The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) met on Feb. 13 and discussed an interstate compact to facilitate mobility of teachers across member states.
Jimmy Adams, the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) executive director, joined the meeting to discuss the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact. The compact addresses district-and-school-level hiring barriers associated with out-of-state applicants in its current draft form by establishing an adaptive, responsive licensing structure for educators who might move across state lines. It is designed to expedite the teacher certification process for experienced, quality educators.
Many organizations have contributed to the compact’s development, including NASDTEC, which provides support to agencies responsible for teacher preparation and certification/licensure, along with the Council of State Governments and the National Education Association (NEA).
“Interstate compacts are really designed to create reciprocal professional licensing practices among states while ensuring the quality and safety of services and also safeguarding state sovereignty,” Adams said. “When teachers move, professionals who have been working for years, they find it difficult to get licensed because of what are known as jurisdiction requirements.”
The compact would not supersede existing state law, including statutes related to certification renewal for teachers. Any applicant hired under the compact must adhere to Kentucky’s requirements.
Additionally, Kentucky would determine which licenses a teacher is qualified to hold based on teacher experience and qualifications. The EPSB would facilitate this process and could determine that an applicant is unqualified for licensure.
Member states would be considered in decisions made regarding the compact.
“The compact will actually be run by a commission and each member state will have one person on that commission,” Adams said.
Byron Darnall, associate commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)’s Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness, said the compact would require legislative action within the general assembly. While no legislation is currently in process, Darnall suggested that such action could occur in the future.