The state of Montana has two primary licenses that an educator can have, Class 1 and Class 2. The renewal requirements are the same for both licenses, even though the attainment requirements are different.
Montana Educator Renewal Requirements
|Average Salary for Education Professionals in Montana||$50,040 (Kindergarten), $52,610 (Elementary), $53,910 (Middle School), $51,290 (High School)|
|Testing Requirements||Not required for renewal|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Requirements for Montana Teaching License Renewal
In order for a Montana educator to renew their license they must obtain sixty Office of Public Instruction (OPI) credits. These can be through credits offered by the Office of Public Instruction or college credits. Semester credits are worth fifteen OPI credits and quarter credits are worth ten OPI credits. The Montana Office of Public Instruction offers educators the option of earning the OPI credit through their online Teaching Learning Hub, while other opportunities can be found on the OPI Learning Opportunities Portal. All credits must have been earned within the last five years of renewing the license.
There are often educators who wish to participate in activities that are not provided by an OPI approved renewal provider. These educators can apply for the Office of Public Instruction to evaluate and pre-approve activities they wish to use as renewal credits. If the OPI approves, the educator would need to provide proof of completion to receive OPI renewal credits.
Educators who no longer live in Montana, but wish to renew their Montana teaching license may use professional development activities approved by the state that they live in, as long as these activities meet or exceed the Montana renewal requirements. These out-of-state educators also have the option of applying for pre-approval for unapproved professional development credits, as stated above.
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How to Renew Your Montana Certification
After the needed OPI credits have been completed, the educator must apply for renewal on the Montana State Educator Information System (MSEIS)/Terms of Employment, Accreditation, and Master Schedule (TEAMS) online portal.
From here, the educator must update their personal information within the MSEIS/TEAM system. After saving this information, the educator must be sure to enter any OPI related information into the system as requested. The deadline to complete the renewal is August 31st, but the Office of Public Instruction suggests applying for renewal as soon as possible because processing the applications can take up to eight weeks.
Missing Renewal Deadline
Sometimes an educator may not be able to meet the August 31st deadline, which would cause a lapse in the educator's teaching license. The educator can get around this in two ways. The first option is to apply for the Montana Class 5 license. The Class 5 license will require the Class 5 reinstatement application with a fingerprint background check. This license gives educators an extra three years to complete the reinstatement requirements. Something an educator should keep in mind, however, is that a Class 5 license can only be used once in an educator's career.
The second option is for educators that have sixty OPI renewal units, but not the required college credits. If this is the case, the educator would have to apply for reinstatement after June 30th. In order to do this, the educator would need to submit the application, a new fingerprint background check, and proof of OPI renewal units.
Renewal Resources for Montana Educators
Below are resources that can be used by Montana educators interested in pursuing professional development and continuing education credits. The links below lead to courses that can provide more information.