March 12, 2014

The State Board of Education discussed rulemaking for REPA 3 today among other items in a packed agenda that lasted nearly nine hours.


The board previously conducted recent public hearings on the proposed changes to teacher licensure, some of which ISTA members attended to testify on recommendations. REPA 2 was never finalized last year due to procedural issues, and so REPA 3 would replace licensure laws from 2010 if adopted.


The most contentious issue in the REPA 3 language relates to adjunct permits that allow a candidate to teach if the candidate passes a content exam, but it does not require a degree in education. The candidate is only required to have received a Bachelors degree with a 3.0 GPA.


Opponents of the original REPA 2 language regarding adjunct permits as well as language in REPA 3 believe it will de-professionalize teaching. Superintendent Ritz opposed REPA 2 and campaigned against it before her election. This time around, Ritz has also expressed concerns about the adjunct permits. She asserted that alternative pathways already exist, such as transition to teach and emergency permits, and that there is no “outcry in the field” for individuals needing an adjunct permit.


Additionally, board members Tony Walker and Brad Oliver spoke out against the adjunct permit. Walker suggested that if his motion to terminate REPA 3 rulemaking altogether failed, he indicated his desire to do away with the permits.


In the end, Walker did not bring his motion to stop rulemaking after consulting with Ritz to determine if the Department of Education wants to proceed. Ritz indicated her intention to continue and was pleased with the robust discussion about problematic components of REPA 3 such as the adjunct permit.


No action was taken on REPA 3. Discussions will continue in April.