SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A bill in the Missouri House of Representatives could help tackle the issue of teacher shortages, something that has been top of mind for educators.
According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, there is a shortage in teachers for many subjects and grades across the state of Missouri.
Republican Representative Bishop Davidson, from Western Greene County, filed bill HB439 last month.
The bill would let school districts offer teaching certifications to people who don’t have a certification from the state of Missouri.
“Normally, a teacher would be certified by the state board of education and they go through, typically, a four year education degree,” said Davidson. “This would allow for those qualifications to largely be determined by each particular district, their administrators, school boards, so on, and give them flexibility in the hiring process.”
Davidson said the bill would help districts combat a shortage in teachers while also having the control over who they certify to teach in their district.
“I would be willing to argue that we have a lot more qualified individuals,” said Davidson. “They just don’t happen to have that certificate. This is going to allow those schools to say, ‘Hey, we’ve determined your communications skills are up to par, that you’re good enough for students, we’d like to take advantage of your expertise and your content and knowledge and know-how and bring it into the classroom.'”
Local school districts are backing Davidson on the bill.
If the bill passed, it would only allow districts to certify a maximum of 25% of their faculty.