SB1175: Teach for America; creates two-year provisional license for participants.

SENATE BILL NO. 1175

Offered January 9, 2013
Prefiled January 9, 2013
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 22.1-299.4, relating to Teach For America licenses.
Patron-- Ruff

Referred to Committee on Education and Health

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 22.1-299.4 as follows:

22.1-299.4. Teach For America license.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Board shall issue a two-year provisional license, hereafter referred to as the Teach For America license, to any participant in Teach For America, a nationwide nonprofit organization focused on closing the academic achievement gaps between students in high-income and low-income areas, who submits an application and meets the following criteria:

1. Holds, at minimum, a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education;

2. Has met the requirements prescribed by the Board for all endorsements sought or has met the qualifying scores on the content area assessment prescribed by the Board for the endorsements sought;

3. Possesses good moral character according to criteria developed by the Board;

4. Has been offered and has accepted placement in Teach For America;

5. Has successfully completed pre-service training and is participating in the professional development requirements of Teach For America, including teaching frameworks, curricula, lesson planning, instructional delivery, classroom management, assessment and evaluation of student progress, classroom diversity, and literacy development;

6. Has an offer of employment from a local school board to teach in a public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth or a preschool program that receives state funds pursuant to subsection C of 22.1-199.1; and

7. Receives a recommendation from the employing school division for a Teach For America license in the endorsement area in which the individual seeks to be licensed.

B. In addition to the criteria set forth in subsection A, any individual who seeks an endorsement in early childhood, early/primary, or elementary education shall either (i) agree to complete such coursework in the teaching of reading as may be prescribed by the Board pursuant to regulation during the first year of employment or (ii) achieve a passing score on a reading instructional assessment prescribed by the Board pursuant to regulation.

C. Teachers issued a Teach For America provisional license shall not be eligible for continuing contract status while employed under the authority of a Teach For America license and shall be subject to the probationary terms of employment specified in 22.1-303.

D. The Board may extend any Teach For America license for one additional year upon request of the employing school division, provided that no Teach For America license shall exceed a total of three years in length.

E. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, upon completion of at least two years of full-time teaching experience in a public elementary or secondary school in the Commonwealth or a preschool program that receives state funds pursuant to subsection C of 22.1-199.1, an individual holding a Teach For America license shall be eligible to receive a renewable license if he has (i) achieved satisfactory scores on all professional teacher assessments required by the Board and (ii) received satisfactory evaluations at the conclusion of each year of employment.

F. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Board shall issue a Teach For America license to any individual who (i) has completed two years of successful teaching in the Teach For America program in another state, (ii) is not eligible to receive a renewable license, and (iii) meets the criteria set forth in subsection A.