The 2017-19 State Budget made significant changes to teacher and administrator licensure in Wisconsin, including eliminating expiration dates for teaching and administrator licenses and restoring a system of life-time licenses.
In place of the existing licensure framework, the budget act requires the DPI to issue provisional three-year licenses for new educators, administrators, and pupil services professionals, with a lifetime license granted after the completion of six semesters of successful experience, as certified by the school boards where the person works.
The budget act also requires the DPI to issue provisional three-year licenses to current holders of initial licenses, who can obtain a life-time license after completion of six semesters of successful service. Provisional licenses can be renewed if the holder does not complete six semesters of experience within three years.
As you can see, school boards will now play a pivotal role in teacher licensure and teacher quality.
To implement these changes, the budget act requires the DPI to submit a rule to the Legislature revising the existing PI 34 administrative rules, governing teacher licensure. The Legislature directed that new rule cannot reduce the standard of quality for obtaining a teacher license and it must 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.
The proposed new PI 34 rule is available to view here.
The DPI has scheduled a series of five public hearings on the proposed changes to PI 34.
DATE AND TIME LOCATION
January 16, 2018 St. Norbert College Mulva Library Room 101
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. 400 Third St., De Pere, WI 54115
January 17, 2018 GEF 3 Building Room P41
2:30 – 4:00 p.m. 125 South Webster St., Madison, WI 53703
January 19, 2018 Milwaukee Public Schools Auditorium
4:30 – 6:30 p.m. 5225 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee, WI 53208
January 25, 2018 CESA 10 Conference Center
3:00 – 5:00 p.m. 725 West Park Ave., Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
January 29, 2018 UW-La Crosse Centennial Hall
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. 3212 Centennial Hall, La Crosse, WI 54601
In addition to these in-person agency hearings, a public comment period is open for those unable to attend the hearings. Public comments on the proposed rules received no later than January 31, 2018 will be given the same consideration as testimony presented in person at the following agency hearings. Both these public comments and the testimony received at the hearings will be evaluated by DPI to determine if changes need to be made to the proposed rule and a report will be issued to the Legislature summarizing the public comments received and the DPI’s response. The proposed rule then moves to the Legislature, which must approve it before it can go into effect.
Written comments can be made via webform at this link . Questions or additional testimony may be accepted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to the Department of Public Instruction, Attn: Carl Bryan, P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707.