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Professional Learning Legal Requirements

Michigan law requires school districts to provide professional development to teachers each year. The requirement varies based on the amount of experience each teacher has.

District “provided” means professional development offered in compliance with state law and/or that the district has supported the teacher either by providing a substitute teacher, paying conference or workshop expenses or registration fees, or providing released time for attendance at professional development activities. This includes time provided for teachers to work in professional learning communities, examining actual student data in their own school.

Professional Development Requirements

  • Section 380.1526 of Michigan’s Revised School Code requires school districts to provide fifteen days of professional development to teachers across the first three years of their employment, (aligned with the individual development plan and mentor’s advice). This includes providing training in a MDE approved First Aid/CPR program for all first-year teachers who do not already hold a valid First Aid/CPR card. A “day” is defined as at least six hours. The “year” is considered to begin on July 1 and end on June 30, coinciding with the school year. These days are in addition to the five days the district is required to provide to all teachers and should be documented separately from the regular, annual, five-day offering of professional development under MCL 380.1527.

  • Section 380.1527 of Michigan’s Revised School Code requires school districts to provide five days of professional development to all teachers each year. A “day” is defined as at least six hours, for a total of 30 hours to be provided in a year. The “year” is considered to begin on July 1 and end on June 30, coinciding with the school year. These five days are in addition to the professional development provided to new teachers in their first three years of employment under MCL 380.1526 and should be documented separately. DPPD must be recorded in the Days and Clock Hours Report.

District Record-Keeping

Some form of record-keeping should be completed each year to assist districts in documenting professional development, as necessary. In the event of a records audit, the district would need to provide:

  1. Dates on which these professional development days occurred;
  2. Times that the professional development activities began and ended on those days; and
  3. Topic(s) that were presented to participating teachers on those dates. 

In addition, for each date, the district should have at least one of the following forms of acceptable documentation:

  • Sign-in/out sheet
  • Attendance log
  • Flyer/Notices announcing event
  • Agenda/Meeting minutes
  • Travel voucher(s)
  • Food receipt(s)
  • District calendar (dates indicated)

A record-keeping document is for the district’s use only and should be kept at the district. The form should not be sent to the Michigan Department of Education. Here is a sample of such a tracking form. Districts are encouraged to modify the form to meet their needs or create their own. 

Image of sample record

Quality of District Provided Professional Development (DPPD)

The quality of DPPD has become even more critical now that it can be used by educators to renew certificates. Districts should refer to the guidance entitled, Guidelines for Professional Development that Qualifies for Michigan Legislative Requirements before offering DPPD to fulfill this purpose. DPPD should be:

  1. Relevant, on-going and job-embedded;
  2. Specific to the teacher's needs;
  3. Aligned to the School Improvement Plan and individual professional development plans (as appropriate); and
  4. Focused on increasing student learning.

Certificate Renewal and Progression

Some professional development provided by districts can be used for teachers to meet the education-related professional learning options to renew or progress their teaching certificate. This professional development must meet certain requirements. Hours earned through District Provided Professional Development (DPPD) must be appropriate to the grade level and endorsement areas for while the educator is certified.  

For DPPD to be used for recertification, it must be entered as a State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECH) program if occurring after July 1, 2020. DPPD occurring prior to July 1, 2020 must be entered into MOECS and a District Provided Professional Development Form must be completed and submitted to MDE, upon request for application verification.