1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Farris
Senate Bill 2898
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 37-9-8 AND 37-9-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THAT A KINDERGARTEN THROUGH SIXTH GRADE TEACHER MUST DEMONSTRATE KNOWLEDGE, SKILL AND ABILITY IN THE ESSENTIALS OF RESEARCH-BASED READING INSTRUCTION TO BE CERTIFICATED TO TEACH; TO AMEND SECTION 37-101-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING TO ASSURE THAT TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMS PROVIDE TRAINING IN CERTAIN RESEARCH-BASED READING INSTRUCTION METHODS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 37-9-8, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-9-8. Recognizing teaching as a profession, preparation to teach in Mississippi Grades 7 through 12 shall require a major in an academic field other than education, or a combination of disciplines other than education. Students preparing to teach a subject shall complete a major in the respective subject discipline.
Certification to teach in Mississippi kindergarten through Grade 4 shall require the completion of an interdisciplinary program of studies. Certificates for Grades 4 through 8 shall require the completion of a program of studies with two (2) or more areas of concentration.
Certification to teach in Mississippi kindergarten through Grade 6 shall require a demonstration of knowledge, skill and ability in the essentials of research-based reading instruction, including explicit instruction in speech sounds, word identification, letter-sound correspondences and the linguistic structures of English. The State Board of Education shall provide either a written examination or an observation assessment of each kindergarten through Grade 6 teacher to determine if such teacher satisfactorily demonstrates the required knowledge, skill and ability in the essentials of research-based reading instruction. The State Board of Education is authorized to set minimum standards for what constitutes the required level of knowledge, skill and ability in the essentials of research-based reading instruction, including explicit instruction in speech sounds, word identification, letter-sound correspondences and the linguistic structures of English.
It shall be a requirement for any person to be certified as a teacher in Mississippi that the person meet and comply with the requirements set forth in the foregoing part of this section. In addition, the person applying for teacher certification must demonstrate that such person's college preparation in those fields was in accordance with the standards set forth by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC).
Persons applying for certification as a teacher prior to July 1, 1996, shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
Preparation to be a principal in elementary or secondary schools in Mississippi shall include an AA certificate in administration plus three (3) years actual teaching experience.
SECTION 2. Section 37-9-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-9-11. The State Board of Education is authorized and directed to require tests such as the common and teaching areas of the National Teacher Examination or an examination of achievement as one of the requirements for the issuance of public school professional certificates issued after January 1, 1972, to any person applying for the first time for a professional certificate.
Scores on said 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 at its discretion to make determinations of minimum scores required of a person applying for the first time for a professional certificate.
The State Board of Education shall, at its discretion, determine conditions that would prevail should a person desire to take said test or tests more than once.
Certification to teach in Mississippi kindergarten through Grade 6 shall require a demonstration of knowledge, skill and ability in the essentials of research-based reading instruction. The State Board of Education shall provide either a written examination or an observation assessment of each kindergarten through Grade 6 teacher to determine if such teacher satisfactorily demonstrates the required knowledge, skill and ability in the essentials of research-based reading instruction. The State Board of Education is authorized at its discretion to make determinations of minimum examination scores or assessment standards for what constitutes a satisfactory demonstration of the required level of knowledge, skill and ability in the essentials of research-based reading instruction, including explicit instruction in speech sounds, word identification, letter-sound correspondences and the linguistic structures of English.
SECTION 3. Section 37-101-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
37-101-15. (a) The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning shall succeed to and continue to exercise control of all records, books, papers, equipment, and supplies, and all lands, buildings, and other real and personal property belonging to or assigned to the use and benefit of the board of trustees formerly supervising and controlling the institutions of higher learning named in Section 37-101-1. The board shall have and exercise control of the use, distribution and disbursement of all funds, appropriations and taxes, now and hereafter in possession, levied and collected, received, or appropriated for the use, benefit, support, and maintenance or capital outlay expenditures of the institutions of higher learning, including the authorization of employees to sign vouchers for the disbursement of funds for the various institutions, except where otherwise specifically provided by law.
(b) The board shall have general supervision of the affairs of all the institutions of higher learning, including the departments and the schools thereof. The board shall have the power in its discretion to determine who shall be privileged to enter, to remain in, or to graduate therefrom. The board shall have general supervision of the conduct of libraries and laboratories, the care of dormitories, buildings, and grounds; the business methods and arrangement of accounts and records; the organization of the administrative plan of each institution; and all other matters incident to the proper functioning of the institutions. The board shall have the authority to establish minimum standards of achievement as a prerequisite for entrance into any of the institutions under its jurisdiction, which standards need not be uniform between the various institutions and which may be based upon such criteria as the board may establish.
(c) The board shall exercise all the powers and prerogatives conferred upon it under the laws establishing and providing for the operation of the several institutions herein specified. The board shall adopt such bylaws and regulations from time to time as it deems expedient for the proper supervision and control of the several institutions of higher learning, insofar as such bylaws and regulations are not repugnant to the constitution and laws, and not inconsistent with the object for which these institutions were established. The board shall have power and authority to prescribe rules and regulations for policing the campuses and all buildings of the respective institutions, to authorize the arrest of all persons violating on any campus any criminal law of the state, and to have such law violators turned over to the civil authorities.
(d) For all institutions specified herein, the board shall provide a uniform system of recording and of accounting approved by the State Department of Audit. The board shall annually prepare, or cause to be prepared, a budget for each institution of higher learning for the succeeding year which must be prepared and in readiness for at least thirty (30) days before the convening of the regular session of the Legislature. All relationships and negotiations between the state Legislature and its various committees and the institutions named herein shall be carried on through the board of trustees. No official, employee or agent representing any of the separate institutions shall appear before the Legislature or any committee thereof except upon the written order of the board or upon the request of the Legislature or a committee thereof.
(e) For all institutions specified herein, the board shall prepare an annual report to the Legislature setting forth the disbursements of all monies appropriated to the respective institutions. Each report to the Legislature shall show how the money appropriated to the several institutions has been expended, beginning and ending with the fiscal years of the institutions, showing the name of each teacher, officer, and employee, and the salary paid each, and an itemized statement of each and every item of receipts and expenditures. Each report must be balanced, and must begin with the former balance. If any property belonging to the state or the institution is used for profit, the reports shall show the expense incurred in managing the property and the amount received therefrom. The reports shall also show a summary of the gross receipts and gross disbursements for each year and shall show the money on hand at the beginning of the fiscal period of the institution next preceding each session of the Legislature and the necessary amount of expense to be incurred from said date to January 1 following. The board shall keep the annual expenditures of each institution herein mentioned within the income derived from legislative appropriations and other sources, but in case of emergency arising from acts of providence, epidemics, fire or storm with the written approval of the Governor and by written consent of a majority of the Senators and of the Representatives it may exceed the income. The board shall require a surety bond in a surety company authorized to do business in this state, of every employee who is the custodian of funds belonging to one or more of the institutions mentioned herein, which bond shall be in a sum to be fixed by the board in an amount that will properly safeguard the said funds, the premium for which shall be paid out of the funds appropriated for said institutions.
(f) The board shall have the power and authority to elect the heads of the various institutions of higher learning and to contract with all deans, professors, and other members of the teaching staff, and all administrative employees of said institutions for a term of not exceeding four (4) years. The board shall have the power and authority to terminate any such contract at any time for malfeasance, inefficiency, or contumacious conduct, but never for political reasons. It shall be the policy of the board to permit the executive head of each institution to nominate for election by the board all subordinate employees of the institution over which he presides. It shall be the policy of the board to elect all officials for a definite tenure of service and to reelect during the period of satisfactory service. The board shall have the power to make any adjustments it thinks necessary between the various departments and schools of any institution or between the different institutions.
(g) The board shall keep complete minutes and records of all proceedings which shall be open for inspection by any citizen of the state.
(h) The board shall have the power to contract, on a shared-savings, lease or lease-purchase basis, for energy efficiency services and/or equipment as prescribed in Section 31-7-14, not to exceed ten (10) years.
(i) The board shall review the teacher training programs at the institutions of higher learning to assure that teacher training programs provide training in research-based reading instruction. The board shall require all institutions of higher learning to incorporate into their respective teacher training and certification programs training in research-based elements of effective reading instruction, including explicit instruction in speech sounds, word identification, letter-sound correspondences and the linguistic structure of English.
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SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.