Public comment on the proposed amendments to the regulations guiding educator licensure and licensure renewal closed on Monday, May 1, 2017.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association submitted public comments on the proposed amendments and developed additional comments to improve the educator licensure system for all educators in Massachusetts.

The MTA submitted three documents as public comment:

MTA Comments Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval

MTA Comments on Educator License Renewal

MTA Legal Comments on Revocation of Teacher Licenses on the revocation of teacher licenses.

How did we develop the comments?

The MTA has extensive historical documents related to the development of the current licensure laws and regulations, many previous sets of public comments on previous iterations of these regulations, thousands of individual licensure assistance requests from MTA members and hundreds of legal filings on behalf of members related to licensure issues. Here is a timeline of events related to the proposed amendments:

February 28, 2017– BESE voted to send proposed amendments to 603 CMR 7.00, 603 CMR 7.13 and 603 CMR 44.00 for a period of public comment

March 10, 2017 – DESE published websites for each of the sets of proposed amendments to the regulations and information related to public comment. A deadline of May 1, 2017 was established.

Between the BESE meeting and May 1, 2017, the MTA drafted public comments based upon:

  1. Informational meetings with staff from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
  2. Participation in DESE advisory counsel meetings including the Education Personnel Advisory Council meeting on   MONTH DAY YEAR. Other educational organizations participated in this meeting.
  3. Feedback received through MTA presentations  to the MTA Board of Directors, MTA Education Policy Committee, MTA New Member Committee, MTA Large Locals meetings,
  4. Results of a public survey developed in conjunction with representatives from the Massachusetts Education Technology Administrators and MassCUE with responses from over 600 educators.
  5. Results of a public survey with responses from nearly 200 educators and numerous one-on-one conversations with individual educators with expertise on specific subject matter areas.
  6. Numerous MTA division and leadership meetings among the Center for Education Policy & Practice, Legal Services, Communication, and governance.

What happens now?

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education staff will be reviewing all of the public comments submitted. To day, the MTA is aware of public comments submitted by the American Federation of Teachers- Massachusetts, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and comments submitted by individuals.  A full set of public comments will be made public by the DESE in before the expected vote on final recommendations at the June 27, 2017 BESE meeting.

What can I do?

Educators can continue to speak publicly about support or opposition for the proposed amendments.

  1. Join fellow educators at the Rally for Public Education on May 20th to speak out against the proposed amendments that will violate your free-speech rights.
  2. Can’t get to Boston? Check with your local president or the Facebook Rally for Public Education event page to find out about a free bus to Boston.
  3. Print out copies of the petition and ask fellow educators, friends and family to sign to opposed the proposals that will limit free-speech rights of educators. Bring your signatures to the rally!
  4. Save the Date for the next BESE meeting. BESE is scheduled to vote on the final amendments on June 27, 2017. The final proposals and meeting agenda will be posted here.
  5. Fill out this quick survey if you want to be notified of the final proposed regulations and any updated actions we may need to take!

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