The House Education Committee advanced Wednesday State Rep. Jack Jordan’s (R-Bremen) bill that would add flexibility for education regulations and licensure renewal requirements.
Jordan’s legislation would empower local schools to determine which education laws and requirements work best for their districts by applying for a waiver with the State Board of Education for hundreds of state regulations. The State Board of Education would also be tasked with evaluating and streamlining Indiana’s current teacher training requirements.
“With the needs of young Hoosiers constantly growing and changing, schools need the flexibility to determine which requirements will best serve their students and be the most efficient use of teachers’ time,” Jordan said. “By streamlining existing mandates and empowering local schools to apply for waivers, we can better ensure success for both students and educators.”
According to Jordan, Indiana teachers currently have four options to renew their license. Under one option, teachers can develop a Professional Growth Plan and complete 90 points or hours over five years. This legislation would revise a 2019 law requiring 15 of those points be obtained through professional development related to the state’s or an educator’s community’s workforce needs.
“Educators across the state expressed their concerns with the law that went into effect last year regarding one teacher licensure renewal option, and they have been heard,” Jordan said. “Educators play a significant role in students’ lives, and their help and guidance as young Hoosiers prepare for life after graduation is invaluable. Students often look to their teachers for advice on selecting the career path for them, so knowledge of all options, including trades and technical education, is extremely important.”
Jordan said this is still a valuable option for teachers as Indiana continues to address workforce needs.