txt

SCS CSHB 217(FIN): "An Act relating to teacher tenure, teacher layoff and rehire rights, public access to information on public school collective bargaining, 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, regional resource centers, the state boarding school, and regional educational attendance areas."

00 SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 217(FIN)                                                                            
01 "An Act relating to teacher tenure, teacher layoff and rehire rights, public access                                     
02 to information on public school collective bargaining, and to the right of tenured                                      
03 teachers to judicial review of decisions of nonretention or dismissal; and relating                                     
04 to retirement for certain employees of school districts, regional resource centers,                                     
05 the state boarding school, and regional educational attendance areas."                                                  
06 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
07    * Section 1.  AS 14.20.147(b) is amended to read:                                                                    
08     (b)  When a school operated by a federal agency is transferred to or absorbed                                      
09 into a new or existing school district, the teachers shall also be transferred if mutually                            
10 agreed by the teacher or teachers and the school board of the new or existing district.                                 
11 A teacher transferred from a federal agency school that [, WHICH] does not have an                                    
12 official salary schedule or teacher tenure in the same manner as a public school district                               
13 in the state [,] shall be placed on a position on the salary schedule of the absorbing                                  
14 district; the salary may not be less than the teacher would have received in the federal                                
01 agency school.  If the teacher taught four [TWO] or more years in the federal agency                                  
02 school and, at the time of transfer, had a valid Alaska teaching certificate, that teacher                              
03 shall be placed on tenure in the absorbing district.                                                                    
04    * Sec. 2.  AS 14.20.150 is amended to read:                                                                          
05     Sec. 14.20.150.  ACQUISITION OF TENURE RIGHTS.  (a)  A teacher                                                     
06 acquires tenure rights in a district when the teacher                                                                   
07          (1)  possesses a standard teaching certificate; and                                                         
08          (2)  has been employed as a teacher in the same district continuously                                         
09 for four [TWO] full school years and is reemployed for the school year immediately                                    
10 following the four [TWO] full school years; or has been employed as a teacher in                                     
11 the same district continuously for a period equal in length to four full school                                         
12 years, whether or not the period begins on the first day of the school year, and                                        
13 is reemployed on the school year day immediately following completion of the                                            
14 four-consecutive-school-year period.                                                                                   
15     (b)  The tenure rights acquired under (a) of this section become effective on the                                  
16 first day the teacher performs teaching services in the district during the school year                                 
17 immediately following the four-consecutive-school-year period [TWO FULL SCHOOL                                        
18 YEARS].                                                                                                                 
19    * Sec. 3.  AS 14.20.150 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
20  (c)  The district shall provide an evaluation of a nontenured teacher in each year                                    
21 of employment.  For purposes of this subsection, an evaluation includes at least two                                    
22 formal observations and one written evaluation.  Should a plan for improvement be                                       
23 necessary, it shall be developed in cooperation with the teacher, established mentors, if                               
24 any, and appropriate administrators.                                                                                    
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 satisfactory                             
04 manner;                                                                                                                 
05   (2)  immorality, which is defined as the commission of an act that, under                                            
06 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 14.20 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                      
13  Sec. 14.20.177.  LAYOFFS.  (a)  A school district may place a tenured teacher                                         
14 on layoff status but only after the district has nonretained all nontenured teachers and                                
15 only if the district needs to reduce the number of teachers because of a decrease in                                    
16 school enrollment or because the basic need of a school district determined under                                       
17 AS 14.17.021(b) and adjusted under AS 14.17.225(b) decreases by one percent or more                                     
18 from the previous year.  A nontenured teacher is not entitled to layoff rights under this                               
19 section.                                                                                                                
20  (b)  For a period of three years after layoff, a teacher is on layoff status and is                                   
21 entitled to a hiring preference in the district or regional educational attendance area                                 
22 where the teacher had been employed.  The hiring preference applies only to vacant                                      
23 teaching positions for which the teacher is qualified.  If a teacher is offered a teaching                              
24 position for which the teacher is qualified under this subsection and the teacher declines                              
25 the offer, the teacher is no longer considered to be on layoff status and is no longer                                  
26 entitled to a hiring preference under this section unless the teacher declines the offer                                
27 because the teacher is contractually obligated to provide professional services to another                              
28 private or public educational program in Alaska.                                                                        
29  (c)  In making layoff and rehire decisions under this section, a school district may                                  
30 give preference to a primary school teacher who has less seniority than a secondary                                     
31 school teacher in order to preserve the primary school program.  The district may also                                  
01 give preference to a secondary school teacher over a primary school teacher with more                                   
02 seniority in order to preserve secondary school programs.                                                               
03  (d)  Notwithstanding any provision of AS 23.40, the terms of a collective                                             
04 bargaining agreement entered into between a school district or regional educational                                     
05 attendance area and a bargaining organization representing teachers on or after the                                     
06 effective date of this section may not be inconsistent with the provisions of this section.                             
07  (e)  A teacher on layoff status is not entitled to be reemployed under                                                
08 AS 14.20.145 and does not accrue leave.  However, layoff status does not constitute a                                   
09 break in service for retaining                                                                                          
10   (1)  acquired tenure rights; or                                                                                      
11  (2)  accrued sick leave.                                                                                             
12  (f)  A teacher on layoff status may choose whether or not to treat the layoff as                                      
13 a termination for purposes of receiving a refund of the balance of the teacher's member                                 
14 contribution account in the teachers' retirement system under AS 14.25.150.                                             
15    * Sec. 7.  AS 14.20.180(b) is amended to read:                                                                       
16  (b)  The tenured teacher may, within 15 days immediately following receipt of                                         
17 the notification, notify the employer in writing that a hearing before the school board is                              
18 requested or, within 60 days after receipt of the notification, bring suit in superior                                 
19 court.  If the tenured teacher notifies the school board that the teacher is requesting                                 
20 a hearing before the school board, the [.  THE TENURED] teacher may require in the                                     
21 notification that the hearing be either public or private and that the hearing be under oath                            
22 or affirmation.  The notification may also require that the right of cross-examination be                               
23 provided and that the tenured teacher be represented by counsel and have the right to                                   
24 subpoena a person who has made allegations that are used as a basis for the decision of                                 
25 the employer.                                                                                                           
26    * Sec. 8.  AS 14.20.205 is amended to read:                                                                          
27  Sec. 14.20.205.  JUDICIAL REVIEW.  If a school board reaches a decision                                               
28 unfavorable to a teacher after a hearing under AS 14.20.180, the teacher is entitled to                              
29 judicial review based on the record [A DE NOVO TRIAL] in the superior court.                                           
30 However, a teacher who has not attained tenure rights is not entitled to judicial review                               
31 under [ACCORDING TO] this section.                                                                                     
01    * Sec. 9.  AS 14.20.220 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                                
02  (h)  A school district may establish a career path for teachers that includes                                         
03 advancement based on teaching performance.  An evaluation under this subsection may                                     
04 be performed by other teachers employed in the same school district and by the school                                   
05 district.                                                                                                               
06  (i)  A school district may establish teaching positions that have instructional                                       
07 mentoring responsibilities to other teachers and may allow reduced direct instructional                                 
08 workloads for those positions.                                                                                          
09    * Sec. 10.  AS 23.40 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                     
10  Sec. 23.40.185.  INITIAL PROPOSALS AND FINAL AGREEMENTS OF                                                            
11 SCHOOL NEGOTIATIONS ARE PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.  The initial proposals                                                        
12 exchanged by the parties to negotiations between a school district or a regional                                        
13 educational attendance area and a bargaining organization representing its employees and                                
14 the final agreements reached by the parties are public records.                                                         
15    * Sec. 11.  FINDINGS AND PURPOSE AS TO SECTIONS 12 - 19.  Many school districts                                      
16 are facing the need to restructure their operations and their work forces in order to reduce                            
17 expenditures and balance budgets.  Retirement incentives are management tools that have been                            
18 used extensively by the private sector, the federal government, and other state and local                               
19 governments across the country.  The purpose of secs. 12 - 19 of this Act is to make this                               
20 management tool temporarily available to the public schools and regional resource centers of the                        
21 state.  Sections 12 - 19 of this Act will enable these entities to be more efficient and cost-effective by eliminating  
22 nonessential positions, and producing a net reduction in                                                                
23 personnel costs.                                                                                                        
24    * Sec. 12.  RETIREMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM.  (a)  A school district, regional                                          
25 educational attendance area, regional resource center, or the state boarding school may adopt a                         
26 retirement incentive plan under sec. 13 of this Act and designate categories of employees eligible                      
27 to participate in that plan.  An employer need not extend the incentive plan to all employees who                       
28 would otherwise be eligible, but may choose to extend the plan only to employees                                        
29   (1)  in specific budget or administrative components of the employer;                                                 
30   (2)  in specific job classifications;                                                                                 
31   (3)  in specific geographic locations; or                                                                             
01   (4)  on the basis of any combination of factors under (1) - (3) of this subsection.                                   
02      (b)  An employee is eligible to participate in a retirement incentive plan under secs. 11 -                        
03 19 of this Act only if the                                                                                              
04   (1)  employee is a vested member of the public employees' retirement system or                                        
05 the teachers' retirement system;                                                                                        
06   (2)  employee will be qualified to retire under AS 14.25.110 or AS 39.35.370                                          
07 after receipt of the credit described in (f) of this section;                                                           
08   (3)  savings to the employer in personal services costs for the employee's position                                   
09 will exceed the costs to the employer for that position within three years after the employee is                        
10 appointed to retirement.                                                                                                
11      (c)  An employer shall file its proposed retirement incentive plan with the commissioner                           
12 of administration.  The commissioner shall approve the plan if the plan meets the requirements                          
13 of secs. 11 - 19 of this Act.  A proposed plan filed under this section must                                            
14           (1)  identify job classifications of employees, and specific budget or                                        
15 administrative components, eligible to participate in the plan;                                                         
16           (2)  include a reimbursement agreement that                                                                   
17          (A)  requires the employer, for each employee who retires under the plan,                                     
18 to reimburse the appropriate retirement system, within three years after the end of the                                 
19 fiscal year in which the employee is appointed to retirement, in an amount equal to                                     
20         (i)  the actuarial equivalent of the difference between the benefits                                          
21 the participant receives after the addition of the credit under (f) of this section                                     
22 and the amount the participant would have received without the credit, less the                                         
23 amount the participant has paid on the indebtedness determined under (d) or (e)                                         
24 of this section; and                                                                                                    
25         (ii)  an appropriate share of the administrative costs of the                                                 
26 program; and                                                                                                            
27          (B)  provides that contributions from the employer under this section take                                    
28 priority over other obligations of the employer to the maximum extent permitted by law.                                 
29      (d)  A member of the teachers' retirement system who participates in an approved                                   
30 retirement incentive plan under secs. 11 - 19 of this Act is indebted to that system for an amount                      
31 calculated under this subsection.  The indebtedness is 25.95 percent of the member's actual                             
01 compensation for the school year in which the member terminates employment, or the calculated                           
02 school year compensation for a member who works less than the entire school year.  An                                   
03 outstanding indebtedness at the time a member is appointed to retirement under an approved                              
04 retirement incentive plan requires an actuarial adjustment to the benefits payable to that member.                      
05      (e)  A member of the public employees' retirement system who participates in an                                    
06 approved retirement incentive plan under secs. 11 - 19 of this Act is indebted to that system for                       
07 an amount calculated under this subsection.  The indebtedness is 20-1/4 percent of the member's                         
08 actual annual compensation for the year in which the member terminates employment, or the                               
09 calculated annual compensation for a member who works fewer than 12 months.  An outstanding                             
10 indebtedness at the time a member is appointed to retirement under an approved retirement                               
11 incentive plan requires  an actuarial adjustment to the benefits payable to that member.                                
12      (f)  An employee who participates in an approved retirement incentive plan under                                   
13 secs. 11 - 19 of this Act receives a credit of three years.  The three years must be applied in the                     
14 following order until exhausted:                                                                                        
15           (1)  to meet the age or service required for eligibility for normal retirement under                          
16 AS 14.25.110 or AS 39.35.370, as appropriate;                                                                           
17           (2)  to meet the age required for early retirement under AS 14.25.110 or                                      
18 AS 39.35.370, as appropriate;                                                                                           
19           (3)  to reduce the actuarial adjustment required for early retirement under                                   
20 AS 14.25.110 or AS 39.35.370, as appropriate;                                                                           
21           (4)  as years of credited service for calculating retirement benefits.                                        
22    * Sec. 13.  AUTHORIZATION FOR RETIREMENT INCENTIVE.  (a)  An employer may                                            
23 adopt, and file with the commissioner of administration for approval, a proposed retirement                             
24 incentive plan for its employees.  A plan adopted under this section must provide that the                              
25 application period for participation in the retirement incentive plan is June 30, 1995, through                         
26 December 31, 1995.                                                                                                      
27      (b)  The commissioner of administration may not accept the application of an employee                              
28 to participate in an approved retirement incentive plan adopted under this section unless the                           
29 employee will be appointed to retirement on or before August 1, 1996.  The employer, in a plan                          
30 adopted under this section, may set an earlier date by which an employee must be appointed to                           
31 retirement in order to participate in the plan.                                                                         
01    * Sec. 14.  RECOVERY OF EMPLOYER DELINQUENCIES.  To recover a delinquency                                            
02 owed by an employer other than the state under an agreement entered into under sec. 12(c)(2)                            
03 of this Act, the Department of Administration may                                                                       
04           (1)  direct that the amount of the delinquency or a lesser amount be withheld                                 
05 from any money payable to the employer by a state department or agency and that the amount                              
06 withheld be credited to the delinquency; and                                                                            
07   (2) bring an action against the employer.                                                                             
08    * Sec. 15.  REEMPLOYMENT INDEBTEDNESS; PROHIBITION ON REEMPLOYMENT.                                                  
09 (a)  If an individual is reemployed as a member of the public employees' retirement system                              
10 under AS 39.35, the teachers' retirement system under AS 14.25, the judicial retirement system                          
11 under AS 22.25, or the optional university retirement program under AS 14.40.661 - 14.40.799                            
12 after appointment to retirement under secs. 11 - 19 of this Act, that individual forfeits the                           
13 incentive credit received under sec. 12(f) of this Act and is indebted to the system under which                        
14 the individual took retirement.  The indebtedness is 110 percent of the amount the individual                           
15 received as a result of participation in a retirement incentive plan under secs. 11 - 19 of this Act                    
16 and to which the individual would not otherwise have been entitled, including the cost of health                        
17 insurance.  The amount that the individual has paid under sec. 12(d) or (e) of this Act will be                         
18 applied as a credit toward the reemployment indebtedness.  Interest on the reemployment                                 
19 indebtedness accrues from the date of reemployment until the date that the individual either is                         
20 appointed to retirement and accepts an actuarial adjustment to the individual's future benefits or                      
21 repays the indebtedness in full.  The rate of interest is that established by regulation for the                        
22 public employees' retirement system by the public employees' retirement board and for the                               
23 teachers' retirement system by the teachers' retirement board.                                                          
24  (b)  An individual who was appointed to retirement under secs. 11 - 19 of this Act may                                 
25 not be employed by, or enter into a contract for personal services with, a state agency or the                          
26 University of Alaska within the three years after the date of appointment to retirement, except                         
27 that                                                                                                                    
28   (1)  the University of Alaska may enter into a personal services contract with the                                    
29 individual for teaching or research; and                                                                                
30   (2)  the individual may accept employment with the legislature during a                                               
31 legislative session if the employment is on an hourly basis and does not entitle the individual                         
01 to receive retirement, health, or leave benefits.                                                                       
02  (c)  Notwithstanding the prohibition in (b) of this section, a state agency or the                                     
03 University of Alaska may enter into a personal services contract with an individual who was                             
04 appointed to retirement under secs. 11 - 19 of this Act if the Board of Regents, for the                                
05 University of Alaska, or the commissioner of administration, for a state agency, determines that                        
06 there is a compelling reason to do so because of the individual's specialized or extensive                              
07 experience that relates to a particular program or project of the state agency or university.                           
08    * Sec. 16.  OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET.  The office of management and                                           
09 budget shall submit a report to the legislature on the retirement incentive program under secs. 11                      
10 - 19 of this Act on April 15, 1997.  The report must provide the information necessary for the                          
11 legislature to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs in achieving their objectives.                                
12    * Sec. 17.  PROGRAM CHANGES.  (a)  An individual employee does not have a vested or                                  
13 contractual right to a benefit under secs. 11 - 19 of this Act until an agreement is executed with                      
14 the administrator that specifically authorizes that employee to participate in the retirement                           
15 incentive program under secs. 11 - 19 of this Act. The legislature reserves the right to change                         
16 any aspect of the retirement incentive program as it relates to employees for whom participation                        
17 agreements have not yet been executed with the administrator or with the commissioner of                                
18 administration.                                                                                                         
19  (b)  In this section, "administrator" means the administrator of the public employees'                                 
20 retirement system for employees who are members of that system, and the administrator of the                            
21 teachers' retirement system for employees who are members of that system.                                               
22    * Sec. 18.  REGULATIONS.  The commissioner of the Department of Administration may                                   
23 adopt regulations under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act) to implement and interpret                              
24 secs. 11 - 19 of this Act.                                                                                              
25    * Sec. 19.  DEFINITIONS.  (a)  Unless provided otherwise in secs. 11 - 19 of this Act, the                           
26 definitions set out in AS 14.25.220 apply to provisions in secs. 12- 15 of this Act that relate to                      
27 the teachers' retirement system and members of the teachers' retirement system.                                         
28  (b)  Unless provided otherwise in secs. 11 - 19 of this Act, the definitions set out in                                
29 AS 39.35.680 apply to provisions in secs. 12 - 15 of this Act that relate to the public employees'                      
30 retirement system and members of the public employees' retirement system.                                               
31  (c) In secs. 11 - 19 of this Act,                                                                                      
01   (1)  "employer" means a school district, regional educational attendance area,                                        
02 regional resource center, or the state boarding school;                                                                 
03   (2)  "office of management and budget" means the office of management and                                             
04 budget in the Office of the Governor;                                                                                   
05   (3)  "public employees' retirement system" means the Public Employees'                                                
06 Retirement System of Alaska (AS 39.35);                                                                                 
07   (4)  "teachers' retirement system" means the Teachers' Retirement System of                                           
08 Alaska (AS 14.25).                                                                                                      
09    * Sec. 20.  The amendments made by secs. 1 - 3 this Act apply to teachers first hired by a                           
10 school district on or after the effective date of this Act.                                                             
11    * Sec. 21.  Sections 12 and 13 of this Act are repealed July 1, 1997.