JFC Budget: Wisconsin Would Be Only State to Allow Teachers Without a Bachelor’s Degree

State Rep. Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains) released a memo from Legislative Council (the Legislature’s legal services agency) that found no state currently allows someone without a bachelor’s degree to teach in subject areas other than technical education.

The Joint Finance Committee’s K-12 education motion includes a provision added by State Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma) that would allow those without a college degree to obtain a state teaching permit  in Wisconsin if a specific public or private school’s governing body determines they are qualified.  Individuals could obtain a teaching license if they have a bachelor’s degree and if a specific public or private school’s governing body determines they are qualified. The license would cover grades six through 12 in subject  areas other than English, social studies, math or science and would last for a 3-year period. 

The motion also wouldn’t require those licensed under the new process to pass an assessment for competency in the subject they would teach. An applicant now has to pass a standardized assessment to obtain a teaching license.

The Legislative Council memo also notes federal law requires educators to have a bachelor’s degree and demonstrate competency in the subject area when they’re teaching special education or a core academic subject, which includes English, reading or language arts, math, science, foreign language, civics and government, economics, art, history, and geography.

Requirements for those seeking a teaching permit would be minimal.  For subjects other than English, math, science, or social studies, any individual could obtain a teaching permit  to teach in grades 6-12 if a school board, charter school, or private school determines the individual is proficient and has relevant experience. It appears there would be no minimum state requirement to receive such a teaching permit, such as holding a high school diploma or passing a skills test.

Read More: Wispolitics