply through evidence-based strategies to improve and incentivize the recruitment and retention of highly effective educators, especially in high-need subject, grade-level, and geographic areas, and to establish a cohesive continuum of high quality professional learning from preparation programs to job embedded induction, mentoring, collaboration, and other professional development opportunities.
Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Santos, Tarleton, Fey, Doglio, Pollet and Ortiz-Self).
Brief History: Passed House: 2/09/18, 97-1.
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12 Education: 2/20/18, 2/23/18 [DPA-WM, w/oRec].
Ways & Means: 2/24/18, 2/26/18 [DPA(WM), DNP, w/oRec].
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION
Majority Report: Do pass as amended and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.
Signed by Senators Wellman, Chair; Rolfes, Vice Chair; Zeiger, Ranking Member; Billig, Hunt, Mullet, Pedersen and Rivers.
Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.
Signed by Senators Hawkins and Padden.
Staff: Benjamin Omdal (786-7442)
SENATE COMMITTEE ON WAYS & MEANS
Majority Report: Do pass as amended by Committee on Ways & Means.
Signed by Senators Rolfes, Chair; Frockt, Vice Chair; Billig, Carlyle, Conway, Darneille, Hasegawa, Hunt, Keiser, Mullet, Pedersen, Ranker, Rivers and Van De Wege.
Minority Report: Do not pass.
Signed by Senators Becker, Schoesler and Warnick.
Minority Report: That it be referred without recommendation.
Signed by Senators Braun, Ranking Member; Honeyford, Assistant Ranking Member; Bailey, Brown, Fain and Wagoner.
Staff: Sarian Scott (786-7729)
Background: Teacher Recruitment and the Recruiting Washington Teachers Program. In 2016, the Legislature took various steps to increase teacher recruitment activities and address aspects of teacher shortages. These actions included allowing certificate equivalency across state borders, creating a recruitment campaign for prospective and out-of-state teachers, and allowing institutions of higher education to waive tuition and fees for K-12 classified staff. Moreover, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) was tasked with streamlining aspects of application administration and to provide funding to educational service districts (ESDs) to create and implement regional teacher recruitment initiatives.
The Recruiting Washington Teachers Program (RWT) seeks to support potential future teachers as they complete high school, and apply to and attend college. The program is part of the PESB's Grow Your Own initiative, which seeks to provide intensive supports to recruiting, developing, placing, and retaining diverse educators. Initially starting as a pilot project, the RWT has developed curriculum and resources for use at its four grant-funded learning laboratories.
Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). The PESB is responsible for policy and oversight of educator preparation, certification and professional development in Washington. The 12-member board also approves educator preparation programs, including teacher-preparation programs at institutions of higher education. The PESB also oversees paraeducator certification, and administers alternative route teacher certification programs for individuals already working in the school system.
In addition, the PESB determines teacher shortage areas for the purposes of scholarship programs and tuition waivers. These are subject and geographic areas where there exists an inadequate number of elementary or secondary school teachers.
Conditional Scholarship, Loan Repayment, and Tuition Waiver Programs. Education conditional scholarships are loans given to individuals in educator preparation programs that are forgiven, in whole or in part, for qualifying service. Currently there are five conditional scholarship programs created in statute, administered by either the PESB or the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC):
the Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship;
the Alternative Route Conditional Scholarship;
the Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship;
the Pipeline for Paraeducators Conditional Scholarship; and
the Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant.
Generally, one year of a loan obligation is forgiven for each year that a recipient teaches in a designated shortage area in a Washington public school.
Furthermore, OSPI may enter into agreements with scholarship program participants to repay all or part of a federal student loan in exchange for teaching service.
Post-Retirement Options for Educators. State law allows individuals who have retired under the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) and the School Employees' Retirement System (SERS) to be employed for up to 867 hours per calendar year without the suspension of benefits. In order to do so, a retiree must have been enrolled in Plan 2 or Plan 3 of their system, retired under alternate early retirement provisions, must reenter employment more than one calendar month after their accrual date. Teachers must be exclusively employed as a substitute teacher and be compensated at a rate that is at least 85% of the full daily amount allocated for substitute teacher compensation. Current law only allows this option until August 1, 2020, and expires on July 1, 2021.
Teacher and Principal Evaluations. Classroom teachers and principals are currently evaluated using a four-level rating evaluation system, based on eight specified minimum criteria. These levels are unsatisfactory, basic, proficient, and distinguished. Performance ratings for each criteria are combined with an overall rating for the entire evaluation into the comprehensive summative evaluation performance rating.
All teachers and principals must be evaluated each year. Generally, a comprehensive evaluation is required every four years. In other years, the evaluation is focused on specific criteria.
Summary of Amended Bill: Recruitment of Teachers. ESDs may employ educator recruitment liaisons. This liaison may be tasked with outreach and coordination to schools and community on pathways to professions in education, including providing support to community members who may be interested in becoming educators and providing resources to local districts on best hiring practices.
The PESB must administer a regional educator recruitment program, which shall provide grants, subject to funds appropriated specifically for this purpose, to ESDs for the purposes of employing a regional recruiter and improving access to alternative route teacher certification programs. PESB must report to the Legislature on the recruitment activities of recipients of this grant, and make recommendations on the grant program.
RWT Program. Statutory provisions on the RWT program are also modified. Subject to funds appropriated for this purpose, the RWT program must focus on underrepresented groups, and is broadened to encourage exploration in careers in education rather than teaching in specific subject focus areas. The program may extend into the first two years of college, and must include instruction and support services related to post-high school success.
PESB shall transition the alternative route partnership grant program from a separate competitive grant program to a preparation program model. PESB shall create rules and establish policies. PESB shall report beginning December 1, 2017, and every even-numbered year, on outcomes and indicators. To the extent funds are appropriated for this purpose, alternative route programs may apply for program funds to pay stipends to trained mentor teachers of interns. The per intern stipend provided by General Fund State (GFS) shall not exceed $500.
Military Personnel and Their Spouses. PESB must examine and make recommendations on recruitment of military personnel and their spouses into educator positions. PESB must review the barriers that exist, including obtaining academic credit for prior learning and financial need. PESB must report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 1, 2018.
Educational Service District Alternative Route Pilot Program. PESB shall distribute grants to an ESD that volunteers to pilot an alternative route teacher certification program, as defined by state law. The grant must be sufficient to provide $8,000 of assistance to 30 candidates in the 2018-19 school year (SY), and 40 candidates in the 2019-20 SY. In terms of program structure, the ESD, in the program, must provide support and mentoring during the first three years of teaching, provide opportunities for classified staff to become teachers, and engage retired or practicing teachers and administrators to develop the curriculum. The ESD that volunteers to pilot the program must report to PESB on outcomes by November 1, 2023. PESB shall then report to the Legislature by December 1, 2023, with recommendations on the project.
Field Placement Plans. The responsibility of field placement plans is shifted from institutions of higher education to the individual teacher preparation programs, including alternative route teacher certification programs. These plans must consider high-need subject areas, as well as potential mentors for program participants, and must be compiled by each teacher-preparation program. PESB shall post the plans and updates on its website.
WSAC, in cooperation with PESB teacher preparation programs, the Washington State school directors' association, and the rural education center at Washington State University, must submit a report to the Legislature by December 1, 2018, with policy recommendations. These recommendations must include how to coordinate field placements and how to work with districts on field placements outside the area of the program.
Remote Supervision Technology. Subject to appropriation, Central Washington University shall acquire audiovisual technology and equipment for university faculty to remotely supervise student teachers in ten schools.
Financial Incentives and Scholarship Programs. Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose. The TEACH program, a pilot program meant to cover the costs of content and skills tests for initial teacher certification and endorsement, is made permanent. Grant awards awarded under this program remain scaled to the amount of funds appropriated for the program.
Teacher Endorsement and Certification HELP Program. Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the provisions of the Educator Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment programs are modified. These changes include requirements that the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) maximize conditional scholarships and loan repayments, with a maximum award set at $8,000 per year, subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose. The TEACH program becomes permanent.
In addition, requirements are modified for the Teacher Shortage, Paraeducators, and Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship Programs to, among other things:
broaden the pool of potential candidates;
address shortage areas; and
increase the length of scholarships.
The Teacher Shortage conditional scholarship program is subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this purpose. The Career and Technical Education Conditional Scholarship Program is created. This program provides scholarship funds for applicants accepted into a teacher preparation program and who are pursuing the necessary certificates and endorsements to teach career and technical education courses. Priorities for this program are for applicants in alternative route teacher certification programs and those teaching fields with high employer demand.
OSFA must submit a biennial report on the grant program, with data on where recipients are teaching two and five years after obtaining their certificates, and that includes recommendations on the grant program.
Forgiveness and repayment provisions are altered to forgive conditional scholarships when a candidate has served as a certificated employee for two full years for each year of scholarship received, or who have served as a certificated employee in a shortage area for one full year for each year of scholarship received. These ratios are also to be used for the repayment of federal loans.
OSFA, WSAC, and PESB must provide reports on various scholarship programs.
Beginning Educator Support. Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, OSPI shall allocate funds. Principals are added to the list of potential mentors and mentees in educator support programs. Mentor qualifications are also changed to those as defined by OSPI. Fund priorities are aligned to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, and length requirements are removed. Subject to the availability of amounts appropriated for this specific purpose, the beginning educator support team program may be provided for continuous improvement coaching to support educators on probation under RCW 28A.405.100.
Teacher and Principal Evaluations. Terminology in teaching evaluation standards is revised, including the removal of provisions on the creation of models for implementing the evaluation system. Teachers and principals must receive a comprehensive performance at least once every four years.
A steering committee is created composed of state associations representing teachers, principals, administrators, school board members and parents.
Other Retention Strategies. OSPI must adopt rules that establish a process for reviewing reprimand expungement, and must report on expungement data held by OSPI and PESB.
Post-Retirement Options for Educators. In addition to returning to work as a substitute teacher, a retired teacher, who retired under an early retirement option, may be employed as an athletic coach, as a mentor to teachers, as an adviser to students in teacher preparation programs, or as a counselor for up to 867 hours per school year without suspension of pension benefits.
The Professional Educator Collaborative. The Professional Educator Collaborative is created to make recommendations on how to improve state policies and programs. The Collaborative must review:
educator certificate types, renewal requirements, and reciprocity;
professional development and leadership; and
The Collaborative must include Legislators, members of PESB, OSPI, Washington State School Director's Association, Washington Education Association, Washington Association of School Administrators, the Association of Washington School Principals, and the Association of Washington School Counselors.
The Collaborative must be established within 60 days from the date of signing, with a report required by November 1, 2019.
EFFECT OF WAYS & MEANS COMMITTEE AMENDMENT(S):
Adds subject to appropriation language to sections 103, 104, 205, 206, 212 and 302. Adds an expiration date of July 1, 2021, to section 206.
Removes the workgroup, and requires PESB to submit the report to the Legislature.
Removes the provision allowing a six year time period for comprehensive evaluations for teachers or principals who receive a comprehensive performance rating of level three or higher in the previous comprehensive evaluation period.
Limits the expansion of the post-retirement employment options for teachers that took early retirement to return to work as athletic coaches, mentors to teachers, advisers to students, and counselors. Removes the post-retirement employment option provision related to certain retirees of the School Employees' Retirement System. Removes the elimination of the expiration date of August 1, 2020.
Requires the PESB and OSPI to jointly submit a report to the Legislature on December 1, 2019, that will include recommendations on the standards and process for reprimands. Recommendations must include whether to create a two-tier or multi-tier reprimand system. Removes the limitation of a five-year look back for the expungement period.
Includes apprenticeships into the components of education preparation that must be reviewed by the professional educator collaborative.
EFFECT OF EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION COMMITTEE AMENDMENT(S): Scholarships and Grants. Applicants to the Pipeline for Paraeducators Conditional Scholarship must be enrolled in a PESB-approved teacher preparation program, rather than an alternative route teacher certification program. In addition, the Student Achievement Council must collaborate with PESB in scholarship recipient selection. The administration of various scholarships is separated between PESB and OSPI. The Student Achievement Council, PESB, and OSPI must coordinate and make recommendations on scholarship programs.
Student Teaching Programs. Central Washington University is directed to acquire the technology and equipment necessary to remotely supervise student teachers in ten rural schools, subject to appropriation.
Alternative Route Pilot Program. PESB is directed to administer the Educational Service district Alternative Route Pilot Program, rather than OSPI.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: Yes.
Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Engrossed Fourth Substitute House Bill (Early Learning & K-12 Education): The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: Giving greater financial support will help attract students into teacher-preparation programs. Bolstering the Recruiting Washington Teachers program will help pull in more quality applicants. Field placement strategies will assist student teachers and the schools they teach in. ESD alternative route programs have been successful in recruiting teachers and should be expanded. Having a retire-rehire provision will promote educators to fill needs. The financial aid programs are well-structured and will attract quality applicants. Maintaining teachers and principals leads to higher-quality schools.
OTHER: Language should be expanded to include more programs for part-time students. Further funding could be used to help provide access to student teachers for rural communities. Further edits could be made to match with existing timelines for teacher certification.
Persons Testifying (Early Learning & K-12 Education): PRO: Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos, Prime Sponsor; Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association; Bob Cooper, Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; Becca Kenna-Schenk, Western Washington University; Steve DuPont, Central Washington University; Nathan Fitzgerald, Eastern Washington University; Michael Nerland, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Education School District 112; Jessica Vavrus, Washington State School Directors' Association; Becky Thompson, Washington Student Achievement Council; Roz Thompson, Association of Washington School Principals. OTHER: Benard Koontz, Highline School District; F. Maribel Vilchez, Professional Educator Standards Board.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Early Learning & K-12 Education): No one.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Bill as Amended by Early Learning & K-12 Education (Ways & Means): The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: These scholarships will defray costs for people becoming teachers. This will help fill the more than 1800 teacher vacancies. Loan forgiveness programs are critical for recruiting teachers. This will allow all K-12 employees to substitute after they retire. Professionals that have earned a BA in a different area must go to their ESD and get a certification to teach. Every year 4000 teachers retire and 3000 are in the pipeline to replace them. The teacher shortage is real and this bill address that.
Persons Testifying (Ways & Means): PRO: Bob Cooper, Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association; Marie Sullivan, Washington State PTA; Jessica Vavrus, Washington State School Directors' Association; Steve DuPont, Central Washington University; Melissa Gomboskhy, Association of Educational Service Districts and ESD 112; Dave Mastin, OSPI.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Ways & Means): No one.