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Substitute Senate Bill No. 1104

Public Act No. 11-60

AN ACT CONCERNING CHARTER SCHOOLS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 10-66dd of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2011):

(a) For purposes of this section, "school professional" means any school teacher, administrator or other personnel certified by the State Board of Education pursuant to section 10-145b.

(b) (1) Subject to the provisions of this subsection and except as may be waived pursuant to subsection (d) of section 10-66bb, charter schools shall be subject to all federal and state laws governing public schools.

(2) [At] Subject to the provisions of subdivision (5) of this subsection, at least one-half of the persons providing instruction or pupil services in a charter school shall possess the proper certificate other than (A) a certificate issued pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of section 10-145b, or (B) a temporary certificate issued pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-145f on the day the school begins operation and the remaining persons shall possess a certificate issued pursuant to said subdivision (1) or such temporary certificate on such day.

(3) The commissioner may not waive the provisions of chapters 163c and 169 and sections 10-15c, 10-153a to 10-153g, inclusive, 10-153i, 10-153j, 10-153m and 10-292.

(4) The state charter school governing council shall act as a board of education for purposes of collective bargaining. The school professionals and persons holding a charter school educator permit, issued by the State Board of Education pursuant to section 2 of this act, employed by a local charter school shall be members of the appropriate bargaining unit for the local or regional school district in which the local charter school is located and shall be subject to the same collective bargaining agreement as the school professionals employed by said district. A majority of those employed or to be employed in the local charter school and a majority of the members of the governing council of the local charter school may modify, in writing, such collective bargaining agreement, consistent with the terms and conditions of the approved charter, for purposes of employment in the charter school.

(5) For the school year commencing July 1, 2011, and each school year thereafter, the Commissioner of Education may waive the requirements of subdivision (2) of this subsection for any administrator or person providing instruction or pupil services employed by a charter school who holds a charter school educator permit, issued pursuant to section 2 of this act, provided not more than thirty per cent of the total number of administrators and persons providing instruction or pupil services employed by a charter school hold the charter school educator permit for the school year.

(c) School professionals employed by a local or regional board of education shall be entitled to a two-year leave of absence, without compensation, in order to be employed in a charter school provided such leave shall be extended upon request for an additional two years. At any time during or upon the completion of such a leave of absence, a school professional may return to work in the school district in the position in which he was previously employed or a comparable position. Such leave of absence shall not be deemed to be an interruption of service for purposes of seniority and teachers' retirement, except that time may not be accrued for purposes of attaining tenure. A school professional who is not on such a leave of absence and is employed for forty school months of full-time continuous employment by the charter school and is subsequently employed by a local or regional board of education shall attain tenure after the completion of twenty school months of full-time continuous employment by such board of education in accordance with section 10-151.

(d) (1) An otherwise qualified school professional hired by a charter school prior to July 1, 2010, and employed in a charter school may participate in the state teacher retirement system under chapter 167a on the same basis as if such professional were employed by a local or regional board of education. The governing council of a charter school shall make the contributions, as defined in subdivision (7) of section 10-183b for such professional.

(2) An otherwise qualified school professional hired by a charter school on or after July 1, 2010, and who has not previously been employed by a charter school in this state prior to July 1, 2010, shall participate in the state teacher retirement system under chapter 167a on the same basis as if such professional were employed by a local or regional board of education. The governing council of a charter school shall make the contributions, as defined in subdivision (7) of section 10-183b for such professional.

(3) Any administrator or person providing instruction or pupil services in a charter school who holds a charter school educator permit issued by the State Board of Education pursuant to section 2 of this act shall participate in the state teacher retirement system under chapter 167a pursuant to subdivision (2) of this section when such administrator or person providing instruction or pupil services obtains professional certification pursuant to section 10-145b.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) Subject to the provisions of subdivision (5) of subsection (b) of section 10-66dd of the general statutes, as amended by this act, the State Board of Education, upon the request of the state charter school governing council, may issue a charter school educator permit to a person who is employed by a charter school as a teacher or administrator and does not hold the initial educator, provisional educator or professional educator certificate if such person (1) achieves satisfactory scores on the state reading, writing and mathematics competency examination prescribed by and administered under the direction of the State Board of Education, or qualifies for a waiver of such test based on criteria approved by the State Board of Education, (2) achieves a satisfactory evaluation on the appropriate State Board of Education approved subject area assessment, and (3) demonstrates evidence of effectiveness. Such permit shall authorize a person to serve as an administrator or teacher in the charter school employing such person. Each such charter school educator permit may be renewed by the Commissioner of Education for good cause upon the request of the state charter school governing council employing such person at the time the charter for the school is renewed.

Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 10-153b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2011):

(a) Whenever used in this section or in sections 10-153c to 10-153n, inclusive: (1) The "administrators' unit" means the [certified] professional employee or employees in a school district or charter school not excluded from the purview of sections 10-153a to 10-153n, inclusive, employed in positions requiring an intermediate administrator or supervisor certificate, or the equivalent thereof, or charter school educator permit and whose administrative or supervisory duties, for purposes of determining membership in the administrators' unit, shall equal at least fifty per cent of the assigned time of such employee. Certified professional employees covered by the terms and conditions of a contract in effect prior to October 1, 1983, shall continue to be covered by such contract or any successor contract until such time as the employee is covered by the terms and conditions of a contract negotiated by the exclusive bargaining unit of which the employee is a member for purposes of collective bargaining pursuant to the provisions of this section. (2) The "teachers' unit" means (A) the group of professional employees who hold a certificate or durational shortage area permit issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, and are employed by a local or regional board of education in positions requiring such a certificate or durational shortage area permit and are not included in the administrators' unit or excluded from the purview of sections 10-153a to 10-153n, inclusive, and (B) the group of professional employees who hold a certificate, durational shortage area permit issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of sections 10-144o to 10-149, inclusive, or a charter school educator permit issued by the State Board of Education under the provisions of section 2 of this act, and are employed by a charter school in positions requiring such a certificate, durational shortage area permit or charter school educator permit and are not included in the administrators' unit or excluded from the purview of sections 10-153a to 10-153n, inclusive. (3) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Education. (4) "To post a notice" means to post a copy of the indicated material on each bulletin board for teachers in every school in the school district or, if there are no such bulletin boards, to give a copy of such information to each employee in the unit affected by such notice. (5) "Budget submission date" means the date on which a school district is to submit its itemized estimate of the cost of maintenance of public schools for the next following year to the board of finance in each town having a board of finance, to the board of selectmen in each town having no board of finance and, in any city having a board of finance, to said board, and otherwise to the authority making appropriations therein. (6) "Days" means calendar days.

Approved July 8, 2011