Session of 1999
By Committee on Education

  9             AN  ACT concerning school districts; relating to teachers; establishing a
10             grant program for development of peer assistance and peer assistance
11             and review programs.
13       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
14             Section  1. (a) The state board of education shall develop, monitor
15       and establish a peer assistance and peer assistance and review planning
16       grant program to provide funding to qualifying school districts in Kansas.
17             (b) Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars shall be set aside to fund
18       the planning grant program with no qualifying school district obtaining
19       more than a $50,000 planning grant.
20             Sec.  2. The purpose of the planning grant program is to improve the
21       professional practice of teaching, retain promising teachers and build pro-
22       fessional knowledge to improve student success.
23             Sec.  3. As used in this act:
24             (a) "Peer assistance" means the provision of confidential formative
25       assistance and support by colleagues informally and in defined assistance
26       structures.
27             (b) "Peer assistance and review" means a program that combines
28       peer assistance as defined above with a peer review function for new
29       teachers, and experienced teachers experiencing substantial difficulties
30       with their teaching in a manner that leads to improved practice and re-
31       tention by the school district.
32             Sec.  4. Application for a planning grant shall include:
33             (a) A statement of joint commitment signed by official representa-
34       tives of the local board of education and the professional employee's or-
35       ganization that is designated or selected for the purposes of professional
36       negotiations.
37             (b) Evidence of a positive relationship between the school district and
38       the professional employee's organization.
39             (c) An outline of proposed work tasks to include:
40             (1) Training for all participants;
41             (2) selection criteria for assisting teachers;
42             (3) a plan for interaction between the peer assistance system and the
43       current teacher evaluation system; and

HB 2348


  1             (4) the target audience of any such system, i.e., new teachers, veteran
  2       teachers and teachers experiencing substantial difficulties.
  3             (d) A proposed budget.
  4             Sec.  5. (a) The state board of education shall use representatives of
  5       school districts, statewide teachers' organizations and the legislature to
  6       evaluate and select grant proposals for funding. The secretary shall de-
  7       termine the number of representatives to be selected from each school
  8       district and teacher organizations, except that the legislator representa-
  9       tives shall be limited to two persons, one appointed by the speaker of the
10       house of representatives and one by the president of the senate. The
11       legislator representatives shall be of different political parties.
12             (b) The members appointed by the board shall serve a term of three
13       years and serve at the pleasure of the secretary.
14             (c) All members shall be residents of Kansas.
15             (d) The terms of the legislator members shall expire upon termina-
16       tion of their holding office as a member of the legislature. However, such
17       members shall serve until the member's successor is appointed and qual-
18       ified in the same manner.
19             Sec.  6. (a) No member or employee of a peer assistance group or
20       peer review committee is liable to any person for any action taken or
21       recommendation made within the scope of the functions of such group
22       or committee if the group or committee member or employee acts with-
23       out malice and in the reasonable belief that the action or recommendation
24       is warranted by the facts known to such member after a reasonable effort
25       to obtain the facts of the matter as to which the action is taken or rec-
26       ommendation is made.
27             (b) No person who provides information to a peer assistance group
28       or peer review committee, professional standards review committee, or
29       counseling and assistance committee of a state or local professional or-
30       ganization for teachers, or a member or employee of the peer assistance
31       group or peer review committee, without malice and in good faith be-
32       lieves that the information is warranted by the facts known to such person
33       is liable in damages in a civil action as a result of providing that
34       information.
35             (c) A group or committee member may report to and discuss its ac-
36       tivities, information and findings with other group or committee members
37       without waiver of the privilege provided under this section, and the re-
38       cords of all such groups and committee members relating to such report
39       shall be privileged as provided under this section.
40             (d) Reports and records made pursuant to this act shall not be subject
41       to discovery, subpoena or other means of legal compulsion for their re-
42       lease to any person or entity and shall not be admissible in any civil or
43       administrative action other than a disciplinary proceeding.

HB 2348


  1        Sec.  7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
  2       publication in the statute book.