In the News: Bill Aims to Ease Teacher Mobility Across States

Newly introduced federal legislation would make it easier for teachers to move to other states for teaching jobs without having to deal with licensure hassles.

As Stephen Sawchuk explains on Teacher Beat

The proposal, introduced May 26 by Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., would set up an application process for teachers in participating states to move to another without having to meet additional coursework or other requirements. Participating states would have to administer at least one content test before a teacher could begin in the classroom, plus one general pedagogy and one performance-based test within a year after the teacher begins to teach.

The proposal would allow the U.S. Secretary of Education to award grants to “an eligible entity” to set up this process, but that’s the extent of the feds’ involvement.

ednext-june2016-blog-teachermobilityIn addition to licensing difficulty, one other issue for teachers who move across state lines is that they can lose up to half of the pension benefits they would have received if they remained in one teaching location, according to research by Bob Costrell and Mike Podgursky. Their study, “Golden Handcuffs: Teachers who change jobs or move pay a high price,” analyzes the many ways that a teacher’s ultimate pension wealth is affected by changing jobs.

Costrell and Podgursky note

Current pension systems, by concentrating benefits on teachers who spend their entire careers in a single state and penalizing mobile teachers, may exacerbate the challenge of attracting to teaching young workers, who change jobs and move more often than did previous generations.

– Education Next



Last Updated


Notify Me When Education Next

Posts a Big Story

Business + Editorial Office

Program on Education Policy and Governance
Harvard Kennedy School
79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone (617) 496-5488
Fax (617) 496-4428

For subscription service to the printed journal
Phone (617) 496-5488

Copyright © 2024 President & Fellows of Harvard College