MADISON — Representative LaKeshia Myers introduced legislation today aimed at expanding the ability of paraprofessionals to become certified classroom teachers. Under current law, the State Superintendent may approve a teacher preparatory program only if students in the program are required to complete student teaching that consists of full days for a full semester (usually eighteen weeks). This stipulation can be a deterrent to many paraprofessionals, who are forced to go into unpaid status to complete student teaching requirements.
This legislation would resolve this phenomenon. If enacted, the State Superintendent will have the authority to approve programs allowing paraprofessionals and other degreed non-teaching professionals to complete their student teaching requirement during the school day or through a partnership program with local school districts. Thus, helping Wisconsin increase the number of certified classroom teachers available to students.
Myers said, “The bill is intended to increase enrollment in teacher education programs in Wisconsin and remove obstacles for paraprofessionals who want to become teachers in the state. This is a common sense piece of legislation; it is no secret that we are in need of qualified educators and this bill helps us aid individuals who have already demonstrated a commitment to Wisconsin children to elevate their skillset and become certified teachers.”