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."
00SENATE 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.