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Changes to Licensure Rules

Monday, June 19, 2017

Currently there are many recommended changes to educator licensing in Wisconsin public schools.  The bullet points below are changes to licensure that are currently in emergency rule.  There is a public hearing regarding the emergency rules on 7/6/2017 at the Department of Public Instruction in Madison, Wisconsin.

  • Create one-year License with Stipulations (replacing emergency licenses and permits) for

    • Teachers and pupil services professionals from another state who have not met Wisconsin testing requirements
    • Speech Language Pathologists who hold a valid license from DSPS; and
    • If a district cannot find a fully licensed teacher or pupil services professional, an individual with bachelor’s degree who has not completed an educator preparation program
  • Create a three-year License with Stipulations as part of a district-sponsored pathway for experienced teachers to receive another teaching license in a new subject or developmental level.
  • Issuing licenses to teachers from another state who have successfully completed the edTPA or the National Board process (Foundations of Reading Test still required).
  • Starting January 1, 2018, allowing Initial and Professional Educators to use professional growth goals and work in Educator Effectiveness as another option to renew or advance their license.
  • Allowing educator preparation programs flexibility in their admission policies by removing specific testing (Praxis CORE) and GPA requirements from rule.
  • Allowing teacher and pupil services candidates to demonstrate content knowledge with a 3.0 or higher GPA in license area or by successfully completing a content-based portfolio.
  • Create a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps teaching license allowing someone who has been certified as a JROTC instructor by a branch of the military to teach JROTC courses in a high school.
  • Removing the master’s degree requirement for the Library Media Specialist License and make it a stand-alone license based on completion of a major.


The bullet points below are previous emergency rules that were made permanent rule.  The emergency rules below became effective August 23, 2016, and were made permanent rule as of 06/01/2017:

  • Wisconsin educators who are near retirement or have already retired may apply for one (five-year) license without having to meet professional development requirements (i.e., 6 credits or a PDP). This license is not renewable.
  • The number of consecutive days a short-term substitute can be in the same assignment has been increased from 20 to 45 days. This should allow schools enough time to either find a properly licensed educator for the position or apply for an emergency license or permit for an educator who does not hold a license acceptable for the assignment.
  • The renewal requirements for emergency licenses have been expanded to include attempting to pass required tests for licensure for educators who have met all other requirements.
  • The pathway for teachers to add additional licenses based on content tests has been expanded to allow:
    • Teachers who hold an Early Adolescence-Adolescence (grades 5-12) regular education license can add another regular education license at the same developmental/grade level by passing a content test.
    • Teachers who hold a Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence (grades 1-8) regular education license and have at least four semesters of teaching experience in grades Kindergarten, 1, or 2 can add a regular education license at the Early Childhood level (birth to grade 3) by passing the Praxis II Elementary Education Content Knowledge test and the Foundations of Reading Test.
    • Teachers who hold a Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence (grades 1-8) regular education license and have at least four semesters of teaching experience in English/language arts or math in grades 7 or 8 can add a license in that subject at the Early Adolescence-Adolescence level by passing a content test.
    • Teachers who hold an Early Childhood-Adolescence (grades PK-12) license can add another Early Childhood-Adolescence license or Early Adolescence-Adolescence (grades 5-12) license in a non-special education area by passing a content test.  This change is effective from 06/01/2017 forwards. 

DPI is currently receiving a high volume of contacts for assistance.  The four most common topics of discussion are:

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How to start your WAMS account recovery:

Perform a WAMS account recovery for all emails you have. Enter your email address but do NOT enter your User ID to start your WAMS account recovery. Once in the account recovery process you will be prompted to change your password. After you change your password you will be told in parentheses what your correct User ID is. Please make note of that before you terminate the account recovery session. Once you have recovered all WAMS accounts you have, login to ELO with each of your accounts individually. If you can see your licenses, you are logging in with the correct WAMS account. If you are taken through the Onboarding process again, you are not using the correct WAMS account and should try another account.

If you encounter errors in the WAMS account recovery process, please contact WAMS directly.  DPI is unable to help with WAMS recovery because the system is used by many state agencies and is run by the Department of Administration: