By Delisi H.B. No. 704 77R4040 CAS-D A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to the Careers to Classrooms Program. 1-3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-4 SECTION 1. Chapter 21, Education Code, is amended by adding 1-5 Subchapter M to read as follows: 1-6 SUBCHAPTER M. CAREERS TO CLASSROOMS PROGRAM 1-7 Sec. 21.601. DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter: 1-8 (1) "Institution of higher education" has the meaning 1-9 assigned by 20 U.S.C. Section 1001 and its subsequent amendments. 1-10 (2) "Program" means the Careers to Classrooms Program. 1-11 Sec. 21.602. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM. The agency shall 1-12 establish a program to: 1-13 (1) assist persons in obtaining certification in this 1-14 state as elementary or secondary school teachers or educational 1-15 aides; and 1-16 (2) facilitate the employment of those persons by 1-17 school districts in this state that: 1-18 (A) receive grants under 20 U.S.C. Section 6311 1-19 et seq. and its subsequent amendments on the basis of having in the 1-20 district concentrations of children who are educationally 1-21 disadvantaged; and 1-22 (B) have a shortage of: 1-23 (i) qualified teachers, particularly 1-24 science, mathematics, computer science, or engineering teachers; or 2-1 (ii) educational aides. 2-2 Sec. 21.603. ELIGIBILITY. A person is eligible for the 2-3 program if: 2-4 (1) in the case of a person planning to become 2-5 certified in this state as a public elementary or secondary school 2-6 teacher, the person has received a baccalaureate or advanced degree 2-7 from an institution of higher education; and 2-8 (2) in the case of a person planning to become 2-9 certified in this state as an educational aide, the person has 2-10 received an associate, baccalaureate, or advanced degree from an 2-11 institution of higher education. 2-12 Sec. 21.604. INFORMATION AND APPLICATIONS. (a) The agency 2-13 shall develop an application for the program. 2-14 (b) The agency and the State Board for Educator 2-15 Certification shall distribute the applications and information 2-16 regarding the program. 2-17 Sec. 21.605. SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS. (a) The agency 2-18 shall select persons to participate in the program on the basis of 2-19 applications submitted to the agency. 2-20 (b) Each application must be submitted: 2-21 (1) in the form and contain the information the agency 2-22 requires; and 2-23 (2) in a timely manner. 2-24 Sec. 21.606. PREFERENCES. (a) In selecting persons to 2-25 participate in the program who are planning to become certified in 2-26 this state as teachers, the agency shall give preference to a 2-27 person who: 3-1 (1) has substantial, demonstrated career experience in 3-2 science, mathematics, computer science, or engineering and agrees 3-3 to seek employment as a teacher in one of those subjects in a 3-4 public elementary or secondary school in this state; or 3-5 (2) has substantial, demonstrated career experience in 3-6 a field other than science, mathematics, computer science, or 3-7 engineering that is identified by the agency as a field important 3-8 for state educational objectives and agrees to seek employment as a 3-9 teacher in a subject related to that field in a public elementary 3-10 or secondary school in this state. 3-11 (b) The commissioner shall determine the level of experience 3-12 considered substantial for purposes of this section. 3-13 Sec. 21.607. AGREEMENT. (a) A person selected to 3-14 participate in the program who is planning to become certified as a 3-15 teacher must enter into a written agreement with the agency under 3-16 which the person agrees to: 3-17 (1) obtain, within the period the agency by rule 3-18 requires, certification in this state as an elementary or secondary 3-19 school teacher; and 3-20 (2) accept, during the first school year that begins 3-21 after the date the person becomes certified, an offer of full-time 3-22 employment for at least two school years as an elementary or 3-23 secondary school teacher with a school district described by 3-24 Sections 21.602(2)(A) and (B)(i). 3-25 (b) A person selected to participate in the program who is 3-26 planning to become certified as an educational aide must enter into 3-27 a written agreement with the agency under which the person agrees 4-1 to: 4-2 (1) obtain, within the period the agency by rule 4-3 requires, certification in this state as an educational aide; and 4-4 (2) accept, during the first school year that begins 4-5 after the date the person becomes certified, an offer of full-time 4-6 employment for at least two school years as an educational aide 4-7 with a school district described by Sections 21.602(2)(A) and 4-8 (B)(ii). 4-9 Sec. 21.608. STIPEND. The agency shall pay to each 4-10 participant in the program a stipend equal to the lesser of: 4-11 (1) $5,000; or 4-12 (2) an amount equal to the total costs of the type 4-13 described by Paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (8), and (9), 20 U.S.C. 4-14 Section 1087ll, and its subsequent amendments, incurred by the 4-15 person while obtaining certification in this state as a teacher or 4-16 educational aide and employment as a teacher or educational aide at 4-17 a public elementary or secondary school in this state. 4-18 Sec. 21.609. REIMBURSEMENT. (a) A participant in the 4-19 program who fails to obtain certification or employment as required 4-20 by the agreement under Section 21.607 or who voluntarily leaves or 4-21 is terminated for cause from employment after teaching in a public 4-22 elementary or secondary school in this state for less than two 4-23 school years shall reimburse the agency for the portion of the 4-24 stipend that bears the same ratio to the amount of the stipend as 4-25 the unserved portion of required service bears to the two school 4-26 years of required service. 4-27 (b) The obligation to reimburse the agency under this 5-1 section is, for all purposes, a debt to the state. A discharge in 5-2 bankruptcy under Title 11, United States Code, does not release a 5-3 participant from the obligation to reimburse the agency. The 5-4 amount owed bears interest at the rate equal to the highest rate 5-5 being paid by the United States on the day the reimbursement is 5-6 determined to be due for securities that have maturities of 90 days 5-7 or less, and the interest accrues from the day the participant 5-8 receives notice of the amount due. 5-9 (c) For purposes of this section, a participant in the 5-10 program is not considered to be in violation of an agreement under 5-11 Section 21.607 during any period in which the participant: 5-12 (1) is pursuing a full-time course of study related to 5-13 the field of teaching at an institution of higher education 5-14 approved by the State Board for Educator Certification; 5-15 (2) is serving on active duty as a member of the armed 5-16 forces of the United States; 5-17 (3) is temporarily totally disabled for a period not 5-18 to exceed three years as established by affidavit of a qualified 5-19 physician; 5-20 (4) is unable to secure employment for a period not to 5-21 exceed one year because of care required by a disabled spouse; 5-22 (5) is seeking and unable to find full-time employment 5-23 as a teacher in a public elementary or secondary school for a 5-24 single period not to exceed 27 months; or 5-25 (6) satisfies the provisions of any additional 5-26 reimbursement exception adopted by the agency. 5-27 (d) A participant is excused from reimbursement under 6-1 Subsection (a) if the participant becomes permanently totally 6-2 disabled as established by affidavit of a qualified physician. The 6-3 agency may waive reimbursement for some or all of the amount owed 6-4 in the case of extreme hardship to the participant. 6-5 Sec. 21.610. GRANTS TO FACILITATE PLACEMENT. (a) The agency 6-6 may enter into an agreement as prescribed by Subsection (b) with a 6-7 school district described by Section 21.602(2) that first employs 6-8 as a full-time elementary or secondary school teacher or 6-9 educational aide after certification a person participating in the 6-10 program. 6-11 (b) An agreement under this section must provide that: 6-12 (1) the school district agrees to employ the person 6-13 full-time for at least two school years at a specified salary in a 6-14 district school that: 6-15 (A) serves a concentration of children who are 6-16 educationally disadvantaged; and 6-17 (B) has an exceptional need for teachers or 6-18 educational aides, as applicable; and 6-19 (2) the state shall pay the district for that person 6-20 $5,000 each year for not more than two years. 6-21 Sec. 21.611. RULES. The commissioner shall adopt rules to 6-22 implement this subchapter. 6-23 SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2001.