Sen. Eric Pratt successfully amended the Senate education omnibus bill (SF 3086) on Tuesday, May 1.
Sen. Pratt’s amendment includes language that delays implementation of the new tiered licensure system until September 1, 2018. This delay affects the four tiers, background checks, licensure by portfolio, substitutes, expiration and renewal, and related items.
Along this line, the A42 amendment also extends the current system of variances, nonlicensed community experts, teacher and administrator license fees, and related provisions until September 1, 2018.
Please note that Rep. Sondra Erickson adopted a different approach in the House omnibus bill — she amends the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board’s current rule draft and inserts it into statute as “temporary rules” until the earlier of (1) adoption of final rules or (2) January 1, 2019.
MSBA believes Sen. Pratt’s approach is preferable:
- The administrative law judge hearing is expected to occur around June 8. It may be that, after the hearing, any changes that the judge requires will be technical in nature and will enable PELSB to meet a September 1 deadline. PELSB officials have said as much in recent public meetings.
- While MSBA is recommending that an October 1 extension would better serve schools and students, extending existing licensing and variance rules until September will allow districts to proceed with hires for 2018-2019 throughout the summer.
- It avoids a separation-of-powers attack (it could be argued that Rep. Erickson’s approach involves the Legislature in rulemaking, which is an executive branch function).
It may be reasonable to expect that the differences between the Pratt and Erickson approaches will be hammered out in conference committee, unless one or the other drops their position before then.