Frequently Asked Questions: update
January 9, 2019
DPI Provides Info on Teacher Licensure
The DPI recently released updated information on how lifetime license holders are to fulfill the requirement for having a criminal background check conducted. The agency has also released an updated and simplified flow chart explaining Wisconsin’s licensing system. WCRIS will alert you to additional information about licensure as the DPI makes it available.
Read about the DPI’s latest information on teacher licensure here.
August 6, 2018
What is the renewal process for teachers holding a Life License issued Pre-1983?
Prior to July 1, 1983, Life licenses were issued to individuals who taught for six full semesters in a Wisconsin school district while holding a three-year educator license. Life licenses of this type are no longer issued (effective July 1, 1983). The 2017 Act 59 created a different Lifetime license. Effective August 1, 2018, educators who hold or have held a Life license issued pre-1983 now fall under the new provisions created in Act 59.
Professional development is not required to maintain a Lifetime license. Wisconsin Administrative Code PI 34 states that a Lifetime license remains valid if the license holder remains actively employed in an education setting and completes a background check at least once every five years. Further details about the work experience and background check necessary to maintain the Lifetime license will be posted to the Latest Licensing News blog when available.
If a Lifetime license has been invalidated, educators are able to reapply for a Provisional license at any time. A Provisional license is a three-year license available to teachers, administrators and pupil service educators. This is a full license. There is no limit to the number of Provisional licenses an educator may receive. To complete the (Re)issue Provisional License Application, follow the Application Directions for (Re)issuance of Provisional License.
March 28, 2018
Have there been any updates on the process for renewing licensing under the new licensure rules?
DPI has completed the conversion process for the creation of the new Provisional licenses. Educators who hold a valid Initial Educator license should now see a new three-year Provisional license on both our online License Lookup and in Educator Licensing Online (ELO). All existing five-year Initial Educator licenses will continue to appear in educators’ license records and in the DPI License Lookup. The three-year Provisional license allows educators to fill the same teacher, administrator, and pupil services assignments as the five-year Initial Educator license. You can find more information about Provisional licenses by reading our FAQ.
Starting Monday, March 26th, DPI will begin to notify by email all educators who have been issued a new Provisional license. All Provisional licenses that were issued via the conversion have a start date of July 1, 2017, and an expiration date of June 30, 2020. Note: There will be a way for initial educators to convert to a Lifetime license if they have taught for 6 semesters, but the license had to be converted to a Provisional license first. DPI has not yet worked out how that conversion will take place.
DPI is continuing the process of converting current Professional Educator licenses to Lifetime licenses. Once that conversion is complete, DPI will notify Professional Educators in a similar manner regarding their new license. Please continue to monitor the DPI Latest Licensing News blog for updates on this process.
March 7, 2018
The legislative “fix” to address licensure concerns of private school educators has been included in a bill (SB 711) that is awaiting action by Governor Walker. His staff has said they don't anticipate barriers to his support. Currently private school educators are being asked to go to the WCRIS advocacy portal to send a thank you to legislators for passing SB 711. (It was unanimous in the Senate. In the Assembly, only Rep. Jarchow opposed it. Reps Kolste, Kremer, Kulp, Murphy and Zimmerman were recorded as not voting and therefore should not be thanked.)
Those “thank you” messages will be automatically copied to the governor, thus showing him the support across the state for this bill and providing gentle encouragement for his signature.The DPI is supportive of our concerns and is working closely with WCRIS on the resolution of these issues, but we can’t move forward until the law is changed via SB 711.
The recently passed state budget requires DPI to issue a new three-year provisional license to every educator who holds a valid Initial Educator License. DPI will automatically issue these new licenses at no cost to you, but it will take them some time for us to work with the ELO vendor to make sure the process works correctly. Your current Initial Educator license will continue to appear on license lookup.
Note: Educators who hold an Initial Educator license do not need to complete their Professional Development Plan (PDP) for continued licensure.
Educators who hold a Professional or Master Educator license that was supposed to expire on June 30, 2018, DO NOT NEED TO APPLY to renew their license with credits or a PDP. The state budget has removed the expiration dates from these licenses, and we are working to have license lookup reflect that.
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: