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

00 CS 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.