Senate Research Center S.B. 913
AUTHOR'S/SPONSOR'S STATEMENT OF INTENT
Beginning teachers often feel unsupported in their school environments. Due to this lack of support, schools across the state have low teacher retention rates and are losing bright beginning teachers to other industries. Veteran teachers are also leaving schools. They need to be given a professional, as well as financial, incentive to stay in the teaching profession. Recent research has shown that effective teachers have a clear positive impact on student achievement.
As proposed, S.B. 913 establishes the Texas Teacher Leadership Initiative, in which an experienced teacher leader guides a beginning teacher. S.B. 913 will give priority to school districts that are struggling with low teacher retention rates, graduation rates, and test scores on student achievement test. Teacher leaders would be rewarded with a stipend up of up to $5,000 for every year they serve.
SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS
SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 21, Education Code, by adding Subchapter P, to read as follows:
SUBCHAPTER P. TEXAS TEACHER LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE
Sec. 21.751. DEFINITIONS. Defines "board" and "initiative."
Sec. 21.752. PURPOSES. Provides that the Texas teacher leadership initiative is a beginning teacher mentoring and induction program in which an experienced teacher leader offers mentoring to a beginning teacher. Provides that the initiative is designed to accomplish certain goals.
Sec. 21.753. ESTABLISHMENT OF INITIATIVE. Requires the State Board for Educator Certification (board) by rule to establish the initiative consistent with the purposes provided by Section 21.752. Requires the board, in developing the initiative, to establish certain guidelines and procedures.
Sec. 21.754. SCHOOL DISTRICT PARTICIPATION IN INITIATIVE. (a) Authorizes a school district to apply to the board to participate in the initiative. Requires the board, in selecting districts to participate in the initiative, to give preference to certain districts.
(b) Requires the board to provide to each school district selected to participate in the initiative a grant in an amount determined by the board for use by the district in implementing the initiative. Requires the district to use the grant in a manner that allows a beginning teacher who is selected to participate in the initiative to continue participation for at least two school years.
Sec. 21.755. DISTRICT FACILITATOR. (a) Requires the board of trustees of a participating school district to select a district employee to serve as district facilitator of the initiative. Requires the district facilitator to oversee the implementation of the initiative in the district.
(b) Authorizes the school district to use initiative grant money to pay the district facilitator a stipend.
Sec. 21.756. NOMINATION PANEL; SELECTION PROCESS FOR TEACHER LEADERS. (a) Requires the board of trustees of a participating school district to assemble a nomination panel for selecting teacher leaders to participate in the initiative. Requires the panel to be composed of an equal number of district administrators and teachers, with at least one teacher representing a local teacher's association, if such an association exists.
(b) Authorizes any school district employee or parent or guardian of a student to nominate an experienced district teacher to serve as a teacher leader. Requires the district to provide notice of and information about the nomination process to district employees and the parents or guardians of district students. Authorizes the panel, if an insufficient number of teachers are nominated, to nominate experienced teachers to serve as teacher leaders. Requires the nomination panel to adopt an application and interview process in selecting teacher leaders.
(c) Authorizes the nomination panel, in selecting a teacher leader, to select only a teacher who demonstrates certain characteristics.
Sec. 21.757. BEGINNING TEACHER PARTICIPATION IN INITIATIVE. (a) Requires the district facilitator appointed under Section 21.755, in coordination with the superintendent of each school district and campus principals, to select beginning teachers to participate in the initiative. Authorizes the district facilitator to select only a beginning teacher who has been teaching for not more than two years.
(b) Requires a participating beginning teacher to perform teaching duties under the guidance of the teacher leader assigned to the beginning teacher. Provides that the beginning teacher is entitled to participate in the initiative for at least two school years.
(c) Requires a participating beginning teacher to perform instructional and planning duties for not more than 90 percent of the teacher's regular workweek so that the teacher may receive guidance from a teacher leader.
(d) Prohibits a teacher leader from participating in a school or district evaluation of the beginning teacher to whom the teacher leader is assigned. Prohibits any written or other reports of a teacher leader regarding the beginning teacher from being used in an appraisal of a beginning teacher.
Sec. 21.758. TEACHER LEADER PARTICIPATION IN INITIATIVE. (a) Requires the district facilitator appointed under Section 21.755 to assign a teacher leader to one or more participating beginning teachers.
(b) Requires the teacher leader to assist the beginning teacher by certain methods.
(c) Sets forth certain procedures for serving as a teacher leader.
(d) Requires a part-time teacher leader and a beginning teacher to whom the teacher has been assigned, to the extent practicable, to share common planning periods.
(e) Requires the teacher leader to observe the classroom teaching skills of the beginning teacher for at least one hour per week and to meet with the beginning teacher at least once a week during the first half of the first school year that the beginning teacher participates in the initiative. Authorizes the teacher leader to then elect to observe the classroom teaching skills of the beginning teacher and meet with the beginning teacher at least once every two weeks for the remainder of the time the beginning teacher participates in the initiative.
Sec. 21.759. TEACHER LEADER TRAINING. Requires a participating school district to offer an ongoing training program for teacher leaders that follows guidelines developed by the board under Section 21.753.
Sec. 21.760. TEACHER LEADER STIPEND. Sets forth guidelines for a teacher leader stipend.
Sec. 21.761. EVALUATION OF INITIATIVE. Sets forth guidelines for the board's annual evaluation of the initiative.
Sec. 21.762. CONTINUED DISTRICT PARTICIPATION IN INITIATIVE. Authorizes a district to reapply with the board for a new grant to continue participating in the initiative. Requires the board to consider the improvement of a school district under the factors described by Section 21.761 in determining whether to award a new grant to the district.
SECTION 2. Requires the State Board for Educator Certification , as soon as practicable after the effective date of this Act, to propose rules for implementing the Texas teacher leadership initiative as required by Subchapter P, Chapter 21, Education Code, as added by this Act. Requires the State Board for Educator Certification to make the Texas teacher leadership initiative available for district participation no later than the 2006-2007 school year.
SECTION 3. Effective date: upon passage or September 1, 2005.