This bill, labeled as sHB6879 File No. 589, makes several changes to current law regarding educator preparation and certification. It aims to broaden the scope of practice for in-service educators, hold educator preparation programs accountable for training quality, and support continuous improvement for educators. It establishes a commission responsible for studying and making recommendations on educator preparation and certification. The bill also expands the existing alternate route to certification program and authorizes the hiring of one full-time permanent employee to administer the program. It makes changes to the requirements for adjunct instructor permits, teacher preparation programs, coaching permits, and cross endorsements for certified teachers. The bill also establishes guiding principles for the Commission to Modernize the Educator Workforce, grants the commission data request authority, and outlines membership qualifications, staff assignments, and reporting requirements.

This bill, sHB6879 File No. 589, addresses various aspects of education in Connecticut. It establishes a commission on teacher professional learning and mentorship, which will consist of 15 to 18 members appointed by different authorities. The commission is tasked with providing recommendations on professional learning and mentorship for teachers. The bill also allows the commission to request data and information from the State Department of Education (SDE) and requires the SDE to provide the requested information within 15 days. Additionally, the bill makes changes to requirements for teacher preparation programs, removes the requirement that teacher preparation program participants complete their student teaching experience in two different school districts from certain categories of District Reference Groups (DRGs), and allows individuals who hold a teaching certificate with an endorsement to teach comprehensive special education in grades one through 12 to extend the endorsement to grades prekindergarten through 12 if they meet certain reading instruction exam score requirements. The bill also addresses coaching permits for athletic coaches in elementary, middle, or high school athletics, allowing for a five-year validity for coaching permits and renewal without verifying completed continuing education units. The bill allows the State Department of Education (SDE), in cooperation with the Office of Higher Education (OHE), to authorize new endorsements for teachers, including Integrated Early Childhood/Special Education Birth-Kindergarten, Integrated Early Childhood/Elementary Education N-3, and Special Education N-K. The bill requires the commission to report its findings and recommendations to the Education and Higher Education and Employment Advancement committees by February 1, 2024.

Statutes affected:
ED Joint Favorable Substitute: 10-8c
File No. 589: 10-8c