INDIANAPOLIS – On Tuesday, Governor Holcomb included a plan in his 2020 agenda to address the new teacher licensing mandates. The governor plans to change this portion of the law from required to optional. State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) gave the following response to the governor’s teacher licensing proposal:

“I am pleased that the governor realized the mistake to mandate that teachers complete 15 hours of an externship to renew their licenses. However, his proposal doesn’t go far enough and doesn’t actually give teachers what they asked for.

“What is the point of keeping the 15 hour requirement in law but only making it optional? Do we want Indiana Code to be filled with language that is optional but suggested? I am surprised that the party of less government wants to take the time to fill up our law books with useless provisions. Keeping this externship as a suggestion still sends a message to our teachers that the state doesn’t think they are doing enough for our kids.

“The bill I just filed, Senate Bill (SB) 45, accomplishes exactly what teachers want, and I hope the governor will support it. SB 45 will completely repeal this unpopular licensing mandate from state law. Teachers don’t want to make this externship requirement optional or suggested. They want it gone completely. This goes back to what I have always said. We need to let teachers do what they do best: teach our students.”