Maryland Passes Legislation for State Teacher License
After 4 years of hard work and persistence on the part of Montessori Schools of Maryland (MSM), the Maryland legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law a bill that allows an individual who holds a bachelor’s degree and a credential from the AMS, AMI or a program accredited by the MACTE to be eligible for a Maryland State Teaching Certificate to teach in a Montessori school. This bill also stipulates that this teacher would have to pass any required state teaching exams. Maryland becomes the 10th state to have a pathway for Montessori teachers to obtain a state teaching license.
MSM assembled a broad group of Maryland Montessorians, including representatives from district, private, and charter schools along with teacher education programs and national organizations, who provided written and oral testimonies in support of the bill. MPPI and MSM worked with the bill sponsor to draft the legislative language, met with stakeholders outside the Montessori community to educate them on the positive impact this bill would have on education in the state of Maryland, and closely followed the bill through the legislative process, attending various committee meetings and floor session along the way.
We celebrate this legislation which will greatly help Maryland public Montessori schools recruit and retain Montessori credentialed teachers and, in turn, support them in providing students and families with high-quality Montessori education.
Michigan Advocates Make Big Strides
Th e state of Michigan is currently updating their quality rating and improvement systems. The Michigan Montessori Education Advocacy Network (MMEAN) also has a strong history of cultivating positive relationships with their QRIS policymakers and are currently leveraging those relationships to improve QRIS for Montessori schools. MMEAN had previously done considerable work with Michigan’s Great Start to Quality program regarding the use of environmental assessment tools. As Michigan is revamping the program, MMEAN has reached out to discuss Montessori teacher credential recognition within the QRIS rubric. In particular, the Michigan Registry Career Pathway has a credential level that allows an early childhood teacher to teach in a universal preschool program. They have requested that Montessori credentials be re-assessed and credited at that level.
As a result, a new version of the registry has already been written that allows Montessori teachers who have a bachelor’s degree in any field and a credential issued by a MACTE accredited institution or by AMS or AMI to reach the level needed to teach in Michigan’s UPK programs. In addition, those Montessori credentialed teachers with associate degrees in any field will be able to be assigned to the registry with credit for that degree. Simultaneously, work is occurring in state legislation to recognize the Montessori credential, with a bachelor’s degree in any field, as a pathway to state teacher licensure. (A bill to this effect was recently proposed in the Michigan Senate!) MMEAN representatives presented various documents, including teacher licensure bill language, MACTE credit hour estimations, content of Montessori teacher preparation, and an overview of what other states have adopted to support their request, as well as meetings with policymakers and the support of MPPI.
Save the Date! This year we will be hosting our pre-conference Advocacy 101 workshop virtually on Tuesday, September 20th. Our annual Advocacy conference will be held in Washington, DC, on Oct 1st & 2nd at the beautiful Yours Truly hotel. Conference registration will soon be available.