1997 Regular Session
By: Representatives Gadd, Huddleston
House Bill 1660
(As Passed the House)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 37-19-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ESTABLISH AN ALTERNATIVE CERTIFICATION METHOD FOR TEACHERS FAILING THE NATIONAL TEACHERS EXAMINATION, AND TO GRANT TEACHER CERTIFICATION WITHOUT ANY TESTING TO PERSONS SEEKING INITIAL CERTIFICATION IN MISSISSIPPI WHO ARE CERTIFIED IN STATES THAT GRANT CERTIFICATION TO MISSISSIPPI TEACHERS BASED UPON THEIR MISSISSIPPI CERTIFICATION ALONE; TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-19-9 AND 37-9-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-19-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-19-13. (1) (a) All classroom teachers initially employed as teachers after July 1, 1975, and paid under the provisions of the minimum program for the support of education in the State of Mississippi shall be required to take the National Teachers Examination. Scores on the test or tests shall be made a part of the transcript of the applicant by the institution administering the test or tests, and shall be maintained as a part of the teacher's record in the office of Teacher Certification Division of the State Department of Education. The State Board of Education is directed to establish a minimum score on the National Teachers Examination and may also establish, as an alternative, a minimum score on other national examinations deemed reasonably comparable, as a requirement for initial certification.
(b) If a student is required to take the National Teachers Examination, and/or any standardized examination, and does not achieve the minimum score established by the State Board of Education, that student may complete all course work and student teaching. Upon graduation as an alternative requirement for certification, upon the request of the local superintendent of education, the person may teach under the supervision of the superintendent and school principal for one (1) school year, after which the principal shall determine whether or not the person has demonstrated a minimum level of proficiency through such methods that the State Board of Education deems sufficient to measure teacher competencies. If the principal determines that the person has demonstrated a sufficient proficiency level, he shall recommend certification of that person to the school superintendent, who shall recommend such certification to the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education, in establishing or revising the qualifications for certification, shall not reduce the level of proficiency required for certification before July 1, 1997, under the National Teachers Examination.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, teachers who seek initial employment in Mississippi and have at least one (1) full year teaching experience in another state and hold a valid certificate from that state which is recognized by the Commission on Teacher and Administrator Education, Certification and Development may receive a provisional certificate for a period of time not to exceed June 30 of the school year without having satisfied the requirements under subsection (1) of this section. Failure to have successfully completed the requirements under subsection (1) by the above date automatically revokes the certificate. All other requirements of the provisional certificate shall apply for individuals affected by this law.
Any teacher seeking initial certification in Mississippi who holds a valid certificate issued by a state that grants certification to teachers certified in Mississippi based upon their certification in Mississippi alone shall be eligible for certification without meeting any additional testing or requirements otherwise required for certification in Mississippi.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring any classroom teacher who was employed under the minimum program before July 1, 1974, to complete the requirements prescribed under subsection (1) of this section.
SECTION 2. Section 37-19-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-19-9. Except as otherwise provided in Section 37-19-13, 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 shall arise 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 3. Section 37-9-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-9-11. The State Board of Education may require tests such as the common and teaching areas of the National Teachers Examination or an examination of achievement, as one of the requirements for the issuance of public school professional certificates issued * * * to any person applying for the first time for a professional certificate. However, after June 30, 1997, the test or tests shall not be required for any teacher seeking initial certification in Mississippi who holds a valid certificate issued by a state that grants certification to teachers certified in Mississippi based upon their certification in Mississippi alone, and no additional tests or other requirements may be mandated for the teacher seeking certification in Mississippi.
Scores on the test or tests shall be made a part of the record of the applicant and maintained in the files of the office of Teacher Certification Division of the State Department of Education.
The State Board of Education is further authorized, in its discretion, to make determinations of minimum scores required of a person applying for the first time for a professional certificate who is required under this section to take the test or tests.
The State Board of Education, in its discretion, shall determine conditions that would prevail should a person required to take the test or tests under this section desire to take the test or tests more than once.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.