Title 17. Education

Chapter 1. General School Law

Part I. Elementary and Secondary Education

Subpart B. Superintendent of Education

17:24.1     State Department of Education; in-service training programs


A. (1) In addition to its other functions provided by law through the superintendent and through the board, and consistent with the powers and duties of the superintendent as provided by R.S. 17:22, the department shall establish a program to provide for in-service educational training for teachers in the parish and city public school systems in the state. 


(2)(a)(i) Notwithstanding any provision of this or any other law to the contrary and subject to the appropriation of funds for this purpose, the department, in establishing the program required by Paragraph (1) of this Subsection, shall create, no later than January 1, 1994, a training unit to be used with large or small groups of teachers which shall include written materials that document and explain all relevant laws and rules, state and federal, pertinent to the needs of students for whom modifications in the regular classroom environment, including revised modes of instruction or other revisions in elements of school life, which are required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended or any other pertinent law. 


(ii) The program required to be created by this Subparagraph shall include at a minimum the following information, material, and instruction: 


(aa) Appropriate materials of instruction. 


(bb) Instructional techniques. 


(cc) Identification of areas of student difficulty. 


(dd) Employee rights. 


(ee) Scope of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all other pertinent laws and regulations, whether state or federal. 


(ff) Methods for maximizing the involvement of all students in the classroom. 


(gg) Issues relevant to the issuance of medication. 


(b) The department shall provide training to not less than one regularly certified employee per three thousand students from each city and parish school system. For each system with fewer than three thousand students not less than one person shall be trained. Such training shall begin not later than February 1, 1994, and shall occur at least annually or more often as necessary to assure statewide availability of trained coordinators. After training, such coordinators shall be able to train classroom teachers, individually or in groups, and to provide them with information, techniques, and skills to properly respond to required modifications of the classroom environment. Such coordinators shall also be able to respond to inquiries and requests for assistance from classroom teachers. 


(c) Each city and parish school system shall designate at least one certified employee for every three thousand students in the system to receive the training required by Subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph and become a coordinator. At least one such employee shall be designated in any system with fewer than three thousand students. Such a coordinator may be a supervisor, an administrator, or a classroom teacher. The school system shall provide whatever leave from the coordinator’s regular work responsibilities as is necessary to receive training and to provide training or assistance as provided in Subsection C of this Section. The coordinator may receive such additional compensation as the school system provides for undertaking the additional responsibility of providing such training and assistance during hours that exceed his regular work schedule. 


B. The purpose of such program shall be to establish guidelines for in-service teacher educational programs for all teachers in the public schools and to provide technical assistance to local school systems in developing such programs. The plans for these in-service programs shall be such as to provide effective and sequential training in professional or subject matter areas appropriate to each level of teaching. The Department of Education shall prepare, with the advice of a representative group of classroom teachers, suggested guidelines for the administration and content of the in-service training programs of professional improvement. These guidelines shall be revised from time to time as the Superintendent of Education for Public Elementary and Secondary Education considers necessary or desirable, and shall be made available to each parish or city school board. The department shall also have authority to approve or disapprove programs as provided in this Section. The purpose of the in-service educational programs developed and approved under the provisions of this Section shall be to improve the instructional skills of all teachers in the public schools, their ability to communicate with and foster learning among students of differing backgrounds, their knowledge of the subject matter they teach, and innovative techniques in teaching such subject matter. 


C. (1) Each city and parish school system in the state may annually develop and submit to the department for approval, on or before such date as the department shall establish, a plan for in-service teacher educational programs which will be implemented for the system for the year submitted. All such programs shall be in conformity with guidelines established by the department. Each school board shall utilize the advice of the members of its teaching staff in developing the proposed plans. 


(2) Each city and parish school system shall, however, develop a plan no later than January 1, 1994, to provide in-service training, through the coordinators trained as provided in Subsection A of this Section, to all classroom teachers in the system who desire to receive such training as well as to make such coordinators available, on a more or less continuous basis, for consultation with classroom teachers who request assistance or information. 


D. The department shall establish guidelines for such in-service programs. Such guidelines shall include but not be limited to provisions for: 


(1) Requirement for frequent conduct of programs and time of programs, including guidelines for programs within and outside of the minimum school session and regular school days. When such programs are conducted outside the minimum school session as defined by R.S. 17:225 or on a day other than regular school days, the teachers participating shall be compensated at a rate of no less than the average daily salary of a first year teacher with a bachelor’s degree in that parish or city school system. 


(2) Requirements for scope and contents of programs. 


(3) Requirements for adapting programs to the needs of the particular system, community, or school. 


(4) Requirements for format of programs and techniques and methods which may be used, such requirements to include a variety thereof suitable for instruction in varied areas, including instructional and disciplinary techniques as well as particular subject areas. 


(5) Minimum requirements for teacher participation in programs. 


(6) Special requirements for participation by teachers requiring special training or special assistance, and 


(7) Requirements to include innovations and developments in instructional techniques. 


E. The department is authorized to and shall establish by rules and regulations all guidelines and procedures for carrying out this Section in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. 


F. The department shall review each plan submitted and approve or disapprove such plan, on the basis of whether or not the plan carries out the purposes of this Section and conforms to the guidelines established by the department. 


G. Each plan approved may forthwith be implemented by the local school system submitting the plan. The department shall provide special assistance to any school system whose plan does not adequately carry out the purposes of this Section and conform to the departmental guidelines and shall work with the local school system to develop such plan until a plan is submitted which is approved. The department may set deadlines for revision to develop an approved plan under this Subsection. 


H. All teachers in the public schools shall participate in the approved in-service program developed for their own school system as provided in the approved plan. Failure to participate, unless a medical certificate attesting to illness is presented, or an emergency leave is granted, and the approval of the system superintendent or the principal is given may constitute an instance of neglect of duty. 


I. The department shall develop a program of technical assistance to assist all parish and city school systems in developing and improving in-service programs developed under the provisions of this Section. 


J. Pursuant to the provisions of this Section, the department shall require that in-service training programs include training for all teachers and administrators in all schools in order to provide such teachers and administrators with the appropriate training in matters related to all aspects of education. Such programs shall focus on the ability of teachers and administrators to deal effectively with school problems such as low academic achievement, over-populated classrooms, outdated textbooks, and discipline problems. 


K. The state superintendent, through the Regional Service Centers, shall make available to teachers and school counselors, in-service training in current techniques of classroom management and discipline and in the current techniques of counseling and advisement practices. 


Added by Acts 1977, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 10, § 1. Amended by Acts 1982, No. 36, § 1; Acts 1993, No. 568, § 1; Acts 1993, No. 789, § 1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex.Sess., No. 45, § 2; Acts 2021, No. 275, § 4.