South Dakota’s certification process is being overhauled, and proposed rules are now available for public comment. Find more information on the state Board of Education’s webpage. The board will hold the first of two public hearings on the proposed changes Jan. 19.
For more than two years, the Department of Education has been leading stakeholders through a review of the current certification system and has identified areas in which conflicting rules and outdated requirements have created inefficiencies and unnecessary barriers, both for candidates seeking to teach in the state and for schools wanting to hire educators.
“These proposed rules represent a huge change for teacher certification in the state,” said South Dakota Education Secretary Dr. Melody Schopp. “It’s tempting to just make tweaks to the rules, but the K-12 educators, administrators and postsecondary representatives who developed these proposals, did the hard work of diving deep and really starting over with the whole system. Now we need to gather feedback from the field on this important work, so that everyone affected understands the reasoning behind it.”
The proposed rules seek to ensure that applicants meet state requirements for the courses they teach or the leadership positions they hold, but eliminate any of the inefficiencies and barriers identified by the work groups.