New licensing program could solve state classroom crisis

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Fewer teachers means more problems for local schools.

As Kansas faces an ongoing teacher shortage – ideas for solving this classroom crisis are being tossed around by a department of education, teaching vacancy committee.

One of the things the committee has talked about – in detail, is a new way of licensing teachers. Kansas Department of Education Deputy Commissioner, Brad Neuenswander told KSNT News the shortage is nothing new, but a licensing program could finally put new faces in front of the chalkboard.

“Individuals that may hold a bachelors degree in a content area but they just didn’t go through the traditional teacher profession.” 

Should the program become reality, applicants without a traditional teaching background could wind up teaching your kids. Candidates with degrees in specialized content areas – like math, science, history and art would take part in a two year licensing program to become certified teachers.

The department believes the program could have the potential to fill nearly 200 open positions across the state.

A similar program is being considered to fill special education positions.

A representative of the Turner Unified School District in Kansas City told the Topeka Capital Journal higher pay is needed for para positions.

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