Recent News Coverage of the Teacher Shortage, DPI Licensure Proposal
Madison-based ABC affiliate WKOW recently did a feature on the state’s teacher shortage, which focused on specific shortages of teachers of color. It discusses the Madison School Districts efforts to recruit and retain teachers of color as well as DPI’s proposed rule change for teacher licensure.
WQOW, and Eau Claire-based station, also did a segment on DPI’s proposed licensure changes which are meant to address the teacher shortage.
The proposed rule seeks to make the following changes:
• Creating the ability for Wisconsin educators who are age 55 or older to apply for a five-year, nonrenewable license without having to meet professional development requirements.
• Increasing the number of consecutive days that a short-term substitute can be in the same assignment.
• Expanding the renewal options for emergency licenses to include attempting to pass required tests for licensure for educators who have met all other requirements and submitting a plan to complete an approved program.
• Expanded the pathway for teachers to add additional licenses based on content tests.
Written comments on the proposed rules received no later than February 9, 2017, will be given the same consideration as testimony presented at the hearing. The proposed administrative rule can be found here.
Assembly Version of State Treasurer Amendment Introduced
Senator Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 3 last week, which deletes the state treasurer from the constitution and adds the lieutenant governor to the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, which administers the Common School Fund. Today, Representative Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) introduced the Assembly version of the bill, Assembly Joint Resolution 2.
SJR3 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Financial Services, Constitution and Federalism, and AJR 2 has been referred to the Assembly Committee on State Affairs. The next step is for one of these committees to hold a public hearing on the proposal.
To complete the process of amending the state constitution, SJR3 or AJR 2 must be passed during the 2017-18 legislative session and then approved by voters in a statewide referendum in April 2018.
Evers Campaign Releases Statement on State Budget
State Superintendent Tony Evers released a statement today calling on Governor Walker to include school funding formula changes and increased support for rural schools in his budget address on February 8. The release reflects items included in the Department of Public Instructions’ budget request, which was released in September.
School Choice Numbers Released
The Department of Public Instruction released information on the Milwaukee, Racine and Statewide School Choice Programs today.
There are 127 private schools participating in the Milwaukee program, 23 private schools participating in the Racine program, and 163 private schools participating in the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program (statewide program).
The state aid payment made to participating private schools is $7,323 for students in kindergarten through eighth grade and $7,969 for students in grades nine through 12 for the current school year.
Betsy DeVos Nomination Confirmed by Senate HELP Committee
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions voted along party-lines today to advance DeVos’s nomination to serve as Secretary of Education. The next step is for the full U.S. Senate to vote on her appointment.
While all Republican Committee members voted in favor of DeVos’s nomination, several did express concerns with her qualifications and understanding of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.