Senate Fails to Concur On Teacher Licensure Bill, Conference Committee Appointed
Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs & Policy Manager
Today members of the Senate voted unanimously not to concur on a bill that would modify teacher licensure requirements, after House members voted unanimously in favor of approval just yesterday. Senate Bill 219, sponsored by Sen. Tom McInnis (R-Richmond), would provide much-needed help to counties that continue to struggle with teacher shortages by allowing proven educators to fill teacher vacancies while pursuing their continuing professional licenses (CPL). The bill would create a new “limited teaching license” for individuals who were issued an initial professional license (IPL), but do not meet the criteria for a continuing professional license (CPL), as well as a “transitional license” (TL), which can be issued to an out-of-state applicant while the applicant pursues his or her CPL. Both of these new licensure options would expire for applicants after three years and would not be renewable.
This bill has been heavily debated and amended over the past months, with several education groups offering feedback on the bill, including the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA). Opponents of the bill have argued it would lower the State’s teaching standards, while proponents have noted that several counties continue to employ long-term substitute teachers, who are not required to have any teaching license, or even a college degree.
After the Senate failed to concur, both chambers appointed members to a conference committee to reconcile their differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. NCASA urges conference committee members to recognize the emergency situation many school districts are currently facing, and to come to a solution as quickly as possible, as many teachers face losing their jobs at the end of the month unless these new licensure options are approved.