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Ahead Of New Requirements, 1,000 Percent Increase In Teachers Renewing Their Licenses

A Red for Ed rally at the Statehouse in 2019.

Teachers have rallied at the statehouse this year to press for better pay and more respect for their profession. (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

Most of Indiana’s teachers started or completed the process to renew their licenses this summer, ahead of a new license renewal requirement that went into effect Monday.

As of July 1 teachers renewing a license through “professional growth plans” need some kind of career awareness training, through something like an externship or some other experience focused on local career needs. 

Department of Education Spokesperson Adam Baker says districts can – for the most part – decide what that means for their teachers.

“Because there’s no formal definition of externship and no formal definition of career navigation, those two can absolutely be locally defined,” he says. 

But confusion and frustration about the change caused most of Indiana’s teachers to start the renewal process ahead of July 1 – largely to avoid the new rule – and to call on lawmakers to address it during the next legislative session. 

Baker says more than 50,000 of Indiana’s roughly 72,000 certified teachers started or finished the process between May and July 1 this year. That’s nearly 10 times the renewals this time last year, when just 4,990 had started or completed the process.

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