An act relating to a standards board and licensing hearing panels for professional educators
The Senate proposes to the House to amend the bill by striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
(14) Annually, convene a meeting of directors of Vermont educator preparation programs and representatives of school boards, superintendents, principals, educators, and the Vermont standards board to determine subject and geographic areas in which there is a critical need for educators and to discuss ways to meet the need.
Sec. 2. 16 V.S.A. chapter 51 is amended to read:
EXAMINATION AND LICENSING OF TEACHERS
§ 1691. PURPOSE
The purpose of this chapter is to establish a board of professional educators to oversee the training, licensing, and professional standards of teachers and administrators and to establish hearing panels to determine compliance with those standards to help assure high caliber professionals and high quality public educational programs for Vermont students.
§ 1691a. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(1) “Administrator” means an individual licensed under this chapter the majority of whose employed time in a public school, school district, or supervisory union is assigned to developing and managing school curriculum, evaluating and disciplining personnel, or supervising and managing a public school system or public school program.
(2) “Applicant” means an individual applying for a license.
(3) “Educator” means any teacher or administrator requiring a license under this chapter.
(4) “Endorsement” means the grade level and field in which an educator is authorized to serve. A license shall bear one or more endorsements.
(5) “Hearing panel” means the persons assigned in individual cases to find facts, reach conclusions of law, and make decisions regarding compliance with standards for obtaining, retaining, and renewing licenses.
(6) “License” means a license to engage in teaching or school administration, as the context requires, in the state and includes, unless the context requires otherwise, the endorsements the licensee has applied for or possesses. “Licensee” means an individual licensed under this chapter.
(7) “Licensing action” means action that suspends, revokes, limits, or conditions licensure or certification in any way and includes warnings, reprimands, probation, and administrative penalties.
(8) “Office” means the office within the department of education responsible for professional standards and educator licensing.
(9) “Standards board” means the Vermont standards board for professional educators established under section 1693 of this title.
(10) “Teacher” means an individual licensed under this chapter the majority of whose employed time in a public school district or supervisory union is assigned to furnish to students direct instructional or other educational services, as defined by rule of the standards board, or who is otherwise subject to licensing as determined by the standards board.
1692. REQUIREMENT AS TO LICENSE
; AGE LIMIT A person shall not teach Except for a substitute teacher in accordance with
rules adopted by the standards board, a person shall not be employed as a
teacher or administrator in a public school without having a license then
in force. A license shall not be issued to a person under seventeen years
§ 1693. STANDARDS BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS
(a) There is hereby established the Vermont standards board for professional educators comprising 13 members as follows: seven teachers, two administrators, one public member, one school board member, one representative of educator preparation programs from a public institution of higher education, and one representative of educator preparation programs from a private institution of higher education.
(b) Appointment and qualifications. When a vacancy occurs, except in the case of the public member position, the state board of education shall solicit up to five nominations from any of the following organizations if their members may be eligible for the vacant position: the Vermont national education association, the Vermont school boards association, the Vermont principals association, the Vermont superintendents association, the Vermont State Colleges, the University of Vermont, and the association of independent colleges. The state board may add other names to the list but may not remove nominations submitted by the organizations and shall forward the list to the governor. The governor shall appoint a person on the list or, in the case of the public position, the governor shall appoint a person of his or her choosing, for a term of three years which shall begin July 1 of the year of appointment. No person shall be eligible for more than one sequential reappointment. The governor shall appoint a replacement to fill any vacancy on the standards board for the remainder of the term. Appointments shall be consistent with the following requirements:
(1) Each member of the standards board shall be a citizen of the United States and a resident of Vermont.
(2) The educator members shall be generally representative of elementary and secondary schools and of programs of study taught in Vermont public schools and of administrative positions in Vermont public schools. Teacher members shall hold a license and have at least five years’ experience in public school teaching, at least three of which shall have been within the five years preceding appointment. Administrator members shall hold a license and be endorsed as an administrator and have at least five years’ experience in public school administration, at least three of which shall have been within the five years preceding appointment.
(3) The school board member shall be a current school district board member or have served on a school district board at some period during the three years prior to appointment.
(4) The public member shall not be a member of the state board of education or an employee of any school and shall not derive primary livelihood in the field of public or independent education at any level of responsibility.
(c) Standards board officers; meetings. The standards board shall elect from its members a chair, vice chair, and secretary who shall serve for one year and until their successors are elected and seated. The board shall meet at the request of the chair or at such other times and places as the board may determine. Seven members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
(d) Compensation. The department of education shall compensate standards board members for the performance of their duties and reimburse them for their actual and necessary expenses in accordance with section 1010 of Title 32.
(e) Administration. The standards board shall be attached for administrative purposes to the office. With respect to the standards board, the commissioner shall:
(1) with the advice of the standards board, employ a director, prepare an annual budget, and administer money appropriated to the standards board by the general assembly. The budget of the standards board shall be part of the budget of the department;
(2) employ administrative staff of the office;
(3) incur such other expenses as the commissioner determines are necessary;
(4) act as custodian of the records of the standards board; and
(5) annually, conduct a training for members of the standards board and the hearing panels established in this chapter, which shall include workshops regarding the powers and duties of the standards board and the panels and an opportunity for the standards board and hearing panel members to discuss the practical application of standards in quasi-judicial proceedings.
§ 1694. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE STANDARDS BOARD FOR
In addition to any other powers and duties prescribed by law or incidental or necessary to the exercise of such lawful powers and duties, the standards board shall:
(1) Adopt rules pursuant to chapter 25 of Title 3 with respect to the licensing of teachers and administrators, and of speech-language pathologists and audiologists as provided in chapter 87 of Title 26;
(2) Establish standards for educator preparation programs in Vermont and approve those that meet the standards so that a person graduating from an approved program shall be eligible for a license to engage in teaching or school administration in accordance with standards board rules. The standards board may accept accreditation of an educator preparation program in Vermont or another state from a national accreditation entity as sufficient for approval;
(3) Establish standards, including endorsements, according to which individuals may obtain a license or have one renewed or reinstated;
(4) Oversee and monitor the application and licensing process administered by the office; and
(5) Develop a code of professional ethics and act as advisor to professional educators regarding its interpretation.
CREDENTIALS GRANTED IN ANOTHER
STATE REVIEW OF
The board shall make regulations relating to the
recognition of teachers’ licenses, diplomas and educational credentials granted
in any other state, provided such other state shall recognize, by substantially
reciprocal regulations or laws, such licenses, diplomas and educational
credentials issued in this state. Prior
to the prefiling by the standards board of a licensing standard or procedure
proposed for rulemaking pursuant to section 820 of Title 3, the
commissioner may object to it before the state board of education on the
grounds that it would have significant adverse financial or operational impact
on the public school system. If the state board of education agrees, it may
remand the proposed rule to the standards board for further deliberations consistent
with its written decision. The commissioner may also object on the same
grounds to a substantive change to a proposed rule, once initiated, before a
final proposal is filed pursuant to section 841 of Title 3.
§ 1696. LICENSING
(a) Qualifications of applicants. An applicant shall submit to the commissioner evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the applicant either has completed all requirements of an approved educator preparation program or has otherwise acquired the knowledge and skills required for a license through coursework and experiences apart from an approved educator preparation program.
(b) License by reciprocity. By rule, the standards board shall establish standards according to which an applicant who meets the licensing standards of another state with standards substantially similar to Vermont’s may be accorded a license in this state, provided the other state recognizes, by substantially reciprocal regulations or laws, licenses issued in this state.
(c) Temporary licenses. By rule, the standards board may establish standards, if any, by which an applicant who otherwise does not meet the standards for a license may obtain, for a period not to exceed two years, a temporary license.
(d) Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructors. The board shall accept certification of a junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor by the federal Department of Defense as qualification for a license to provide junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instruction to a student enrolled in a junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program.
(e) Denial of license. The commissioner may deny a license for:
(1) Failure to meet the conditions for issuance of a license or endorsement or renewal or reinstatement thereof; or
(2) Failure of a licensee to demonstrate the competencies specified in the rules of the standards board.
(f) Appeal. An applicant aggrieved by a decision of the commissioner regarding the issuance or renewal of a license may appeal that decision by notifying the commissioner in writing within 30 days of receiving the decision. The commissioner forthwith shall transmit notice of the appeal to the administrative officer for hearing panels to initiate the appeal process set forth in section 1700 of this title.
§ 1697. FEES
(a) Each applicant and licensee shall be subject to the following fees:
(1) Initial processing of application $35.00
(2) Issuance of initial license $35.00 per year
for the term of the license
(3) Renewal of license $35.00 per year
for the term of the renewal
(4) Replacement of license $10.00
(5) Duplicate license $3.00
(6) Peer review process $1,200.00
(b) Fees collected under this section shall be
credited to special funds established and managed pursuant to
subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32, and shall be available to the
department to offset the costs of providing those services.
§ 1698. CAUSES FOR LICENSING ACTION
Any one of the following, or any combination of the following, constitutes potential cause for licensing action whether occurring within or outside the state:
(1) Unprofessional conduct which means:
(A) Grossly negligent conduct or greater, on or off duty, that places a student or students in meaningful physical or emotional jeopardy, or conduct that evidences moral unfitness to practice as an educator.
(B) Conviction for a criminal offense in which the underlying circumstances, conduct, or behavior, by gross negligence or greater, places a student or students in meaningful physical or emotional jeopardy, or conviction of a crime that evidences moral unfitness to practice as an educator.
(C) Conviction of grand larceny under 13 V.S.A. § 2501 or embezzlement as defined in subchapter 2 of chapter 57 of Title 13, provided charges were brought after July 1, 2006.
(D) Conviction of a crime charged after July 1, 2006, which involves fraudulent misrepresentation, dishonesty, or deceit, including conviction for any of the following: 13 V.S.A. §§ 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104, 1106, 1107, 1108, 3006, or 3016, provided that conviction under 13 V.S.A. §§ 2002, 2502, 2561, 2575, 2582, and 2591, if the value or amount involved is $500.00 or less, shall not be considered a conviction under this subdivision unless it is part of a larger pattern of dishonesty, deceit, or fraud.
(E) A pattern of willful misconduct or a single egregious act of willful misconduct in violation of duties and obligations of the position.
(F) Falsification, misrepresentation, or misstatement of material information provided in connection with the application for or renewal or reinstatement of a license or endorsement.
(G) With respect to a superintendent, the failure to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of information provided pursuant to subsection 1700(c) and subdivision 1708(f)(3) of this title.
(2) Incompetence, which means the inability or incapacity to perform the duties and competencies required by the license.
§ 1699. REPORTS OF ALLEGED UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OR INCOMPETENCE
(a) An individual who has reasonable cause to believe a licensee has engaged in unprofessional conduct or is incompetent may, and a superintendent who has reasonable cause to believe a licensee has engaged in unprofessional conduct or is incompetent shall, submit a written report to the commissioner concerning allegations of unprofessional conduct or incompetence about a licensee. A principal submitting a report under this section shall submit it to the superintendent and may also submit it to the commissioner.
(b) Except as provided in section 1708 of this title, information provided the licensing office under this section shall be confidential.
(c) A person who acts in good faith under the provisions of this section shall not be liable for damages in any civil action.
§ 1700. INVESTIGATION
(a) Investigation committee. Upon receiving notice of either an applicant’s appeal of a licensing office decision or an allegation of unprofessional conduct or incompetence on the part of a licensee, the hearing panel administrative officer shall assign one or more of its licensee members to serve on an investigation committee with an investigator and prosecuting attorney assigned by the commissioner of education to investigate the licensing decision or allegation and make recommendations to the commissioner in accordance with subsections (b) and (d) of this section. Teacher members shall be assigned to assist in the investigation of matters involving teachers and administrator members in matters involving administrators. Members shall not serve on a hearing panel regarding any matter they assisted in investigating. If the administrative officer is unable to assign one or more members to the investigation committee by reason of disqualification, resignation, vacancy, or necessary absence, the officer shall appoint ad hoc members who shall meet the requirements of subsection 1693(b) of this title.
(b) Preliminary review. After conducting a preliminary review of an allegation of unprofessional conduct or incompetence or of a denial of a license based on alleged unprofessional conduct or incompetence, the investigation committee shall make a recommendation to the commissioner regarding whether to conduct a formal investigation.
(c) Formal investigation. If the commissioner decides to conduct a formal investigation, the commissioner shall:
(1) notify the educator and direct the investigation committee to proceed with a formal investigation; and
(2) notify the superintendent of the school district in which the educator may be employed, or if the educator is currently employed as a superintendent, the chair of the board of the supervisory union or supervisory district that employs the superintendent, that the office has commenced a formal investigation of an allegation of unprofessional conduct or incompetence and shall specify the provisions of section 1698 of this title that best describe the allegation.
(d) Recommendation. Upon completing its investigation, the investigation committee shall recommend that the commissioner, with respect to a license application, affirm or reverse a licensing office decision or, with respect to alleged unprofessional conduct or incompetence, issue or not issue formal charges.
(e) Professional guidance. In its recommendation as to whether the commissioner should issue formal charges and, if so, what form they should take, the committee may consider the effect it believes its professional guidance may have in mitigating the need for and nature of licensing action.
§ 1701. COMMISSIONER’S DETERMINATION
(a) Matters involving denial of licensure. With respect to an applicant’s appeal, the commissioner shall, within 10 days of receiving the committee’s recommendation, affirm or reverse the licensing decision and notify the applicant in writing. If the commissioner reverses the decision, the office shall issue a license accordingly. If the commissioner affirms the decision, the applicant may appeal by notifying the commissioner in writing within 10 days of receiving the commissioner’s decision. The commissioner shall forthwith notify the hearing panel administrative officer of the appeal.
(b) Matters involving alleged unprofessional conduct or incompetence. With respect to a licensee alleged either incompetent or to have engaged in unprofessional conduct, the commissioner shall, within 10 days of receiving the investigation committee’s recommendation, determine whether to issue a formal charge and what, if any, licensing action should be imposed. If the commissioner determines no formal charge is warranted, the commissioner shall notify in writing the licensee and, if the licensee is employed, the superintendent of the school district of employment. If the commissioner determines a formal charge is warranted, the commissioner shall prepare a formal charge, file it with the hearing panel administrative officer, and cause a copy to be served upon the licensee charged together with a notice of hearing and procedural rights, as provided in this chapter. The commissioner shall provide a copy of the formal charge to the superintendent of the school district, if any, in which the licensee is employed, or if the licensee is employed as a superintendent, to the chair of the supervisory union that employs the superintendent, provided the superintendent or board chair agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the information as provided in subsection 1708(d) of this title. If the commissioner finds that public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action and incorporates a finding to that effect in the formal charge, the hearing panel may order summary suspension of a license pending proceedings for revocation or other action. These proceedings shall be promptly instituted and determined.
§ 1702. HEARING PANELS
(a) Appointment. The governor shall appoint seven teachers, four administrators, and three members of the public to serve on hearing panels for terms of three years beginning on July 1 of the year of appointment. No person shall be eligible for more than one sequential reappointment. The governor shall ensure appointments are consistent with the requirements found in subdivisions 1693(b)(1)–(3) of this title. By appointment, the governor shall fill any vacancy for the remainder of its term. Panel members shall be considered appointive officers for the purposes of chapter 29 of Title 3 and shall be compensated in accordance with section 1010 of Title 32.
(b) Administration. The hearing panels shall be attached for administrative purposes to the office. Annually, the panel members shall meet collectively to:
(1) elect an administrative officer for the purpose of assigning hearing panels in licensing matters;
(2) approve a pool, based upon the commissioner’s recommendation, of impartial hearing officers who shall be attorneys admitted to practice in this state; and
(3) plan professional development activities.
(c) Powers and duties of hearing panels. Hearing panels shall have the authority to determine compliance by applicants, licensees, and the office with standards board standards according to which individuals may obtain, renew, and retain a license. Upon notification that the applicant has appealed under subsection 1701(a) of this title or that the commissioner has issued a formal charge under subsection 1701(b) of this title, the administrative officer shall appoint a hearing officer and a panel, as well as a chair for the panel. Panels hearing appeals of teachers shall comprise two teacher members and one public member. Panels hearing appeals of administrators shall comprise two administrator members and one public member. In the conduct of proceedings, the hearing officer, or the panel if it takes additional evidence under subsection 1706(a) of this title, may:
(1) Issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the furnishing of evidentiary material in connection with a hearing;
(2) Authorize depositions to be taken as needed in any investigation, hearing, or proceeding;
(3) Conduct administrative hearings in accordance with this section, section 1705 of this title, and chapter 25 of Title 3 regarding appeals of licensing decisions and charges of unprofessional conduct or incompetence;
(4) In the case of the hearing officer, recommend and, in the case of a hearing panel, make decisions regarding appeals of licensing decisions and formal charges; and
(5) Undertake any other actions and procedures specified in or required or appropriate to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
§ 1703. TIME AND NOTICE OF HEARING
The chair of the panel shall fix the time of hearing, which shall be between 30 and 60 days after, as applicable, filing of the license application appeal or service of the charge on the licensee. The chair shall provide the applicant or licensee notice of the hearing, in it stating the following: the time and place of the hearing; the right of the applicant or licensee charged to file with the chair a written response within 20 days of the date of service; the fact that a record of the proceeding will be kept; the rights of the applicant or licensee charged at the hearing to appear personally, to be represented by counsel, to produce witnesses and evidence, to cross-examine witnesses, and to examine such documentary evidence as may be produced; and, in the case of formal charges against the licensee, the range of licensing actions to which the licensee charged may be subject if the formal charges are substantiated.
§ 1704. BURDEN OF PROOF
(a) Denial of licensure. Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the burden of proof in matters involving the denial of an initial license or the addition of an endorsement to a license once issued shall be on the applicant by a preponderance of the evidence.
(b) Alleged unprofessional conduct or incompetence. The burden of proof in matters involving alleged unprofessional conduct or incompetence, including denial of a license based on alleged unprofessional conduct or incompetence, shall be on the commissioner by a preponderance of the evidence, except that in the case of revocation or suspension for more than one year, the proof shall be by clear and convincing evidence.
§ 1705. HEARING OFFICER RECOMMENDATION
The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing for the purpose of issuing recommended findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a proposed decision to the hearing panel. The hearing officer may administer oaths and otherwise exercise the powers of a judicial officer regarding the conduct of a fair and impartial hearing. Within 30 days of the hearing, the hearing officer shall recommend to the hearing panel findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a decision and by certified mail provide a copy to the applicant or licensee.
§ 1706. DECISION AND ORDER
(a) Hearing panel decision. The hearing panel may take additional evidence and may accept, reject, or modify the recommendations of the hearing officer and shall issue findings of fact, conclusions of law, and an order within 30 days of receiving the recommendations, unless the hearing panel grants an extension for good cause. The hearing panel shall provide a copy of the decision to the commissioner and, by certified mail, the applicant or licensee charged. If formal charges are not substantiated, the hearing panel shall include in its order a statement that the charges were not substantiated by the evidence, and it shall dismiss the charges.
(b) Charges substantiated. If formal charges are substantiated, the hearing panel, in its order, may: take no action; issue a warning; issue a private reprimand; issue a public reprimand; or condition, limit, suspend, or revoke the license to practice. An administrative penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 may be imposed by itself or in connection with the issuance of a warning or of a private or public reprimand.
§ 1707. APPEAL FROM PANEL ORDER
(a) Appeal to state board of education.
(1) A party aggrieved by a final decision of a hearing panel may, within 30 days of the decision, appeal that decision by filing a notice of appeal with the administrative officer of the hearing panel who shall refer the case to the state board of education. The parties may agree to waive this review by written stipulation filed with the state board of education. The state board of education shall conduct its review on the basis of the record created before the hearing panel, and it shall allow the presentation of evidence regarding alleged irregularities in hearing procedure not shown in the record.
(2) The state board of education shall not substitute its judgment for that of the hearing panel as to the weight of the evidence on questions of fact. It may affirm the decision or may reverse and remand the matter with recommendations if substantial rights of the appellant have been prejudiced because the hearing panel’s finding, inferences, conclusions, or decisions are:
(A) in violation of constitutional or statutory provisions;
(B) in excess of the statutory authority of the hearing panel;
(C) made upon unlawful procedure;
(D) affected by other error of law;
(E) clearly erroneous in view of the evidence on the record as a whole;
(F) arbitrary or capricious; or
(G) characterized by abuse of discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.
(b) Following appeal or waiver of appeal to the state board of education, a party may appeal to the superior court in Washington County which shall review the matter de novo.
§ 1708. ACCESSIBILITY AND CONFIDENTIALITY OF LICENSING MATTERS
(a) It is the purpose of this section both to protect the reputation of licensees from public disclosure of unwarranted complaints and to fulfill the public’s right to know of any action taken against an applicant or a licensee when that action is based on a determination of unprofessional conduct or incompetence.
(b) All meetings and hearings of the standards board and hearing panels shall be held in accordance with chapter 5 of Title 1.
(c) The commissioner shall prepare and maintain a register of all complaints which shall be a public record and which shall show:
(1) with respect to all complaints for which a formal investigation is initiated under subsection 1700(c) of this title, the following information:
(A) the date and the nature of the complaint, but not the identity of the licensee or information that could be used to identify the licensee; and
(B) a summary of the completed investigation; and
(2) only with respect to complaints resulting in the filing of a formal charge under subsection 1701(b) of this title, the following additional information:
(A) the name and business addresses of the licensee and the name of the complainant if disclosure is permitted under federal or state law and does not provide personally identifying information about a student;
(B) formal charges, provided they have been served or a reasonable effort to serve them has been made;
(C) except as provided under chapter 5 of Title 1, the findings, conclusions, and order of the hearing panel; and
(D) final disposition of the matter.
(d) The hearing panel and the commissioner shall not disclose to anyone but the applicant or the licensee charged any information regarding a complaint, proceeding, or record, except the information required to be released under this section.
(e) A licensee or applicant shall have the right to inspect and copy all information in the possession of the department of education pertaining to the licensee or applicant, except investigatory files not resulting in formal charges and attorney work product.
(f) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the disclosure of information:
(1) Regarding complaints to state or federal law enforcement agencies in the course of an investigation, provided the agency agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the information as provided in subsection (d) of this section;
(2) Regarding denials of licensure for cause, and license suspensions or revocations, and including reinstatements of licenses, to the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, consistent with the member agreement executed between it and the state of Vermont. For the purposes of this subdivision, “cause” includes any circumstance or activity also deemed to be a revocable offense; or
(3) As is necessary in investigating a complaint, to the superintendent of a school district in which the licensee is employed or, if the licensee is employed as a superintendent, to the chair of the board that employs the superintendent, provided the superintendent or chair agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the information as provided in subsection (d) of this section. Where, in the judgment of the commissioner, the alleged unprofessional conduct or incompetence places the students in immediate physical or emotional jeopardy, the office shall inform the superintendent of the school district in which the licensee is employed. The superintendent may take only such action as is both necessary to protect students and consistent with the rights of the licensee. The superintendent shall not do anything which compromises the integrity of the investigation.
§ 1709. REPORTS
The commissioner of education shall issue annually a report to the standards board which shall contain:
(1) the number of new licensees and endorsements they receive, the number of licenses that have lapsed without renewal, and the total number of licensees;
(2) a summary of all complaints requiring preliminary review, formal investigation and formal charges; and
(3) an accounting of all fees and administrative penalties received by the office and all expenditures and costs of the office for the year.
Sec. 3. 16 V.S.A. § 1931(20) is amended to read:
(20) “Teacher” shall mean any licensed
teacher, principal, supervisor, superintendent, or any professional licensed by
state board of education Vermont standards board for professional
educators regularly employed for the full normal working time for his or
her position in a public day school within the state, or in any school or
teacher-training institution located within the state, controlled by the state
board of education, and supported wholly by the state; or any teacher,
principal, supervisor, superintendent, or any professional regularly employed
for the full normal working time for his or her position in any nonsectarian
independent school which serves as a high school for the town or city in which
the same is located, provided such school is not conducted for personal
profit. It shall also mean any person employed in a teaching capacity in
certain public independent schools designated for such purposes by the board of
trustees in accordance with section 1935 of this title. In all cases of doubt
the board of trustees, herein defined, shall determine whether any person is a
teacher as defined in this chapter. It shall not mean a person who is teaching
with an emergency license.
Sec. 4. 16 V.S.A. § 1981(1) and (5) are amended to read:
(1) “Administrator” means any person so
licensed by the
state board of education Vermont standards board for
professional educators, the majority of whose employed time in a school or
a school district is devoted to serving as superintendent, assistant
superintendent, assistant to the superintendent, supervisor, principal, or
(5) “Teacher” means any person licensed
employable as a teacher by the
state board of education Vermont
standards board for professional educators who is not an administrator as herein defined.
Sec. 5. 26 V.S.A. § 4451(3), (10), and (14) are amended to read:
(3) “Board” means the
state board of
education Vermont standards board for professional educators unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(10) “Private practice” means any work performed by a licensed
speech-language pathologist or audiologist that is not
within the jurisdiction of the
state board of education.
(14) “Within the jurisdiction of the
board of education” means conduct or work performed by a licensed
speech-language pathologist or audiologist on behalf of a supervisory union or
public school district in Vermont or an independent school approved for special
education purposes, or conduct otherwise subject to discipline under the state
board of education licensing rules of the board.
Sec. 6. 26 V.S.A. § 4454(b) is amended to read:
(b) This chapter shall not be construed
to limit the authority of the
state board of education to
determine and evaluate the qualifications of, issue licenses to, or discipline
licensees who are within the jurisdiction of the state board of
education or the Vermont standards board for professional educators.
Sec. 7. 26 V.S.A. § 4455(b) is amended to read:
(b) The secretary shall seek the advice
of the individuals appointed under this section in matters related to
qualifications or alleged misconduct not within the jurisdiction of the
board of education. The advisors shall be entitled to compensation and
necessary expenses as provided in section 1010 of Title 32 for meetings called
by the director.
Sec. 8. 26 V.S.A. § 4456(a)(6) is amended to read:
(6) refer all complaints and disciplinary
matters not within the jurisdiction of the
state board of education
to the secretary of state;
Sec. 9. 26 V.S.A. § 4457 is amended to read:
§ 4457. LICENSURE; APPLICATIONS; ELIGIBILITY
Applicants for licenses under this chapter
shall submit an application to the department on a form furnished by the
department, along with payment of the specified fee and evidence of the
eligibility qualifications established by the
state board of
education which shall include, at a minimum:
* * *
Sec. 10. 26 V.S.A. § 4458(a) is amended to read:
(a) A license shall be renewed at an
interval determined by the
state board of education which shall
be no fewer than every two years and no more than every seven years upon
payment of the renewal fee, provided the person applying for renewal completes professional
development activities in accord with the processes approved by the department
or the Vermont standards board for professional educators, during
the interval. The board shall establish, by rule, guidelines and criteria for
the renewal or reinstatement of licenses issued under this chapter.
Sec. 11. VERMONT EDUCATORS; CRITICAL NEEDS
At the 2006 meeting convened pursuant to subdivision 212(14) of Title 16, the group shall discuss, at a minimum, the need for teachers of children with autism and for speech-language pathologists. If the group determines that there is a need for speech-language pathologists in Vermont, it shall discuss whether a new level of licensure which does not require a master’s degree would help to meet the need.
Sec. 12. REPEAL
16 V.S.A. § 164(5) is repealed.
Sec. 13. TRANSITION; EFFECTIVE DATE
(a) The current Vermont standards board for professional educators shall continue to perform its duties under existing state board of education rules and its appointed members shall continue in their positions during fiscal year 2007. Notwithstanding any state board rule to the contrary, the state board may reappoint current standards board members for fiscal year 2007.
(b) Regulations and standards adopted by the state board of education which relate to the areas under the authority of the Vermont standards board for professional educators pursuant to this act shall remain in effect upon passage of this act until the standards board officially changes them.
(c) During fiscal year 2007, the governor shall appoint members of the Vermont standards board for professional educators and the individuals to serve on the hearing panels for staggered terms commencing July 1, 2007.
(d) This section shall become effective on passage. The remainder of this act shall take effect on July 1, 2007.
and that after passage, the title be changed to read as follows: “AN ACT RELATING TO A STANDARDS BOARD AND LICENSING HEARING PANELS FOR PROFESSIONAL PUBLIC EDUCATORS”
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street