Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Rule No.: PI 34  
Relating to: Revisions to licensure for library media specialists  
Rule Type: Permanent and Emergency
Pursuant to Coyne v. Walker, the Department of Public Instruction is not required to obtain the Governor’s approval for the statement of scope for this rule. Coyne v. Walker, 2016 WI 38.
1.   Finding/nature of the emergency (Emergency Rule only).
School districts around the state have begun another round of hiring for the second semester of the 2016-17 school year and are indicating shortages of professionally licensed library media specialists. An emergency rule is needed to create staffing flexibility for school districts and licensure applicants to ensure that student needs can be adequately met in the area of library media services for the 2016-17 school year. A permanent rule alone would not be able to provide these flexibilities in time for the second semester of the 2016-17 school year.
2.   A description of the objective of the proposed rule.
The proposed rule seeks to revise licensing requirements for library media specialists. The proposed change will also repeal the library media supervisors and instructional technology coordinators licenses from the current rule.
3.   A description of the existing policies and new policies included in the proposed rule and an analysis of policy alternatives.
Chapter PI 34 contains the current rules governing the licensure of library media specialists. According to the American Association of School Librarians, a library media specialist is a certified librarian who also has training in teaching. Further, the Department believes that, as a result of their responsibilities which include educating and collaborating on all aspects of learning management and information literacy, library media specialists are defined as teachers for licensing purposes under PI 34.
In order for a library media specialist to receive an educator license under current rule, the applicant shall have a master’s degree or the equivalent in an approved library media services program. This is one of the few licenses in PI 34 that requires a master’s degree for licensure and is believed to be a barrier for licensing applicants in the area of library media services. In order to provide flexibility in the licensure of library media specialists, the proposed rule seeks to amend the current requirements for licensure.
Finally, the Department believes that the lack of an approved preparation program for library media supervisors and instructional technology coordinators and the changed staffing needs of school districts renders those provisions of the rule obsolete and therefore proposes to repeal those licenses from PI 34. Without a rule, the Department will continue to administer the licensure of library media specialists as it currently exists in PI 34.
4.   The statutory authority for the proposed rule.
Under s. 115.28 (7) (a), Stats., the State Superintendent has the authority to establish standards of attainment for the examination and licensing of teachers for the public schools in the state. Additionally, the State Superintendent is given rulemaking authority under s. 227.11 (2) (a) (intro.), Stats., which provides that “each agency may promulgate rules interpreting the provisions of any statute enforced or administered by the agency, if the agency considers it necessary to effectuate the purpose of the statute, but a rule is not valid if the rule exceeds the bounds of correct interpretation.” As such, a rule is required to implement rules prescribing the criteria for the licensure of teachers, including instructional library media specialists, as defined under s. 40.02 (55), Stats.
5.   An estimate of the amount of time agency employees will spend developing the proposed rule and of other resources needed to develop the rule.
The amount of time needed for rule development by Department staff and the amount of other resources necessary are indeterminate.
6.   A description of all of the entities that will be affected by the proposed rule.
This rule change could impact local education agencies and individuals seeking licensure for instructional library media services.
7.   A summary and preliminary comparison of any existing or proposed federal regulation that addresses or is intended to address the activities to be regulated by the proposed rule.
8.   Anticipated economic impact of implementing the rule (note if the rule is likely to have a significant economic impact on small businesses).
The proposed rules will have no significant economic impact on small businesses, as defined in s. 227.114 (1), Stats.
Contact Information
Policy and Budget Team
Carl Bryan
Links to Admin. Code and Statutes in this Register are to current versions, which may not be the version that was referred to in the original published document.