JFC Budget Includes Major Changes to Teacher/Administrator Licensure

The following items related to teacher and administrator licensure were included in the GOP K-12 education package adopted by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) :

Eliminate Expiration Dates for Teaching and Administrator Licenses–Provisional three-year licenses would be provided for new educators, administrators, and pupil service professionals, with a lifetime license granted after the completion of six semesters of successful experience, as certified by the school board(s) where the person worked.

Continue to require the DPI to conduct background checks on behalf of school districts as under current law.  Require the DPI to issue a provisional three-year license to current holders of initial licenses, who could then acquire a lifetime license after six semesters of successful service. Provisional three-year licenses could be renewed if the holder does not complete six semesters of experience within three years.

Teacher Licensure Rulemaking Process–Require the DPI to submit a proposed  rule to the Legislature by January 1, 2018, revising PI 34, which contains the existing administrative rule provisions related to teacher licensure. The rule could not reduce the standard of quality for obtaining a teacher license. Require the rule to simplify the licensure system as much as practicable, including at least all of the following:

  • simplify the grade levels licensees can teach and create broad field subject licenses;
  • enable school districts to increase the number of teachers by offering internships and residency opportunities;
  • simplify out-of-state licensure reciprocity;
  • expand pathways for existing licensees to fill positions in geographic areas or subject areas that are in need of educational personnel; and
  • create a permit that allows a person enrolled in an educator preparation program to work in a school district as part of an internship, residency program, or equivalent program.

Teaching and Administrator License Based on Reciprocity–Delete current law requiring that an individual has to have received an offer of employment from a school in Wisconsin to be eligible for a teaching or administrator license based on reciprocity.

Faculty Teaching in Public High Schools–Allow a faculty member of an institution of higher education to teach in a public high school or charter school operating only high school grades without a license or permit from the DPI if they successfully complete a background check.

Alternative Teacher Preparation Program–Require the DPI to grant an initial teaching license to an individual who meets the following criteria:

  • possesses a bachelor’s degree;
  • has successfully completed an alternative teacher certification program operated by an alternative program provider that is a  501(c)(3) non-profit that operates in at least five states and has been in operation for at least ten years, and that requires the candidate to pass a subject area exam and the Professional Teaching Knowledge pedagogy exam to receive a certificate under the program; and
  • successfully completes a background check.

This license would authorize an individual to teach the subject and educational levels for which the individual successfully completed this program.

Substitute Teacher Permit for Individuals with Associate’s Degree–Require the State Superintendent to grant a substitute teacher permit to an individual with a two-year degree or its equivalent and substitute teacher training.

Online Teacher Reciprocity–Provide that an individual who is located in another state but teaches an online course through a virtual charter or public school located in Wisconsin, and who holds a license or permit to teach that subject and level in their state, would be appropriately licensed to teach that subject and level in Wisconsin.

Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) Teaching License–Require the DPI to grant a license to an individual to provide instruction to pupils enrolled in a JROTC program offered in the high school grades if the individual satisfies the following criteria:

  • possesses a bachelor’s degree;
  • successfully completed a JROTC instructor certification program; and
  • fulfills current lawrequirements related to criminal convictions and background checks for educators.

The license under this provision would authorize the individual to teach the courses for which the individual successfully completed the JROTC certification process.