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"No one asked us, no one consulted us..." Could new Indiana teaching requirements keep potential future educators out of the classroom?

Several Indiana teachers are taken back by the sudden change in requirements for license renewals.

Posted: May 17, 2019 4:24 PM
Updated: May 17, 2019 6:40 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Several Indiana teachers are taken back by the sudden change in requirements for license renewals.

Some feel it could impact our current and future educators.

The teachers News 10 spoke with said many weren't expecting the changes.

The school board sent out a formal letter on Friday morning.

The majority of educators have a license that must be renewed every five years. One way to do that is by getting 90 Professional Growth Plan, or GPS Points. 90 points are equal to 90 hours.

The new law requires 15 of those hours to be an 'externship' or other professional development.

Some of the confusion is what would meet the qualifications for those hours.

The idea is to encourage outside skill development.

Not all educators are excited to see this mandatory change.

Tonya Pfaff is a state representative...and a math teacher.

She feels this just adds to a teacher's workload.

"You know, no one asked us, no one consulted us. If someone would have said 'hey Tonya, what do you think about this?' I would have said, well sure, if teachers want to do this, I think it's great. But don't make everyone do it, and I think that's why we are all so upset," Pfaff said.

Vigo County School Deputy Superintendent Dr. Karen Goeller told us it is an opportunity for teachers to become more well-rounded.

"We want teachers to engage in professional development that feels more beneficial to them. So at least make them aware of the new law, and let them think about what that might look like for them," Dr. Goeller told us.

Pfaff says she sees the benefits of this but wishes it was optional.

She says this is just another way to steer people from going into the field.

"We're having people not go into the profession, we're having people live Indiana and then you throw on another mandate, and it's like, okay...and then they leave, which is a problem for everyone. At the end of the day, everyone needs education and everyone deserves an excellent education," Pfaff said.

She went on to say as a representative and a teacher, this is important to her.

She plans on trying to amend the law so it would become optional for teachers.

It goes into effect on July 1st.

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