Emerson Elementary School fourth grade teacher Meg Heely guides a group discussion in her classroom in December in this file photo.

A group of school officials, including state Superintendent Tony Evers, is asking lawmakers to address potential staffing shortages in Wisconsin schools by making the way teachers get licensed less complicated.

The Leadership Group on School Staffing Challenges, created by Evers and Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators executive director Jon Bales, released last week a number of proposals to address shortages, including reducing the number of licenses teachers must obtain to be in a classroom.

Under the group’s proposal, teachers would seek one license to teach prekindergarten through ninth grade and a second license to teach all grades, subjects and special education.

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The group also proposes to consolidate related subject area licenses into single subject licenses. For example, teachers would be licensed in broad areas like science, social studies, music and English Language Arts instead of more specific areas of those subjects.

The proposal also asks out-of-state candidates be granted a teaching license if they hold a license in another state and have passed a nationwide assessment measuring teachers’ readiness for their jobs known as the edTPA.

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

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