SENATE BILL 93
55th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2022
RELATING TO PUBLIC EDUCATION; ENACTING THE COMMUNITY EDUCATORS ACT; ALLOWING THE LICENSURE AND CONTRACTING OF COMMUNITY EDUCATORS; REQUIRING SATISFACTORY CLEARANCE OF FINGERPRINT-BASED BACKGROUND CHECKS AND PARTICIPATION IN THE PERFORMANCE EVALUATION PROCESS; REQUIRING SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY FUNDS; EXEMPTING COMMUNITY EDUCATORS FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THE EDUCATIONAL RETIREMENT ACT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--Sections 1 through 6 of this act may be cited as the "Community Educators Act"."
SECTION 2. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Community Educators Act:
A. "community educator" means a person who:
(1) has current licensure from the department as a community educator; and
(2) is not a current teacher or other school employee under the Public School Code;
B. "contract for services" means an agreement between the local school board and a community educator for the provision of services pursuant to the Community Educators Act;
C. "extracurricular activity" includes all extracurricular activities available within a particular school district;
D. "local school board" includes the governing body of a charter school;
E. "school district" includes a charter school;
F. "services" includes teaching courses in which the community educator has subject-matter expertise; and
G. "subject-matter expertise" means the professional, technical or career expertise of a community educator."
SECTION 3. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] COMMUNITY EDUCATOR LICENSURE.--
A. The department may license as a community educator a person who:
(1) has earned at least a bachelor's degree;
(2) has a minimum of three years' experience in each area of subject-matter expertise in which the community educator will teach;
(3) passes the New Mexico teacher assessments in each area of subject-matter expertise in which the community educator will teach;
(4) completes a department-approved pedagogy course provided by the department, a New Mexico public post-secondary educational institution, a school district or regional education cooperative in conjunction with a New Mexico public post-secondary educational institution or another provider approved by the department pursuant to Section 22-10A-7 NMSA 1978; and
(5) meets any other requirements established by rule by the department to carry out the provisions of the Community Educators Act, including participation in the same mentorship program, evaluation and other professional development requirements as level one teachers; or
(6) has held a valid teacher license from any other state or territory of the United States within the immediately preceding ten years from the date of the person's application for a community educator license; provided that the person last taught at the secondary level and the courses taught were the same or substantially similar to the course the person is hired to teach.
B. A community educator teacher's license shall be valid for two years and shall expire after the two-year period. If qualified, the community educator may apply for a level one, two or three alternative license or a level one, two or three teacher's license according to provisions of the School Personnel Act and an endorsement in the subject area taught, according to department rule."
SECTION 4. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] LOCAL SCHOOL BOARD--COMMUNITY EDUCATOR CONTRACT FOR SERVICES--SALARY.--
A. A local school board may enter into a contract for services with a community educator; provided that the local superintendent provides to the local school board a signed statement stating that a fully licensed instructor was sought through the same procedures that the school district uses to recruit for any teacher vacancy and one was unavailable.
B. The contract for services shall provide that the community educator render services to students in grades seven through twelve only.
C. The community educator shall provide services not to exceed one-half of a full-time teacher's workload. A local school board shall not have more than ten percent of any school's classes taught by community educators.
D. The amount of compensation to be received by the community educator shall be one hundred fifty dollars ($150) per week per class period taught.
E. An amount equal to the amount of compensation paid pursuant to Subsection D of this section shall be contributed by that school district to the extracurricular activity fund pursuant to Section 5 of the Community Educators Act.
F. The contract for services shall specify that the community educator is ineligible for:
(1) health plan benefits;
(2) the accrual of service credit or employee or employer contributions under the Educational Retirement Act;
(3) any compensation other than the amount specified in the contract for services; and
(4) tenure under any law or rule or tenure under any agreement to which the community educator is not an individually named party.
G. The terms of the contract for services and any renewal of the contract for services shall not exceed one school year. If, after two years of employment, the community educator wishes to continue employment as a teacher in the same school and school district, the community educator may apply for an alternative teaching license or a level one, two or three teacher's license. The department shall establish an expedited process for community educator licensure application for an alternative level one, two or three license, depending upon the community educator's performance, experience and qualifications.
H. A local superintendent may terminate the contract for services without cause at any time during the contract period.
I. A local school board may include in the contract for services additional terms not in contravention of the Community Educators Act."
SECTION 5. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] EXTRACURRICULAR FUNDS--USES.--
A. Each school district shall establish and
maintain an extracurricular activity fund. Money in the fund shall consist of contributions to the fund pursuant to Subsection E of Section 4 of the Community Educators Act. Money in an extracurricular activity fund shall be expended by that school district for the purpose of developing, funding and maintaining extracurricular activities.
B. A local school board shall develop a list each semester that contains ten extracurricular activities that are offered within the school district to be eligible for funding pursuant to Subsection A of this section. An extracurricular activity shall not be on the list for consecutive semesters. If a school district does not offer ten or more extracurricular activities per semester, the school district may adjust the number of extracurricular activities on the list.
C. Each semester, the local school board shall provide the list of extracurricular activities to the school district to distribute to each community educator within the school district. Each community educator shall elect one extracurricular activity to receive funding in an amount equal to the amount contributed by the school district on that community educator's behalf pursuant to Subsection E of Section 4 of the Community Educators Act, and funding shall be distributed by the school district accordingly to develop, fund and maintain that extracurricular activity.
D. After funding is distributed pursuant to this section, if any funding remains in the fund, the school district may expend that excess funding on extracurricular activities, as determined by the school district."
SECTION 6. A new section of the Public School Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] APPLICABILITY OF SCHOOL PERSONNEL ACT-- BACKGROUND CHECKS--PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS.--
A. Community educators shall:
(1) satisfactorily clear a fingerprint-based background check in the same manner as licensed school employees pursuant to Section 22-10A-5 NMSA 1978; and
(2) participate in the performance evaluation process in the same manner as licensed school employees pursuant to Section 22-10A-19 NMSA 1978.
B. Except as otherwise provided in the Community Educators Act, the provisions of the School Personnel Act shall apply to community educators."
SECTION 7. A new section of the Educational Retirement Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] EXEMPTION--COMMUNITY EDUCATORS.--A community educator, as provided by the Community Educators Act, who is employed by a local administrative unit shall not be considered a member pursuant to the provisions of the Educational Retirement Act. Compensation provided to a community educator pursuant to Subsection D of Section 4 of the Community Educators Act shall not be considered salary pursuant to the provisions of the Educational Retirement Act."
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