State board of education seeks approval from lawmakers for teacher licensing plan pilot  

A student colors with crayons via AP

RALEIGH — A request for a pilot program of a proposed teacher licensure plan will be sent to the legislature per a decision made during the N.C. State Board of Education’s meetings held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. 

“Today, members of the State Board of Education approved a blueprint to guide changes around how we license and compensate teachers in our state,” N.C. State Superintendent Catherine Truitt said in a tweeted statement. “I’m optimistic about our goal of piloting this work so that we can continue to increase the quantity, quality and diversity of teachers and prepare them to be licensed, hired, supported and retained as highly effective educators in North Carolina Public Schools.” 

The request to the General Assembly to authorize a pilot program followed the approval of a draft motion to accept the Blueprint for Action plan. 

If the pilot is greenlit by lawmakers, the commission working on the plan estimates it can report back to the board possibly by March with recommendations for implementation of the pilot. 

Lawyers for the board are directed to report back by January on whether the plan would prompt changes to current rules or policies or if state statutes might be impacted. 

Per the approved motion, Truitt is tasked with determining how the plan aligns with the board’s current strategic plan. She’ll also review the plan with an eye on alignment with her strategic vision for the state’s K-12 schools, Operation Polaris. Once that information has been gathered, Truitt will report back to the board. 

The revisions to the teacher licensure plan have been overseen by the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC).  

On Nov. 10, PEPSC voted 9-7 to send a scaled-down version of the original proposal to the board. The resulting one-page Blueprint for Action sent to the board contained a list of 10 items.  

The blueprint would change pay calculations by using continuing education and a model with levels of licensure tied to teacher effectiveness, student test scores, student growth and teacher evaluations. Currently, teacher pay is calculated using continuing education and years of experience. 

PEPSC’s blueprint includes four levels of licensure from apprentice through advanced.  

The more detailed plan has possible starting teacher pay ranging from $38,000 to $45,000 depending on the applicant’s qualifications. Advanced teachers could see an increase to $72,000. In addition, an apprentice licensure level could see pay ranging from $30,000 to $38,000. 

About A.P. Dillon 1320 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_