Louisiana removes barriers to the teaching profession for military families

Published 6:16 pm Saturday, August 26, 2023

 

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana is making it easier for military families to continue serving their nation as classroom teachers. The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) developed a new policy that provides a Louisiana teaching certificate to active military personnel or their spouse who holds a valid teaching certificate from another state. As authorized by House Bill 472 of the 2023 Regular Legislative Session, the policy was approved Wednesday by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

“This is a practical approach to provide additional teachers for students across Louisiana,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “With a strong military presence in our state, it’s an honor to help make lives a little easier for families serving our country.”

House Bill 472 of the 2023 Regular Legislative Session allows BESE to grant a valid, five-year Louisiana teaching certificate to military personnel or their spouse who have a valid certificate from another state and are serving in Louisiana. The applicant must also meet all other requirements for background checks and criminal history reviews required by law and board policy.

This is the latest action taken by the Louisiana legislature, LDOE, and BESE to improve teacher recruitment and retention by enhancing pathways to the profession. Some of these proactive measures include:

 

  • Consistently raising teacher pay:Along with consistently approving across-the-board increases for teachers and support staff, for the first time Louisiana has provided school systems state funds dedicated to direct additional pay towards areas of greatest need. Based on a plan developed by Dr. Brumley, the legislature appropriated $25 million during the 2023 Regular Session to be used for differentiated compensation. School systems can use these funds to address the recruitment and retention of teachers in critical shortage areas, highly effective teachers, teachers working in high need schools, and teachers in leadership positions.
  • Supporting new ladders into the profession:Louisiana has developed a number of new policies that give more professionals a pathway into a career as a teacher, whether they are on the traditional route, alternative route, or seeking to share their industry expertise in career and technical education courses. Most recently, school systems now have the option to hire teachers holding an associate degree who are enrolled in a teacher education preparation program, are provided a mentor teacher, and are assigned weekly job-embedded professional learning. Act 99 of the 2023 Regular Legislative Session created the Associate Teacher Program.
  • Expanding the pre-educator pathway in high schools:Over $1 million was allocated to school systems to expand pre-educators pathways, which offer education courses to high school students interested in the profession. The pre-educator pathway was offered in over 70 schools across 35 school systems in 2022-23.
  • Elevating teacher voice: Brumley hosted the inaugural Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council. Preparing to enter its second year, this cohort of educators meets with Dr. Brumley quarterly to share feedback on current education initiatives and offer insight on how Louisiana can continue to improve student outcomes and the teaching profession.