Priority Notice: Public Comment Period for Rulemaking on State Board of Education Rule Chapter 115 Now Open, Public Hearing Scheduled

After a May 2020 convening of a consensus-based rulemaking committee which met for seven months, and additionally, the comprehensive review of the committee’s proposals by the State Board of Education’s Certification and Higher Education Committee, a revised version of Rule Chapter 115 is being proposed by the State Board.  This rule has substantial changes, which, in conjunction with new components in law as a result of successful passage of LD 1189, will positively benefit the educator workforce in Maine.

As required by law, a period of public comment opens today, July 28, 2021 through September 15, 2021.  Written comments may be submitted to DOE Legislative Affairs Team member Jaci Holmes, State House Station #23, Augusta, Maine 04333; 207-831-3168 or jaci.holmes@maine.gov until 5:00 pm September 15, 2021

In addition, a public hearing for the proposed rule will be held in person and virtually on August 16, 2021, 2:00-3:00PM at Cross Office Building, 111 Sewall St, Augusta, ME 04333, Room 500. As space will be limited, participants are encouraged to attend virtually through Zoom, using this link.

Proposed rule changes in their entirety can be reviewed, here.

Part I selection of changes:

  • Revised the reciprocity and other emergency certification provisions, which extend opportunities provided in a COVID related Executive Order
  • Add applicability to Charter Schools
  • Add “at least” a Bachelor’s degree, equivalent academic experience
  • Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards to be replaced with Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL)
  • Added Department-approved programs for Ed Tech as alternative to credit requirements
  • Other Teaching Assignments added: Add language immersion teacher as an example of international teacher, and added alternative education teacher

Part II selection of changes:

  • Administrators
  • The Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLCC) standards no longer exist and were replaced with the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL), which were developed with guidance from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA).
  • Requirements for advancing a certificate by the second renewal were eliminated.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • Provisions provided to enable a certified teacher to more easily become a CTE instructor
  • Removal of language regarding pedagogical assessment as all CTE certifications would require completion of 4 pedagogical courses, or their equivalent
  • Special Education
  • Grade levels changed to Pre-K to grade 12 in alignment of Part B IDEA
  • More specific course requirements in accordance with skills of special education identified in IDEA, High Leverage Practices from the Council for Exceptional Children and the CEEDAR Center, and trends in education
  • For conditional certificates, add language for a “mentor teaching program endorsed by the Maine Department of Education.”
  • Added an additional pathway to certification for a current Ed Tech III who (a) has a BA/BS, (b) experience as ET III for three years, (c) positive evaluations
  • Removal of:
    • – 515 Adapted PE Teacher
    • – 079 Special Ed Consultant
    • – 293 Speech and Language Consultant
  • Teachers
  • Replacing the requirement to pass a qualifying examination with options:
    • Pass basic skills test; or
    • 3.0 cumulative gpa in the courses required for the certificate/endorsement
    • Portfolio demonstrating competency in the Maine’s Initial Teaching Standards
  • Grade span recommendations, adding Pre-K to any spans starting with K: Pre-K – 3, Pre-K-8, 6-12, PK-12
  • Any “Social Studies” course requirements will be expanded to include “or Social Sciences” –would expand the eligible courses to include Psychology and Sociology
  • Addition of 6 credit hours for required coursework:
    • 3 hours of coursework in the area of diversity
    • 3 hours of course in one of the following areas: Human development, educational psychology, developmental psychology, adolescent psychology or child development.
  • 020 Elementary Teacher – Add 9 credits of literacy methods
  • World Language group: Extend down to Pre-K and Add: American Sign Language, Hebrew, Arabic
  • 660 English as a Second Language
    • “English for Speakers of Other Languages”
    • Specific course requirements
  • Ed Specialists
  • 071 – Library Media Specialist
    • Course specificity
    • Pathway for currently-certified teachers
  • 075 – School Counselor
    • Standards review by the Department
  • 093 – School Psychologist
    • Letters of reference
    • Flexible coursework requirements
    • Recognition of MDOE approved programs