CSHB 217(JUD): "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(JUD) 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 the basic need of a school district determined under AS 14.17.021(b) and adjusted 17 under AS 14.17.225(b) decreases by three percent or more from the previous year. 18 This section does not apply to a teacher who has not acquired tenure rights. 19  (b) For a period of three years after layoff, a teacher is on layoff status and 20 is entitled to a hiring preference in the district or regional educational attendance area 21 where the teacher had been employed. The hiring preference applies only to vacant 22 teaching positions for which the teacher is qualified. If a teacher is offered a teaching 23 position under this subsection and the teacher declines the offer, the teacher is no 24 longer considered to be on layoff status and is no longer entitled to a hiring preference 25 under this section. 26  (c) In making layoff and rehire decisions under this section, a school district 27 may give preference to a primary school teacher who has less seniority than a 28 secondary school teacher in order to preserve the primary school program. The district 29 may also give preference to a secondary school teacher over a primary school teacher 30 with more seniority in order to preserve secondary school programs. 31  (d) Notwithstanding any provision of AS 23.40, the terms of a collective

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