House approves easing educational requirements for substitute teachers in Kentucky

Kentucky Lantern

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FRANKFORT — A proposal to lower the educational requirements to be a substitute teacher in Kentucky easily cleared the House Wednesday.

Before voting in favor of House Bill 387, Democratic Rep. Sarah Stalker of Louisville warned that the need for the bill is a symptom of a larger problem: the state’s shortage of teachers and other school employees. Stalker described the measure as a Band-Aid “on a situation that requires surgery.”

Education measures aim to protect students, certify more substitute teachers, examine funding

Substitute teachers now are required to have at least 64 hours of college credit. If HB 387 becomes law, a high school diploma or equivalent would suffice to qualify for a one-year emergency certification from the Education Professional Standards Board. The board could give applicants with a bachelor’s degree a five-year emergency certificate and a ten-year certificate to anyone eligible for a Kentucky teaching certificate or who previously had a Kentucky teaching certificate.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Timmy Truett, R-McKee, an elementary school principal, says the bill will help ease a shortage of substitute teachers.

Rep. Daniel Grossberg, D-Lousiville, said he was voting against the bill because nothing in it would prevent a teenager from being certified as a substitute teachers and because it has no sunset date.

The measure, which passed 88-4, now goes to the Senate.

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