WAIVING TEACHING CERTIFICATION FEES
FOR VETERANS AND MILITARY SPOUSES
House Bill 5236 as introduced
Sponsor: Rep. Sarah Anthony
Complete to 1-28-20
House Bill 5236 would amend the Revised School Code to waive application, renewal, and reinstatement fees for teachers and other school employees requiring certification if those applicants are veterans or military spouses. The fees range from $25 for a duplicate certificate to $160 for in-state applicants and $210 for out-of-state applicants for most certificates, including provisional teaching, professional teaching, school administrator, and school counselor certificates.
If the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) received a request for a waiver from such an applicant, it would grant the request for a waiver and waive 100% of the attendant fee.
Military spouse would mean the spouse of an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the reserve components.
The fees were last increased in 2007, after not being changed since they were established in 1988. As of the 2018/2019 Educator Workforce Annual Report produced by MDE, there were 193,299 individuals with a current, valid teaching certificate in Michigan. The statewide teacher count reported in the same publication was 102,055.
The bill may create an indeterminate cost increase for the state and would have no fiscal impact on local units of government.
The bill may result in an indeterminate cost for MDE to contract with the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget (DTMB) to update the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). While MDE currently voluntarily reimburses veterans and military spouses for application fees, the bill would require verification of eligibility before payment. It is not yet known if MOECS would need to be updated to accommodate the transition from reimbursement to a waiver.
Because MDE already reimburses fees for veterans and military spouses, the bill would have no impact on application fee revenue. Application fees support MOECS staff and maintenance costs, technical assistance, IT changes, and professional development related to legal changes and certification requirements.
Fiscal Analysts: Samuel Christensen
■ This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan House Fiscal Agency staff for use by House members in their deliberations, and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.
 House Fiscal Agency analysis of 2007 PA 144 (HB 4591): http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2007-2008/billanalysis/House/pdf/2007-HLA-4591-6.pdf