In an effort to continue growing the state’s economy and address the teacher shortage, the Senate approved two reciprocal licensing reforms Wednesday. Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, is the author of the measures to recognize the out-of-state occupational licenses and teaching certificates of qualified individuals moving to Oklahoma.
“We cannot grow our economy without getting rid of the barriers that are deterring professionals from moving to the state. Qualified professionals who are licensed, accredited or certified in other states shouldn’t have to prove their competency by taking repetitive exams that are both expensive and a waste of their time,” Pugh said. “As long as they are law-abiding citizens who hold an out-of-state license or certificate that is in good standing in their profession, we want them to know that we look forward to welcoming them and their expertise to Oklahoma.”
SB 1891 creates the “Universal Occupational License Recognition Act”. It directs occupational boards and commissions to issue an occupational license in the relevant profession to anyone who takes up residency in Oklahoma and holds an occupational license or certificate that has been in good standing in another state for at least one year. Rep. Kevin Wallace, R-Wellston, is the principal House author.
SB 1125 will allow the State Board of Education to issue a teaching certificate to anyone who holds a valid out-of-state teaching certificate, with no other requirements except a criminal history record check. The teaching certificate will only be for those subject areas and grade levels most closely aligned to the subject areas and grade levels recognized on the out-of-state certificate. The bill will go into effect with the governor’s signature allowing districts to begin accepting teacher applications for the upcoming school year. House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, is the principal House author.
The bills will next be considered in the House.
For more information, contact: Sen. Pugh: (405) 521-5622 or Adam.Pugh@oksenate.gov
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