Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced a new effort to eliminate licensing barriers for qualified veterans and military spouses who want to teach in Iowa.
The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has created a new military exchange license for veterans and military spouses who have teaching credentials but face new licensure requirements when they move to Iowa. Military families move every few years for employment, and spouses who are teachers must relicense and meet new requirements with each move to a new state.
The new license ties in with the Branstad-Reynolds administration's Home Base Iowa Initiative to recruit veterans to Iowa. The announcement comes on the same day as the Iowa House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee passed House Study Bill 616, an Act relating to professional and occupational licensure of veterans and the spouses of veterans.
"This was the right thing to do. These are standout citizens who are defending our freedoms or are supporting family members who are defending our freedoms," said Branstad. "I'm pleased the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has removed this barrier that causes military families to seek a new licensure in the state of Iowa."
About 70 percent of out-of-state residents who apply for teaching licenses in Iowa must take additional coursework to meet the state's licensure standards.
"The Home Base Iowa Act that Governor Branstad and I have proposed would direct all licensing boards to take action similar to what the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners has done," said Reynolds. "We know members of the military and their spouses will bring a wide array of skills and knowledge to Iowa. Continued action like this will ensure our service members and their spouses are able to land the career that meets their qualifications."
The new military exchange license enables veterans and military spouses to teach up to three years without taking any additional college courses. The license also is offered at a reduced cost of $85 instead of $210.
The military exchange license is a three-year license. After three years, the license can be converted to a one-year license, giving license-holders full authority to teach while they take the required classes. Once the requirements are met, the license can be converted to a regular Iowa teaching license.
Eligible applicants must have completed a teacher preparation program through a college or university and must have been a licensed teacher in another state. Teachers who completed an alternative teacher preparation program outside of a college or university and are not eligible for full licensure will be granted substitute licenses.