HOUSE 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 Passed Legislature
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.
Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Santos, Dolan, Callan, Pollet, Reeves and Bergquist).
Education: 1/24/19, 2/7/19 [DPS];
Appropriations: 2/25/19, 2/28/19 [DP2S(w/o sub ED)].
Passed House: 3/8/19, 93-2.
Passed Senate: 4/15/19, 26-22.
Passed House: 4/25/19, 98-0.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
Majority Report: The substitute bill be substituted therefor and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 18 members: Representatives Santos, Chair; Dolan, Vice Chair; Paul, Vice Chair; Steele, Ranking Minority Member; McCaslin, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Volz, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bergquist, Caldier, Callan, Corry, Harris, Kilduff, Ortiz-Self, Rude, Stonier, Thai, Valdez and Ybarra.
Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 1 member: Representative Kraft.
Staff: Megan Wargacki (786-7194).
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
Majority Report: The second substitute bill be substituted therefor and the second substitute bill do pass and do not pass the substitute bill by Committee on Education. Signed by 23 members: Representatives Ormsby, Chair; Bergquist, 2nd Vice Chair; Robinson, 1st Vice Chair; Caldier, Cody, Dolan, Fitzgibbon, Hansen, Hoff, Hudgins, Jinkins, Macri, Pettigrew, Pollet, Ryu, Senn, Springer, Stanford, Steele, Sullivan, Tarleton, Tharinger and Ybarra.
Minority Report: Do not pass. Signed by 9 members: Representatives Stokesbary, Ranking Minority Member; MacEwen, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Rude, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Chandler, Dye, Kraft, Mosbrucker, Schmick and Sutherland.
Staff: Jordan Clarke (786-7123).
Teacher Recruitment Activities.
In 2016 the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), in partnership with educational service districts (ESDs) and school districts, was directed to develop and implement a comprehensive, statewide initiative to increase the number of qualified individuals who apply for teaching positions in Washington. Specifically, the OSPI was directed to implement a recruitment campaign and website, and to develop a web-based depository of teacher jobs and applications. As part of its initiative, the OSPI also provided funding to Central Washington ESDs to create and implement short- and long-term regional teacher recruitment initiatives.
Educator Preparation Programs.
The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) is a 12-member board that adopts rules and creates policies for the preparation and certification of educators. The PESB approves entities, including community colleges, universities, ESDs, and community-based organizations, to offer educator preparation programs. There are educator preparation programs for teachers, principals and other administrators, and educational staff associates.
Approved educator preparation programs may add an alternative route teacher certification program (Alternative Route Program), which is a nontraditional program that operates as a partnership between a teacher preparation program and one or more school districts.
Educator Shortage Areas.
The PESB designates official shortage areas based on periodic analysis of educator supply and demand in Washington. An endorsement is the subject area in which a certified educator is authorized to teach, along with designated grade levels for that area. Endorsement shortage areas include special education, mathematics, and science. There are also subject area shortages specific to regions; these are identified as geographic shortage areas.
Recruiting Washington Teachers Program.
The Recruiting Washington Teachers (RWT) Program was established in 2007 to recruit and provide training and support for high school students to enter the teaching profession, especially in shortage areas. The program, administered by the PESB, consists of specified components, for example: targeted recruitment of diverse high school students; a curriculum that provides classroom observations and preteaching internships; certain academic and community support services; and future teacher camps held on college campuses.
Subject to funding by the Legislature, the PESB must allocate grants to partnerships of high schools, teacher preparation programs, and community-based organizations for the design and delivery of RWT Programs.
Bilingual Educators Initiative.
The Bilingual Educator Initiative was established in 2017 as a long-term program to recruit, prepare, and mentor bilingual high school students to become future bilingual teachers and counselors. The program, administered by the PESB, consists of specified components, for example: outreach to middle school students; activities for grades 9 and 10 that build student agency, develop academic mind-sets, and show the value and benefits of teaching and counseling; credit-bearing curricula in grades 11 and 12 that include mentoring, the practice of dual language instruction, and leadership; and postsecondary services such as advising, tutoring, and financial assistance. After obtaining a high school diploma, students qualify to receive conditional loans to cover the full cost of college tuition, fees, and books. In order to avoid loan repayment, students must: earn their baccalaureate degree and certification needed to serve as a teacher or professional guidance counselor; and teach or serve as a counselor in their educational service district region for at least five years.
Streamlining Licensure for Military Personnel.
In 2017 the PESB was directed to report to the Legislature with an assessment on how its certification programs apply training and experience acquired by military personnel and their spouses outside of Washington. In its report, the PESB described how the OSPI expedites educator certification applications for these individuals. In addition, the PESB described the provisions of a 2016 pledge signed by Governor Inslee, and Washington's current policy implementing the provisions, such as licensure reciprocity, temporary permits, and content and other assessment grade periods. One provision that Washington has not given consideration to is waiving or reducing certification fees below the $74 fee required for entry-level certification.
Field Placement of Student Teachers.
Biennially, beginning July 1, 2018, each institution of higher education with an Alternative Route Program must collaborate with local school districts to develop a plan describing how the institution will partner with the local districts regarding field placement of resident teachers.
In 2016 the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) was authorized to administer a Student Teaching Residency Grant Program to provide additional funds to low-income individuals completing residencies at Title I public schools in Washington. The Legislature funded this program for only one year.
Teacher Endorsement and Certification Help Pilot Project.
In 2016 the Teacher Endorsement and Certification Help Pilot Project was enacted to provide grants to low-income persons taking basic skills and content tests for teacher certification in shortage areas. Beginning September 1, 2016, the WSAC was directed to begin awarding grants, but no funding was provided. Authorization for the project expires June 30, 2021.
Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs for Educators.
A conditional scholarship (CS) is a loan that is forgiven, in whole or in part, in exchange for qualified service. There are five statutory CS Programs for educators: Future Teachers CS, Alternative Route CS, Educator Retooling CS, Pipeline for Paraeducators CS, and Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant. There is also a loan repayment program to repay, in whole or in part, the federal student loans of teachers who perform qualified service.
The PESB selects the participants for some programs, while the WSAC selects the participants for other programs. In general, for the CS Programs, one year of loan obligation is forgiven for every year a loan recipient teaches in a designated shortage area in a Washington kindergarten through grade 12 public school.
Tuition waivers provided by public institutions of higher education fall into one of three categories: state-supported, discretionary, and space available. When space is available in a course, public institutions may waive all or a portion of the tuition and services and activities fees for certain state and public school employees. To be eligible, teachers and other certificated instructional staff employed at public common and vocational schools must hold or seek a valid endorsement and assignment in a state-identified shortage area. Classified staff employed at public schools may only enroll in coursework relevant to their work assignment.
Beginning Educator Support Team Program.
The Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) Program provides professional development and mentor support for beginning teachers, candidates in alternative route teacher certification programs, and teachers on probation. The BEST Program must include specified components, for example: mentorship, professional development, and a program evaluation that measures increased knowledge, skills, and positive impact on student learning for program participants.
Grant funding for the BEST Program is administered by the OSPI and is subject to state funding. The grant funds are provided on a competitive basis to individual school districts or consortia of districts. In allocating funds, the OSPI must give priority to districts with challenged schools in need of improvement and districts with a large influx of beginning classroom teachers.
Principal Internship Support Program.
The Principal Internship Support Program supports partial release time of up to 45 days for school district employees who are in a principal preparation program to complete an internship with a mentor principal. Interested employees must apply to their school district for participation in the program. School district must identify a mentor principal for each applicant and agree to provide release time for selected applicants. Each ESD, with an advisory board, selects participants for the program from the list of applicant names submitted by its local school districts. If an ESD does not have enough qualified applicants to use all of its share of the program funds, the funds revert to the OSPI for redistribution to other ESDs that have unfunded qualified applicants.
Evaluation of Teachers and Principals.
Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, most classroom teachers and principals are evaluated using a "revised" four-level rating evaluation system with eight specified minimum criteria. The four levels are unsatisfactory, basic, proficient, and distinguished. Teachers and principals receive a performance rating for each criteria and an overall rating for the entire evaluation, called the comprehensive summative evaluation performance rating.
All classroom teachers and principals must be evaluated each year. Except in certain cases, every four years the evaluation must be comprehensive and use all eight criteria. In the intervening years, evaluations are focused, zeroing in on a specific evaluation criterion for professional development. Classroom teachers and principals may apply focused performance evaluation professional growth activities toward the professional growth plan for professional certificate renewal. Training on the evaluation systems is a requirement for renewal of continuing or professional level teacher and principal certificates.
A steering committee composed of teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, and parents examined implementation issues and refined tools used for the evaluation system through the 2015-16 implementation phase.
In 2017 the OSPI was required to report on school district use of evaluation results for classroom teachers and principals as one of multiple factors in making human resource and personnel decisions.
Postretirement Employment Options.
State law does not prohibit persons who retire from Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) and the School Employees' Retirement System (SERS) in Plans 2 or 3 from returning to work, but it does limit when a retiree may work and continue receiving pension payments. In general, payments are suspended when a TRS or SERS retiree works more than 867 hours per year in a position included in the TRS, the SERS, or another state retirement plan. However, payments are suspended immediately if a TRS Plan 2 or 3 retiree who retired using the 2008 Early Retirement Factors (ERF) returns to work in any kind of position with a state retirement plan prior to age 65. Under the 2008 ERF, the TRS and the SERS Plan 2 and 3 members with 30 years of service may retire at age 62 with no reduction of benefits and at age 60 with a 5 percent reduction.
Reprimand of a Certificated Employee.
If a certificated employee violates the code of professional conduct, the school or district administration must report the violation to the state for investigation. The code of professional conduct outlines the policies and procedures related to reprimand, suspension, and revocation actions for lack of good moral character or personal fitness, violation of written contract, unprofessional conduct, intemperance, or crime against the law of the state.
Summary of Engrossed Second Substitute Bill:
Regional Recruiters Pilot Program.
An educational service district (ESD) may employ a regional recruiter to, for example: serve as a liaison between local school districts, educator preparation programs, and agencies that may be helpful in educator recruitment efforts; provide outreach and support to community members who may be interested in becoming educators; and provide resources and technical assistance to local districts on best hiring processes and practices.
Subject to state funding, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) must provide grants of up to $100,000 to the three ESDs whose school districts have the least access to alternative route teacher certification programs (Alternative Route Programs). Beginning September 1, 2019, the ESDs receiving grants must employ a regional recruiter for two years. By December 1, 2021, the OSPI, in collaboration with the Washington Association of ESDs, must report to the Legislature with a summary of the recruitment activities of the ESD grant recipients in comparison to other ESDs, including relevant outcome data, and recommend whether the grant program should be modified, expanded to all ESDs, or discontinued.
Recruiting Washington Teachers Program.
The Recruiting Washington Teachers (RWT) Program is broadened to encourage high school students to enter the field of education, rather than teaching in specific subjects. In addition to current components, the program must include instruction and support services related to post high-school success, for example: college success and workforce skills, financial education opportunities, and acclimating to a college campus. When determining grant recipients, the PESB must prioritize partnerships that have a Running Start Program. The Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) must conduct a periodic evaluation of the effectiveness of programs for recruiting educators and use the findings to revise the RWT Program.
Bilingual Educators Initiative.
The PESB must use the evaluations of effectiveness of current strategies and programs for recruiting educators, especially multilingual, multicultural educators, performed for the RWT Program, to revise the Bilingual Educator Initiative as necessary.
Subject Matter Experts in Alternative Route Programs.
The PESB's rules for an Alternative Route Program must prioritize program designs tailored to the needs of candidates with occupational industry experience relevant to the subject area they intend to teach.
Recruiting Military Personnel Work Group.
By December 1, 2019, the PESB must report to the Legislature with recommendations from a work group convened to examine issues around recruitment of military personnel and their spouses into educator positions, such as barriers to obtaining academic credit for prior learning and financial need. The work group must include representatives from the OSPI, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and Military Department, United States Department of Defense, educator preparation programs, educator associations, and a superintendent from a district near a military installation.
Educational Service District Alternative Route Teacher Certification Pilot Program.
Subject to state funding, the PESB must distribute grants to an ESD that volunteers to pilot an Alternative Route Program for the purpose of providing financial assistance to teacher candidates enrolled in the program with the intent to pursue an initial teacher certificate. The PESB must provide a grant sufficient to provide $5,000 of financial assistance to 20 teacher candidates in the 2019-20 school year and to 30 teacher candidates in the 2020-21 school year.
In piloting the program, the ESD must perform specified activities, for example: use experts to develop the program, provide support through the first three years of a teacher's career using the Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) Program, and help school staff and community members become teachers.
By November 1, 2024, the volunteer ESD must report to the PESB with the outcomes of the pilot and any recommendations for implementing Alternative Route Programs in other ESDs. The report must include specific data and feedback, for example: the number of teacher candidates applying for and completing the program, and feedback from local teachers. By December 1, 2024, the PESB must submit the ESD's report to the Legislature with recommendations for whether the pilot program should be expanded, modified, or terminated.
Part II–Financial Incentives, Assistance, and Supports.
Field Placement of Student Teachers.
All teacher preparation programs, not just Alternative Route Programs, must develop field placement plans for student teachers. Certain goals related to targeting high-need subject and geographic areas, and using highly effective mentors must be considered during plan development. The plans must be submitted to the PESB and posted on its website. By December 1, 2019, the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), in cooperation with stakeholders, must report to the Legislature with policy recommendations to encourage or require teacher preparation programs to develop relationships with, and provide supervisory support for, field placements of student teachers in nonlocal school districts.
Eligibility for the Student Teaching Residency Grants is narrowed to student teachers at Title I public common schools, rather than all Title I public schools. Beginning December 1, 2020, the WSAC must report biennially to the Legislature with the specified application and outcome data, and recommendations for modifying the grant program. The state Education Research and Data Center must collaborate with the WSAC to provide any data needed for the report.
Principal Internship Support Program.
The ESD role in Principal Internship Program applicant selection and funds distribution is eliminated. The requirement that school districts identify a mentor principal for each applicant and agree to provide release time for the applicant is removed.
Remote Supervision Technology.
Subject to state funding, Central Washington University (CWU) must acquire the necessary audiovisual technology and equipment for university faculty to remotely supervise student teachers in 10 schools. Selected schools must be rural, public schools that are unable to have student teachers from CWU's teacher preparation program due to geographic location.
Teacher Endorsement and Certification Help Program.
The Teacher Endorsement and Certification Help Program Pilot Project is converted to a permanent program, with implementation and reporting dates extended. Rather than requiring a preliminary and final report, program data must be reported to the Legislature biennially, beginning December 1, 2020.
Educator Conditional Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs.
The chapter of the Higher Education Code entitled the Future Teachers Conditional Scholarship (CS) and Loan Repayment Program is modified and restructured to apply to all educators, and renamed the Educators CS and Loan Repayment Program. The WSAC is the administrator of the programs.
Alternative Route and Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship Programs. These programs are moved from the Alternative Routes chapter of the school code to this chapter. Qualifications for the Alternative Route CS Program remain the same. The Educator Retooling CS Program is made available to persons who hold a current Washington teacher certificate or an expired Washington teacher certificate issued after 2005, rather than persons with current teacher certificates in specific areas. Participants are eligible for this CS for up to two academic years, rather than being required to obtain an endorsement in two years or less.
Pipeline for Paraeducators. The Pipeline for Paraeducators CS Program is made available to paraeducators without a college degree: who have one, rather than three, years of successful student interaction and leadership or who have completed two years of an RWT Program; and who have an intention to enroll in any PESB-approved teacher preparation program (not just an Alternative Route Program). Paraeducators have up to four academic years, rather than two years or less, to complete an associate of arts degree at a community and technical college. The WSAC must prioritize applicants in the following order: first to applicants recruited and supported by their school districts to become teachers; second, to applicants who completed two years of a RWT Program; and third to applicants intending to complete an associate of arts degree in two academic years or less.
Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant Program. This program is renamed the Teacher Shortage CS Program. To qualify for the program an applicant must be accepted into, and maintain enrollment in, a teacher preparation program leading to an initial teacher certificate and intend to pursue an initial teacher certificate with an endorsement in a shortage area.
The term "shortage area" means an endorsement or geographic area as defined by the PESB, in consultation with the OSPI, with a shortage of certificated employees. The shortage areas must be defined biennially using quantitative and qualitative measures.
Participants are eligible to receive this CS for up to four academic years. Statutory direction to the WSAC to consider specific elements when developing the framework for the program is removed.
Career and Technical Education Conditional Scholarship Program. A program is created to encourage persons to become Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers by providing financial aid for obtaining the necessary certificates and endorsements. To qualify for the program, an applicant must be accepted into, and maintain enrollment in, a teacher preparation program and be pursuing the necessary certificates and endorsements to teach CTE courses. The WSAC must give priority to applicants who: possess a professional license and occupational industry experience applicable to the CTE endorsement being pursued; or are accepted into an Alternative Route Program. Participants are eligible to receive a CTE CS for up to two academic years.
Federal Student Loan Repayment. This program limited to certificated teachers who: (1) hold an endorsement in the content area in which they are assigned to teach; and (2) serve in a shortage area in a common school. In addition, it is specified that the WSAC may not reimburse participants for loan repayments made before the participant became part of the program.
Participant Selection. The WSAC, in consultation with the PESB, must determine candidate eligibility requirements for educator CS and loan repayment programs. Candidate eligibility must be based in part upon whether the candidate plans to teach in a shortage area.
The PESB must also consider the relative degree of shortages when determining candidate eligibility and any specific requirements for the programs. The PESB may add or remove endorsements from eligibility requirements based upon the determination of geographic, demographic, or subject matter shortages. If an endorsement in a geographic, demographic, or subject matter shortage no longer qualifies for a CS or loan repayment program, participants and candidates who have received scholarships and meet all other eligibility requirements are eligible to continue to receive CSs or loan repayments until they no longer meet eligibility requirements or until their service obligation has been completed.
For eligibility for Alternative Route CSs, the WSAC in consultation with the PESB, must consider candidates who have been accepted into an awarded Alternative Route Partnership Grant Program and who have declared an intention to teach upon completion of an Alternative Route Teacher Certification Program.
Awards. The WSAC is required to maximize the impact of the CS and loan repayments awarded in light of shortage areas, and in response to the trending financial needs of the applicant pool. The maximum award is $8,000 per academic year for each program, though, beginning in the 2020-21 academic year, the WSAC may adjust the maximum award by the average rate of resident undergraduate tuition and fee increases at the state universities.
The WSAC may adjust the number, and amounts, of the CS and loan repayments made each year. In addition, the award of a CS may not result in reduction of a participant's federal or other state financial aid. Uses of a CS award include the cost of attendance as determined by the WSAC, for example, tuition, room, board, and books.
A CS awarded under this chapter is forgiven when the participant fulfills the terms of his or her service obligation. The WSAC must develop the service obligation terms for each CS program, including that participants must either:
serve as a certificated employee in a common school for two full-time school years for each year of CS received; or
serve as a certificated employee in a shortage area in a common school for one full-time school year for each year of CS received.
Repayment. Participants who do not fulfill their service obligation incur an obligation to repay the CS award, with interest and other fees. The WSAC must develop repayment terms for each CS Program, including interest rate, other fees, minimum payment, and maximum repayment period.
The WSAC must establish a process for forgiveness, deferment, or forbearance for participants who fail to complete their service obligation due to circumstances beyond their control.
Report. Beginning November 1, 2020, and by November 1 each even year thereafter, the WSAC must submit a report to the Legislature recommending whether the Educator CS and Loan Repayment Programs should be continued, modified, or terminated. The report must include information about the number of applicants for, and participants in, each program, and should be disaggregated. The report must include information about participant deferments and repayment, and moneys received by and disbursed from the associated account.
Other. It is specified that nothing in these provisions modifies or otherwise affects related CS or loan repayment agreements in existence before the new provisions go into effect. Technical changes are made, for example: removing or repealing redundant provisions, and changing terms for consistency.
Space Available Tuition Waivers.
The space available tuition waivers are made available to: (1) all teachers and other certificated instructional staff at public common and vocational schools, rather than only those holding or seeking a valid endorsement and assignment in a shortage area; and (2) classified staff employed at public common schools, rather than kindergarten through grade 12 public schools, when used for coursework that is part of a teacher preparation program, in addition to coursework relevant to the work assignment.
Institutions of higher education must report annually to the WSAC with data on these waivers compared to other tuition and fee waivers awarded by the institutions.
Teacher Preparation Program Enrollments in High-need Subjects and Locations.
Through the operating budget, the Legislature intends to prioritize the expansion of teacher preparation program enrollments in high-need subjects and high-need locations, taking into consideration the community and technical colleges' capacity to contribute to teacher preparation.
Part III–Retention Strategies.
Beginning Educator Support Team Program.
The BEST Program is expanded to beginning principals and beginning educational staff associates. Changes are made to mentor eligibility requirements, for example, a mentor must be selected using mentor standards developed by the OSPI and must be participating in ongoing mentor skills professional development.
State-tribal compact schools are made eligible for BEST Program grants. When allocating funds for the BEST Program, the OSPI must also prioritize school districts that demonstrate an understanding of the research-based standards for beginning educator induction developed by the OSPI. The description of another set of priority schools and districts is modified to use terminology that is consistent with federal law.
Additional components are added to the BEST Program, for example: an appropriate assignment, written feedback, support in understanding and participating in the evaluation processes, and adherence to research-based standards. The required program evaluation is no longer required to be done using a standard tool, instead it must identify program strengths and gaps using the induction standards, retention of beginning educators, and positive impact on student growth.
Evaluation of Teachers and Principals.
Except for those who require it annually, the required comprehensive performance evaluation frequency for classroom teachers and principals is reduced, from every four years, to every six years. Classroom teachers and principals may apply focused performance evaluation professional growth activities toward a professional growth plan for any level of teacher or principal certificate renewal, not just for professional certificate renewal. Training on the evaluation system is no longer required as a condition for renewal of a continuing or professional certificate.
The steering committee must include professional learning that addresses issues of equity though the lens of the selected instrumental and leadership frameworks when examining implementation and refining tools. The steering committee's work is extended indefinitely.
The OSPI must report on school district use of evaluation results for classroom teachers and principals as one of multiple factors in making human resource and personnel decisions by December 1, 2019, and December 1, 2020.
Nonsubstantive and technical changes are made, for example: the term "revised evaluation system" is replaced with the term "four-level rating evaluation system;" and language related to the "revised" evaluation implementation schedule, pilots, and related reports is removed.
By October 31, 2019, the PESB must report to the Legislature on the results of the three microcredential pilot grant programs the PESB conducted during the 2018-19 academic year. The report must also include recommendations for continuing, modifying, or expanding the use of microcredentials.
The PESB is prohibited from expanding the use of microcredentials beyond the microcredential pilot grant programs unless and until the Legislature directs the board to do so.
Postretirement Employment Options.
Educators that are members of Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) Plans 2 or 3 that retired under the 2008 Early Retirement Factors are permitted to return to work before age 65 in any nonadministrative position, not just in substitute teaching and instructional positions, and work for up to 867 hours per year without suspension of pension benefits. The ending date on the current provisions of August 1, 2020, as well as the separate section expiring the section of law, are removed, making the section effective indefinitely. A provision similar to the TRS provision is created for School Employees' Retirement System, which is for classified school employees.
Requires that the OSPI and the PESB jointly report to the Legislature by December 1, 2020, regarding the effect that discipline issued against professional educator certificates has on recruitment and retention of educators. The report must include: a comparison of the laws governing educator certificate discipline to the uniform disciplinary act; recommendations regarding alternative forms of discipline that may be imposed on certificates of professional educators, including probation, the payment of a fine, and corrective action; recommendations regarding the improvement of the administration of professional educator certificate discipline in Washington; and a recommendation regarding whether the PESB should be authorized to establish a process for review and expungement of reprimands issued against educator certifications.
School district employment applications may not include a question asking whether the applicant has ever been placed on administrative leave.
Part IV–Strengthening and Supporting Professional Pathways for Educators.
The Professional Educator Collaborative.
The Professional Educator Collaborative (Collaborative) is established to make recommendations on how to improve and strengthen state policies, programs, and pathways that lead to highly effective educators at each level of the public school system.
The Collaborative must examine issues related to educator recruitment, certification, retention, professional learning and development, leadership, and evaluation for effectiveness. The Collaborative must consider what incentives and supports could be provided at each stage of an educator's career to produce a more effective educational system. The Collaborative is directed to review eight specific issues.
The members of the Collaborative must include representatives of the Legislature, education agencies, educator preparation programs, and educator associations. Staff support must be provided by the PESB, and other state agencies if requested. The Collaborative is required to contract with a nonprofit, nonpartisan institute that meets certain requirements, for example, conducting independent, high quality research to improve education policy and practice.
By November 1, 2020, the Collaborative must submit a preliminary report to the Legislature that makes recommendations on specific educator certificate types, tiers, and renewal issues. By November 1, 2021, the Collaborative must submit a final report to the Legislature that makes recommendations on each of the eight issues.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Effective Date: The bill contains an emergency clause and takes effect immediately. However, the bill is null and void unless funded in the budget.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Education):
(In support) This bill is the result of the hard work of a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators and the input of many stakeholders. Highly effective teachers are necessary to achieve the best education system possible. The severe teacher shortage is the result of many actors and agencies working in an uncoordinated manner. This bill is intended to coordinate the system, but it is the first step in a long journey to improve the educator workforce capacity.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has been examining educator shortage data since 2014. The data has not been improving at the rate needed to resolve the shortage and to resolve the disparities in access to effective educators. The strategies in this bill are aligned to the state's plan for complying with federal law and for achieving equity. Addressing the teacher shortage is critical to addressing the state's educational attainment goals. Over 80 percent of principals have indicated that they are struggling or in crisis with regard to hiring qualified teachers. They reported that it was even more challenging last year than the year before.
Approximately 6,000 elementary teachers will be needed by 2021. Some school districts are recruiting teachers from other countries to fill gaps. Access to high-quality teachers, is important for student success and to close the opportunity gaps. It is important to recruit and retain effective teachers, develop a diverse workforce, ensure equity and access to educator preparation programs by funding conditional scholarship, expanding the use of conditional certificates, increasing the number of Alternative Route Teacher Certification programs (Alternative Route Programs), and expanding the Beginning Educator Support Team Program. Principals can recruit and support students into careers as educators. They can also support community members to become teachers.
Financial barriers to getting into the teaching profession are significant. Well-designed financial aid programs can help attract and retain teachers. Recently, two programs with one-time funding were so highly sought after that only a fraction of qualified applications were provided with grants. Both programs achieved results in attracting candidates from underrepresented groups. Most grant recipients were multilingual, first generation, and people of color. The Governor's proposed budget provides support for one of these programs, the Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant. This bill takes a comprehensive approach to a full suite of financial aid programs that address various aspects of the pipeline, streamlines them, and makes the use of state appropriations more flexible.
Last year, the state provided additional funding for beginning teacher salaries, which should help to recruit young people to the profession. This funding combined with financial aid for prospective teachers will result in an increase in high quality educations. Paraeducators should be eligible for the Pipeline for Paraeducators conditional scholarship (CS) even if they have only one year of experience because they will continue to work with students during their teacher preparation program. Paraeducators should also be allowed to receive this CS for four years because many have more than one job and it is difficult for them to get an associates degree in two years. In addition, paraeducators should be able to use any teacher preparation program to enter the teaching profession.
The Professional Educator Standards board (PESB) has provided approval for Alternative Route Programs in educational service districts (ESDs) and might be in the best position to move this work forward. The Alternative Route Block Grant, which has been administered by the PESB for a long time, is unique among financial aid programs because the PESB provides wrap-around supports that are critical to ensuring student success, especially for diverse students.
Increasing the pipeline for teachers can happen by increasing funding for program enrollment in high need subjects and locations. Some teacher preparation programs are at capacity and are turning away prospective teachers. There is not a capacity problem overall, rather there is an attraction problem.
There has been targeted work on regional recruitment that should be expanded. Alternative Route Programs can reach place-bound students, paraeducators, and career switchers. Grow Your Own programs are very successful in recruiting and developing people from the community, including paraeducators, to become teachers. The people who complete these programs are more likely to stay in the community because it is where they already live and where their children attend school.
Every business wants a diverse workforce that represents the clients they serve, so people of color have many career options. To reduce opportunity gaps, the state must increase the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of its educator workforce. Recruitment of underrepresented populations can be improved by expanding future teacher academies. Without a diverse pipeline from which to recruit teaching staff only about 10 percent of teachers are people of color. The Teach for America program is in many school districts across the state and 40 percent of its teachers are people of color. School districts need the tools supplied in the bill to grow and diversify their educator workforce. Teacher diversity is important, but so is quality teachers.
School districts should partner with teacher preparation programs because supporting students by providing quality education is what these programs do. Expanding the Recruiting Washington Teachers Program and supporting post-secondary success of students in the program is important. It is a good idea to leverage the educational service districts to support regional recruitment centers. A representative of a school board should be added to the military work group. There should be flexibility for retired educators to return to teaching. Five years is a good compromise for the frequency of the comprehensive performance evaluation, rather than the six years provided in the bill. The focused evaluations drive the work of educators to support students.
The Professional Educator Collaborative (Collaborative) is an essential structure to inform and grow statewide efforts to address teacher shortages. Over the years, it has been difficult to identify the scope of the problem. The Collaborative should perform a review of data on educator supply and the projected shortage statewide. This bill aligns to the entire educator career continuum: attracting and recruiting educators; support, developing, and growing them professionally; retaining educators; and providing systemic improvement. Prior efforts have been piecemeal, but this bill is thorough and comprehensive. This bill expands and bolsters the entire educator workforce development system by providing a clear, structured, and supported pathway for anyone who wants to become a teacher.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony (Appropriations):
(In support) The bill provides many tools for addressing the teacher shortage in Washington. Research shows that well-designed financial aid programs can attract candidates to the teaching profession and help retain them. The bill includes two programs that were established in the 2016 session, which resulted in five times more applicants for these programs than the funding afforded. These results show that the state can leverage financial support to develop a teacher workforce that looks more like the students it serves. The state needs to attract more candidates, because there are empty seats in teacher preparation programs.
The Teacher Shortage Conditional Grant was highly successful at attracting candidates from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the teacher workforce. Most of the awardees were first-generation college students, bilingual students, or students of color. These are the types of people that should be in front of classrooms, and the bill will improve the diversity of the teacher workforce. Districts need these tools to get college and high school students excited about teaching. If investments are not made now, the teacher shortage gap will widen.
Not only is there high demand for the conditional scholarships, but by design, the programs ensure a return on investment by requiring recipients to complete a service obligation in exchange for receiving the scholarship. Recipients pursued endorsements in shortage areas and overall were more likely than their non-awarded peers to enroll in their program to teach in a low-income, Title I eligible school. This bill would take these programs to the next level as part of a comprehensive approach to the teacher shortage issue.
The grants to Education Service Districts for alternative routes programs in the bill are problematic. The Professional Educator Standards Board has statistics that show that enrollment is essentially flat in teacher preparation programs right now. A college in the Spokane area held a recruitment fair for the districts to hire recent graduates, and not a single district hired a teacher candidate because they are looking at layoffs instead of hiring.
The bill will help teacher candidates pay for tests to become educators, which will open the door for candidates that struggle financially. The grants and scholarships will allow students to make different career choices than they might otherwise have made without the financial support. Elementary school teachers are one of the greatest opportunity career fields for teaching. By 2021 the state may need as many as 6,000 additional elementary teachers. Allowing Central Washington University to remotely supervise teachers will build a new future for rural development of teachers.
The Beginning Educator Support Team (BEST) Program is very important. Principals are very appreciative that there is funding in the bill to support the BEST program. Many principals leave the profession between years two and five, and having a mentor is critical to remaining in that leadership role. Research also shows that teachers who have excellent mentors in their first two to three years of teaching tend to stay in the profession. In addition, changing comprehensive evaluations from every four years to every six years will reduce the workload on teachers and principals.
The Professional Educator Collaborative is inexpensive and essential to inform the evolution of statewide policies to address the educator workforce shortage. The bill also allows retired teachers to return to the workforce in roles other than substitute teachers, which would decrease the educator shortage.
Persons Testifying (Education): Representative Santos, prime sponsor; Katherine Frank, Central Washington University; J. Lee Schultz, Washington Student Achievement Council; Becca Kenna-Schenk, Western Washington University; Jennifer Guerrero Flood, Washington State PTA; Tony Byrd, Teach for America; Anthony Murietta, Teamsters Joint Council; Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association; Jessica Vavrus, Washington State School Director Association; Angela Burgess; Maria Flores, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; Bob Cooper, Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; Justin Montermini, Professional Educator Standards Board; and Roz Thompson, Association of Washington School Principals.
Persons Testifying (Appropriations): J. Lee Schultz, Washington Student Achievement Council; Bob Cooper, Washington Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; Robin Zaback, Washington State Parent Teacher Association; Lucinda Young, Washington Education Association; Jessica Vavrus, Washington State School Directors' Association; Roz Thompson, Association of Washington School Principals; and Antonio Sanchez, Central Washington University.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Education): None.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying (Appropriations): None.