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Teacher Licensure & Contracts


October 11, 2017 | Commission Charged With Educator Preparation and Licensure Standards Holds Inaugural Meeting


The newly created Professional Educator and Standards Commission, charged with making recommendations to the State Board of Education about all aspects of teacher preparation, licensure, continuing education and standards of conduct, convened for its initial meeting this week.  The Commission was created as part of Senate Bill 599, making various changes to teacher preparation and licensure, including expanding educator preparation programs to entities outside of universities and colleges, and phasing out lateral entry licensure. 

NCASA is pleased to have several member appointed to the Commission. Those Commission members include: 

  • Dr. Patrick Miller, Superintendent of Greene County Schools
  • Mr. Aaron Fleming, Superintendent of Harnett County Schools
  • Mrs. Glenda Jones, Assistant Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools
  • Dr. Westley Wood, Executive Director of Personnel and Human Resources of Wilkes County Schools 
  • Ms. Meaghan Loftus, Principal of Ashley Park PreK-8 School in Charlotte 
  • Mr. Joseph Childers, Principal of Simon G. Atkins Academic and Technology High School in Winston-Salem 

 
The Commission’s first order of business was to elect Commission officers.  Superintendent of Greene County Schools, and current NCASA President, Dr. Patrick Miller, was nominated and elected Chairman of the Commission. NCASA congratulates Dr. Miller on his chairmanship of this important Commission. Other officers were elected as follows: 

  • Vice-Chair, Dr. Michael Maher, Assistant Dean for Professional Education and Accreditation at North Carolina State University
  • Secretary, Dr. Ann Bullock, Dean of the School of Education at Elon University. 


The Commission then received background information regarding what the law creating the Commission requires of the Commission, a timeline for the Commission’s work, and background policy surrounding educator preparation and licensure. The powerpoint used during the Commission meeting can be found 
here.  

The Commission’s agenda from this week’s meeting, which contains many documents and link to other materials provided to the Commission, can be found 
here. The Commission is set to next meet in early-mid November. 


July 21, 2017 | Summary of Changes Found In Legislation Removing and Replacing Lateral Entry


Senate Bill 599, phasing out lateral entry licensure and making various other licensure related changes, is still awaiting Governor's Cooper's signature to become law. In the meantime, Wake County Public Schools has put together a summary of this legislation and changes that your district may find helpful as the school year approaches.  That summary can be found here.


June 16, 2017 | Bill Making Teacher Preparation and Licensure Changes Amended and Approved By Senate


Legislation which would provide for new educator preparation programs and eliminate lateral entry licensure and replace it with a new “residency licensure” gained full approval in the Senate this week. The bill was amended on the floor addressing the provisions of the bill that denied any person without at least a 2.7 GPA into an Educator Preparation Program (EPP). The amendment grants the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission created under the bill the authority to determine how GPA would be calculated for purposes of gaining entry into an EPP. The amendment also provides that an EPP may not admit a student into a program leading to CTE licensure unless that person has met the 2.7 GPA requirement OR has at least 5 years of relevant experience. The bill was previously approved in the Senate Finance and Senate Rules Committees last week, and the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee a few weeks ago. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.


Senate Bill 599 would set up a new Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission which would be housed within the State Board of Education, however, would act independently of the Board. The Commission, which includes representation by superintendents, principals, and personnel administrators, would recommend standards for educator preparation, licensure, continuing education, and conduct to the Board. The Board would then accept or reject these recommendations. The legislation also grants the State Board the authority to recognize new education preparation programs (EPP), rather than only those found in an institution of higher education. The bill lays out the minimum standards EPPs must meet in order to be approved. The legislation also outlines an accountability system for EPPs which the State Board must use when overseeing the programs.  


Perhaps the most impactful provision of the bill to local school districts is the bill’s elimination of the current lateral entry licensure program. The bill would replace lateral entry with a “residency license.” Individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree may enroll in an EPP and be employed to teach at the same time under a one-year residency license. As filed, the bill provided that there must be at least 30 hours of field experience and 150 hours of coursework prior to the residency. However, the newest version of the legislation charges the Commission with the duty to develop rules concerning pre-service training and field experiences for individuals prior to entering the classroom with a residency license. EPPs are required to provide ongoing support to the resident, and a site-based clinical mentor is required to be assigned to the resident. Residencies must last for a minimum of one year.  


The bill was previously presented to the Senate Education/Higher Committee and discussed with the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake), soliciting feedback on the legislation’s provision from the Committee and stakeholder organizations to fine-tune the bill before a vote.  NCASA, in conjunction with our affiliate group the Personnel Administrators of North Carolina, expressed concerns with the legislation, primarily the negative impact that eliminating lateral entry licensure in its current form will have on school districts across the state which are already facing a severe teacher shortage in many areas, and the lack of personnel administrators on the Commission, as they were not specifically listed in the first version of the bill.


Though some concerns on how this legislation will impact teacher recruitment remains, NCASA appreciates Senator Barefoot addressing some of our concerns with the bill by including the following improvements:

  • Providing a two-year rather than one-year phase-out of the lateral entry licensure program that would allow lateral entry licenses to be issued through 2018-2019 and remain in effect for the remainder of the licensure cycle once issued, and
  • The addition of two personnel administrators on the proposed new Commission.  

NCASA will continue to fine tune this legislation with lawmakers as it makes its way through the House. To read more on this legislation, please find an article written by Raleigh’s News & Observer here.


June 2, 2017 | Teacher Preparation and Licensure Changes Gain Senate Education Committee Approval


Legislation which would provide for new educator preparation programs and eliminate lateral entry licensure and replace it with a new “residency licensure” gained approval in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee this week.


Senate Bill 599 would set up a new Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission which would be housed within the State Board of Education, however, would act independently of the Board. The Commission, which includes representation by superintendents, principals, and personnel administrators, would recommend standards for educator preparation, licensure, continuing education, and conduct to the Board. The Board would then accept or reject these recommendations. The legislation also grants the State Board the authority to recognize new education preparation programs (EPP), rather than only those found in an institution of higher education. The bill lays out the minimum standards EPPs must meet in order to be approved. The legislation also outlines an accountability system for EPPs which the State Board must use when overseeing the programs.


Perhaps the most impactful provision of the bill to local school districts is the bill’s elimination of the current lateral entry licensure program. The bill would replace lateral entry with a “residency license.” Individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree may enroll in an EPP and be employed to teach at the same time under a one-year residency license. As filed, the bill provided that there must be at least 30 hours of field experience and 150 hours of coursework prior to the residency. However, the newest version of the legislation charges the Commission with the duty to develop rules concerning pre-service training and field experiences for individuals prior to entering the classroom with a residency license. EPPs are required to provide ongoing support to the resident, and a site-based clinical mentor is required to be assigned to the resident. Residencies must last for a minimum of one year.


The bill was presented to the Committee and discussed last week with the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake), soliciting feedback on the legislation’s provision from the Committee and stakeholder organizations to fine-tune the bill before a vote. NCASA, in conjunction with our affiliate group the Personnel Administrators of North Carolina, expressed concerns with the legislation, primarily the negative impact that eliminating lateral entry licensure in its current form will have on school districts across the state which are already facing a severe teacher shortage in many areas, and the lack of personnel administrators on the Commission, as they were not specifically listed in the first version of the bill. Though some concerns on how this legislation will impact teacher recruitment remains, NCASA appreciates the latest version of the bill that includes the following improvements:


  • Providing a two-year rather than one-year phase-out of the lateral entry licensure program that would allow lateral entry licenses to be issued through 2018-2019 and remain in effect for the remainder of the licensure cycle once issued, and
  • The addition of two personnel administrators on the proposed new Commission.


Sen. Barefoot noted for the Committee that further amendments may be possible as the bill moves forward, specifically concerning the current requirement of a 2.7 GPA to be eligible for the residency licensure program. The legislation next heads to the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Rules Committee before consideration by the full Senate.


May 19, 2017 | Senate Legislation Proposes Teacher Preparation And Licensure Changes


Legislation was discussed in the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee this week which would provide for new educator preparation programs and eliminate lateral entry licensure and replace it with a new “residency licensure”. Senate Bill 599 was for discussion only in Committee with the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake), soliciting feedback on the legislation’s provision from the Committee and stakeholder organizations to further fine tune the bill before a vote, likely next week.


The bill sets up a new Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission which would be housed within the State Board of Education, however, would act independently of the Board. The Commission would recommend standards for educator preparation, licensure, continuing education, and conduct to the Board. The Board would then accept or reject these recommendations.


The legislation also grants the State Board the authority to recognize new education preparation programs (EPP), rather than only those found in institution of higher education. The bill lays out the minimum standards EPPs must meet in order to be approved. The legislation also outlines an accountability system for EPPs which the State Board must use when overseeing the programs.


Perhaps most impactful provision of the bill to local school districts is the bill’s elimination of the current lateral entry licensure program. The bill replaces lateral entry with a “residency license”. Individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree may enroll in an EPP and be employed to teach at the same time under a one-year residency license. The bill provides that there must be at least 30 hours of field experience and 150 hours of coursework prior to the residency. EPPs are required to provide ongoing support to the resident and a site-based clinical mentor is required to be assigned to the resident. Residencies must last for a minimum of one year.


While NCASA supports having the most highly qualified professionals in all classroom across North Carolina, NCASA has reached out to Sen. Barefoot and discussed the negative impact that eliminating lateral entry licensure in its current form will have on school districts across the state which are already facing a severe teacher shortage in many areas. NCASA will continue to work with Sen. Barefoot in hopes of working toward a bill which we can fully endorse which will help bring the best teachers to our schools and students.


March 30, 2017 | House Moves To Re-Establish Teaching Fellows Program


This week, the House Education-Universities Committee approved legislation re-establishing the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program. The previous Teaching Fellows program was repealed in 2011.

House Bill 339 re-establishes the Teaching Fellows Program to provide forgivable loans to students preparing to be licensed teachers in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), or special education. The forgivable loan awards would be as follows:

  • North Carolina high school seniors - $8,250 per year for up to 4 years
  • Students applying for transfer to an educator preparation program at a selected institution of higher education - $8,250 per year up to 3 years
  • Individuals currently holding a bachelor’s degree seeking preparation for teacher licensure - $8,250 per year for up to 2 years
  • Students matriculating at institutions of higher education who are changing to enrollment in a selected educator preparation program - $8,250 per year up to 2 years


The loans are to be forgiven within 10 years after graduation if the recipient serves as a teacher in a STEM or special education licensure area for every year the teacher was awarded the forgivable loan, in any combination of the following:

  • 1 year at a North Carolina public school identified as low-performing at the time the teacher accepts employment at the school
  • 2 years at a North Carolina public school that is not identified as low-performing


The program would begin for the 2018-2019 academic year and the bill appropriates $6 million in recurring funds operation of the program.

The bill now heads to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.

To read more on this issue, please click
here to for an article by WRAL-TV.