The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 54th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 55th Legislature, 1st Regular Session, which convenes in January 2021.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
15-1655. Arizona teachers academy; tuition and fees scholarships; fund; annual report; definitions
(L20, Ch. 85, sec. 1)
A. Eligible postsecondary institutions shall implement an Arizona teachers academy to incentivize students to enter the teaching profession and to commit to teach in Arizona public schools or for or in schools that serve primarily public school students with disabilities, which are considered public schools for the purposes of this section. The Arizona board of regents, in consultation with eligible postsecondary institutions, shall develop and implement centralized administrative processes for the academy, including:
1. A marketing and promotion plan to recruit students for the academy.
2. Data collection and reporting.
3. Tracking postgraduation service requirements.
4. Coordinating induction services.
5. Distributing monies in the Arizona teachers academy fund between eligible postsecondary institutions.
6. Collecting reimbursement from individuals who fail to meet service obligations.
B. The Arizona teachers academy may include new or existing teacher preparation program pathways that are student-focused and that employ proven, research-based models of best practices already being implemented. Each eligible postsecondary institution may develop a portfolio of teacher preparation programs to offer as part of the academy. Each eligible postsecondary institution that admits students to the Arizona teachers academy may give priority to senior and junior students but may not exclude sophomore and freshmen students. Programs offered as part of the academy shall include accelerated models for:
1. High-demand teacher specializations, including special education, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
2. Critical need areas, including low-income public schools, public schools located on Indian reservations, rural public schools and schools that serve primarily public school students with disabilities.
3. Individuals seeking postbaccalaureate coursework that results in professional certification.
4. Teachers who are currently teaching a dual enrollment course to satisfy the requirements for teaching a dual enrollment course adopted by a higher learning commission that accredits degree-granting postsecondary educational institutions in the north central region, including this state.
5. Students in noneducation programs to complete one or more teacher preparation courses to prepare the student to receive a teaching certification following graduation.
C. Each eligible postsecondary institution shall develop formalized partnerships with public schools in this state to build commitments for teacher employment on completion of the Arizona teachers academy. The targeted deployment of teachers who have completed the academy shall be based on the needs of each school system and the community that is being served as well as the individual skills of each teacher.
D. Each eligible postsecondary institution shall provide to each full-time student who is enrolled in the Arizona teachers academy an annual scholarship of $10,000 per year for a maximum of two academic years or four semesters for graduate university students, $5,000 per year for a maximum of four academic years or eight semesters for undergraduate university students, $3,000 per year for a maximum of two academic years or four semesters for community college students for tuition and fees associated with the student's program of study and $2,500 onetime for teachers seeking national board certification, after all other financial gifts, aid or grants received by that student or teacher. Scholarships under this subsection are subject to all of the following:
1. If the student does not successfully complete the academic year in good academic standing, the student shall reimburse the Arizona board of regents for the total amount of the scholarship for tuition and fees the student received for that year.
2. For each academic year that the student successfully completes and for which the student receives a scholarship for all tuition and fees, the student must agree to teach for one full school year in a public school in this state. For students who are teaching and receiving the scholarship concurrently, the commitment period begins after graduation from the Arizona teachers academy. For teachers seeking a national board certification, the teaching commitment is one additional year after completing the requirements of the national board certification program.
3. If the scholarship does not cover remaining tuition and fee costs after other aid received, the eligible postsecondary institution may not charge students the remaining difference. If the scholarship amount exceeds tuition and fee costs at an eligible postsecondary institution, the institution may use the remaining amount to support Arizona teachers academy costs.
4. If the student does not fulfill the student's obligation to teach in a public school, the student must reimburse the Arizona board of regents for the proportional amount of the scholarship for tuition and fees that the student received that corresponds to the number of school years the student agreed to teach but did not teach in a public school in this state.
5. If the student is physically or mentally unable to fulfill the requirements of the Arizona teachers academy, the Arizona board of regents shall establish a process for assessing the student's ability to repay the financial assistance received and shall determine any terms of repayment.
6. The Arizona board of regents shall establish a process for deferring service or repayment based on factors adopted by the board.
E. The Arizona teachers academy fund is established consisting of legislative appropriations made for the purpose of administering the Arizona teachers academy. Monies in the fund are continuously appropriated and are exempt from the provisions of section 35-190 relating to the lapsing of appropriations. The Arizona board of regents shall administer the fund and shall establish criteria for distributing monies in the fund to eligible postsecondary institutions each fiscal year to fund the costs of the academy. Monies in the fund may be used only for:
1. Reimbursing Arizona teachers academy scholarships that cover the balance of tuition and fees for undergraduate, graduate and postbaccalaureate students enrolled in the Arizona teachers academy after all other gifts and aid received.
2. Support for teachers who are currently employed in a public school in this state and who are seeking a national board certification.
3. Induction services for Arizona teachers academy graduates.
4. Implementing a marketing and promotion plan to recruit and retain students in the Arizona teachers academy and administering the Arizona teachers academy. Annual expenditures for marketing, promoting and administering the Arizona teachers academy may not exceed three percent of the monies in the fund each fiscal year.
F. Monies remaining in the Arizona teachers academy fund at the end of each fiscal year may be used by eligible postsecondary institutions for Arizona teachers academy costs in the next fiscal year.
G. On or before August 1 of each fiscal year, the state general fund appropriation for the Arizona teachers academy for the current fiscal year shall be reduced by the amount of monies remaining in the Arizona teachers academy fund at the end of the prior fiscal year.
H. On or before March 1, 2020 and each year thereafter, the Arizona board of regents shall report to the joint legislative budget committee and the governor's office of strategic planning and budgeting on all of the following:
1. The total number of students enrolled in the Arizona teachers academy by eligible postsecondary institution in the current academic year.
2. The number of Arizona teachers academy graduates receiving induction services in the current academic year.
3. The estimated amount of monies committed from the Arizona teachers academy fund in the current fiscal year.
I. On or before September 1 each year, the Arizona board of regents shall report to the governor, the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives, and shall submit a copy to the secretary of state, on all of the following:
1. The total number of students enrolled in the Arizona teachers academy at each eligible postsecondary institution by year of college enrollment and the number of teachers receiving a scholarship through the Arizona teachers academy for national board certification.
2. The percentage of students who completed each year of the academy and who plan to continue to the subsequent year, delineated by each teacher preparation program offered by each eligible postsecondary institution as part of the Arizona teachers academy.
3. The number of teachers who completed a program of study through the Arizona teachers academy by each eligible postsecondary institution.
4. The number of teachers currently teaching in a public school in this state as part of an agreement for receiving an Arizona teachers academy scholarship.
5. The number of graduates receiving induction services.
6. The number of students who have defaulted on their obligation and who are in repayment agreements.
7. The number of students who have deferred repayment agreements.
8. The number of students who have completed repayment agreements.
9. The methodology for distributing any monies appropriated for the Arizona teachers academy to each eligible postsecondary institution and the amounts distributed to each.
10. The amount of unused monies in the Arizona teachers academy fund from the prior fiscal year.
J. A college in this state that is owned, operated or chartered by a qualifying Indian tribe on its own Indian reservation and that offers baccalaureate teacher education programs may participate in the Arizona teachers academy and receive monies from the Arizona teachers academy fund established by this section.
K. For the purposes of this section:
1. "Eligible postsecondary institutions" means universities under the jurisdiction of the Arizona board of regents, community colleges in this state that offer postbaccalaureate programs that lead to teacher certification and that have entered into an agreement with the Arizona board of regents relative to these postbaccalaureate programs, and colleges described in subsection J of this section if the college opts to participate in the Arizona teachers academy under subsection J of this section.
2. "School that serves primarily public school students with disabilities" means a school in which more than seventy-five percent of the students enrolled in the school are public school students who are placed at the school according to an agreement with a school, a charter school or the Arizona state schools for the deaf and blind.
3. "Tuition and fees" means tuition, mandatory fees and program fees that are associated with a program in the Arizona teachers academy leading to teacher certification and that are charged by an eligible postsecondary institution.