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An Update in Education Law
Education  |  Lewis Kappes  |  06.03.2019 9:30 am  |  259  |  A+ | a-
On April 30, 2019, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed House Enrolled Act 1002 (P.L. 143) into law.  This Act and the companion guidance issue by the Indiana Department of Education on May 10, 2019, make significant changes regarding the requirements for teachers to earn Professional Growth Plan (“PGP”) points to renew their professional educator licenses. Prior to the enactment of HEA 1002-2019, teachers were expected to earn 90 PGP experience points to renew their professional education licenses, but the statute was silent regarding the manner in which a teacher could gain these PGP experience points. Prior to the adoption of HEA 1002, which takes effect on July 1, 2019, the primary method used by teachers to earn PGP experience points consisted of participation in conferences, workshops, and continuing education.  HEA 1002-2019 requires teachers seeking license renewal through PGP experience points to earn 15 of these PGP points by completing an outside professional development experience. The substantive changes under HEA 1002 pertain only to the 90 point PGP experience points required for a renewal of a five (5) or ten (10) year professional educator license. For these licenses, this new statute outlines a new provision that 15 of the experience points are completed.

The new PGP experience point requirement is only applicable to individuals who meet each of the three following criteria:
 
  • The license to be renewed must be Professional Educator License issued as a practitioner or accomplished practitioner license, or comparable license under prior rules;

Professional Educator Licenses are “full” licenses issued in instructional, administrative, and school services content areas. Thus, the 15 PGP experience point requirement for license renewal does not apply to Career Specialist Permits, Workplace Specialist II Licenses, Transition to Teaching Permits, Charter School License, or Emergency Permits.
 
  • The holder of the Professional Education License must choose to renew their license with a PGP renewal option; and

A PGP is one of four license renewal options available. Note that the PGP experience point requirement does not apply to the following renewal options: College Coursework, National Board Certification, Completion of continuing education needed to maintain a required Indiana Professional Licensing Agency license.
 
  • The PGP for renewal must be started in the license holder’s LVIS account after July 1, 2019. Requirements for the 15 PGP points are outlined below.

Per HEA 1002 § 25(a) and (b): License holders starting a PGP for renewal in their LVIS accounts after July 1, 2019 are required to complete 15 of the 90 PGP points required for renewal in one or more of the following areas: (1) an externship with a company, (2) professional development provided by the state, a local business, or a community partner that provides opportunities for schools and employers to partner in promoting career navigation, and (3) professional development provided by the state, a local business, or a community partner that outlines: (A) current and future economic needs of the community, state, nation, and globe; and (B) ways in which current and future economic needs described in (A) can be disseminated to students.

Thus, any teacher that begins accruing their 90 hours before July 1, 2019 will not have to complete the new requirements of HEA 1002.   A signed letter from Principals, Superintendents, and/or Human Resource Departments may be used to verify PGP points. PGPs are not approved by the Office of Educator Effectiveness and Licensing (OEEL) without proper verification documents.

The attorneys of Lewis Kappes are experienced in navigating teacher licensure and professional development requirements. We stand ready to assist school corporations and school boards with a range of statutory interpretation, teacher licensure, and professional development matters.
 

Disclaimer: This article is made available for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.
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