(a) Teaching personnel shall be classed as teachers, principals, vice principals, counselors, supervisors, education specialists, and such other classes as may be pre-scribed by the Director of Education.
(b) No person may be employed as a member of the teaching personnel in any public school who is not of good character, in good health, and in possession of a teacher’s certification granted by the teachers’ Certification Board.
(c) The Governor shall appoint a three-member Certification Board subject to confirmation by the Legislature which shall oversee the licensing and certification of all teaching personnel within the public school system. The Certification Board is responsible for enforcing the teacher certification program adopted by the Department of Education and set forth in regulations promulgated by the Director of Education as authorized by this title. The Director shall set forth no later than 30 days from the date of this act, the Teacher Certification Regulations to be adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.
(d) The teacher certification regulations shall set forth additional minimum qualifications for the following certification classes of teaching personnel:
(1) Temporary certification—Requires no less than a high school diploma. Certification shall last no more than one year. Only two (2) extensions for a period of one year each may be granted by the certification board and only in exceptional circumstances. An express condition of extension, if granted, shall be participation in the teacher education program. Teaching personnel holding temporary certification shall earn no less than $7,737 per annum.
(2) Provisional teacher certificate—Requires no less than an associate degree. Certification shall last no more than five (5) years. Certificate holder must be enrolled in a teacher education program, earning credits toward a baccalaureate degree and professional teacher certification I status. The certification board may grant only one extension for a period of two (2) years only, in exceptional circumstances. Teaching personnel possessing provisional teacher certification shall earn no less than $11,566 per annum.
(3) Professional teacher certification I—Requires no less than a baccalaureate degree and successful completion of ASDOE approved courses and tests. Certification shall last no longer than five (5) years. Renewal of certification shall be for five years and shall only be granted if the certification holder has completed fifteen (15) hours of approved coursework. Teaching personnel possessing profession teacher certification I shall earn no less than $17,572 per annum.
(4) Professional teacher certification II—Requires no less than a masters degree and successful completion of ASDOE approved courses and tests. Certification shall last no longer than five years (5) years. Renewal of certification shall be for five years and shall only be granted if the certification holder has completed fifteen (15) hours of approved coursework. Teaching personnel possessing professional teacher certification II shall earn no less than $21,575 per annum.
(5) Professional teacher certification III—Requires no less than a baccalaureate degree and the certification holder must meet minimum required testing or satisfy DOE performance rating evaluation to qualify for “highly qualified teacher” status. Highly qualified teachers must have at least a baccalaureate degree, full state certification or licensure, and have proficient command of the subject area or areas they teach. Certification shall last no longer than eight (8) years. Renewal of certification shall be for eight years and shall only be granted if the certification holder has completed fifteen (15) hours of approved coursework. Teaching personnel possessing professional teacher certification III shall earn no less than $25,841 per annum.
(6) Professional teacher certification IV—Requires no less than a doctorate degree and successful completion of ASDOE approved courses and tests. Certification shall last no longer than six years. Renewal may be granted if the certification holder has completed eighteen (18) hours of approved course work. Teaching personnel possessing professional teacher certification IV shall earn no less than $30,945 per annum.
(e) Veteran Teachers with baccalaureate degrees who have worked for ASDOE for a total of twenty (20) years or more, shall be exempt from the above requirements. In order to be entitled to increment consideration, veteran teachers with baccalaureate degrees shall successfully complete additional coursework as prescribed by the certification board. Veteran teachers without baccalaureate degrees shall successfully complete an annual veteran training program in addition to successfully completing prescribed coursework in order to be eligible for increment consideration.
(f) Foreign degree holders shall submit to ASDOE their qualifications for review by a reputable and authorized assessment agency to determine the holders’ certification status with ASDOE. The decision by ASDOE, in consultation with the assessment agency regarding final certification status shall be final. Degrees in the Samoan language and culture shall be reviewed by ASDOE only.
(g) Individuals possessing temporary certifications and provisional teaching certifications must be enrolled in either the American Samoa Teacher Education Program at ASCC, the ASDOE UH Cohort B.ED Program or any other ASDOE approved and USDOE accredited program for the attainment of an associate degree and/or bachelor degree. Failure to abide by this policy will result in immediate termination and non-renewal of teaching credentials. ASDOE shall endeavor to obligate teachers educated through the above programs to a certain number of years in the classroom in American Samoa.
(h) Special consideration shall be made for “hard to fill” subject areas, vocational subject areas and special education subject areas.
(i) Step increments of Teachers shall be annually.
(j) The payscale authorized herein is for teaching personnel only. Principals and other teaching personnel who leave their positions within the authorized payscale below to take up a position as an administrator within ADDOE or any other employment with the American Samoa Government, shall be reclassified using their verified credentials and according to the proper payscale on file with the Department of Human Resources. Principals and other teaching personnel who leave their positions shall not be entitled to their salary levels automatically upon leaving their teaching personnel position, but shall be reclassified as provided for by territorial statutes and regulations.
(k) The title of Principal shall be limited only to teaching personnel who discharge day-to-day principal duties within the confines of school premises. Removal of a principal from the school premises, whether by promotion or any other reason, shall render that specific position title of Principal vacant. The intent of this provision is to prohibit the movement of Principals to administrative positions outside of the schools they serve, without relinquishment of the Principal title for other teaching personnel to ascend to.History: 1962, PL 7-15; 2008, PL 30-20.