CSHB 217(HES): "An Act relating to teacher tenure, teacher layoff and rehire rights, and to review of decisions of school boards concerning teachers."

00CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 217(HES) 01 "An Act relating to teacher tenure, teacher layoff and rehire rights, and to 02 review of decisions of school boards concerning teachers." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. AS 14.20.147(b) is amended to read: 05  (b) When a school operated by a federal agency is transferred to or absorbed 06 into a new or existing school district, the teachers shall also be transferred if mutually 07 agreed by the teacher or teachers and the school board of the new or existing district. 08 A teacher transferred from a federal agency school that [, WHICH] does not have an 09 official salary schedule or teacher tenure in the same manner as a public school district 10 in the state [,] shall be placed on a position on the salary schedule of the absorbing 11 district; the salary may not be less than the teacher would have received in the federal 12 agency school. If the teacher taught four [TWO] or more years in the federal agency 13 school and, at the time of transfer, had a valid Alaska teaching certificate, that teacher 14 shall be placed on tenure in the absorbing district.

01 * Sec. 2. AS 14.20.150 is amended to read: 02  Sec. 14.20.150. ACQUISITION OF TENURE RIGHTS. (a) A teacher 03 acquires tenure rights in a district when the teacher 04  (1) possesses a standard teaching certificate; 05  (2) has been employed as a teacher in the same district continuously 06 for four [TWO] full school years and is reemployed for the school year immediately 07 following the four [TWO] full school years; and 08  (3) has been evaluated and recommended for tenure under (c) of 09 this section. 10  (b) The tenure rights acquired under (a) of this section become effective on the 11 first day the teacher performs teaching services in the district during the school year 12 immediately following the four [TWO] full school years. 13 * Sec. 3. AS 14.20.150 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 14  (c) The superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall annually evaluate 15 the performance of each teacher in the district who has not earned tenure. In addition, 16 for three of the four years before a tenure decision is made, each untenured teacher 17 shall be evaluated by a peer review committee appointed by the superintendent. The 18 superintendent shall appoint three teachers to a peer review committee unless the 19 superintendent determines that, given the number of untenured teachers compared to 20 the number of teachers available to serve on peer review committees, a committee 21 should be composed of two teachers. A peer review committee shall submit its 22 evaluation in writing to the superintendent and to the nontenured teacher. The 23 evaluation by the peer review committee is advisory only. The superintendent shall 24 recommend whether a teacher should be granted tenure. 25 * Sec. 4. AS 14.20.160 is amended to read: 26  Sec. 14.20.160. LOSS OF TENURE RIGHTS. Tenure rights are lost when the 27 teacher's employment in the district is interrupted or terminated. However, a teacher 28 on layoff status does not lose tenure rights during the period of layoff except as 29 provided under AS 14.20.177. 30 * Sec. 5. AS 14.20.175(b) is amended to read: 31  (b) A teacher who has acquired tenure rights is subject to nonretention for the

01 following school year only for the following causes: 02  (1) incompetency, which is defined as the inability or the unintentional 03 or intentional failure to perform the teacher's customary teaching duties in a 04 satisfactory manner; 05  (2) immorality, which is defined as the commission of an act that, 06 under the laws of the state, constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude; or 07  (3) substantial noncompliance with the school laws of the state, the 08 regulations or bylaws of the department, the bylaws of the district, or the written rules 09 of the superintendent [; OR 10  (4) A NECESSARY REDUCTION OF STAFF OCCASIONED BY A 11 DECREASE IN SCHOOL ATTENDANCE]. 12 * Sec. 6. AS 14.25 is amended by adding a new section to read: 13  Sec. 14.20.177. LAYOFFS. (a) A school district may place a teacher who has 14 acquired tenure rights on layoff status but only if it is necessary for the district to 15 reduce the number of teachers because of a decrease in school attendance or because 16 of a substantial decrease in school district revenue. 17  (b) For a period of three years after layoff, a teacher is on layoff status and 18 is entitled to a hiring preference in the district or regional educational attendance area 19 where the teacher had been employed. The hiring preference applies only to vacant 20 teaching positions for which the teacher is qualified. If a teacher is offered a teaching 21 position under this subsection and the teacher declines the offer, the teacher is no 22 longer considered to be on layoff status and is no longer entitled to a hiring preference 23 under this section. 24  (c) In making layoff and rehire decisions under this section, a school district 25 may lay off or fail to rehire a secondary school teacher who has more seniority than 26 a primary school teacher in order to give preference to a teacher skilled in teaching at 27 the primary school level. The district may also give preference to a secondary school 28 teacher over a primary school teacher with more seniority in order to preserve 29 secondary school programs. 30  (d) Notwithstanding any provision of AS 23.40, the terms of a collective 31 bargaining agreement entered into between a school district or regional educational

01 attendance area and a bargaining organization representing teachers on or after the 02 effective date of this section may not be inconsistent with the provisions of this 03 section. 04  (e) A teacher on layoff status is not entitled to be reemployed under 05 AS 14.20.145 and does not accrue leave. Time spent on layoff status does not count 06 toward the acquisition of tenure rights. However, layoff status does not constitute a 07 break in service for 08  (1) determining eligibility for tenure; 09  (2) retaining acquired tenure rights; or 10  (3) retaining accrued sick leave. 11 * Sec. 7. AS 14.20.205 is amended to read: 12  Sec. 14.20.205. JUDICIAL REVIEW. If a school board reaches a decision 13 unfavorable to a teacher, the teacher is entitled to mandatory, advisory arbitration 14 conducted by a neutral third party and, if the decision of the school board 15 remains unfavorable to the teacher, to judicial review based on the record [A DE 16 NOVO TRIAL] in the superior court. However, a teacher who has not attained tenure 17 rights is not entitled to arbitration or judicial review under [ACCORDING TO] this 18 section. 19 * Sec. 8. The amendments made by this Act apply to teachers first hired by a school 20 district on or after the effective date of this Act.