An effort is under way to remove an existing continuing education requirement for teachers to obtain recertification in Michigan.
State law currently stipulates that the state Superintendent of Public Instruction issues a provisional teaching certificate to new, recently graduated teachers. If that teacher meets certain requirements before the provisional teaching certificate expires, a professional teaching certificate is issued.
However, notwithstanding any contrary rule, individuals would not be required to have any teaching certificate to teach in Michigan other than a valid provisional teaching certificate or a valid Michigan professional education certificate under the legislation, according to an analysis of the bill by the state House Fiscal Agency. The state Superintendent of Public Instruction could not require completion of any credit hours, continuing education units, or degree requirements as a condition of a renewal of a teaching certificate that exceeds the education requirements in existence on the effective date of the bill for issuance of a provisional teaching certificate, the analysis states.
House Bill (HB) 5013, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), has been referred to the state House Education Committee.
“It’s something worth looking into,” said state Rep. Hugh Crawford (R-Walled Lake, Wixom). “It seems to make sense. It’s somewhat of a burden on newly-graduated teachers when you’ve got to turn around and take some of the same courses over again (that you just took in college). It’s time consuming and such. We’re trying to work on a way to get rid of that burden.”
Crawford added that the state House is looking at making provisions of HB 5013 optional.
“We’re trying to hit a happy medium where teachers that truly need that opportunity can do it, and others that just graduated don’t need to do it again.”
It’s argued that the legislation would tend to reduce administrative expenses at the state Department of Education in administering the teacher certification requirements of the law and related administrative rules. There would be no direct impact on local school districts or public school academies.
A representative from the Michigan Education Association, the largest union representing teachers in the state, could not be reached for comment prior to press time on the legislation.