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(INDIANAPOLIS) – House Republicans say they’ll revisit a controversial “externship” requirement for teachers in the upcoming session. Teachers say they need to go further than that.

Legislators added a requirement this year that teachers spend 15 hours over five years learning about job opportunities in their communities for their students. The requirement has sparked fury among teachers, who complain they’re being asked to do extra work that’s not even related to teaching.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says legislators made a mistake in writing the law to apply to all teachers, and says it should be clarified to apply only to teachers in the upper grades. But he maintains the requirement’s still a smart idea for high school teachers. He says they’re better positioned than anyone besides parents to know what skills their students have, and argues putting them in contact with area businesses will help them match students to opportunities. 

And Bosma argues the law has been misunderstood. He notes it already lets teachers meet the requirement through training workshops — externships are just another option.
Carmel Senator J-D Ford (D) says he’ll introduce a bill to repeal the requirement. Senate Republicans added the requirement to a career education bill during this year’s session.

Bosma says legislators will at least begin talking about another sore spot for teachers: the use of test scores to help determine teacher pay. 

Teachers rallied at the statehouse in November to call for measures including repeal of the externship requirement. (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)