(a) The Teaching As A Priority Block Grant is hereby created to be administered by the department with the approval of the State Board of Education. The department shall award block grants to school districts on a competitive basis to provide incentives to attract credentialed teachers to be employed and retained in high-priority schools.
(b) (1) To be eligible to receive a full block grant in the third year of participation, a school district shall demonstrate a net decrease in the number of teachers holding an emergency permit or waiver at each school ranked in the bottom half of the Academic Performance Index pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 52051) of Chapter 6.1.
(2) After two years of receiving a block grant, a school district that fails to demonstrate a net decrease in the number of teachers holding an emergency permit or waiver at any of its schools ranked in the bottom half of the Academic Performance Index shall have the amount of the school's block grant reduced by the amount of funds generated by pupils enrolled in that school.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, "net decrease" shall be determined by comparing the number of teachers employed who hold an emergency permit or waiver at the end of the second year of implementation to the number of teachers employed who held an emergency permit or waiver prior to the implementation of the block grant.
(4) This subdivision does not apply to any school district with fewer than 2,501 units of average daily attendance that is in a county that is within the fourth through eighth class as defined in Section 1205.
(5) This subdivision is applicable only when stable funding for the Teaching As A Priority Block Grant program is provided in the annual Budget Act. For purposes of this subdivision, stable funding means no more than a 5-percent variation in funding from one fiscal year to the next.
(c) (1) Block grant funds may be used at the discretion of a school district for teacher recruitment and retention incentives with the target of reducing the number of teachers on emergency permits. Incentives shall only be used to hire and retain credentialed teachers. Teacher recruitment and retention incentives may include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Signing bonuses.
(B) Improved work conditions.
(C) Teacher compensation.
(D) Housing subsidies.
(2) A school district receiving block grant funds pursuant to this section may offer incentives to recruit and retain credentialed teachers interested in attaining certification pursuant to Section 44253.3 or 44253.4. Those incentives may include, but are not limited to, both of the following:
(A) Reimbursements to cover the costs of examinations necessary to attain certification pursuant to Sections 44253.3 and 44253.4.
(B) Reimbursements to cover the costs of coursework necessary for preparation programs offering emphasis in certification pursuant to Sections 44253.3 and 44253.4.
(d) Funding shall be allocated to school districts on a per-pupil basis for pupils enrolled in schools ranked in the bottom half of the Academic Performance Index pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 52051) of Chapter 6.1. Within the bottom half of the academic performance index, schools ranked in deciles 1, 2, and 3 shall receive 11/2 times the funding per pupil of schools ranked in deciles 4 and 5. No less than the amount of funding generated by pupils in schools ranked in deciles 1, 2, and 3 shall be expended in those schools.
(e) School districts shall apply to the department on behalf of their schools. The district application shall contain information that is specific to each school. Applications shall contain baseline information on the number of teachers with waivers or emergency permits at each school in accordance with subdivision (c).
(f) School districts that participate in the program established in this section shall be encouraged to participate in regional teacher recruitment centers operated by consortia pursuant to Section 44751.
(g) Funds appropriated for the purposes of this chapter shall supplement, and not supplant, existing efforts to recruit and retain fully credentialed teachers in the school district.
(h) The State Board of Education shall submit an evaluation of the program created by this chapter to the Legislature by January 1, 2004.
(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 183, Sec. 66.)
Education Code 1205
Education Code 44253.3
Education Code 44253.4
Education Code 44751
Education Code 52051