Messmer: Increasing flexibility for Hoosier teachers

By STATE SEN. MARK MESSMER
Special to The Herald

Hoosier teachers go above and beyond each year to make sure Indiana children are in a thriving learning environment. While education guidelines are important, it's also essential that educators are given the flexibility they need to perform their jobs.

In 2019, the General Assembly passed a law requiring teachers with a five-year practitioner license and a 10-year accomplished practitioner license to earn 15 professional development points through specified activities designed to increase the awareness of future career opportunities for their students.

After receiving feedback from teachers and administrators, lawmakers passed Senate Enrolled Act 319 during the 2020 session, making it an option, rather than a mandate, for Hoosier teachers to receive part of their training in this specific area.

Teachers have long had wide latitude to choose professional development activities that most closely match the grade level and subjects they teach. SEA 319 makes sure teachers continue to have this flexibility while keeping career awareness activities as an option for teachers to fulfill their professional development requirements.

SEA 319 also provides additional options for teachers to fulfill this professional development opportunity. This includes working with students in competitions or other programs that provide career skills and are working for or with a local business to learn more about the economic needs of that company and community.

Teachers are among some of the most influential people in the lives of our young Hoosiers. As high school students think about what they're going to do after graduation, it's important for educators to be aware of local career opportunities. SEA 319 is a step in the right direction for our teachers and local businesses, and I especially look forward to seeing the impact it will have on our young people as they join the workforce.

As always, feel free to contact my office directly with your questions and concerns by email at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.




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