Last year, it came to the attention of the State Board of Education (SBE) legal counsel that the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) had been issuing school administrator licenses for several years that were not technically in compliance with the statutory requirements for licensing principals in North Carolina. Due to advocacy efforts from groups such as the SBE and NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA), the NC General Assembly provided a waiver from these requirements for individuals licensed as school administrators for any school year from 2010 to 2021, although this waiver is currently set to expire on August 21, 2022.
As a result, the Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Committee (PEPSC) has sought feedback from various education stakeholders, including the Teacher Recruitment & Retention Task Force, the Principal Advisory Group, and the NC Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NCACTE), on recommendations for legislative changes to the principal licensure process. PEPSC also created a temporary Principal Licensure Subcommittee, which met earlier this week, to synthesize these recommendations.
While all groups recommended against requiring a principal licensure exam, stakeholder recommendations varied in regard to the requirements for participation in a yearlong internship and minimum number of years of teaching experience, as well as for the requirement for applicants to hold a Masters of School Administration degree. Specific recommendations from each stakeholder group can be found here. The Principal Licensure Subcommittee is expected to reconvene to develop a formal recommendation, to be presented to the full PEPSC membership on February 10 for additional discussion and action. After receiving action from PEPSC, the recommendation will then be presented to the SBE in March for final discussion and approval before sharing with lawmakers.