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Budget provision could loosen requirements to become a teacher

A provision in the Wisconsin state budget could roll back the requirements to become a teacher. It would deregulate the licensing standards for middle and high school teachers. There are two parts. The first would let anyone with a Bachelor's degree, and demonstrates proficiency or has experience in the subject they want to teach, to get a teaching license. This would let people teach any subject - even core courses.

State Superintendent Tony Evers told Wisconsin Public Television this would take away high standards that have been put in place over many years.

\"All you have to do is go to a local school district and convince them that you know how to teach,\" Evers said. \"A local school district says to the DPI, give this person a license, we have to give them a license. It essentially takes the licensing system out of the state's hand and puts it in 424 school districts hand.\"

The second part would allow people without a college degree, or even a high school diploma, teach classes. It would include classes outside the core curriculum of math, science, english, and social studies.

\"So if you're a buddy of the superintendent or the principal you go in and say, 'gosh I want to teach here'. He or she says yes, you got a license,\" Evers said.

The provision was introduced by State Rep. Mary Czaja. She's represents an area south of Rhinelander. Supporters say it would give rural schools and districts the ability to fill more teaching positions. Opponents want to have a public hearing about it but since it's in the state budget there isn't one scheduled.

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