Rise4montana 2017 update

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RISE4Montana Progress Update July 2017

RISE4Montana is a joint initiative of the Montana Association of School Business Officials, MEA-MFT, Montana Quality Education Coalition, Montana Rural Education Association, Montana School Boards Association, School Administrators of Montana, the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences and Montana State University’s Department of Education.

Progress Update The efforts we have undertaken are in alignment with our objective to increase the number of available educators interested in working in Montana’s public schools while preserving our current standards of quality. We worked with our partners to support the changes adopted by the Board of Public Education in November 2016.

Our Core Purpose To increase the number of available educators interested in working in Montana’s Public Schools while preserving our current standards of quality.

Our Core Values •

We are committed to developing the full educational potential of each student in our public schools and we recognize and respect the role of highly qualified educators in achieving this important outcome. We respect and support the Accreditation Standards adopted by the Montana Board of Public Education. We empower students in each community of the state by ensuring successful recruitment and retention of highly qualified educators by all of Montana’s Public Schools.

We are committed to continued success of Montana’s Public Schools.

We do not compromise when it comes to quality for kids.

These changes help ensure that a career in public education in Montana will be available to a quality teacher or administrator from around the nation, as long as they have a documented track record of success in the field as a licensed educator in another state. Here are the changes: •

If a candidate for licensure is nationally board certified, then the candidate is eligible for full licensure in Montana in the field endorsed, regardless of preparation background.

If a candidate for licensure has five years of successful regularly licensed practice as a teacher or administrator in any other state in the U.S., documented by a positive recommendation from a state accredited P-12 employer in that state, then the candidate is eligible for full licensure in an endorsable field in Montana, regardless of preparation background.

The definition of an “accredited educator preparation program” is expanded to include the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE) as an accrediting body. The effect of this would be that Montana districts could recruit teachers from a greater number of accredited educator preparation programs.

2017 Legislation The partners in RISE4Montana came together at the 2017 Montana Legislature to push SB 115 through to a signature from Governor Steve Bullock. SB 115 provides for stipends for National Board Certified teachers including those who teach in critical shortage areas. The stipend for a National Board Certified teacher is up to $1,500, $500 paid by the state and then $1.00 for each dollar contributed by the teacher’s school district up to a state maximum of $1,000. The other stipend is for National Board Certified teachers who have instructional assignments in a school that is in a high poverty area or impacted by a critical quality educator shortage. This stipend is up to $2,500 with the state paying $1,000 plus another $2.00 for each $1.00 contributed by the teacher’s school district, up to a maximum of $2,000. Another bill, HB 119 came out of the School Funding Interim Commission and is part of RISE4Montana’s efforts to address recruitment and retention of quality educators. The bill provides payment under the Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program of $3,000, $4,000 and $5,000 over a three year period after each year of teaching. Unfortunately, the bill was not funded in HB 2 so the program redesign will not benefit educators this biennium.

Existing Options to Address Recruitment and Retention Through Flexible Licensing Option

Sources of Authority


Limits on Length

Other Details

Use a substitute teacher

10.55.716, ARM

GED or high school diploma, three hours of training by the district and a fingerprint background check. All requirements can be waived by the district if the substitute has prior substitute teaching experience in another public school from November 2002 or earlier.

No more than 35 consecutive teaching days (which is 20% of the school year) for the same teacher under BPE Rule. However, you could use the same substitute all year long for successive absences of different staff as long as each regular teacher for whom the substitute is covering is back by 35 consecutive teaching days.

If you run out of the maximum days on the substitute, the rule says you can convert them to an emergency authorization of employment for the remainder of the year.

Emergency Authorization of Employment

10.57.107, ARM and 204-111, MCA

Statute says must previously have held a valid teacher certificate OR can have met requirements of rule. Rule is more flexible, allowing a bachelor’s degree or acceptable evidence of significant experience related to the area for which the emergency is being sought. The BPE also recently (2016) increased the flexibility in this rule by allowing a teacher who is licensed but not endorsed in the proper subject matter to be retained under an emergency authorization.

Valid for one school year at a time. Can be renewed from year to year provided conditions of scarcity continue to persist.

Can’t get this authorization if you held a Class 5 alternative license the year before seeking emergency authorization. However, you could gain credits while employed in an emergency authorization situation that could be used to qualify for a Class 5 in a subsequent year. Provided that the district goes through the process to fill a position through emergency authorization, no violation of the accreditation standards will be assessed in spite of the fact that the district will not be using a licensed and endorsed teacher in the position.

Hire a retired licensed educator

19-20-732, MCA

School district has to certify to OPI and TRS that district has been unable to fill the position due to no qualified applications or no acceptance of offer by a non-retired educator.

No limit on the district. There is a three-year lifetime limit on a retired individual going to work under this provision and the retired member must have at least 30 years of experience in TRS.

This used to be a temporary provision in law, but the Legislature passed SB 141 by Senator Jones in the 2015 Session, removing the termination date from the law and making this flexibility permanent.

Hire an international educator from another country on an exchange

ARM section 10.57.112

Must have “exceptional expertise” - e.g. fluent in a foreign language for example.

Three-years and not renewable.

International teachers on an exchange are eligible for a Class 5 provisional license.

Hire a successful educator licensed in another state

ARM Sections 10.57.410, 412, 413, 419, 427, 428, 429 and 430.

All referenced sections have been recently changed to allow for a candidate for any educator license in Montana to become licensed upon proof of a minimum of five years of successful practice in another state.

None. This is treated like any other license or endorsement.

For those that completed an educator prep program that is not NCATE, CAEP, MACTE; or a program that is not through a regionally accredited college/university or is not a state accredited program, the following will apply: Must currently be licensed in another state at the same level of licensure in which they are applying for. Must provide the verification of five years of successful administrative experience on the prescribed form and must complete Indian Education for All in MT.

Class 4 CTE

10.57.420 et seq., ARM, and 20-4-106, MCA

4A is for licensed teachers without a CTE endorsement, 4B is for people with at least a bachelor’s degree and 4C is for people with at least a diploma or GED. BPE has enacted substantial flexibility beyond what is required by statute.

None. This is treated like any other license or endorsement.

Available to anyone with 10,000 hours (approximately five-years full-time OTJ) experience in automotive technology, welding, auto body, industrial mechanics, small engines, heavy equipment operations, electronics, horticulture, agriculture mechanics, building trades, building maintenance, culinary arts, metals, drafting, computer information systems, graphic arts, aviation, health occupations, machining, diesel mechanics, videography, and theater arts.

Class 5 Provisional

10.57.424 et. Seq., ARM, and 20-4-106, MCA

Scaled requirements that depend on the alternative you are seeking (e.g. higher requirements to get a Class 5 for a superintendent than for an elementary teacher). A Class 5 license can also be used to acquire another endorsement by a currently licensed educator as long as the Educator Preparation Program agrees.

Good for a maximum of three years.

Applicant must submit a plan showing how he or she will meet full licensure requirements by the end of the three-year license. Board also allows non-qualifying master’s degrees when accepted by the University.


10.55.602 (defined) and 10.55.607 (requirements), ARM

Available to anyone with a current license and endorsement in one subject who wants to move to a new licensed role/endorsement area. All endorsements are available through internships.

Requirements must be satisfied within three-years and must include a plan between the intern, the school district and an accredited preparation program.

Person can start teaching in new subject area immediately.

If all else fails, take a deviation on the district’s assurance standards

Accreditation standards requiring adherence to licensing

None - determined locally.

If you repeat for more than one year, you will advance from a minor deviation to a deviation.

Regardless of how many times you violate the assurance standards, the district won’t be in jeopardy of losing funding under 20-9-311(8)(d) unless it is also failing to meet the performance and content standards. Also, you can have a minor violation on inputs and as long as you have no violations on outputs, your overall accreditation remains regular.

(exchange teachers from other countries)



Montana Association of School Business Officials



School Administrators of Montana


Montana School Boards Association

Montana Quality Education Coalition

We are united by our shared interests in the best interests of students.


Montana Rural Education Association

RISE4Montana is a joint initiative of the associations and Montana universities listed above.