Alaska Statutes.
Title 14. Education, Libraries, and Museums
Chapter 20. Teachers and School Personnel
Section 20. Requirements For Issuance of Certificate; Fingerprints.
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AS 14.20.020. Requirements For Issuance of Certificate; Fingerprints.

(a) Except as provided in (f) of this section, the department shall issue a teacher certificate to every person who meets the requirements in (b), (c), and (h) of this section.

(b) A person is not eligible for a teacher certificate unless that person has received at least a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association or approved by the commissioner and, if applicable, has passed the examination or examinations required by (i) of this section. However, this subsection is not applicable to

(1) persons employed in the state public school system on September 1, 1962;

(2) persons issued an emergency certificate during a situation that, in the judgment of the commissioner, requires the temporary issuance of a certificate to a person not otherwise qualified.

(c) The board may establish by regulation additional requirements for the issuance of certificates. The board shall require teachers to submit fingerprints and the fees required by the Department of Public Safety under AS 12.62.160 for criminal justice information and a national criminal history record check. The board shall submit the fingerprints and fees to the Department of Public Safety for a report of criminal justice information under AS 12.62 and a national criminal history record check under AS 12.62.400 . The department shall establish by regulation the fees to be charged for each certificate and for other charges assessed against teachers as part of certification. In establishing the fees to be charged, the department shall establish the fee levels so that the total amount of the fees collected relating to the certification of teachers approximately equals, when added to the other fees collected from teachers, the actual regulatory costs for certifying and disciplining teachers in the state. The department shall annually review each fee level to determine whether the regulatory costs are approximately equal to fee collections. If the review indicates that fee collections and regulatory costs are not approximately equal, the department shall calculate fee adjustments to the fees for certification of teachers and adopt regulations under this subsection to implement the adjustments. In January of each year, the department shall report on all fee levels and revisions for the previous year under this subsection to the office of management and budget. The department shall consider the board's recommendations concerning the fee levels and regulatory costs before revising fee schedules to comply with this subsection. In this subsection, "regulatory costs" means costs of the department that are attributable to regulation of the teaching profession, including the portion of the expenses of the board that are attributable to the regulation of the teaching profession and the expenses of the Professional Teaching Practices Commission.

(d) The board may by regulation establish various classes of certificates.

(e) The annual estimated balance in the account maintained by the commissioner of administration under AS 37.05.142 may be used by the legislature to make appropriations to the department to carry out the purposes of this section and to support the activities of the Professional Teaching Practices Commission under AS 14.20.460 , 14.20.470, and 14.20.500.

(f) The department may not issue a teacher certificate to a person who has been convicted of a crime, or an attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a crime, involving a minor under AS 11.41.410 - 11.41.460 or a law or ordinance in another jurisdiction with elements similar to an offense described in this subsection.

(g) The department shall issue a teacher certificate to a person who possessed a valid Alaska teacher certificate upon retirement. A teacher certificate issued under this subsection is valid for the life of the retired teacher and qualifies the holder as a substitute teacher in the state.

(h) A person is not eligible for a teacher certificate unless the person has completed three semester hours in Alaska studies and three semester hours in multicultural education or cross-cultural communications. However, the commissioner may issue a provisional certificate, valid for no longer than two years, to an applicant who has not completed the semester hours required under this subsection at the time of application.

(i) Beginning on July 1, 1998, a person is not eligible for an initial regular teacher certificate unless the person has taken and successfully completed a competency examination or examinations designated, at the time the person took the test, by the board. The board shall review nationally recognized examinations that are designed to test the competency of new teachers and shall designate those examinations that it finds adequately test the skills and abilities of new teachers. For each examination designated under this subsection, the board shall establish the minimum acceptable level of performance.

(j) Whenever required by a provision of this chapter to submit fingerprints to use for a criminal background check for the purpose of determining a person's suitability for employment as a teacher, the department shall accept a name-based criminal history background check on a person from the agency performing the background check if the

(1) person cannot submit legible fingerprint cards due to a permanent disability that precludes the person's ability to submit fingerprints; or

(2) agency informs the department that its examination of at least two separate sets of fingerprint cards shows that the person's fingerprints are illegible due to a permanent skin condition.

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