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Lawmaker Pledges to Tweak Teacher Licensing Changes; Opponents Not Convinced

Opponents of a measure to change teacher licensing requirements are still skeptical of new language that could limit its impact.  


Irma Republican Mary Czaja says she’ll redraft her proposal that allows prospective teachers to get licensed without a bachelor’s degree.  She told reporters those candidates could only be part-time teachers, and that the license would be specific to a single school.  


Rhinelander Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says she’s glad the proposal is being rewritten, but doubts the new language will be enough to satisfy her concerns.

“I don’t think that a high school diploma should be a threshold for people that are working with our children, teaching them, even if it’s on a part-time basis," she said. "So yes, I have some concerns - I’m glad that she’s taking another look at it.”  

Jacobi says it’s a clear instance of why policy changes shouldn’t be added during the budget process without public input.  

Earlier this week, teachers and state Democrats presented Governor Scott Walker with a petition of 37-thousand signatures opposing the change to licensing requirements.  

Its supporters say rural schools need more flexibility in order to fill positions.  


Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst, who was in support of the original bill language, says it aims to give rural schools more flexibility, especially when hiring for tech subjects.  

“When you look at the intent of the proposal, it is just mean to augment anytime a school is having a difficult time hiring for a particular course offering that they don’t normally offer," he insists. "It’s not meant to undermine in any way the existing teacher licensure that’s out there.”  




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