The 2017-2019 Wisconsin state budget, also known as Act 59, contains major changes to licensure rules. This includes language creating a lifetime license for educators (teachers, administrators and pupil services professionals).
Anyone, who holds a current professional or master educator license, will automatically have their license converted to a lifetime license. This will be done by the department removing the expiration date from these licenses. There will be no fee charged to the license holder for the conversion to a lifetime license. We are currently working on the programming in our system to do this.
Anyone, who holds a current initial educator license, will be issued a three year provisional license. After six semesters, an educator may apply for a lifetime license, by submitting an application to the DPI that includes a school board sign off that they have completed six semesters of successful experience. If the educator has not met the requirements, they can reapply for a provisional license with no limits to the number of reapplications.
A lifetime license will be invalidated if an educator is not actively employed by a school district for five or more consecutive years. The lifetime license will be invalidated if the educator fails to log into the online system and submit to a background check (and pay a processing fee) once every five years. Educators are able to reapply for a provisional license at any time.
The DPI will be reviewing all changes to educator licensing and will be communicating what these changes mean for Wisconsin educators in the coming weeks. Any changes to existing licensing rules will take several weeks to implement. In the meantime, educators who meet the eligibility criteria outlined above can now be considered a lifetime licensee.