Teacher Licensure Updates
Archdiocese of Milwaukee - Office for Schools
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Teacher Licensure Updates

Frequently Asked Questions: update

December 14, 2017

WCRIS and DPI continue to draft legislative proposals that will update the new life license law to address private school teachers concerns that will clarify how changes in teacher licensure will be implemented.  We have had clarification on three issues:

Initial Educators, regardless of whether they are in Year 1,2, 3, or 4 will be issued a provisional license because that license has to be in the database before a lifetime license can be applied for and granted.  As that work is done in the system, there will be a process in place for semesters of experience to be verified and a lifetime license applied for once 6 semesters are documented.  This means you will be credited with semesters of employment.

Educators with a license that expires June 30, 2018 should not do anything to seek renewal for the time being.  Once the rules for renewal are clear, you will be notified.  The expectation is that will happen sometime in March, 2018.

We have been assured that current life license holders will not have their licenses deactivated.  The process for employment verification and criminal background check requirements is being worked out.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Gov. Walker signed the 2017-19 Wisconsin State Budget into law on September 21, 2017.   It includes significant changes to the state’s teacher licensing system. These changes were not sought nor supported by the Department of Public Instruction, nor the Wisconsin Council of Religious & Independent Schools. 

Nonetheless, the DPI is the agency responsible for creating rules that implement the law.

WCRIS is working with the DPI to determine how this new plan for teacher licensure will be implemented in actual, every day practice. And, they are working together to identify areas that need clarification and repair through the legislative process.

In the meantime, here are answers to the most common questions WCRIS school staff are asking:

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  What is a lifetime license?

A lifetime license allows a teacher in Wisconsin to teach in public schools in her/his area of certification without needing to renew the license for the lifetime of the teacher.

  How do I qualify for a lifetime license?

All educators holding a valid, unencumbered “professional” or “master” educator license qualify for a lifetime license.

  Do I have to do anything to obtain my lifetime license?

No.  The DPI will automatically convert existing licenses to a lifetime license(s) by removing the expiration dates from current licenses.  There is no application and no fee for this change.

  I was grandfathered under PI-34 and have been taking 6 credits every five years, do I need to keep taking classes and earning credits?

No.  Graduate credits are no longer required for license renewal.

  I have a professional license, but have been completing a PDP every five years to renew my license. Do I need to continue to complete my PDP?

*No.  The completion of a PDP is no longer required for state licensure. However, professional development requirements for teachers in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be developed.

 

*Clarification:

The DPI has not defined the term “successful semester” that is a key to attaining a license.  In the past, both public and private schools have had requirements for credits or most recently a PDP.  In the Archdiocese, we aligned our professional development policy to follow licensure requirements.  Since it is unclear what will develop, we have to wait to determine local policy.

A likely scenario is that public schools will use their Educator Effectiveness process to track teacher/student growth through SLO’s (Student Learning Objectives).  If that is the case, we would have a parallel process in place with our Teacher Effectiveness Framework. 

  Do “Initial Educators” qualify for a lifetime license?

No.  If you are an Initial Educator (IE), your license will be converted to a “Three (3) year provisional license.”  Once you have completed six semesters of “successful” teaching, you may apply for a lifetime license.

  How is “successful” defined?

The law is not clear. WCRIS and DPI are working together to get this clarified. 

  What does this mean for an IE in years 2, 3, 4, and 5?

Currently, we do not know if those IEs who have already taught will be required to complete an additional six semesters of successful teaching prior to being able to apply for a lifetime license. This is on the list of issues the DPI is seeking to resolve.

  Do initial educators need to complete their PDP?

*No.  PDPs are no longer required for licensure.  Professional development requirements for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be developed and promulgated when implementation of the new licensure rules have been finalized.

*Clarification:

The DPI has not defined the term “successful semester” that is a key to attaining a license.  In the past, both public and private schools have had requirements for credits or most recently a PDP.  In the Archdiocese, we aligned our professional development policy to follow licensure requirements.  Since it is unclear what will develop, we have to wait to determine local policy.

A likely scenario is that public schools will use their Educator Effectiveness process to track teacher/student growth through SLO’s (Student Learning Objectives).  If that is the case, we would have a parallel process in place with our Teacher Effectiveness Framework. 

  What if I currently hold a life license?

The DPI has not yet issued guidance on this.  WCRIS is working with the DPI to ensure that no licenses are deactivated.  

  If I hold multiple teaching licenses or am certified for multiple subject areas, will all of my licenses be converted to “lifetime” licenses?

Every valid, unencumbered, “professional” or “master” license that you hold will be converted to a “lifetime” license.  This is true even if you are licensed in multiple categories (teaching, administration, pupil services).

  If I hold licenses in two categories, and one is a professional license, but the other is an initial license, what happens in my situation?

The professional license will be converted to a lifetime license, and the initial license will be converted to a “three year provisional license.”  For example, if you hold a professional teaching license and an initial administration license, the teaching license will convert to a lifetime license, and the administration license will convert to a “three year provisional license.”

  Do I still need to pay for my license?

There is no cost to convert a professional or master license to a lifetime license. However, the law still requires the DPI to perform background checks on all licensed teachers every five years.  So, teachers will need to pay a fee and submit to a background check every five years in order to keep a license valid.  

  I got an e-mail from the Quality Educator Initiative, which helps support PDP development. Do I need to do anything?

No.  We do not know currently the role that QEI will play in verifying “successful” teaching experience.  WCRIS and its member jurisdictions are currently investigating this and will provide further information once a course of action is determined.

Office for Schools

Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center
3501 S. Lake Drive
Milwaukee, WI  53207 (map)

Phone numbers

Janelle Luther: (414) 758-2256
Maureen Wurster: (414) 758-2254

Fax

414-769-3408

General email

schools@archmil.org

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