Indiana bill would allow unlicensed educators to teach your kids
Districts across the country are facing a teacher shortage. Indiana is trying to find their own fix through legislation.
A bill would allow some teachers to be unlicensed. Senate Bill 387 -- would give Indiana school districts the option to hire up to 10 percent of their teachers without requiring a license.
WSBT 22 spoke to local educators about how this bill would impact the teaching profession.
Educators in Indiana must meet certain requirements to teach students.
But lawmakers may soon be giving districts the option to hire unlicensed teachers.
Such as educators who struggle to pass their exam but graduated with a high honors.
Mishawaka's assistant superintendent believes this bill is leveling the playing field for public, private and charter schools.
“Give those teachers – just like we have students who may not be good test takers – an opportunity and a pathway to fulfill their dream of becoming a classroom teacher.”
But Stevens believes this bill may not fix the overall issue of teacher shortages.
"There are a number of factors that go into that,” Stevens said. “Years of college, the wage, the stress, the accountability that teachers are under now. Those are a lot of factors that kind of go into the profession that I think have driven folks away."
Jason Zook, president of the teacher union in South Bend, agrees.
"It's the watering down of the teaching profession. I feel that if we really want to address the real issue of the teacher shortage…it comes down to benefits, the pay, the working conditions that teachers are faced with."
The South Bend Community School Corporation currently allows 10 percent of their teachers to use an emergency permit.
Those teachers have college degrees but haven't taken the exam.
The district says licensed teachers impact the success of students.
"We really want teachers who have worked hard who have credentials, who have education and who have licenses to teach our students,” said Todd Cummings director of human resources for South Bend Schools.
This bill would also allow a "career specialist" permit to people with work experience they can use inside the classroom.
The bill is heading to the full committee next week after passing in the House and Senate.