1997 Regular Session
To: Education; Appropriations
By: Representatives Frierson, Smith (35th), Green (72nd), Huddleston, Coleman (65th)
House Bill 1601
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO DIRECT THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A TEACHER EDUCATION COOPERATIVE PROGRAM AS A PILOT PROGRAM AT CERTAIN REGIONALLY ACCREDITED INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND COMMUNITY AND JUNIOR COLLEGES IN MISSISSIPPI, AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS THEREON TO THE 1998 LEGISLATURE; TO PROVIDE THAT PARTICIPANTS IN THE PROGRAM WOULD BE RECOMMENDED BY SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN GEOGRAPHICAL CRITICAL TEACHER SHORTAGE AREAS OF THE STATE; TO PROVIDE THAT EACH PROGRAM PARTICIPANT WOULD SERVE AS AN ASSISTANT TEACHER IN A SCHOOL DISTRICT HAVING A CRITICAL TEACHER SHORTAGE; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROGRAM WOULD BE DESIGNED TO ENABLE STUDENTS TO COMPLETE A BACCALAUREATE DEGREE IN A TEACHING FIELD IN FIVE YEARS; TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF SEMESTERS THAT STUDENTS MAY RECEIVE FINANCIAL SCHOLARSHIPS; TO WAIVE STUDENT TEACHING REQUIREMENTS FOR PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS; TO PROVIDE THAT UPON GRADUATION, PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS WOULD CONTRACT TO RENDER SERVICE AS A CERTIFICATED TEACHER IN A GEOGRAPHICAL CRITICAL TEACHER SHORTAGE AREA OF THE STATE FOR AN APPROPRIATE NUMBER OF SEMESTERS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the State Board of Education shall study jointly the feasibility of establishing a teacher education cooperative program to be implemented as a pilot program at Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College, and shall develop and make recommendations to the Committees on Education of the Senate and House of Representatives on or before December 1, 1997. Under the proposed pilot program, high school students and college students from low income families and assistant teachers who reside in geographical areas of the state in which there exists a critical shortage of teachers and who have an interest or aptitude for a career in teaching may be eligible for financial assistance during college in exchange for service to the state as an assistant teacher. Under the proposed pilot program, any school district in a geographical area of the state in which there exists a critical shortage of teachers may recommend persons for participation in the teacher education cooperative program. A person who is selected for participation would be awarded financial scholarships to be applied toward the costs of tuition and books at Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Copiah-Lincoln Community College or Mississippi Delta Community College while the student is pursuing an appropriate program of study to become a certified teacher. In exchange for the financial assistance, the student would serve as an assistant teacher in a school district having a critical teacher shortage which is selected by the institution of higher learning or community college where the student is enrolled for an appropriate period of time. The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning would coordinate the assignment of students in the pilot program at the institutions of higher learning and community colleges among those school districts located in the geographical critical teacher shortage areas of the state. The teacher education cooperative program would be designed to enable students to complete an appropriate program of study in the field of teaching for a baccalaureate degree in five (5) years. The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning would assist the institutions of higher learning in adjusting the course requirements to enable program participants to be eligible for a degree after five (5) full-time semesters of course work and five (5) semesters of service as an assistant teacher. The university school of education may waive student teaching requirements for those students participating in the teacher education cooperative program. Students participating in the pilot program would not receive financial scholarships for more than five (5) years.
A student failing to complete an appropriate program of study shall not be liable to the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning for financial scholarships for any number of semesters that the student has rendered services under the program as an assistant teacher. Participation in the teacher education cooperative program would be limited. Under the proposed program, at the beginning of the school year next succeeding the date on which a person has received a baccalaureate degree through the teacher education cooperative program, the teacher would begin to render service as a certified teacher in a school district having a critical shortage of teachers designated by the State Board of Education. The teacher would enter into a contract to teach for an appropriate number of years in a geographical critical teacher shortage area.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.