Since 1976, the Board of Teaching had been responsible for establishing and maintaining licensure standards and requirements for teachers in the state, and working with the licensing division at the Minnesota Department of Education to issue licenses to Minnesota teachers.
In 2017, the legislature created the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB), which will replace the Board of Teaching on January 1, 2018 (see Laws of Minnesota 2017, 1st Spec. Sess., Chap. 5). This new board will assume responsibility for licensing teachers in the state. In addition to these 2017 changes to the board overseeing teacher licensure, the legislature established a new four-tiered licensing system, which the PELSB will oversee. After July 1, 2018, all new applicants who meet eligibility requirements for teaching licenses will be placed into the new tiered system.
In September 2017, PELSB outlined the following timeline for the transition from the Board of Teaching to the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board:
- September 2017: Board members were appointed [to PELSB] by the Governor on September 12.
- October 2017: New board appointees must begin informal discussions on hiring an executive director for the new board. These transition meetings may occur between October and December of 2017. All these meetings are subject to Open Meeting Law and will be posted on the Board of Teaching website.
- November 2017: Potentially, the position of executive director could be posted. Those decisions will be discussed at the first transition meeting in October.
- December 2017: Board appointees will continue with trainings to prepare for their term.
- January 2018: PELSB must meet prior to February 1, 2018. Appointee Hewitt-Olatunde will act as interim chair for this first meeting. A tentative date was established by current board staff as January 12, 2018. Board appointees may choose a different date in January. All staff currently employed by the Department of Education in the Educator Licensing Division and all staff currently employed by the Board of Teaching will transition to employees of PESLB on January 1, 2018. Websites for Board of Teaching and Educator Licensing will combine to a single website with all necessary information related to teacher licensing, teacher preparation, and teacher ethics. No immediate changes will be made to contacts and processes for teacher licensure, teacher renewal, program approval, and teacher ethics.
The executive director of PELSB shall be the chief administrative officer for the board but shall not be a member of the board. The executive director shall maintain the records of the board, account for all fees received by the board, supervise and direct employees servicing the board, and perform other services as directed by the board.
The Legislature made some changes to PELSB membership in 2023 (see Laws of Minnesota 2023, chap. 55, art. 12, sec. 5-10).