Elsie’s OPI to shut down Educator Licensing system for 6 months

Hadley Stack2021, Arntzen, News, Republicans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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Elsie’s OPI to shut down Educator Licensing system for 6 months

Teachers looking to renew licenses must mail in paper application

Helena, MT – Elsie Arntzen’s OPI has announced that they are shutting down their educator licensing system between December 31, 2021 and June 1, 2022. They will be implementing a new system for this summer– but in the intervening months, Montana’s educators will have few and potentially insecure options to renew their licenses.The already understaffed agency has struggled to keep up with demand for licensure, as Elsie’s leadership has led to a nearly 90% turnover rate at the OPI. The change to the Montana State Educator Information System (MSEIS) will make it much more difficult for teachers trying to renew, reinstate or upgrade their licenses. The change is also happening during the busiest season for licensing.  The only option for teachers trying to get licensed before June 1st is to submit a paper application and pay the fee via check or cash– a system that has some teachers worried about the security of their payment. Another  major concern is that applications will not be processed in time. If a teacher’s license is lapsed for more than 60 days, schools can’t pay them. “Superintendent Arntzen continues to fail Montana’s teachers and educators,” says MDP Executive Director Sheila Hogan. “If teachers can’t get licensed, schools can’t pay their teachers, and districts are at risk of not meeting accreditation standards. This is not an issue of politics. This is an issue of incompetence.” 

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