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Controversial Wis. Licensing Proposals Deleted From Budget

UPDATED

Faced with an outcry from educators, Wisconsin Republicans have nixed several proposals in budget legislation that would have eased teacher licensing rules, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. (The Assembly passed a budget on July 9 without the proposal and sent it to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature).

The proposals would have let most teaching applicants bypass training in pedagogy or teaching methods. For core academic subjects, only a bachelor's degree would have been required, and for other subjects, merely "relevant experience." 

Unions, teacher college groups, and educators right up to the state Superintendent of Education Tony Evers said that those proposals would virtually destroy the state's rules, and allow a hiring free-for-all.

The approved budget does make a few changes of note. It would still let teachers of technical education subjects with experience, but without a bachelor's degree, obtain a license. And it would also make it easier for out-of-state teachers to earn a Wisconsin license. (You can see the specific proposals on p. 574-75 of this document.) Evers opposes both of them, and has asked Walker to use his line-item veto to excise them.

The Republican sponsor of the deleted provisions, Rep. Mary Czaja, said she was aiming to make it easier for rural districts fill hard-to-staff subjects, the newspaper reported.

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