FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE NO. 2 FOR

HOUSE BILL NO. 631

97TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

1246L.05C                                                                                                                                                 D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk


 

AN ACT

To repeal sections 160.045, 160.405, 160.420, 168.104, 168.114, 168.124, 168.126, 168.128, 168.221, and 168.410, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof seven new sections relating to educator quality.




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:


            Section A. Sections 160.045, 160.405, 160.420, 168.104, 168.114, 168.124, 168.126, 168.128, 168.221, and 168.410, RSMo, are repealed and seven new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as sections 160.405, 160.420, 168.104, 168.114, 168.124, 168.128, and 168.221, to read as follows:

            160.405. 1. A person, group or organization seeking to establish a charter school shall submit the proposed charter, as provided in this section, to a sponsor. If the sponsor is not a school board, the applicant shall give a copy of its application to the school board of the district in which the charter school is to be located and to the state board of education, within five business days of the date the application is filed with the proposed sponsor. The school board may file objections with the proposed sponsor, and, if a charter is granted, the school board may file objections with the state board of education. The charter shall be a legally binding performance contract that describes the obligations and responsibilities of the school and the sponsor as outlined in sections 160.400 to 160.425 and section 167.349 and shall also include:

            (1) A mission and vision statement for the charter school;

            (2) A description of the charter school's organizational structure and bylaws of the governing body, which will be responsible for the policy, financial management, and operational decisions of the charter school, including the nature and extent of parental, professional educator, and community involvement in the governance and operation of the charter school;

            (3) A financial plan for the first three years of operation of the charter school including provisions for annual audits;

            (4) A description of the charter school's policy for securing personnel services, its personnel policies, personnel qualifications, and professional development plan;

            (5) A description of the grades or ages of students being served;

            (6) The school's calendar of operation, which shall include at least the equivalent of a full school term as defined in section 160.011;

            (7) A description of the charter school's pupil performance standards and academic program performance standards, which shall meet the requirements of subdivision (6) of subsection 4 of this section. The charter school program shall be designed to enable each pupil to achieve such standards and shall contain a complete set of indicators, measures, metrics, and targets for academic program performance, including specific goals on graduation rates and standardized test performance and academic growth;

            (8) A description of the charter school's educational program and curriculum;

            (9) The term of the charter, which shall be five years and shall be renewable;

            (10) Procedures, consistent with the Missouri financial accounting manual, for monitoring the financial accountability of the charter, which shall meet the requirements of subdivision (4) of subsection 4 of this section;

            (11) Preopening requirements for applications that require that charter schools meet all health, safety, and other legal requirements prior to opening;

            (12) A description of the charter school's policies on student discipline and student admission, which shall include a statement, where applicable, of the validity of attendance of students who do not reside in the district but who may be eligible to attend under the terms of judicial settlements and procedures that ensure admission of students with disabilities in a nondiscriminatory manner;

            (13) A description of the charter school's grievance procedure for parents or guardians;

            (14) A description of the agreement between the charter school and the sponsor as to when a sponsor shall intervene in a charter school, when a sponsor shall revoke a charter for failure to comply with subsection 8 of this section, and when a sponsor will not renew a charter under subsection 9 of this section;

            (15) Procedures to be implemented if the charter school should close, as provided in subdivision (6) of subsection 16 of section 160.400 including:

            (a) Orderly transition of student records to new schools and archival of student records;

            (b) Archival of business operation and transfer or repository of personnel records;

            (c) Submission of final financial reports;

            (d) Resolution of any remaining financial obligations; and

            (e) Disposition of the charter school's assets upon closure;

            (f) A notification plan to inform parents or guardians of students, the local school district, the retirement system in which the charter school's employees participate, and the state board of education within thirty days of the decision to close;

            (16) A description of the special education and related services that shall be available to meet the needs of students with disabilities; and

            (17) For all new or revised charters, procedures to be used upon closure of the charter school requiring that unobligated assets of the charter school be returned to the department of elementary and secondary education for their disposition, which upon receipt of such assets shall return them to the local school district in which the school was located, the state, or any other entity to which they would belong.

 

Charter schools operating on August 27, 2012, shall have until August 28, 2015, to meet the requirements of this subsection.

            2. Proposed charters shall be subject to the following requirements:

            (1) A charter shall be submitted to the sponsor, and follow the sponsor's policies and procedures for review and granting of a charter approval, and be approved by the state board of education by December first of the year prior to the proposed opening date of the charter school;

            (2) A charter may be approved when the sponsor determines that the requirements of this section are met, determines that the applicant is sufficiently qualified to operate a charter school, and that the proposed charter is consistent with the sponsor's charter sponsorship goals and capacity. The sponsor's decision of approval or denial shall be made within ninety days of the filing of the proposed charter;

            (3) If the charter is denied, the proposed sponsor shall notify the applicant in writing as to the reasons for its denial and forward a copy to the state board of education within five business days following the denial;

            (4) If a proposed charter is denied by a sponsor, the proposed charter may be submitted to the state board of education, along with the sponsor's written reasons for its denial. If the state board determines that the applicant meets the requirements of this section, that the applicant is sufficiently qualified to operate the charter school, and that granting a charter to the applicant would be likely to provide educational benefit to the children of the district, the state board may grant a charter and act as sponsor of the charter school. The state board shall review the proposed charter and make a determination of whether to deny or grant the proposed charter within sixty days of receipt of the proposed charter, provided that any charter to be considered by the state board of education under this subdivision shall be submitted no later than March first prior to the school year in which the charter school intends to begin operations. The state board of education shall notify the applicant in writing as the reasons for its denial, if applicable; and

            (5) The sponsor of a charter school shall give priority to charter school applicants that propose a school oriented to high-risk students and to the reentry of dropouts into the school system. If a sponsor grants three or more charters, at least one-third of the charters granted by the sponsor shall be to schools that actively recruit dropouts or high-risk students as their student body and address the needs of dropouts or high-risk students through their proposed mission, curriculum, teaching methods, and services. For purposes of this subsection, a "high-risk" student is one who is at least one year behind in satisfactory completion of course work or obtaining high school credits for graduation, has dropped out of school, is at risk of dropping out of school, needs drug and alcohol treatment, has severe behavioral problems, has been suspended from school three or more times, has a history of severe truancy, is a pregnant or parenting teen, has been referred for enrollment by the judicial system, is exiting incarceration, is a refugee, is homeless or has been homeless sometime within the preceding six months, has been referred by an area school district for enrollment in an alternative program, or qualifies as high risk under department of elementary and secondary education guidelines. "Dropout" shall be defined through the guidelines of the school core data report. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to charters sponsored by the state board of education.

            3. If a charter is approved by a sponsor, the charter application shall be submitted to the state board of education, along with a statement of finding that the application meets the requirements of sections 160.400 to 160.425 and section 167.349 and a monitoring plan under which the charter sponsor shall evaluate the academic performance of students enrolled in the charter school. The state board of education may, within sixty days, disapprove the granting of the charter. The state board of education may disapprove a charter on grounds that the application fails to meet the requirements of sections 160.400 to 160.425 and section 167.349 or that a charter sponsor previously failed to meet the statutory responsibilities of a charter sponsor.

            4. A charter school shall, as provided in its charter:

            (1) Be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations;

            (2) Comply with laws and regulations of the state, county, or city relating to health, safety, and state minimum educational standards, as specified by the state board of education, including the requirements relating to student discipline under sections 160.261, 167.161, 167.164, and 167.171, notification of criminal conduct to law enforcement authorities under sections 167.115 to 167.117, academic assessment under section 160.518, charter school personnel performance evaluations under subsection 4 of section 160.420, transmittal of school records under section 167.020, the minimum number of school days and hours required under section 160.041, and the employee criminal history background check and the family care safety registry check under section 168.133;

            (3) Except as provided in sections 160.400 to 160.425, be exempt from all laws and rules relating to schools, governing boards and school districts;

            (4) Be financially accountable, use practices consistent with the Missouri financial accounting manual, provide for an annual audit by a certified public accountant, publish audit reports and annual financial reports as provided in chapter 165, provided that the annual financial report may be published on the department of elementary and secondary education's internet website in addition to other publishing requirements, and provide liability insurance to indemnify the school, its board, staff and teachers against tort claims. A charter school that receives local educational agency status under subsection 6 of this section shall meet the requirements imposed by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act for audits of such agencies and comply with all federal audit requirements for charters with local education agency status. For purposes of an audit by petition under section 29.230, a charter school shall be treated as a political subdivision on the same terms and conditions as the school district in which it is located. For the purposes of securing such insurance, a charter school shall be eligible for the Missouri public entity risk management fund pursuant to section 537.700. A charter school that incurs debt shall include a repayment plan in its financial plan;

            (5) Provide a comprehensive program of instruction for at least one grade or age group from kindergarten through grade twelve, which may include early childhood education if funding for such programs is established by statute, as specified in its charter;

            (6) (a) Design a method to measure pupil progress toward the pupil academic standards adopted by the state board of education pursuant to section 160.514, establish baseline student performance in accordance with the performance contract during the first year of operation, collect student performance data as defined by the annual performance report throughout the duration of the charter to annually monitor student academic performance, and to the extent applicable based upon grade levels offered by the charter school, participate in the statewide system of assessments, comprised of the essential skills tests and the nationally standardized norm-referenced achievement tests, as designated by the state board pursuant to section 160.518, complete and distribute an annual report card as prescribed in section 160.522, which shall also include a statement that background checks have been completed on the charter school's board members, report to its sponsor, the local school district, and the state board of education as to its teaching methods and any educational innovations and the results thereof, and provide data required for the study of charter schools pursuant to subsection 4 of section 160.410. No charter school shall be considered in the Missouri school improvement program review of the district in which it is located for the resource or process standards of the program.

            (b) For proposed high risk or alternative charter schools, sponsors shall approve performance measures based on mission, curriculum, teaching methods, and services. Sponsors shall also approve comprehensive academic and behavioral measures to determine whether students are meeting performance standards on a different time frame as specified in that school's charter. Student performance shall be assessed comprehensively to determine whether a high risk or alternative charter school has documented adequate student progress. Student performance shall be based on sponsor-approved comprehensive measures as well as standardized public school measures. Annual presentation of charter school report card data to the department of elementary and secondary education, the state board, and the public shall include comprehensive measures of student progress.

            (c) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as permitting a charter school to be held to lower performance standards than other public schools within a district; however, the charter of a charter school may permit students to meet performance standards on a different time frame as specified in its charter. The performance standards for alternative and special purpose charter schools that target high-risk students as defined in subdivision (5) of subsection 2 of this section shall be based on measures defined in the school's performance contract with its sponsors;

            (7) Comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding students with disabilities, including sections 162.670 to 162.710, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1400) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794) or successor legislation;

            (8) Provide along with any request for review by the state board of education the following:

            (a) Documentation that the applicant has provided a copy of the application to the school board of the district in which the charter school is to be located, except in those circumstances where the school district is the sponsor of the charter school; and

            (b) A statement outlining the reasons for approval or disapproval by the sponsor, specifically addressing the requirements of sections 160.400 to 160.425 and 167.349.

            5. (1) Proposed or existing high-risk or alternative charter schools may include alternative arrangements for students to obtain credit for satisfying graduation requirements in the school's charter application and charter. Alternative arrangements may include, but not be limited to, credit for off-campus instruction, embedded credit, work experience through an internship arranged through the school, and independent studies. When the state board of education approves the charter, any such alternative arrangements shall be approved at such time.

            (2) The department of elementary and secondary education shall conduct a study of any charter school granted alternative arrangements for students to obtain credit under this subsection after three years of operation to assess student performance, graduation rates, educational outcomes, and entry into the workforce or higher education.

            6. The charter of a charter school may be amended at the request of the governing body of the charter school and on the approval of the sponsor. The sponsor and the governing board and staff of the charter school shall jointly review the school's performance, management and operations during the first year of operation and then every other year after the most recent review or at any point where the operation or management of the charter school is changed or transferred to another entity, either public or private. The governing board of a charter school may amend the charter, if the sponsor approves such amendment, or the sponsor and the governing board may reach an agreement in writing to reflect the charter school's decision to become a local educational agency. In such case the sponsor shall give the department of elementary and secondary education written notice no later than March first of any year, with the agreement to become effective July first. The department may waive the March first notice date in its discretion. The department shall identify and furnish a list of its regulations that pertain to local educational agencies to such schools within thirty days of receiving such notice.

            7. Sponsors shall annually review the charter school's compliance with statutory standards including:

            (1) Participation in the statewide system of assessments, as designated by the state board of education under section 160.518;

            (2) Assurances for the completion and distribution of an annual report card as prescribed in section 160.522;

            (3) The collection of baseline data during the first three years of operation to determine the longitudinal success of the charter school;

            (4) A method to measure pupil progress toward the pupil academic standards adopted by the state board of education under section 160.514; and

            (5) Publication of each charter school's annual performance report.

            8. (1) (a) A sponsor's intervention policies shall give schools clear, adequate, evidence-based, and timely notice of contract violations or performance deficiencies and mandate intervention based upon findings of the state board of education of the following:

            a. The charter school provides a high school program which fails to maintain a graduation rate of at least seventy percent in three of the last four school years unless the school has dropout recovery as its mission;

            b. The charter school's annual performance report results are below the district's annual performance report results based on the performance standards that are applicable to the grade level configuration of both the charter school and the district in which the charter school is located in three of the last four school years; and

            c. The charter school is identified as a persistently lowest achieving school by the department of elementary and secondary education.

            (b) A sponsor shall have a policy to revoke a charter during the charter term if there is:

            a. Clear evidence of underperformance as demonstrated in the charter school's annual performance report in three of the last four school years; or

            b. A violation of the law or the public trust that imperils students or public funds.

            (c) A sponsor shall revoke a charter or take other appropriate remedial action, which may include placing the charter school on probationary status for no more than twelve months, provided that no more than one designation of probationary status shall be allowed for the duration of the charter contract, at any time if the charter school commits a serious breach of one or more provisions of its charter or on any of the following grounds: failure to meet the performance contract as set forth in its charter, failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management, failure to provide information necessary to confirm compliance with all provisions of the charter and sections 160.400 to 160.425 and 167.349 within forty-five days following receipt of written notice requesting such information, or violation of law.

            (2) The sponsor may place the charter school on probationary status to allow the implementation of a remedial plan, which may require a change of methodology, a change in leadership, or both, after which, if such plan is unsuccessful, the charter may be revoked.

            (3) At least sixty days before acting to revoke a charter, the sponsor shall notify the governing board of the charter school of the proposed action in writing. The notice shall state the grounds for the proposed action. The school's governing board may request in writing a hearing before the sponsor within two weeks of receiving the notice.

            (4) The sponsor of a charter school shall establish procedures to conduct administrative hearings upon determination by the sponsor that grounds exist to revoke a charter. Final decisions of a sponsor from hearings conducted pursuant to this subsection are subject to an appeal to the state board of education, which shall determine whether the charter shall be revoked.

            (5) A termination shall be effective only at the conclusion of the school year, unless the sponsor determines that continued operation of the school presents a clear and immediate threat to the health and safety of the children.

            (6) A charter sponsor shall make available the school accountability report card information as provided under section 160.522 and the results of the academic monitoring required under subsection 3 of this section.

            9. (1) A sponsor shall take all reasonable steps necessary to confirm that each charter school sponsored by such sponsor is in material compliance and remains in material compliance with all material provisions of the charter and sections 160.400 to 160.425 and 167.349. Every charter school shall provide all information necessary to confirm ongoing compliance with all provisions of its charter and sections 160.400 to 160.425 and 167.349 in a timely manner to its sponsor.

            (2) The sponsor's renewal process of the charter school shall be based on the thorough analysis of a comprehensive body of objective evidence and consider if:

            (a) The charter school has maintained results on its annual performance report that meet or exceed the district in which the charter school is located based on the performance standards that are applicable to the grade-level configuration of both the charter school and the district in which the charter school is located in three of the last four school years;

            (b) The charter school is organizationally and fiscally viable determining at a minimum that the school does not have:

            a. A negative balance in its operating funds;

            b. A combined balance of less than three percent of the amount expended for such funds during the previous fiscal year; or

            c. Expenditures that exceed receipts for the most recently completed fiscal year;

            (c) The charter is in compliance with its legally binding performance contract and sections 160.400 to 160.425 and section 167.349.

            (3) (a) Beginning August first during the year in which a charter is considered for renewal, a charter school sponsor shall demonstrate to the state board of education that the charter school is in compliance with federal and state law as provided in sections 160.400 to 160.425 and section 167.349 and the school's performance contract including but not limited to those requirements specific to academic performance.

            (b) Along with data reflecting the academic performance standards indicated in paragraph (a) of this subdivision, the sponsor shall submit a revised charter application to the state board of education for review.

            (c) Using the data requested and the revised charter application under paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision, the state board of education shall determine if compliance with all standards enumerated in this subdivision has been achieved. The state board of education at its next regularly scheduled meeting shall vote on the revised charter application.

            (d) If a charter school sponsor demonstrates the objectives identified in this subdivision, the state board of education shall renew the school's charter.

            10. A school district may enter into a lease with a charter school for physical facilities.

            11. A governing board or a school district employee who has control over personnel actions shall not take unlawful reprisal against another employee at the school district because the employee is directly or indirectly involved in an application to establish a charter school. A governing board or a school district employee shall not take unlawful reprisal against an educational program of the school or the school district because an application to establish a charter school proposes the conversion of all or a portion of the educational program to a charter school. As used in this subsection, "unlawful reprisal" means an action that is taken by a governing board or a school district employee as a direct result of a lawful application to establish a charter school and that is adverse to another employee or an educational program.

            12. Charter school board members shall be subject to the same liability for acts while in office as if they were regularly and duly elected members of school boards in any other public school district in this state. The governing board of a charter school may participate, to the same extent as a school board, in the Missouri public entity risk management fund in the manner provided under sections 537.700 to 537.756.

            13. Any entity, either public or private, operating, administering, or otherwise managing a charter school shall be considered a quasi-public governmental body and subject to the provisions of sections 610.010 to 610.035.

            14. The chief financial officer of a charter school shall maintain:

            (1) A surety bond in an amount determined by the sponsor to be adequate based on the cash flow of the school; or

            (2) An insurance policy issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in Missouri on all employees in the amount of five hundred thousand dollars or more that provides coverage in the event of employee theft.

            160.420. 1. Any school district in which charter schools may be established under sections 160.400 to 160.425 shall establish a uniform policy which provides that if a charter school offers to retain the services of an employee of a school district, and the employee accepts a position at the charter school, an employee at the employee's option may remain an employee of the district and the charter school shall pay to the district the district's full costs of salary and benefits provided to the employee. The district's policy shall provide that any teacher who accepts a position at a charter school and opts to remain an employee of the district retains such teacher's permanent teacher status and retains such teacher's seniority rights in the district for three years. The school district shall not be liable for any such employee's acts while an employee of the charter school.

            2. A charter school may employ noncertificated instructional personnel; provided that no more than twenty percent of the full-time equivalent instructional staff positions at the school are filled by noncertificated personnel. All noncertificated instructional personnel shall be supervised by certificated instructional personnel. A charter school that has a foreign language immersion experience as its chief educational mission, as stated in its charter, shall not be subject to the twenty-percent requirement of this subsection but shall ensure that any teachers whose duties include instruction given in a foreign language have current valid credentials in the country in which such teacher received his or her training and shall remain subject to the remaining requirements of this subsection. The charter school shall ensure that all instructional employees of the charter school have experience, training and skills appropriate to the instructional duties of the employee, and the charter school shall ensure that a criminal background check and family care safety registry check are conducted for each employee of the charter school prior to the hiring of the employee under the requirements of section 168.133. The charter school may not employ instructional personnel whose certificate of license to teach has been revoked or is currently suspended by the state board of education. Appropriate experience, training and skills of noncertificated instructional personnel shall be determined considering:

            (1) Teaching certificates issued by another state or states;

            (2) Certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards;

            (3) College degrees in the appropriate field;

            (4) Evidence of technical training and competence when such is appropriate; and

            (5) The level of supervision and coordination with certificated instructional staff.

            3. Personnel employed by the charter school shall participate in the retirement system of the school district in which the charter school is located, subject to the same terms, conditions, requirements and other provisions applicable to personnel employed by the school district. For purposes of participating in the retirement system, the charter school shall be considered to be a public school within the school district, and personnel employed by the charter school shall be public school employees. In the event of a lapse of the school district's corporate organization as described in subsections 1 and 4 of section 162.081, personnel employed by the charter school shall continue to participate in the retirement system and shall do so on the same terms, conditions, requirements and other provisions as they participated prior to the lapse.

            4. (1) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as an infringement upon the doctrine of at-will employment as exercised by a charter school.

            (2) As used in this subsection, the following terms shall mean:

            (a) "Student growth", the change in achievement for an individual student between two or more points in time based on standards-based measures that are rigorous, valid, and comparable across classrooms of similar content and levels;

            (b) "Value-added model", a growth model used to isolate the effect of a teacher's impact on student learning, controlling for preexisting characteristics of a student, including but not limited to, where available, prior achievement data, and, where available and at the discretion of the charter school, a student's gifted status, section 504 status, attendance, disability status, eligibility for free or reduced lunch, limited English proficiency, or prior discipline history.

            (3) Each charter school shall develop an evaluation system centered on student achievement, performance, and progress that conforms to the provisions of the charter school’s performance contract, its mission, and this subsection, and implement it no later than the 2014-2015 school year. The evaluation system shall include formative performance reviews to provide feedback to teachers and summative evaluations, and the charter school shall use the evaluation results to improve student achievement, performance, and progress.

            (4) Teachers and administrators shall be evaluated no less than annually, using multiple valid measures. Evaluation measures shall include the following elements:

            (a) For those teachers who teach grades and courses that are subject to annual assessments, student achievement, and student growth on such assessments shall count for at least thirty-three percent of the evaluation, using value-added measures;

            (b) For teachers who do not directly instruct students in subjects and grades subject to assessments but who are expected to contribute to student performance on such assessments, growth in student achievement on such assessments shall be used as an evaluation measure and shall count for a percentage of the evaluation to be determined by the charter school;

            (c) Student growth shall be measured through such assessments in accordance with value-added methods or models and shall reflect at least one year's worth of growth for a school year of instruction, or that students otherwise achieved appropriate growth based on expectations derived from at least two years of individual student achievement data;

            (d) Multiple additional measures for teachers shall be correlated with impacts on student achievement results. These measures may include student surveys and multiple classroom observations each year by trained master teachers, administrators, or other professionals, using clear, consistent observation rubrics provided to the teacher in advance of the school year, and may include other measures aligned with student achievement as determined by the charter school;

            (e) Multiple additional measures for administrators shall be correlated with impacts on student achievement results for students in all subgroups and shall include the administrator's ability to create an academic environment which fosters student growth. However, where applicable, evaluations of administrators shall include the ability to attract, develop, and retain highly effective teachers; management of schools, including finances, space and legal compliance; and parental engagement in the school; and may include other measures aligned with student achievement.

            (5) Each teacher and administrator shall be given one of four rating levels that are designated as "highly effective", "effective", "minimally effective", or "ineffective" . Such rating levels shall be directly correlated to the summative evaluation results provided for in subdivision (3) of this subsection.

            168.104. The following words and phrases when used in sections 168.102 to 168.130, except in those instances where the context indicates otherwise, mean:

            (1) "Board of education", the school board or board of directors of a school district, except a metropolitan school district, having general control of the affairs of the district;

            (2) "Demotion", any reduction in salary or transfer to a position carrying a lower salary, except on request of a teacher, other than any change in salary applicable to all teachers or all teachers in a classification;

            (3) "Indefinite contract", every contract heretofore or hereafter entered into between a school district and a permanent teacher;

            (4) "Permanent teacher", any teacher who has been employed or who is hereafter employed as a teacher in the same school district for [five successive years and who has continued or who thereafter continues to be employed as a teacher by the school district or any supervisor of teachers who was employed as a teacher in the same school district for at least five successive years prior to becoming a supervisor of teachers and who] at least four consecutive years and has earned four consecutive ratings of effective or highly effective based on his or her annual performance evaluations under section 168.128. A teacher shall lose "permanent teacher" status if a teacher receives a rating of ineffective or two consecutive ratings of minimally effective. After losing "permanent teacher" status a teacher shall return to "permanent teacher" status by earning three consecutive ratings of effective or highly effective or any combination thereof. In order to maintain permanent status the teacher also continues thereafter to be employed as a certificated employee by the school district; except that, when a permanent teacher resigns or is permanently separated from employment by a school district, and is afterwards reemployed by the same school district, reemployment for the first school year does not constitute an indefinite contract but if he or she is employed for the succeeding year, the employment constitutes an indefinite contract; and except that any teacher employed under a part-time contract by a school district shall accrue credit toward permanent status on a prorated basis. Any permanent teacher who is promoted with his or her consent to a supervisory position including principal or assistant principal[, or is first employed by a district in a supervisory position including principal or assistant principal, shall not have permanent status in such position but] shall retain tenure in the position previously held within the district[, or, after serving two years as principal or assistant principal, shall have tenure as a permanent teacher of that system];

            (5) "Probationary teacher", any teacher as herein defined who [has been employed in the same school district for five successive years or less] is not a "permanent teacher" as defined in this section. In the case of any probationary teacher who has been employed in any other school system as a teacher for two or more years, the board of education shall [waive one year of his probationary period] allow the final evaluation at the teacher's previous district to count as one year toward earning "permanent teacher" status;

            (6) "School district", every school district in this state, except metropolitan school district as defined in section 162.571;

            (7) "Student growth", the change in achievement for an individual student between two or more points in time based on standards-based measures that are rigorous, valid, and comparable across classrooms of similar content and levels;

            (8) "Teacher", any employee of a school district, except a metropolitan school district, regularly required to be certified under laws relating to the certification of teachers, except superintendents and assistant superintendents but including certified teachers who teach at the prekindergarten level in a nonmetropolitan public school within a prekindergarten program in which no fees are charged to parents or guardians;

            (9) "Value-added model", a growth model used to isolate the effect of a teacher's impact on student learning, controlling for preexisting characteristics of a student, including but not limited to, where available, prior achievement data, and, where available and at the discretion of the school district, a student's gifted status, section 504 status, attendance, disability status, eligibility for free or reduced lunch, limited English proficiency, or prior discipline history.

            168.114. 1. An indefinite contract with a permanent teacher shall not be terminated by the board of education of a school district except for one or more of the following causes:

            (1) Physical or mental condition unfitting him or her to instruct or associate with children;

            (2) Immoral conduct;

            (3) Incompetency, inefficiency or insubordination in line of duty;

            (4) Willful or persistent violation of, or failure to obey, the school laws of the state or the published regulations of the board of education of the school district employing him or her;

            (5) Excessive or unreasonable absence from performance of duties; or

            (6) Conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

            2. In determining the professional competency of or efficiency of a permanent teacher, consideration should be given to regular and special evaluation reports prepared in accordance with the policy of the employing school district and to any written standards of performance which may have been adopted by the school board.

            168.124. 1. The board of education of a school district may place on leave of absence as many teachers as may be necessary because of a decrease in pupil enrollment, school district reorganization or the financial condition of the school district. [In placing teachers on leave, the board of education shall be governed by the following provisions] The board of education shall use, as the basis for its primary determination of which teaching personnel will lose their positions, educator evaluations under section 168.128. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the board of education from identifying specific content or grade areas in which reductions are necessary; however, reductions within specific areas shall be based primarily on educator evaluations conducted under section 168.128:

            (1) [No permanent teacher shall be placed on leave of absence while probationary teachers are retained in positions for which a permanent teacher is qualified;

            (2) Permanent teachers shall be retained on the basis of performance-based evaluations and seniority (however, seniority shall not be controlling) within the field of specialization;

            (3) Permanent teachers shall be reinstated to the positions from which they have been given leaves of absence, or if not available, to positions requiring like training and experience, or to other positions in the school system for which they are qualified by training and experience;

            (4) No appointment of new teachers shall be made while there are available teachers on unrequested leave of absence who are properly qualified to fill such vacancies;

            (5)] A teacher placed on leave of absence may engage in teaching or another occupation during the period of such leave;

            [(6)] (2) The leave of absence shall not impair the tenure of a teacher;

            [(7)] (3) The leave of absence shall continue for a period of not more than three years unless extended by the board.

            2. Should a board of education choose to utilize the mechanism for reducing teacher forces as provided in subsection 1 of this section in an attempt to manage adverse financial conditions caused at least partially by a withholding of, or a decrease or less than expected increase in, education appropriations, then the district additionally shall follow the provisions of subsection 3 of this section.

            3. If a school district has an unrestricted combined ending fund balance of more than ten percent of current expenditures in its teachers' and incidental funds, and in the subsequent fiscal year such district, because of state appropriations, places a contracted teacher on leave of absence after forty days subsequent to the governor signing the elementary and secondary education appropriation bill, the district shall pay the affected teacher the greater of his or her salary for any days worked under the contract, or a sum equal to three thousand dollars.

            168.128. 1. The board of education of each school district shall maintain records showing periods of service, dates of appointment, and other necessary information for the enforcement of sections 168.102 to 168.130. In addition, the board of education of each school district shall cause a comprehensive, performance-based evaluation for each teacher employed by the district. Such evaluations shall be ongoing and [of sufficient specificity and frequency] performed no less than annually to provide for demonstrated standards of competency and academic ability.

            2. Consistent with department of elementary and secondary education regulations, each district shall fully implement an evaluation system that conforms to the provisions of this section, including using the evaluation results for personnel decisions in advance of the next school year. Each district with such assistance as may be available from the department shall develop an evaluation system that conforms to the provisions of this section and implement it no later than the 2014-15 school year. The evaluation system shall include formative performance reviews to provide feedback to teachers and shall include summative evaluations.

            3. Each local school district shall establish and implement a local evaluation system for teachers and administrators centered on student achievement. Evaluations of all personnel shall be conducted no less than annually based on the following parameters; however, if any of the parameters shall be found by the department to be in conflict with the department's ability to comply with the conditions set forth in the waiver from the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, those items shall not be included:

            (1) Each local district shall develop and implement an evaluation system for elementary and secondary school teachers and administrators that uses multiple measures, based on growth in student achievement, and shall use the evaluation system as the basis for personnel decisions about teachers and administrators, consistent with this section and with implementing regulations issued by the department of elementary and secondary education with input from the local districts;

            (2) If a district fails to adopt an evaluation system consistent with the requirements and timelines of this section, or at the election of the district, the district shall use the model evaluation system developed by the department of elementary and secondary education under subsection 5 of this section;

            (3) If a district chooses to adopt an evaluation system which differs from the model evaluation developed by the department under subsection 6 of this section, the local evaluation system shall be developed and implemented in consultation with teachers and administrators and with parents of students;

            (4) Teachers and administrators shall be evaluated using multiple valid measures. Evaluation measures shall include the following elements:

            (a) For those teachers who teach courses that are subject to annual assessments aligned with state standards, student achievement, and student growth on such assessments shall count for at least thirty-three percent of the evaluation, using value-added measures developed by the department of elementary and secondary education. The district shall be able to use a model developed by the school district and approved by the department of elementary and secondary education to measure student growth in this subsection;

            (b) For teachers who do not directly instruct students in subjects and grades subject to assessments aligned with state standards, but who are expected to contribute to student performance on such assessments, growth in student achievement on such assessments shall be used as an evaluation measure and shall count for a percentage of the evaluation to be determined by the district. The district shall be able to use a model developed by the school district and approved by the department of elementary and secondary education to measure student growth in this subsection;

            (c) Student growth shall be measured through such assessments in accordance with value-added methods or models developed by the department of elementary and secondary education, and shall reflect at least one year's worth of growth for a school year of instruction, or that students otherwise achieved appropriate growth based on expectations derived from at least two years of individual student achievement data;

            (d) Multiple additional measures for teachers shall be correlated with impacts on student achievement results. These measures may include student surveys and multiple classroom observations each year by trained master teachers, administrators, or other professionals, using clear, consistent observation rubrics provided to the teacher in advance of the school year, and may include other measures aligned with student achievement as determined at the local level; however for these teachers hired after the start of the school year the board of education shall provide such rubrics as the earliest practical time;

            (e) Multiple additional measures for administrators shall be correlated with impacts on student achievement results for students in all subgroups and shall include the administrator's ability to create an academic environment which fosters student growth. However, where applicable, evaluations of administrators shall include the ability to attract, develop, and retain highly effective teachers; management of schools, including finances, space and legal compliance; and parental engagement in the school; and may include other measures aligned with student achievement;

            (5) Each teacher and administrator shall be given one of four rating levels that are designated as "highly effective", "effective", "minimally effective", or "ineffective", as further defined by the department of elementary and secondary education or the local school district. Such rating levels shall be directly correlated to the summative evaluation results provided for in subsection 2 of this section;

            (6) Districts shall base decisions regarding significant differentiation in retention, promotion, dismissals, and other staffing decisions primarily on evaluation results for teachers and administrators. Each teacher and administrator contract and collective bargaining agreement entered into, including option years exercised, after the effective date of this section shall authorize use of evaluation as the basis for the decisions described in this subsection. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, any contrary provisions of collective bargaining agreements, regulations, or policies shall be void.

            4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the board of education from taking disciplinary action concerning a teacher for issues not referenced in this section.

            5. If a permanent teacher has received a rating of ineffective or minimally effective on an annual year-end performance evaluation, the school district shall provide the teacher with an individualized development plan developed by appropriate administrative personnel in consultation with the individual teacher.

            6. The department of elementary and secondary education shall:

            (1) Promulgate rules and regulations governing the development and implementation of local evaluation systems under subsection 3 of this section. Such rules and regulations shall be designed to preserve autonomy and flexibility for districts to adopt their own policies and processes for the evaluation system and may include, but not be limited to:

            (a) Processes and requirements to determine the teacher of record for purposes of assigning student achievement scores to a teacher in evaluating the teacher's performance;

            (b) Standards for rating levels to be assigned to teachers and administrators, consistent with subsection 3 of this section;

            (c) Processes and requirements for value-added models to be used in measuring student achievement growth for purposes of teacher and administrator evaluation;

            (2) Develop, implement, and publicly disseminate a statewide student growth model and a value-added model for determining student growth on assessments;

            (3) Provide technical assistance to districts in developing and implementing a local evaluation system;

            (4) Develop a model evaluation system that shall be used by districts that are not able to develop their own system or that elect to use the state model evaluation system; and

            (5) Monitor local evaluation systems established under subsection 3 of this section to ensure that evaluation outcomes are consistent in the aggregate with student achievement results at the district and school levels; and that the evaluation systems meet the requirements of this section and implement rules and regulations issued by the department of elementary and secondary education; and direct any appropriate corrective actions.

            7. In no circumstance shall the board of education renew the contract of any probationary teacher who has been rated "ineffective", as defined by the required evaluations of this section, for two consecutive school years.

            8. All evaluations shall be maintained in the teacher's personnel file at the office of the board of education. A copy of each evaluation shall be provided to the teacher and appropriate administrator. [The state department of elementary and secondary education shall provide suggested procedures for such an evaluation.]

            9. No permanent teacher shall be retained after three consecutive ratings of ineffective.

            168.221. 1. The first [five] four years of employment of all teachers entering the employment of the metropolitan school district shall be deemed a period of probation during which period all appointments of teachers shall expire at the end of each school year. During the probationary period any probationary teacher whose work is unsatisfactory due to either an ineffective or minimally effective evaluation under section 168.128 or some other performance issue shall be furnished by the superintendent of schools with a written statement setting forth the nature of his or her incompetency. If improvement satisfactory to the superintendent is not made within one semester after the receipt of the statement, the probationary teacher shall be dismissed. The semester granted the probationary teacher in which to improve shall not in any case be a means of prolonging the probationary period beyond [five] four years and six months from the date on which the teacher entered the employ of the board of education. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the superintendent from taking disciplinary action relating to a probationary teacher for issues of conduct which is not based on performance. The superintendent of schools on or before the fifteenth day of April in each year shall notify probationary teachers who will not be retained by the school district of the termination of their services. Any probationary teacher who is not so notified shall be deemed to have been appointed for the next school year. A teacher may be considered a permanent teacher when such teacher meets the definition of "permanent teacher" defined in section 168.104. Any principal who prior to becoming a principal had attained permanent employee status as a teacher shall upon ceasing to be a principal have a right to resume his or her permanent teacher position with the time served as a principal being treated as if such time had been served as a teacher for the purpose of calculating seniority and pay scale. The rights and duties and remuneration of a teacher who was formerly a principal shall be the same as any other teacher with the same level of qualifications and time of service. The criteria for granting a permanent appointment to a teacher shall include multiple measures for assessing a teacher's effectiveness, which include but are not limited to the following:

            (1) (a) Evidence of demonstrated effectiveness, as shown through objective measures of student academic growth, which shall be the predominant criterion for granting a permanent appointment;

            (b) Other multiple measures of teacher performance, including multiple classroom observations and classroom and district measures of student learning; and

            (c) Four consecutive ratings of effective or highly effective;

            (2) Upon meeting the requirements provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection, a teacher shall undergo a formal review and conferral process before being granted a permanent appointment. The formal review shall be conducted by the teacher's principal and the superintendent's designee and shall include a review of the teacher's performance evaluations and progress as an instructor, as demonstrated by the criteria outlined in this subsection.

            2. After completion of satisfactory probationary services, appointments of teachers shall become permanent, subject to removal for any one or more causes herein described and to the right of the board to terminate the services of all who attain the age of compulsory retirement fixed by the retirement system. In determining the duration of the probationary period of employment in this section specified, the time of service rendered as a substitute teacher shall not be included.

            3. No teacher whose appointment has become permanent may be removed except for one or more of the following causes: immorality, inefficiency in line of duty, violation of the published regulations of the school district, violation of the laws of Missouri governing the public schools of the state, or physical or mental condition which incapacitates him or her for instructing or associating with children, and then only by a vote of not less than a majority of all the members of the board, upon written charges presented by the superintendent of schools, to be heard by the board after thirty days' notice, with copy of the charges served upon the person against whom they are preferred, who shall have the privilege of being present at the hearing, together with counsel, offering evidence and making defense thereto. Notifications received by an employee during a vacation period shall be considered as received on the first day of the school term following. At the request of any person so charged the hearing shall be public. During any time in which powers granted to the district's board of education are vested in a special administrative board, the special administrative board may appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing as a contested case under chapter 536 and shall issue a written recommendation to the board rendering the charges against the teacher. The board shall render a decision on the charges upon the review of the hearing officer's recommendations and the record from the hearing. The action and decision of the board upon the charges shall be final. Pending the hearing of the charges, the person charged may be suspended if the rules of the board so prescribe, but in the event the board does not by a majority vote of all the members remove the teacher upon charges presented by the superintendent, the person shall not suffer any loss of salary by reason of the suspension. Inefficiency in line of duty is cause for dismissal only after the teacher has been notified in writing at least one semester prior to the presentment of charges against him or her by the superintendent. The notification shall specify the nature of the inefficiency with such particularity as to enable the teacher to be informed of the nature of his or her inefficiency.

            4. No permanent teacher, as defined in section 168.104, whose appointment has become permanent shall be demoted nor shall his or her salary be reduced unless the same procedure is followed as herein stated for the removal of the teacher because of inefficiency in line of duty or incompetency, and any teacher whose salary is reduced or who is demoted may waive the presentment of charges against him or her by the superintendent and a hearing thereon by the board. The foregoing provision shall apply only to permanent teachers prior to the compulsory retirement age under the retirement system. Nothing herein contained shall in any way restrict or limit the power of the board of education to make reductions in the number of teachers or principals, or both, because of insufficient funds, decrease in pupil enrollment, or abolition of particular subjects or courses of instruction, except that the abolition of particular subjects or courses of instruction shall not cause those teachers who have been teaching the subjects or giving the courses of instruction to be placed on leave of absence as herein provided who are qualified to teach other subjects or courses of instruction, if positions are available for the teachers in the other subjects or courses of instruction.

            5. Each metropolitan school district shall establish and implement a local evaluation system for teachers and administrators that conforms to the requirements of section 168.128. If a permanent teacher, as defined in section 168.104, has received a rating of ineffective or minimally effective on an annual year-end performance evaluation, the school district shall provide the teacher with an individualized development plan developed by appropriate administrative personnel in consultation with the individual teacher.

            6. Whenever it is necessary to decrease the number of teachers because of insufficient funds or a substantial decrease of pupil population within the school district, the board of education upon recommendation of the superintendent of schools may cause the necessary number of teachers [beginning with those serving probationary periods] to be placed on leave of absence without pay[, but only in the inverse order of their appointment]. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the board of education from identifying specific content or grade areas in which reductions are necessary; however, reductions within specific areas shall be based primarily on educator evaluation under section 168.128. Nothing herein stated shall prevent a readjustment by the board of education of existing salary schedules. No teacher placed on a leave of absence shall be precluded from securing other employment during the period of the leave of absence. [Each teacher placed on leave of absence shall be reinstated in inverse order of his placement on leave of absence.] Such reemployment shall not result in a loss of status or credit for previous years of service. No new appointments shall be made while there are available teachers on leave of absence who are seventy years of age or less and who are adequately qualified to fill the vacancy unless the teachers fail to advise the superintendent of schools within thirty days from the date of notification by the superintendent of schools that positions are available to them that they will return to employment and will assume the duties of the position to which appointed not later than the beginning of the school year next following the date of the notice by the superintendent of schools.

            [6.] 7. If any regulation which deals with the promotion of teachers is amended by increasing the qualifications necessary to be met before a teacher is eligible for promotion, the amendment shall fix an effective date which shall allow a reasonable length of time within which teachers may become qualified for promotion under the regulations.

            [7.] 8. A teacher whose appointment has become permanent may give up the right to a permanent appointment to participate in the teacher choice compensation package under sections 168.745 to 168.750.

            9. In no circumstance shall the board of education renew the contract of any probationary teacher who has been rated "ineffective", as defined by the required evaluations of section 168.128, for two consecutive school years.

            10. No permanent teacher shall be retained after three consecutive ratings of ineffective.

[160.045. 1. Each public school shall develop standards for teaching no later than June 30, 2010. The standards shall be applicable to all public schools, including public charter schools operated by the board of a school district.

2. Teaching standards shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Students actively participate and are successful in the learning process;

                        (2) Various forms of assessment are used to monitor and manage student learning;

(3) The teacher is prepared and knowledgeable of the content and effectively maintains students' on-task behavior;

(4) The teacher uses professional communication and interaction with the school community;

(5) The teacher keeps current on instructional knowledge and seeks and explores changes in teaching behaviors that will improve student performance; and

(6) The teacher acts as a responsible professional in the overall mission of the school.

3. The department may provide assistance to public schools in developing these standards upon request.]

 

[168.126. 1. A board of education at a regular or special meeting may contract with and employ by a majority vote legally qualified probationary teachers for the school district. The contract shall be made by order of the board; shall specify the number of months school is to be taught and the wages per month to be paid; shall be signed by the probationary teacher and the president of the board, or a facsimile signature of the president may be affixed at his discretion; and the contract shall be attested by the secretary of the board by signature or facsimile. The board shall not employ one of its members as a teacher; nor shall any person be employed as a teacher who is related within the fourth degree to any board member, either by consanguinity or affinity, where the vote of the board member is necessary to the selection of the person.

2. If in the opinion of the board of education any probationary teacher has been doing unsatisfactory work, the board of education, through its authorized administrative representative, shall provide the teacher with a written statement definitely setting forth his alleged incompetency and specifying the nature thereof, in order to furnish the teacher an opportunity to correct his fault and overcome his incompetency. If improvement satisfactory to the board of education has not been made within ninety days of the receipt of the notification, the board of education may terminate the employment of the probationary teacher immediately or at the end of the school year. Any motion to terminate the employment of a probationary teacher shall include only one person and must be approved by a majority of the members of the board of education. A tie vote thereon constitutes termination. On or before the fifteenth day of April in each school year, the board of education shall notify in writing a probationary teacher who will not be retained by the school district of the termination of his employment. Upon request, the notice shall contain a concise statement of the reason or reasons the employment of the probationary teacher is being terminated. If the reason for the termination is due to a decrease in pupil enrollment, school district reorganization, or the financial condition of the school district, then the district shall in all cases issue notice to the teacher expressly declaring such as the reason for such termination. Nothing contained in this section shall give rise to a cause of action not currently cognizant at law by a probationary teacher for any reason given in said writing so long as the board issues the letter in good faith without malice, but an action for actual damages may be maintained by any person for the deprivation of a right conferred by this act.

3. Any probationary teacher who is not notified of the termination of his employment shall be deemed to have been appointed for the next school year, under the terms of the contract for the preceding year. A probationary teacher who is informed of reemployment by written notice shall be tendered a contract on or before the fifteenth day of May, and shall within fifteen days thereafter present to the employing board of education a written acceptance or rejection of the employment tendered, and failure of such teachers to present the acceptance within such time constitutes a rejection of the board's offer. A contract between a probationary teacher and a board of education may be terminated or modified at any time by the mutual consent of the parties thereto.]

 

[168.410. School administrators and school district superintendents shall be evaluated in the following manner:

(1) The board of education of each school district shall cause a comprehensive performance-based evaluation for each administrator employed by the district. Such evaluation shall be ongoing and of sufficient specificity and frequency to provide for demonstrated standards of competency and academic ability;

(2) All evaluations shall be maintained in the respective administrator's personnel file at the office of the board of education of the school district. A copy of each evaluation shall be provided to the person being evaluated and to the appropriate administrator;

(3) The state department of elementary and secondary education shall provide suggested procedures for the evaluations performed under this section.]