CSHB 217(L&C): "An Act relating to teacher tenure, teacher layoff and rehire rights, and to the right of tenured teachers to judicial review of decisions of nonretention or dismissal; and relating to retirement for certain employees of school districts and regional educational attendance areas."

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

01 school and, at the time of transfer, had a valid Alaska teaching certificate, that teacher 02 shall be placed on tenure in the absorbing district. 03 * Sec. 2. AS 14.20.150 is amended to read: 04  Sec. 14.20.150. ACQUISITION OF TENURE RIGHTS. (a) A teacher 05 acquires tenure rights in a district when the teacher 06  (1) possesses a standard teaching certificate; and 07  (2) has been employed as a teacher in the same district continuously 08 for four [TWO] full school years and is reemployed for the school year immediately 09 following the four [TWO] full school years. 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 14.20.160 is amended to read: 14  Sec. 14.20.160. LOSS OF TENURE RIGHTS. Tenure rights are lost when the 15 teacher's employment in the district is interrupted or terminated. However, a teacher 16 on layoff status does not lose tenure rights during the period of layoff except as 17 provided under AS 14.20.177. 18 * Sec. 4. AS 14.20.175(b) is amended to read: 19  (b) A teacher who has acquired tenure rights is subject to nonretention for the 20 following school year only for the following causes: 21  (1) incompetency, which is defined as the inability or the unintentional 22 or intentional failure to perform the teacher's customary teaching duties in a 23 satisfactory manner; 24  (2) immorality, which is defined as the commission of an act that, 25 under the laws of the state, constitutes a crime involving moral turpitude; or 26  (3) substantial noncompliance with the school laws of the state, the 27 regulations or bylaws of the department, the bylaws of the district, or the written rules 28 of the superintendent [; OR 29  (4) A NECESSARY REDUCTION OF STAFF OCCASIONED BY A 30 DECREASE IN SCHOOL ATTENDANCE]. 31 * Sec. 5. AS 14.20 is amended by adding a new section to read:

01  Sec. 14.20.177. LAYOFFS. (a) A school district may place a teacher who has 02 acquired tenure rights on layoff status but only after the district has nonretained all 03 nontenured teachers and only if it is necessary for the district to reduce the number of 04 tenured teachers because of a decrease in school attendance or because of a financial 05 emergency verified by the commissioner of education. The commissioner's 06 determination is not subject to review or appeal. This section does not apply to a 07 teacher who has not acquired tenure rights. 08  (b) For a period of three years after layoff, a teacher is on layoff status and 09 is entitled to a hiring preference in the district or regional educational attendance area 10 where the teacher had been employed. The hiring preference applies only to vacant 11 teaching positions for which the teacher is qualified. If a teacher is offered a teaching 12 position under this subsection and the teacher declines the offer, the teacher is no 13 longer considered to be on layoff status and is no longer entitled to a hiring preference 14 under this section. 15  (c) In making layoff and rehire decisions under this section, a school district 16 may give preference to a primary school teacher who has less seniority than a 17 secondary school teacher in order to preserve the primary school program. The district 18 may also give preference to a secondary school teacher over a primary school teacher 19 with more seniority in order to preserve secondary school programs. 20  (d) Notwithstanding any provision of AS 23.40, the terms of a collective 21 bargaining agreement entered into between a school district or regional educational 22 attendance area and a bargaining organization representing teachers on or after the 23 effective date of this section may not be inconsistent with the provisions of this 24 section. 25  (e) A teacher on layoff status is not entitled to be reemployed under 26 AS 14.20.145 and does not accrue leave. However, layoff status does not constitute 27 a break in service for 28  (1) retaining acquired tenure rights; or 29  (2) retaining accrued sick leave. 30  (f) A teacher on layoff status may choose whether or not to treat the layoff as 31 a termination for purposes of receiving a refund of the balance of the teacher's member

01 contribution account in the teachers' retirement system under AS 14.25.150. 02 * Sec. 6. AS 14.20.180(b) is amended to read: 03  (b) The tenured teacher may, within 15 days immediately following receipt of 04 the notification, notify the employer in writing that a hearing before the school board is 05 requested or, within 60 days after receipt of the notification, bring suit in superior 06 court. If the tenured teacher notifies the school board that the teacher is requesting 07 a hearing before the school board, the [. THE TENURED] teacher may require in the 08 notification that the hearing be either public or private and that the hearing be under oath 09 or affirmation. The notification may also require that the right of cross-examination be 10 provided and that the tenured teacher be represented by counsel and have the right to 11 subpoena a person who has made allegations that are used as a basis for the decision of 12 the employer. 13 * Sec. 7. AS 14.20.205 is amended to read: 14  Sec. 14.20.205. JUDICIAL REVIEW. If a school board reaches a decision 15 unfavorable to a teacher after a hearing under AS 14.20.180, the teacher is entitled to 16 judicial review based on the record [A DE NOVO TRIAL] in the superior court. 17 However, a teacher who has not attained tenure rights is not entitled to judicial review 18 under [ACCORDING TO] this section. 19 * Sec. 8. The amendments made by secs. 1 and 2 of this Act apply to teachers first hired by 20 a school district on or after the effective date of this Act.