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Professional Development as Instructional Time

November 18th, 2019

Effective October 1, 2019, a school may count up to 38 hours of qualifying professional development (QPD) for teachers as hours of student instruction for state school aid.

Pursuant to State School Aid Act Section 101(10), “qualifying” professional development must:

  1. align with the school or district’s improvement plan in which the professional development is provided;
  2. link to one or more criteria of the district’s teacher evaluation tool;
  3. be approved by MDE as counting for state continuing education clock hours (SCECHs);
  4. not be more than ten combined hours that occur before the first scheduled day of school and after the last scheduled day of school;
  5. not be more than ten hours in a single month; and
  6. include in attendance at least 75% of the teachers in attendance that were scheduled to participate.

If at least five hours of QPD occurs in a single day, that day may be counted as one day of student instruc­tion. Online QPD is permitted if it has been approved by the district. MDE must issue a list of approved QPD pro­viders, one of which must be the Michigan Virtual School. QPD only may be counted as hours of instruc­tion for students whose teachers are scheduled to participate in the QPD.

At least eight hours of QPD must be recommended by a district wide professional development advisory committee, which is Board-appointed. The committee must consist of teachers from a variety of grades and subject matter specializations, non-teaching staff mem­bers, parents, and administrators. The majority of the advisory committee members must be teaching staff.

In the event your school would like to count professional development as instructional time, district officials should be aware that this new law may have bargaining implications. Please contact your Thrun labor attorney if you have any questions.