Title 17. Education

Chapter 1. General School Law

Part I. Elementary and Secondary Education

Subpart A. State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education



17;7.8      Associate educator program; authority; rules; participant requirements


A. (1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education may provide for the associate educator program through which a governing authority of a public elementary or secondary school may authorize certain individuals with associate’s degrees to serve as teachers. 


(2) The state board shall promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act for the implementation and administration of this Section and may provide by rule for additional qualifications and requirements for the program that are not inconsistent with this Section. 


(3) A governing authority may establish stricter participation requirements than those provided pursuant to this Section or by the rules promulgated by the state board. 


B. An individual who serves as a teacher through the program authorized by this Section, referred to in this Section as a “participant”, shall: 


(1) Have an associate’s degree from an accredited college or university. 


(2) Be continuously enrolled in an undergraduate teacher education program at an accredited college or university for the purpose of obtaining a bachelor’s degree. 


(3) Be at least twenty-five years of age. 


(4) Meet all other qualifications provided pursuant to this Section, board rules, or requirements of the governing authority. 


C. An individual shall not participate in the program for more than five years. 


D. (1) A participant shall be employed to teach only in the content area related to the participant’s associate’s degree. 


(2) A participant shall not teach in a class for students with identified exceptionalities, unless the students are identified as gifted or talented. 


E. For a participant enrolled in an approved teacher education program, the hours spent teaching as a participant shall count towards the student teaching hours required pursuant to R.S. 17:8.1. 


F. No more than ten percent of the teaching staff of the governing authority shall be program participants. 


G. The salary paid to a participant shall not exceed seventy-five percent of the average yearly classroom teacher salary of the employing school system. 


H. Subject to the appropriation of funds for such purpose, the governing authority shall assign a mentor teacher to a participant for the purposes of providing on-site teacher training, demonstrating lessons, co-teaching, observation, and providing feedback for improving instruction. 


I. Each participant shall participate in weekly teacher collaborations. 


J. The governing authority shall conduct a criminal history record check in accordance with R.S. 17:15 and R.S. 15:587.1 prior to allowing a participant to work as a teacher. 


K. The state board shall evaluate the effectiveness of the program and report its findings and conclusions to the legislature no later than December 29, 2028. The report shall be submitted to the David R. Poynter Legislative Research Library as required by R.S. 24:771 and 772. 


L. The provisions of this Section shall terminate on December 31, 2033. 


Added by Acts 2023, No. 99, § 1, eff. June 6, 2023.