The state superintendent may not grant to any person a license to teach unless the person has received instruction in the study of minority group relations, including instruction in the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of the federally recognized American Indian tribes and bands located in this state.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, the state superintendent may not issue an initial teaching license, school district administrator's license or school administrator's license unless the applicant has demonstrated competency in all of the following:
Resolving conflicts between pupils and between pupils and school staff.
Assisting pupils in learning methods of resolving conflicts between pupils and between pupils and school staff, including training in the use of peer mediation to resolve conflicts between pupils.
Dealing with crises, including violent, disruptive, potentially violent or potentially disruptive situations, that may arise in school or at activities supervised by a school as a result of conflicts between pupils or between pupils and other persons.
The state superintendent may waive the requirements under par. (a)
if the applicant demonstrates competency in the subjects under par. (a) 1.
within 12 months after the date on which the license is issued.
With the assistance of the department of justice, the state superintendent shall do all of the following:
Conduct a background investigation of each applicant for issuance or renewal of a license or permit.
Over a 5-year period, conduct a background investigation of each person who holds a license, issued by the state superintendent, that has no expiration date and who is employed by an educational agency.
If the person under par. (b)
is a nonresident, or if the state superintendent determines that the person's employment, licensing or state court records provide a reasonable basis for further investigation, the state superintendent shall require the person to be fingerprinted on 2 fingerprint cards, each bearing a complete set of the person's fingerprints, or by other technologies approved by law enforcement agencies. The department of justice may provide for the submission of the fingerprint cards or fingerprints by other technologies to the federal bureau of investigation for the purposes of verifying the identity of the person fingerprinted and obtaining records of his or her criminal arrest and conviction.
Upon request, an educational agency shall provide the state superintendent with all of the following information about each person employed by the educational agency who holds a license, issued by the state superintendent, that has no expiration date:
The person's social security number or the license identification number given by the department when the person's original license was issued.
Other identifying information, including the person's birthdate, sex, race and any identifying physical characteristics.
The state superintendent may issue or renew a license or permit conditioned upon the receipt of a satisfactory background investigation.
The state superintendent shall keep confidential all information received under this subsection from the department of justice or the federal bureau of investigation. Except as provided in par. (g)
, such information is not subject to inspection or copying under s. 19.35
At the request under s. 49.22 (2m)
of the department of children and families or a county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5)
, the state superintendent shall release the name and address of the applicant or licensee, the name and address of the applicant's or licensee's employer and financial information, if any, related to the applicant or licensee obtained under this subsection to the department of children and families or the county child support agency.
The department may promulgate rules establishing requirements for licensure as a school principal. A school principal license shall authorize the individual to serve as a school principal for any grade level.
Beginning on July 1, 1998, the department may not issue or renew a license that authorizes the holder to teach reading or language arts to pupils in any prekindergarten class or in any of the grades from kindergarten to 6 unless the applicant has successfully completed instruction preparing the applicant to teach reading and language arts using appropriate instructional methods, including phonics. The phonics instruction need not be provided as a separate course. In this subsection, "phonics" means a method of teaching beginners to read and pronounce words by learning the phonetic value of letters, letter groups and syllables.
The department may not issue an initial teaching license that authorizes the holder to teach in grades kindergarten to 5 or in special education, an initial license as a reading teacher, or an initial license as a reading specialist, unless the applicant has passed an examination identical to the Foundations of Reading test administered in 2012 as part of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure. The department shall set the passing cut score on the examination at a level no lower than the level recommended by the developer of the test, based on this state's standards.
Any teacher who passes the examination under par. (a)
shall notify the department, which shall add a notation to the teacher's license indicating that he or she passed the examination.
The department shall ensure that teaching experience gained while a person held an emergency permit issued by the department under s. PI 34.21 (2)
, Wis. Adm. Code, counts toward fulfillment of the teaching experience requirement for a license based on experience under s. PI 34.195 (2)
, Wis. Adm. Code, or for a license in a school administrator category under s. PI 34.32
, Wis. Adm. Code.
History: 1971 c. 154
; 1975 c. 39
; 1979 c. 346
; 1981 c. 314
; 1985 a. 29
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 42
; 1993 a. 16
; 1995 a. 27
, 9145 (1)
; 1995 a. 299
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 9
; 2001 a. 109
; 2005 a. 121
; 2007 a. 20
; 2011 a. 166
; 2013 a. 20
See also ch. PI 34
, Wis. adm. code.
Professional teaching permits. 118.192(1)
The state superintendent shall establish an alternative teacher training program for music, art, foreign language, computer science, mathematics and science teachers. The program shall consist of approximately 100 hours of formal instruction.
An individual who holds a bachelor's degree in engineering, music, art, foreign language, computer science, mathematics or science from an accredited institution of higher education, has at least 5 years of experience as a professional in the subject area in which his or her degree was awarded and demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the state superintendent, competency in that subject area that is current and compatible with modern curricula may apply to the state superintendent for enrollment in the alternative teacher training program. The state superintendent shall charge a fee sufficient to cover the costs of the program.
The state superintendent shall grant a professional teaching permit to any person who satisfactorily completes the program under sub. (2)
. The permit authorizes the person to teach the subject area specified by the state superintendent in grades kindergarten to 12. The initial permit shall be valid for 2 years. During the initial permit period, the person shall be supervised by a person who holds a regular teaching license. The permit is renewable for 5-year periods.
A school board that employs a person who holds a professional teaching permit shall ensure that no regularly licensed teacher is removed from his or her position as a result of the employment of persons holding permits.
Discrimination against handicapped teachers prohibited. 118.195(1)(1)
No person otherwise qualified may be denied a certificate or license from the state superintendent under s. 118.19 (1)
because the person is totally or partially blind, deaf or physically handicapped nor may any school district refuse to employ a teacher on such grounds, if such handicapped teacher is able to carry out the duties of the position which the person seeks.
Any school board may request the state superintendent for advice and assistance in interpreting this section.
Teacher discrimination prohibited. 118.20(1)
No discrimination because of sex, except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification as defined in s. 111.36 (2)
, race, nationality or political or religious affiliation may be practiced in the employment of teachers or administrative personnel in public schools or in their assignment or reassignment. No questions of any nature or form relative to sex, except where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification as defined in s. 111.36 (2)
, race, nationality or political or religious affiliation may be asked applicants for teaching or administrative positions in the public schools either by public school officials or employees or by teachers agencies or placement bureaus.
The state superintendent or a person designated by the state superintendent may receive and investigate complaints charging discrimination in employment, assignment or reassignment of teachers or administrative personnel in the public schools and the state superintendent or designee may hold hearings, subpoena witnesses and take testimony to effectuate the purposes of this section.
If the state superintendent finds probable cause to believe that any discrimination prohibited by this section has been or is being practiced, the state superintendent shall immediately endeavor to eliminate the practice by conference, conciliation or persuasion. In case of failure to eliminate the discrimination, the state superintendent shall issue and serve a written notice of hearing, specifying the nature of the discrimination which appears to have been committed, and requiring the public school official, employee, teacher agency or placement bureau named, hereinafter called the "respondent" to answer the complaint at a hearing before the state superintendent. The notice shall specify a time of hearing not less than 10 days after service of the complaint, and a place of hearing within the county in which the discrimination is alleged to have occurred.
After hearing, if the state superintendent finds that the respondent has engaged in discrimination prohibited by this section the state superintendent shall make written findings and recommend such action by the respondent as shall satisfy the purposes of this section and shall serve a certified copy of the findings and recommendations on the respondent together with an order requiring the respondent to comply with the recommendations. Any person aggrieved by noncompliance with the order shall be entitled to have the order enforced specifically by suit in equity. If the state superintendent finds that the respondent has not engaged in the alleged discrimination, the state superintendent shall serve a certified copy of the state superintendent's findings on the complainant together with an order dismissing the complaint.
If any public school official, employee, teachers agency or placement bureau violates sub. (1)
or fails or refuses to obey any lawful order made by the state superintendent pursuant to this section, such person shall forfeit and pay into the state treasury not less than $25 nor more than $50, or be imprisoned not less than 5 nor more than 30 days. Such violation or failure or refusal to obey an order shall be grounds for the removal of any school district administrator, member of a school board or other public school official. Findings and orders of the state superintendent under this section shall be subject to judicial review under ch. 227
Upon request of the state superintendent, the attorney general or district attorney of the county in which any investigation, hearing or trial under this section is pending, shall aid and prosecute under supervision of the state superintendent, all necessary actions or proceedings for the enforcement of this section and for the punishment of all violations thereof.
In administering this section the state superintendent shall have authority to make, amend and rescind rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
Section 118.20 is not the exclusive remedy of a wronged teacher; it is supplementary to the fair employment act, ch. 111. Kurtz v. City of Waukesha, 91 Wis. 2d 103
, 280 N.W.2d 757
Teacher contracts. 118.21(1)(1)
The school board shall contract in writing with qualified teachers. The contract, with a copy of the teacher's authority to teach attached, shall be filed with the school district clerk. Such contract, in addition to fixing the teacher's wage, may provide for compensating the teacher for necessary travel expense. A teaching contract with any person not legally authorized to teach the named subject or at the named school shall be void. All teaching contracts shall terminate if, and when, the authority to teach terminates.
Any person who contracts to teach in any public school shall file in the office of the school district administrator, within 10 days after entering into such contract, a statement showing the date of expiration and the grade and character of certificate or license held. In any school district not having a school district administrator, the statement shall be filed with the school district clerk. Teachers employed by a cooperative educational service agency shall file the statement in the office of the agency coordinator. No order or warrant may be issued by the school district clerk in payment of the salary of any teacher, unless the teacher has complied with this subsection.
School boards may provide in the contracts of teachers of agricultural and homemaking courses for payment out of school district funds for services performed outside the school district and connected with the performance of their regular teaching duties, and for travel expenses connected with such services.
School boards may give to any teacher, without deduction from the teacher's wages, the whole or part of any time spent by the teacher in attending a teachers' educational convention, upon the teacher's filing with the school district clerk a certificate of attendance at the convention, signed by the person or secretary of the association conducting the convention.
History: 1979 c. 301
; 1993 a. 492
See s. 118.22 (2)
for requirement that majority vote of full board membership is required for employment of a teacher.
A collective bargaining provision that releases only teacher members of a majority union from in-service days to attend, with pay, a state convention of the union is discriminatory, but the school board can deny compensation to minority union members who attend a regional convention of their union if they do so in good faith. Board of Education v. WERC, 52 Wis. 2d 625
, 191 N.W.2d 242
A teacher's lack of legal authority to teach assigned courses, although known to the school board at time of hiring and subsequent assignments, was sufficient ground for dismissal despite the fact that school superintendent repeatedly assured the teacher that the certification problem was an administrative omission that would be cured by the board. Grams v. Melrose-Mindoro Jt. School Dist. No. 1, 78 Wis. 2d 569
, 254 N.W.2d 730
An individual teacher's contract under ss. 118.21 and 118.22 is subservient to a collective bargaining contract under s. 111.70. 60 Atty. Gen. 342.
School boards have authority to contract with teachers to provide for an increment or sum in addition to their regular salary in return for the teacher choosing an early retirement option. 63 Atty. Gen. 16.
Even though a teacher was properly dismissed for an admitted violation of school rules, she was entitled to a due process hearing on other charges affecting her reputation as a teacher. Carpenter v. Greenfield School Dist. No. 6, 358 F Supp. 220 (1973).
Renewal of teacher contracts. 118.22(1)(a)
"Board" means a school board, technical college district board, board of control of a cooperative educational service agency or county children with disabilities education board, but does not include any board of school directors in a city of the 1st class.
"Teacher" means any person who holds a teacher's certificate or license issued by the state superintendent or a classification status under the technical college system board and whose legal employment requires such certificate, license or classification status, but does not include part-time teachers or teachers employed by any board of school directors in a city of the 1st class.
On or before May 15 of the school year during which a teacher holds a contract, the board by which the teacher is employed or an employee at the direction of the board shall give the teacher written notice of renewal or refusal to renew the teacher's contract for the ensuing school year. If no such notice is given on or before May 15, the contract then in force shall continue for the ensuing school year. A teacher who receives a notice of renewal of contract for the ensuing school year, or a teacher who does not receive a notice of renewal or refusal to renew the teacher's contract for the ensuing school year on or before May 15, shall accept or reject in writing such contract not later than the following June 15. No teacher may be employed or dismissed except by a majority vote of the full membership of the board. Nothing in this section prevents the modification or termination of a contract by mutual agreement of the teacher and the board. No such board may enter into a contract of employment with a teacher for any period of time as to which the teacher is then under a contract of employment with another board.
At least 15 days prior to giving written notice of refusal to renew a teacher's contract for the ensuing school year, the employing board shall inform the teacher by preliminary notice in writing that the board is considering nonrenewal of the teacher's contract and that, if the teacher files a request therefor with the board within 5 days after receiving the preliminary notice, the teacher has the right to a private conference with the board prior to being given written notice of refusal to renew the teacher's contract.
Notice of intent not to renew that part of a contract providing extra pay for extra work as a coach is not necessary. Richards v. Sheboygan Board of Education, 58 Wis. 2d 444
, 206 N.W.2d 597
Under the facts of the case, the failure to timely provide notice of the right to a private conference under sub. (3) did not provide sufficient grounds to issue a writ of mandamus. Rawhouser v. CESA No. 4, 75 Wis. 2d 52
, 248 N.W.2d 442
In the absence of evidence of a school board's bias, the trial court had no jurisdiction to hold a de novo hearing regarding the competence of a teacher facing nonrenewal under sub. (3). Naus v. Sheboygan Falls Joint School District No. 1, 76 Wis. 2d 104
, 250 N.W.2d 725
Arbitration was proper under a "discharge and nonrenewal" clause in a collective bargaining agreement when the school board did not offer teacher a second contract after rejecting a contract that was signed and returned by the teacher with the title "probationary contract" crossed out. Jefferson Joint School Dist. No. 10 v. Jefferson Education Association 78 Wis. 2d 94
, 253 N.W.2d 536
Under sub. (2), a board has the exclusive right to hire and fire a teacher. Due process does not require that the board be an impartial decisionmaker. Hortonville Education Association v. Hortonville Joint School District No. 1, 87 Wis. 2d 347
, 274 N.W.2d 697
An employment contract that recites that a teacher's employment will not be renewed cannot be construed as a waiver of rights granted by this section. There is a presumption of good faith applicable to a board's decisions. Faust v. Ladysmith-Hawkins School Systems, 88 Wis. 2d 525
, 277 N.W.2d 303
, 281 N.W.2d 611
The layoff of a teacher is not the equivalent of a "refusal to renew" when a collective bargaining agreement under s. 111.70 contains layoff provisions incorporated in the teacher's contract. Mack v. Joint School District No. 3, Hales Corners, 92 Wis. 2d 476
, 285 N.W.2d 604
Arbitrators appointed pursuant to the grievance procedure contained in a collective bargaining agreement properly held a de novo factual hearing to determine whether just cause existed for the school board to terminate a teacher. Fortney v. School District of West Salem, 108 Wis. 2d 167
, 321 N.W.2d 255
A teacher who forgot to accept an employment offer under s. 118.22 (2) and who was consequently terminated did not voluntarily terminate employment under s. 108.04 (7). Nelson v. LIRC, 123 Wis. 2d 221
, 365 N.W.2d 629
(Ct. App. 1985).
Sub. (2) requires written notice of nonrenewal. A district must follow the explicit written notice requirement. Sterlinske v. School District of Bruce, 211 Wis. 2d 608
, 565 N.W.2d 273
(Ct. App. 1997), 96-2624
A "private conference" under sub. (3) on nonrenewal of teacher's contract is a "meeting" within s. 19.82 (2). 66 Atty. Gen. 211.
Civil rights; academic freedom; refusal to hire a nontenure teacher for a constitutionally impermissible reason. 1970 WLR 162.
Fairness of a hearing before a school board on nonrenewal of a teacher's contract. 1971 WLR 354.
Except as provided under subch. IV of ch. 111
, no school board may collectively bargain with its employees.
History: 2011 a. 10
A school board may use value-added analyses of scores on the examinations administered to pupils under s. 118.30
and 20 USC 6311
(b) (3) to evaluate teachers if the school board has developed a teacher evaluation plan that includes all of the following:
A description of the evaluation process.
Multiple criteria in addition to examination results.
The rationale for using examination results to evaluate teachers.
An explanation of how the school board intends to use the evaluations to improve pupil academic achievement.
History: 2009 a. 60
; 2011 a. 105
Populous counties; teacher tenure.