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Friday, July 10, 2015

Licensing-related Items in the State Budget

The following licensing-related items were included in the state budget, which is currently awaiting the Governor's signature and vetoes.

Alternative Teacher License 
AGENCY REQUEST: No request.

GOVERNOR:
Require the State Superintendent to grant a teaching license to an individual who meets all the following requirements: (a) has a bachelor’s degree; (b) demonstrates proficiency in the subject area or areas that he or she intends to teach by passing a competency exam approved by the Department; and (c) has relevant experience in the subject area or areas that he or she intends to teach, as determined by the Department. Specify that a license granted to an individual meeting these requirements would authorize the individual to teach in grades six through 12 only in the subject area or areas in which he or she demonstrated proficiency and relevant experience. The license would be valid for three years, and would be renewable for three-year periods. Provide $20,000 PR annually above base level funding of $3,417,000 PR to reflect the estimated increase in revenue associated with the alternative licensing process.

JOINT FINANCE:
Experienced-Based Licensure for Technical Education

  • Delete the Governor’s recommendation. Require the Department to grant an initial teaching license to teach a technical education subject, including technology education and any technology related occupation, to an individual who scores at least 100 points based 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 a curriculum determined by the school board of the district in which the individual would teach. Specify that an individual granted a teaching license under this provision would not be required to possess a bachelor's degree.
  • Specify that the following point values would be assigned based on the individual's experience in a technical field: (a) for a bachelor's degree in any science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field and any teaching license or permit, 100 points; (b) for a bachelor's degree in any STEM 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, five 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; and (h) for an apprenticeship in a trade or technical field, five points per 40 hours worked up to a maximum of 90 points.
  • Specify that the following point values would be assigned based on the 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 field and any teaching license or permit, 75 points; (c) for credit earned at an accredited institution of higher education or technical college, three points per credit up to a maximum of 75 points for technical or technology education courses and STEM courses and three points per credit up to a maximum of 75 points for education and pedagogical course; and (d) for completing at least 100 hours of training in pedagogy, five points per 50 hours up to a maximum of 75 points.
  • Require the Department to verify the applicant's qualifications using the following: (a) the applicant's transcript for the applicable degree or credits, for bachelor's degrees or credits earned at an accredited institution of higher education or technical college; (b) the applicant's industry certificate, for industry certification; (c) the signature of a supervisor, employer, or other reliable observer, for industry experience, an internship, or mentoring; or (d) verification by a course instructor, transcript, or certificate for pedagogy training. Provide that if the individual is unable to provide the required verification, the Department could use any other proof of the applicant's experience approved by the Department.
  • Specify that the individual must agree to complete the curriculum determined by the school board of the school district in which the individual would teach during the term of the license. Specify that an initial teaching license granted under this procedure would be valid for three years. Require that the Department issue to the license holder a professional teaching license to teach the technical education subject if the individual successfully completed the curriculum, as determined by the school board of the school district.
  • Require the Department to approve or deny an application for a technical education license no later than 45 business days after receipt of the application. Require Department to provide, in writing, the reason for the denial if the application is denied. Specify that if does not act within 45 business days, the application would be considered approved and the applicant considered a licensed teacher until the Department approves or denies the application.
  • Specify that these provisions would not prohibit the Department from granting a teaching license or permit to teach a technical education subject under current law provisions. Provide that a permit to teach industrial arts subjects could be issued to an applicant who is certified by the technical college system board to teach an industrial arts or similar subject.
Licensure Based on Reciprocity

  • Create a new provision requiring the Department to grant an initial teaching license to any individual who was granted a teaching license by another state and completed at least one year of teaching experience in that state.
  • Additionally, require the Department to grant an administrator license to any individual who was granted an administrator license by another state and completed at least one year of administrator experience in that state.
  • Provide that the individual must have received an offer of employment from a school in Wisconsin prior to applying for such a license, and the application must be completed by both the applicant and the employing school/school district. Specify that the license type, including the subject area and grade level, would be determined by the Department based on the individual’s out-of-state license type or experience. 

Teacher License Based on Completion of Montessori Teacher Education Program 
AGENCY REQUEST: No request.

GOVERNOR: No request.

JOINT FINANCE:

  • Require that the Department grant an initial license to teach to an individual who meets the following requirements: (a) has a bachelor's degree; (b) successfully completed a teacher education program accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education; (c) successfully completed an introductory course in special education for which the individual earned at least three postsecondary credits; and (d) earned a passing score on any standardized examinations required by the State Superintendent for a license to teach the same educational levels and subjects issued in accordance with existing state law regarding teacher licenses, and on an examination identical to the foundations of reading test administered in 2012 as part of the Massachusetts tests for educator licensure. Specify that other current law requirements regarding teacher licensing would not apply, except that the individual would be required to undergo a background investigation equivalent to that of other candidates for licensure.
  • Specify that the teaching license would authorize an individual to teach the educational levels for which the individual has successfully completed a teacher education program accredited by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education at a school that uses the Montessori method as its primary method of instruction. The State Superintendent would be required to treat an initial license to teach granted under this proposal in the same manner in which the State Superintendent treats initial licenses granted under existing state law.

Regional or National Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs
AGENCY REQUEST: No request.

GOVERNOR:  No request.

JOINT FINANCE:
Require the State Superintendent to accept accreditation by a regional or national institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S Department of Education or by a programmatic accrediting agency, if the State Superintendent requires that an institution of higher education be accredited for the purpose of granting a license to teach or for approving a teacher preparatory program.


Requirements to Renew a Teaching License
AGENCY REQUEST: No request.

GOVERNOR: No request.

JOINT FINANCE:
Require the Department to accept credits earned at any institution of higher education, as defined in federal law, if credits from an institution of higher education are required to renew a license to teach.


For more information, please see the 2015-17 Biennial Budget Information section at http://pb.dpi.wi.gov/.

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