MADISON — The Department of Public Instruction will conduct a hearing from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Aug. 29 at department headquarters, GEF 3, Room P41, 125 South Webster Street, Madison, to take public testimony on revisions to permanent rules related to educator licensing.
In 2017 Wisconsin Act 59, the Legislature removed renewal requirements for the state’s five-year Professional and ten-year Master Educator licenses in favor of lifetime licenses. Enactment of 2017 Wisconsin Act 206 required that the department promulgate rules to define the meaning of successful completion of six semesters of experience for the purposes of receiving a lifetime license and what it means for an educator to be regularly employed in education as a condition of maintaining a lifetime license.
The department issues a three-year provisional license to educators who completed an approved educator preparation program. To convert that license to a lifetime license, the proposed rules clarify that provisionally licensed educators must fulfill the duties of a teacher, pupil services professional, or administrator for each semester completed under the terms of their employment. A provisional license can be renewed if the experience requirements for the lifetime license have not been met before the license expires. The proposed rules also state that regular employment, as it relates to maintaining a lifetime license, means that an educator provides services directly to students, families, or fellow educators in a prekindergarten through college setting for one hour per day per semester or its equivalent.
The proposed rules also address eligibility for a voluntary lifetime Master Educator license, maintaining multiple licenses, and the requirement that educators submit to a new background check once every five years.
Written comments on the proposed permanent rules may be made via the department’s form for submitting public comment. Questions or additional testimony on the proposed rules may be sent by email to the department’s administrative rules coordinator, or by U.S. mail to Carl Bryan, administrative rules coordinator, 125 South Webster Street, P.O. Box 7841, Madison, WI 53707-7841.
Written comments received no later than Sept. 10 will be given the same consideration as testimony presented at the hearing. The text of the proposed rules is available on the department’s administrative rules website or the Wisconsin Legislature's Clearinghouse Rules site.