Guest Post from TEDNA Board Member Kerry Venegas on California AB 163 and Teacher Credentialling

Kerry Venegas is the Director of the Tribal Education Department for the Hoopa Valley Tribe, and is providing an update on California AB 163, which expands Native teaching credential authorization for Tribes that passed as AB 544 in 2009.

AB 163 is still in the legislative process, but doesn’t seem to have any major roadblocks. Even the teacher unions have endorsed it. The great thing about this bill is that a teacher who already holds the Native Language credential could add on the culture credential, with tribal authorization, instead of having to go through the process again. And people seeking the credential for the first time could do the Native Language credential, or the culture credential, or both.

It does contain specific language about training for teachers credentialed under this section to receive professional development training in teaching methods in addition to tribally endorsed language and/or culture/history, but leaves it pretty much in the Tribes hands. Specifically, “Upon agreement by the tribe, a tribe recommending a candidate for an American Indian languages-culture language-culture credential shall develop and administer a technical assistance program guided by the California Standards for the Teaching Profession. To the extent feasible, the program shall be offered by teachers credentialed in an American Indian language, or culture, or both, who have three or more years of teaching experience.”

Below is a short description of both AB 163 and the original Native language credentialing bill (now law) AB 544, links to history of the bills, and a link to the CA Ed Code.

Hope this is useful information.

Take care,
Kerry


CA AB 163
– This bill, as now amended, would amend Section 44262.5 of the California Education Code, and amend Section 1 of Chapter 324 of the Statutes of 2009, relating to teacher credentialing to require the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, upon recommendation by a tribal government of a federally recognized Indian tribe in California, to issue an American Indian language-culture credential with an American Indian language authorization, or an American Indian culture authorization, or both, to a candidate who has met specified requirements.

CA AB 544 – This bill authorized amending the California Education Code, Section 44262 to include Section 44262.5 to authorize the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, upon recommendation by a tribal government of a federally recognized Indian tribe in California, to issue an American Indian languages credential to a candidate who has demonstrated fluency in that tribal language, and met other requirements.

Link to CA Ed Code Section 44262.5: http://www.weblaws.org/california/codes/ca_educ_section_44262.5 or here.

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