Action by WEAC members leads to withdrawal of proposal that threatened teacher rights

Due to the efforts of WEAC members, a proposal to seriously threaten teacher rights won’t move forward, the state education agency announced Thursday. Thousands of WEAC members answered the call to action to provide testimony on proposed changes, which included the licensure system as well as sweeping revisions to teacher discipline procedures. While WEAC collaborated on the system changes to support the goal of easing the teacher shortage, our members determined the discipline changes would push professionals away from teaching. “WEAC members stood up in huge numbers to get involved,” said WEAC President Ron Martin, and it paid off.

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Join WEAC to bring teacher voice to proposed license changes

The Department of Public Instruction is proposing major changes to teacher licensing in Wisconsin, and those changes include teacher discipline and teacher rights. You can learn more about these changes – and how you can take action to influence them – during a WEAC Tele-Town Hall phone call on Monday, January 15.

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Legislative Update – July 20

More on the Senate Republicans’ budget proposal unveiled earlier this week has been unpacked, including provisions that would impact voucher schools. The Senate proposal does not include the governor’s idea to move to lifetime licenses for teachers and administrators, but instead calls on the DPI to ease the process in a few ways. The Senate proposal also increases the score needed on a civics exam to graduate and changes parameters of Teach for America grants.

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Number of home-schooled children has doubled since 1999

A new report by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that the number of children being home-schooled in the United States has doubled since 1999. As of 2012, the report finds, about 1.8 million children (3.4 percent) were being home-schooled. Most home-schooled students were white (83 percent) and non-poor (89 percent), lived in cities or suburban areas and rural areas.

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Utah school districts grappling with inexperienced, untrained teachers under new law

School districts in Utah are grappling with a new state law that allows them to hire teachers who only meet minimum requirements such as having a bachelor’s degree, passing a subject test and clearing a background. “Am I scared to death about some of the realities? Yeah. It’s scary to bring somebody into a building without experience,” said Jessica Bennington, human resources administrator for the Ogden School District.

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With teacher shortage growing, DPI makes it easier for retired teachers to return to the classroom

The Department of Public Instruction on Tuesday announced a variety of emergency rules changes designed to address a growing teacher shortage in Wisconsin. Among them are allowing educators near or in retirement to apply for a nonrenewable, five-year license without professional development requirements. WEAC President Ron Martin said addressing the teacher shortage requires significant long-term changes, including increasing pay, giving teachers greater voice in their profession and treating all educators with the respect they deserve.

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Walker signs bill weakening teacher licensure in vocational education

Governor Walker has signed into law a bill – strongly opposed by WEAC – that weakens teacher licensure standards in vocational education and other “non-core” subjects. “This proposal is short-sighted and won’t solve the teacher shortage problem,” said WEAC President Betsy Kippers. “Wisconsin needs long-term, common sense solutions that won’t shortchange our children.”

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