Eau Claire superintendent weighs in on Gov. Walker's proposed li - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire superintendent weighs in on Gov. Walker's proposed lifetime teaching licenses


Eau Claire (WQOW) - A proposal in Governor Scott Walker's budget would give educators lifetime teaching licenses, something school administrators have pushed for to address a teacher shortage.

Mary Ann Hardebeck, superintendent for the Eau Claire Area School District, said currently, Wisconsin teachers have to renew their licenses every five years, and several teachers pay out-of-pocket to earn credits through the university system.

The proposal would give school districts authority over licensing and professional development requirements. Hardebeck said the district insists on continuous, high-quality professional development for all of its teachers. She said it is an expectation that teachers cannot opt out of, and she does not see that changing.

"All of our professional development is aimed at helping students learn,” Hardebeck said. “The teacher-learning is around those strategies, whether they are instructional strategies or assessment strategies, or strategies that are designed to help keep students healthy, safe, challenged and engaged. We want to see academic success as an outcome of that professional development."

There is also a proposal from the superintendent of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the executive director of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators to combine license types, making it easier for out-of-state teachers to get licensed. 

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