Lawmakers Talk Teacher Licensing Bill

INDIANAPOLIS - Some state lawmakers say they've got a solution to Indiana's teacher shortage; allow more unlicensed teachers into your child's classroom.

But, there's a catch.

State Senator Andy Zay says there are 3,000 full-time substitute teachers in Indiana classrooms today and that points the chalk squarely at the state's teacher shortage.

As his bill currently stands, it would allow up to 10% of teachers in classrooms to be unlicensed.

He says charter and private schools already allow for that amount.

"I think the commitment with this is to try to create a toolbox for our principals, for our Superintendents to up the game and get higher qualified teachers into our buildings," says Sen. Zay.

His bill already made it through both chambers. But Zay says he's working on some language changes.

"The ten percent unlicensed would go away. What we would have would be this initial practitioner's license. Which are young folks that are coming out of college typically, that are having problems passing the licensure exam. Then moving them, with mentoring, on into full licensure."

"With that, it's people who are intent on moving into education so they've already taken some coursework. It's just supporting them on finishing up and getting that final piece which is the license."

Zay says he's waiting on the conference committee to be scheduled sometime soon. He also says he's got the backing of the State Department of Education on this bill.

He believes the Governor will sign the bill.

To read the full bill, click here.

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