BILL NUMBER: AB 544	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MAY 13, 2009
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MAY 6, 2009
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MARCH 25, 2009

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Coto
   (Coauthors: Assembly Members Ammiano, Brownley, Buchanan, Carter,
Eng, Miller, Nestande, Portantino, and Solorio)

                        FEBRUARY 25, 2009

   An act to add Section 44262.5 to the Education Code, relating to
teacher credentialing.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 544, as amended, Coto.  Eminence  
Teaching  credential: American Indian languages.
   Existing law authorizes the Commission on Teacher Credentialing,
among other things, to establish professional standards, assessments,
and examinations for entry and advancement in the education process.
The commission is authorized to issue an eminence credential to any
person who has achieved eminence in a field of endeavor taught, or
service practiced, in the public schools of California.
   This bill would require the commission, upon recommendation by a
tribal government of a federally recognized Indian tribe in
California, to issue an American Indian languages  eminence
 credential to a candidate who has demonstrated fluency in
that tribal language, and met other requirements. The bill would
authorize the holder of an American Indian languages 
eminence  credential to teach the American Indian language
for which the credential was issued in California public schools in
preschool, kindergarten, grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and in adult
education courses, and would make the holder of that credential
eligible for a professional clear teaching credential upon completion
of a specified period of time  and application and consultation
as specified  . The bill would encourage each federally
recognized American Indian tribe to develop a written and oral
assessment that should be successfully completed before an applicant
is recommended for an American Indian languages  eminence
 credential.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares the following:
   (a) Teaching American Indian languages is essential to the proper
education of American Indian children.
   (b) Preserving American Indian languages is an important part of
our national heritage and can be of value to all Americans.
  SEC. 2.  Section 44262.5 is added to the Education Code, to read:
   44262.5.  (a) Upon recommendation of the tribal government of a
federally recognized Indian tribe in California, the commission shall
issue an American Indian languages  eminence
credential to a candidate who has met the following requirements:
   (1) Demonstrated  eminence   fluency  in
that tribe's language based on an assessment developed and
administered by that federally recognized Indian tribe pursuant to
subdivision (e).
   (2) Successfully completed a criminal background check conducted
under Sections 44339, 44340, and 44341 for credentialing purposes.
   (3) Submitted an application, fee, and recommendation for the
credential to the commission through the federally recognized Indian
tribe.
   (b) The American Indian languages  eminence 
credential shall authorize the holder to teach the American Indian
language for which the credential was issued in California public
schools in preschool, kindergarten, grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and in
adult education courses.
   (c) The holder of an American Indian languages  eminence
 credential who does not also have a valid teaching
credential issued by the State of California shall not teach in a
public school, including a charter school, any subject other than the
American Indian language for which he or she is credentialed.
   (d) Each American Indian languages  eminence 
credential shall be issued initially for a two-year period and may be
renewed for a three-year period upon recommendation of the tribal
government  and the governing board of the school district
 . Upon completion of the three-year period, the holder of
an American Indian  languages eminence credential shall be
eligible, upon application, for a clear teaching credential for that
language.   languages credential shall be eligible for a
clear teaching credential for that language upon application and the
recommendation of the tribal government, in consultation with the
applicant's public school employer. 
   (e) (1) Each federally recognized American Indian tribe is
encouraged to develop a written and oral assessment that should be
successfully completed before an applicant is recommended for an
American Indian languages  eminence  credential.
   (2) In developing the language assessment, an Indian tribe should
determine all of the following:
   (A) Which dialects of the tribal language will be included in the
assessment.
   (B) Whether the Indian tribe will standardize its writing system.
   (C) The standard of knowledge and fluency required to qualify for
an American Indian languages  eminence  credential
in that tribal language.
   (D) Standards for effective teaching methods to be evaluated in
the classroom.
   (3) The assessment should be administered at an appropriate
location that does not create hardship for members of the Indian
tribe administering the assessment.
   (f) Upon agreement by the tribe, a tribe recommending a candidate
for an American Indian languages  eminence 
credential shall develop and administer a technical assistance
program  guided by the California Standards for the Teaching
Profession  . The program shall be offered by teachers
credentialed in an American Indian language who have three or more
years of teaching experience. The technical assistance program may
consist of direct classroom observation and consultation, assistance
in instructional planning and preparation, support in implementation
and delivery of classroom instruction, and other assistance intended
to enhance the professional performance and development of the
American Indian language teacher.
   (g) Public school personnel responsible for evaluating teachers,
in accordance with local governing board policy, shall provide
individuals employed to teach on the basis of the American Indian
languages credential with information on the teaching personnel
evaluation process and the California Standards for the Teaching
Profession.