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HB 2525 - Experienced teacher retention pilot program

Tracking Level: Support
Sponsor: Randall Friese
Last Action: 3/18/2019 - Senate HEWD Committee action: Do Pass Amended, voting: (7-0-0-0)
House Committee: Rules
Senate Committee: Rules
Assigned To:
TeachersNext Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

This bill requires the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to conduct a three-year experienced teacher retention pilot program. Program participants are eligible to receive a 75% discount on tuition at the state's universities for the duration of the pilot program.

Requires ADE to select applicants with prioritization of teachers in rural schools.

Defines "rural" as a school that has a population that is less than or equal to 10% of the state population, or that is above 10% of the state population but is located more than 10 miles from a muncipality with a population of more than 50,000.

Establishes criteria for eligibility in the program as follows:

  • A certificated teacher who has been employed at one or more school districts or charter schools in Arizona for at least 10 years, the teacher's spouse, or the teacher's dependent
  • A certificated teacher who has been employed at one or more school districts or charter schools for 3-10 years
    • A teacher who participates under this criteria must obtain a graduate degree from a college of education and sign a contract with ADE to continue teaching in Arizona for at least two years after receiving the degree. 

Specifies that if a program participant receives discounted tuition through this program and fails to fulfill the service requirements or if their teacher certificate is revoked by SBE, they must repay the amount received.

Stipulates that each University that enrolls a participant shall submit an invoice to ADE to receive reimburse the University for the amount of the discounted tuition.

Requires, by December 31, 2020, for ADE to issue a RFP to contract with qualified entities to study the effectiveness and impact of the program on the teacher shortage.

By December 2023, ADE is required to submit a report that summarizes their findings and conclusions of the program.

Allows the department to adopt policy to carry out the purposes of the pilot program, and includes an automatic repeal after February 15, 2026.

Appropriations for the program from the general fund to ADE are as follows:

  1. For costs of the retention program;         
    1. $2M in FY20
    2. In FY21- $2M if ADE awarded less than the total amount of monies appropriated in the previous FY, excluding monies retained by ADE to administer the pilot program. $2.5M if ADE awarded more than the total amount of monies appropriated, excluding monies retained by ADE to administer the pilot program in the previous FY.
    3. In FY22- The amount appropriated in FY21, excluding monies retained by ADE to administer the pilot program, if ADE awarded less than that amount to participants, $5M if ADE awarded at least the amount appropriated inn FY21.
    4. $10M in FY23 and FY24
  2. $100,000 in FY21 for distribution to the entities selected to study the impact of the pilot program.
  3. Allows ADE to retain up to 2% of the money appropriated each year to administer the program.

 States that all monies remaining unencumbered or unexpended on June 30, 2022 revert to the state GF.

Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text / PDF