Study finds teacher licensing plays part in teacher shortage

The study reports that annual licensing and licensing specialization creates barriers by enforcing specific requirements according to grade range and/or subjects.
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 4:33 PM CDT
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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) -

For years, Wisconsin has struggled with a teacher shortage as more and more retire and quit the profession. But a new study by the Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty finds licensing regulations are playing a role.

In Wisconsin a prospective teacher should expect at least four years of preparation and additional time for teacher licensing assessments and application processing time. As many as 20% of graduates from education preparation programs did not earn a teaching license in Wisconsin.

Those prospective teachers are then required to get a temporary license to teach, that must be renewed each year.

“What we kind of argue in this report is that is we need folks in the classroom, that training to some extent can be acquired on the job, its more important to have a highly qualified individual in the classroom even if they don’t have that background that they otherwise desire,” Will Flanders the research director for The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty said.

The study also reports that annual licensing and licensing specialization creates barriers by enforcing specific requirements according to grade range and/or subjects. Licensing specialization limits teacher mobility between states due to a license’s narrow scope of practice and decreases the number of positions a teacher can fill. This specialization also makes it harder for school districts to fill teaching positions.

To better the situation, the study recommends that Wisconsin loosen their licensing structure, provide more comprehensive data and give school districts the flexibility to hire unlicensed teachers.

To read the full study Click Here.

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