BILL NUMBER: AB 544	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  324
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  OCTOBER 11, 2009
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  OCTOBER 11, 2009
	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 24, 2009
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 27, 2009
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JULY 8, 2009
	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, Coto. 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 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 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 credential.



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 credential to a candidate who has
met the following requirements:
   (1) Demonstrated 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 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 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 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. Upon completion
of the three-year period, the holder of an American Indian 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 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 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 credential shall develop and
administer a technical assistance program guided by the California
Standards for the Teaching Profession. To the extent feasible, 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.