New requirements have been put in place for Indiana teachers renewing their license and some teachers say the new rules blindsided them.
Indiana teachers may now have to complete a 15-hour externship with a company, as one of several options connected to license renewal.
Teachers are required to renew their license every five years. During that period, they must acquire 90 points according to the Department Of Educations’s Professional Growth Plan, or PGP.
The PGP is not new, but legislators are changing the requirements of attaining points towards the PGP.
Starting July 1st, teachers will have to complete 15 of those 90 PGP points in one of three ways.
The first option requires teachers to complete an externship with a company or have a representative from a company come to their school to educate them.
The second option is for teachers to participate in professional development provided by the state, a local business, or a community partner that provides opportunities for school and employers to partner in promoting career navigation.
The final option is to participate in professional development that outlines current or future economic needs of the community.
Indiana State Senator Dennis Kruse said the new requirement will help students prepare for the workforce.
“For some reason, there’s been a gap between what the kids are learning in school and what employers want them to have, as far as skills and knowledge on the job,” he said. “So we want to try and connect those two and teachers is one of the key things to connect to employers so the teacher knows what the employer needs and want, so they can help teach and guide those kids so they can fulfill those job opportunities that are out there.”
President of the Fort Wayne Education Association Julie Hyndman said Fort Wayne Community Schools teachers were blindsided by this law.
“It’s another opportunity to demoralize public school teachers that the Indiana legislatures have continued to do, this year and most years prior,” she said. “This is a complete insult.”
Hyndman, an FWCS elementary school teacher of 24 years, said lawmakers don’t understand educators or the hardships and business of their career.
She explained that teachers already participate in conferences, workshops, and continuing education through their districts. She doesn’t see any value in going to an outside source for professional development.