The 2017-19 biennial budget (2017 Act 59) created lifetime licenses for teachers, administrators, and pupil services professionals. On April 3, 2018, the Governor signed 2017 Act 206 (Act 206), which included changes impacting certain requirements for lifetime educator licensure in Wisconsin. Act 206 makes changes to that language, providing the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) the authority to use the rule making process to address the concerns regarding employment.
There were two distinct changes included in Act 206, both of which are effective immediately:
1. Under Act 206, rather than require certification by the employing school board, the Department is directed to define, by administrative rule, what successful completion of the required six semesters of teaching, administering, or pupil services experience means.
2. Under Act 206, the language regarding the requirement for maintaining a lifetime was changed to “regularly employed in education, as defined by the Department by rule”. This change will allow for individuals who are employed in educational institutions other than public school districts to maintain their lifetime license.
DPI plans to issue a statement of scope to initiate the Act 206 related changes. Note that the process for making a permanent rule change is lengthy, as it requires an opportunity for public comment and for review by the Legislature. Because we must follow prescribed timelines, DPI cannot submit a proposed permanent rule change for review until the next legislative session commences in January 2019. However, DPI is reviewing options for using the emergency rule making process to get the Act 206 changes in place (on a temporary basis) as soon as practicable, until a permanent rule change becomes effective.
DPI will share further information as it becomes available.