HB 1526 -- School Personnel


Sponsor: Dieckhaus


This bill changes the laws regarding school personnel and

establishes the Teacher Multiyear Contract Act.


TEACHING STANDARDS AND TEACHER SALARIES


The bill allows existing teaching standards to become part of a

district’s evaluation system for teachers. The provision

specifying a minimum salary requirement for a teacher with a

master’s degree is repealed.


TEACHER TENURE ACT


The bill revises the provisions of the Teacher Tenure Act, which

currently applies to every district except the St. Louis City

public schools, to become applicable to all teachers, including

St. Louis City teachers, who are currently employed or contracted

to begin employment before June 30, 2013, as of July 1, 2013.


The allowable causes for termination are revised to remove unfit

mental and physical condition, immoral conduct, and incompetency

and replaced with unsatisfactory performance based on an

evaluation on specified teaching standards and performance

measures and specified immoral conduct. The provisions regarding

the hearing for a teacher who is being discharged are revised to

allow a hearing officer to conduct the hearing in a district that

has vested its powers in a special administrative board. The

action and the decision of the board on the charges will be

final. Reduction in the work force cannot be based on seniority

or years of service. Effective performance must be the deciding

criterion when placing teachers on a leave of absence due to

financial conditions.


ST. LOUIS CITY SCHOOL EMPLOYEES


The provisions regarding a reduction in the work force for St.

Louis public school noncertificated employees is similarly

revised; and their qualifications for promotion, which currently

are based on length and character of service, are changed to

reflect only character of service.


PRINCIPALS AND SUPERINTENDENTS


The bill allows existing administrator standards to become part

of a district’s evaluation system for administrators.


Currently, the superintendent of the St. Louis City public schools may have a contract for a term of from one to five years

in length, while all other superintendents have a three-year

maximum. The bill makes three years the maximum term for all

superintendents and four years the maximum term for other

administrators. Principals have the right to select teachers

rated “effective” and “highly effective” through a mutual consent

placement process.


TEACHER MULTIYEAR CONTRACT ACT


The bill establishes the Teacher Multiyear Contract Act which

will apply to a new certificated teacher in any district who is

contracted to begin initial employment on or after July 1, 2013.

After an initial one-year contract, a teacher may be granted a

contract for a period of two to four years based on the

district’s policy for standards for multiple year contracts. A

teacher who receives two successive annual evaluations of

“ineffective” will not be reemployed. The bill specifies:


(1) The circumstances under which a multiyear contract may be

ended;


(2) The provisions which a multiyear contract must contain;


(3) Circumstances under which a relative of a school board

member cannot be employed;


(4) The timetable for modifying an existing multiyear contract;


(5) That each district must develop a compensation plan for

certificated employees and update it annually;


(6) That a multiyear contract may be terminated or modified by

mutual consent;


(7) That written notice be given by January 31 of a nonrenewal

of a multiyear contract;


(8) The causes for which an existing contract can be terminated;


(9) The procedure for the termination of a contract, which must

include a hearing by the board of education if requested by the

teacher;


(10) That a district may develop personnel policies;


(11) That a district may reduce the number of teaching positions

because of financial conditions and that decisions concerning

layoff and rehiring must be based on performance rather than

seniority;


(12) That principals have the right to select teachers rated

“effective” and “highly effective” through a mutual consent

process;


(13) That each district must maintain personnel records,

including evaluations;


(14) That a school board member is not liable in a civil action

for his or her personnel decisions based on an evaluation of or a

statement of charges against a teacher;

 

(15) The minimum measures that must be included in an evaluation

of a teacher or principal; and


(16) That a public school district with sufficient due process

provided through its own policies cannot be considered a state

agency subject to the contested case procedures under Chapter

536, RSMo.


EVALUATIONS


Teachers and principals will undergo an evaluation that must

include, at a minimum, the following:


(1) An evaluation system that uses multiple measures aligned

with growth in student achievement which will be used in

personnel and compensation decisions. A district that does not

develop its own system must use the model system developed by the

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education;


(2) Measures that are fair, rigorous, transparent and valid. At

least 50% of a teacher’s evaluation must be based on student

achievement growth on state assessments. The bill describes the

process for the development of measures for teachers for whom

performance on statewide assessments is not available;


(3) A written notice to the teacher or principal in advance of

the evaluation of any specific indicators that will be used to

evaluate him or her;


(4) That an evaluation will result in one of four rating levels;


(5) That each school district board must develop the evaluation

system for administration as a pilot project during the 2012-2013

school year and implemented during the 2013-2014 school year.

The department must develop standards for implementation of local

systems, including processes for determining who is the teacher

of record and what is the minimum amount of contact for

assignment of a student’s scores to a teacher. The department

must also develop a student growth model and a value-added system for determining student growth, provide technical assistance to

districts, develop a model system for use by districts lacking

the resources to develop their own systems, monitor local systems

for consistency results, and link teacher preparation program

data with student outcomes.


The provisions regarding the existing tenure laws, integration of

the St. Louis tenure system into the statewide system, and

standardizing the length of a superintendent’s term become

effective July 1, 2013.