(a) The superintendent and the commission shall award supplemental grants on a competitive basis to Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment System teacher induction programs established pursuant to Section 44279.2 that are identified as having expertise according to criteria established by the superintendent and the commission. The supplemental grants received pursuant to this section shall be expended to assist clusters of teacher induction programs operated by school districts or consortiums of school districts.
(b) The superintendent and the commission shall designate each school district and consortium of school districts participating in the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment System established pursuant to Section 44279.2 as belonging to a cluster according to the criteria established pursuant to this subdivision. For the purposes of this section "cluster" means a cluster of school districts or consortium of school districts established pursuant this section. The superintendent and the commission shall establish criteria for the formation of school districts or consortiums of school district teacher induction program clusters based upon, but not necessarily be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Geographic proximity.
(2) Program size.
(3) The number of beginning teachers served.
(4) The similarity of teacher characteristics and pupil populations in each school district.
(c) School districts and consortiums of school districts awarded supplemental grants pursuant to this section shall identify a teacher induction program consultant to assist the school district or consortiums of school districts forming a cluster. The superintendent and the commission shall identify the purpose and functions of each consultant. Those purposes and functions shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, all the following:
(1) Assisting in designing, implementing, refining, and evaluating their teacher induction programs.
(2) Assisting in building the capacity to provide professional development for all personnel involved in the implementation of teacher induction programs, including, but not limited to, beginning teachers, support providers, and administrators.
(3) Disseminating information on teacher induction programs to all interested participants within the cluster and collaborating with other consultants statewide and with state administrative agency staff to ensure ongoing program improvement.
(d) The superintendent and the commission shall ensure that each grant awarded pursuant to this section supports the salary and benefits and other related costs based on the prorated amount of time dedicated to this function for a consultant to assist each cluster.
(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 485, Sec. 51.)