1997 Regular Session
By: Representatives Taylor, Manning
House Bill 611
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-9-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO CONTRACT WITH SUPERINTENDENTS, PRINCIPALS AND TEACHERS FOR THE FULL SCHOLASTIC YEAR PENDING ISSUANCE OF PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATES BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, AND TO AUTHORIZE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO WITHHOLD FROM AN EMPLOYEE'S FINAL SALARY PAYMENT AMOUNTS PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE PENDING CERTIFICATION IF A CERTIFICATE IS NOT ISSUED; TO AMEND SECTION 37-9-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO ISSUE CERTIFICATES FOR A FULL SCHOLASTIC YEAR IF ISSUED BEFORE OCTOBER 15; TO AMEND SECTION 37-19-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-9-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-9-7. It shall be unlawful for any superintendent, principal or teacher to be employed or contracted with to teach or serve in any of the public schools of this state who does not hold a proper certificate as required by the State Board of Education. However, a school district, in the discretion of the local school board, may enter into a contract with a superintendent, principal or teacher for the then current scholastic year, as defined in Section 37-61-1, contingent upon the completion of certification requirements or the issuance of a proper certificate by the State Board of Education before October 15 of that scholastic year. If the superintendent, principal or teacher fails to obtain a valid certificate before October 15, any contract executed pending completion of certification requirements or the issuance of a proper certificate shall be null and void on October 15. The school district may withhold from the employee's final salary payment or may take such legal action as may be necessary to collect from the employee any amounts that were paid to the employee before October 15 solely on the expectation of a proper certificate being issued before that date. If the certificate held by any superintendent, principal or teacher should expire during the life of any such contract and shall not be renewed, then such contract shall be null and void upon the expiration of such certificate which is not so renewed.
SECTION 2. Section 37-9-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-9-9. (1) The State Board of Education is authorized, empowered and directed to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations governing the issuance of all teachers' certificates and to administer the rules and regulations. The rules and regulations adopted by the * * * board under this or any other statute shall remain in full force and effect until changed in the manner provided in this subsection. The rules and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education shall not be changed without giving a minimum notice of one (1) year to all holders of teaching certificates affected by such change. In adopting the rules and regulations, the State Board of Education may authorize certificates to be effective for a full scholastic year, as defined in Section 37-61-1, so long as the teacher completes the certification requirements and the certificate is issued before October 15 of the then current scholastic year. No license or certificate to teach in the public schools of this state which is valid as of July 1, 1954, shall be invalidated hereby, but all such licenses and certificates shall remain valid and in effect during the time and for the purpose for which they were originally issued.
(2) No teacher shall experience a reduction in salary for the purpose of serving the special teaching needs of their public school district. All teachers teaching in areas of need as requested by their school district shall receive a salary in an amount commensurate with their highest level of certification.
SECTION 3. Section 37-19-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-19-9. Except as otherwise provided in Section 37-9-7 for the employment of a teacher pending the issuance of a proper certificate before October 15 of the then current scholastic year, no teacher holding a certificate of less than an "A" classification shall be eligible to teach in the public schools of this state. In setting such standards, the State Board of Education may designate certificates of vocational and technical teachers which will be considered as equivalent to Class A or AA certificates for the purpose of the scale as set forth in Section 37-19-7, and for the purpose of the experience increases provided for in Section 37-19-7. If, however, an emergency situation * * * arises which would require the employment of a teacher with less than an "A" certificate, such teacher may be hired with permission in writing from the State Board of Education and then for only one (1) year at the time. The governing authorities of the school district needing the services of such teacher shall apply in writing to the State Board of Education for permission and shall state therein the circumstances creating the emergency and other reasons for the request to hire such a teacher. It shall be entirely in the discretion of the State Board of Education to determine whether or not such an emergency exists and whether or not such permission should be granted.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.