JFC Budget Creates Alternative Path for Tech Ed Teacher Licenses

The K-12 education spending package approved last week by the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) creates an alternative path for an applicant to obtain a license to teach a technical education subject (technical education teaching license) from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI). Under the provisions a “technical education subject” includes technology education, and any technology related occupation.

Under the provisions in the JFC package, the DPI must issue an initial technical education teaching license to an applicant who scores 100 points on the point system (described below) and agrees to complete a curriculum determined by the school board of the school district in which the applicant will teach.

The JFC package specifies a point system that DPI must use to evaluate applications for a technical education teaching license. Under the point system, an applicant earns a certain number of points for various kinds of experience he or she has had in a technical field and for certain kinds of educational experience. The package language directs the DPI to verify points earned by an applicant under the point system.

Specifically, the language of the JFC package requires the DPI to grant an initial teaching license to teach a technical education subject to an individual who scores at least 100 points on a point system with at least 25 points based on the individual’s experience in a technical field and at least 25 points based on pedagogical experience, and agrees to complete during the term of the license a curriculum determined by the school board of the school district in which the individual will teach.

Language in the JFC package also specifies that the following point values would be assigned based on an individual’s experience in a technical field:  (a) for a bachelor’s degree in any science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field and any teaching license or permit, 100 points; (b) for a bachelor’s degree in any science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field, 75 points; (c) for a bachelor’s degree in another field, 65 points; (d) for industry certification, 90 points; (e) for industry experience in a trade or technical field, 5 points per 40 hours worked up to a maximum of 90 points; (f) for an internship in a trade or technical field, 25 points; (g) for being mentored in a trade or technical skill by a colleague or a Wisconsin Technology Education Association approved mentor, 25 points; (h) for an apprenticeship in a trade or technical field, 5 points per 40 hours worked up to a maximum of 90 points.

Language in the JFC package further specifies that the following point values would be assigned based on an individual’s pedagogical experience: (a) for a bachelor’s degree in technical or technology education, 100 points; (b) for a bachelor’s degree in a non-STEM (i.e., non-science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) field and any teaching license or permit, 75 points; (c) for credit earned at an accredited institution of higher education or technical college, 3 points per credit up to a maximum of 75 points for technical or technology education courses and STEM courses and 3 points per credit up to a maximum of 75 points for education and pedagogical courses; (d) for completing at least 100 hours of training in pedagogy, 5 points per 50 hours up to a maximum of 75 points.

An initial license obtained under this alternative path is valid for three years. Upon the expiration of an initial technical education teaching license obtained under the alternative path, DPI must issue the license holder a professional teaching license in the same technical education subject if the individual successfully completed the curriculum that he or she agreed to as a condition of the initial technical education teaching license.

DPI would be required to approve or deny an application for a technical education teaching license under the alternative path within 15 business days. If the DPI fails to act within 15 business days, the application is considered approved and the applicant is considered a licensed teacher until DPI approves or denies the application.

Finally, these provisions would not prohibit from granting a teaching license or permit to teach a technical education subject under current law provisions.

In addition, the JFC provisions provide that a permit to teach industrial arts subjects could be issued to an applicant who is certified by a technical college system board to teach industrial arts or a similar subject.