Bill would facilitate tribal language courses

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate agreed unanimously that an individual who has mastered a Native American tribal language does not have to be certified by the state before teaching that language in a public school classroom, according to Michigan Votes.

Senate Bill 1014, introduced by Sen. Michael Prusi, D-Ishpeming Township, would create an exception to the rule that Michigan public school districts must hire only certified teachers if a federally recognized tribe indicates that the person has demonstrated mastery of the tribal language, or if the person demonstrates it in some other way, Michigan Votes reported

Michigan Votes is an online legislative tracking service produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which also publishes Michigan Education Digest.

This is the second exception to teacher certification rules that the Senate has adopted recently. The first, passed in July, would allow fire department staff to teach high school courses that qualify students as volunteer firefighters.

Michigan Votes, "Create Native American language teacher certification exception," Aug. 11, 2010

Michigan Votes, "Facilitate for-credit fire-fighting high school courses," July 21, 2010

Michigan Education Report, "Teacher certification tests don't tell us enough about quality," March 2, 2010