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TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFICATION FOR DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TEACHERS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, a national organization with nineteen partner states, including Hawaii, is focused on improving student learning by ensuring that there is a caring, competent, and qualified teacher in every classroom.
Over the past year, with the Lieutenant Governor as its chairperson, the Hawaii Policy Group of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, comprised of a representative group of educational stakeholders, has collaborated on research-based recommendations to improve teaching in Hawaii. The recommendations encompass five key areas:
(1) Establishing and implementing standards for students and teachers;
(2) Teacher preparation and professional development;
(3) Teacher recruitment and placing qualified teachers in all classrooms;
(4) Encouraging and rewarding teaching knowledge and skill; and
(5) Creating schools that are organized for student and teacher success.
One thing was clear: aside from home and societal factors, teacher quality is, without a question, the most influential factor in student achievement. Standards-based reform has a greater chance of success when teacher quality is addressed and given our highest priority. We must equip our teachers with the resources and skills necessary to ensure that all students attain their full potential.
Research indicates that teacher qualifications comprise a significant factor affecting student achievement and that National Board Certified teachers have a strong impact on their students. It is important to identify, support, recognize and reward Hawaii teachers in the department of education who voluntarily undergo the National Board certification process.
National Board Certification requires a tremendous commitment of time beyond a teacher's normally long day. The application fee of $2,500 represents a large financial investment. To be successful, certification candidates need a strong support program, access to the program and testing facilities, and release days to organize the documents and portfolio required to be submitted for certification.
Salary bonuses that are valid for each year of a teacher's certification currently set at ten years, have been effective incentives in many states. Reimbursement of the $2,500 application fee is also a necessary and important incentive to teachers.
In Hawaii's short history with National Board Certification candidate support efforts have been severely hindered because no state agency has been assigned the responsibility for recruiting candidates, organizing and spearheading efforts related to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Because of its keen interest in teacher standards and quality, the Hawaii teacher standards board is a logical choice for this responsibility.
It is the purpose of this Act to authorize the Hawaii teacher standards board to develop, implement, and administer a program to support National Board Certification candidates in the public schools and to appropriate funds to the department of education to provide candidate support by reimbursing application fees, paying salary bonuses to certified teachers, subsidizing a candidate support program, and providing inter-island airfare for neighbor island candidates to attend candidate support sessions and assessment center exercises.
SECTION 2. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $100,000 or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2001-2002, and the sum of $120,000, or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2002-2003, to establish a National Board Certification candidate support program for public school teachers to be implemented and administered by the Hawaii teacher standards board. The National Board Certification candidate support program shall provide candidate support by reimbursement of candidate application fees, establishing release days, payment of salary bonuses to certified teachers, and payment of transportation expenses to enable neighbor island candidates to attend candidate support sessions and assessment center exercises on Oahu.
For the purposes of this Act, a portion of the funds appropriated shall be expended to provide salary bonuses of $5,000 to National Board Certified public school teachers for each year their certificate is valid. The salary bonus shall be subject to collective bargaining as provided in chapter 89, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
SECTION 3. The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of education for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 4. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designed and to read as follows:
"§302A- Candidates for certification. (a) There is created in the department, a national board certification support program to provide assistance to any teacher in a public school who becomes a candidate for national board certification. (b) The Hawaii teacher standards board shall develop, implement, and administer the program."
SECTION 5. Section 302A-803, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§302A-803 Powers and duties of the board. In addition to establishing standards for the issuance of licenses and credentials [-] and any other powers and duties authorized by law, the board's powers shall also include:
(1) Setting and administering its own budget;
(2) Adopting, amending, repealing, or suspending the policies, standards, or rules of the board in accordance with chapter 91;
(3) Receiving grants or donations from private foundations;
(4) Submitting an annual report to the governor and the legislature on the board's operations;
(5) Conducting a cyclical review of standards and suggesting revisions for their improvement;
(6) Establishing licensing and credentialing fees in accordance with chapter 91, including the collection of fees by means of mandatory payroll deductions, which shall subsequently be deposited into the state treasury and credited to the Hawaii teacher standards board revolving fund;
(7) Establishing penalties in accordance with chapter 91; and
(8) Granting extensions of credentials on a case-by-case basis pursuant to section 302A-805."
SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2001; provided that amendments made to section 302A-803, Hawaii Revised Statutes, by this Act shall not be repealed when that section is reenacted on June 30, 2002 pursuant to section 4 of Act 106, Session Laws of 2000.