A longstanding debate between teachers and their regulators appears to be nearing resolution.

The Standards Board for Professional Educators has agreed to change its licensing requirements for practicing teachers. The deal still needs months of fine-tuning and legislative approval.

The Vermont chapter of the National Education Association has fought for years to separate teachers' licensing and evaluation processes. Their central complaint about relicensing every seven years has been the evaluative portion - the portfolio, professional reflection and learning plan they must submit each time.

The Vermont-NEA and the Standards Board for Professional Educators (VSBPE) agreed March 19 to do away with the portfolio and Individual Professional Learning Plan, or IPLP.

Practicing teachers will face relicensure every five years, down from seven. They'll have to provide proof of ongoing professional development, although specific requirements have not been set.

Vermont-NEA attorney Jeff Fannon said the organization's hope is to spend more time on collaborative professional development.

The groups hope their plan can be implemented by June 2015. For now, teachers need to follow existing protocols, they said.