INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI) — A bill allowing unlicensed teachers to work in public schools is on its way to the Governor's desk.
Like the rest of the country, Indiana is struggling to find qualified teachers to fill classrooms. The bill will make the hiring process in Indiana public schools more flexible.
The decision to hire unlicensed teachers will be left up to superintendents and local school boards. As a former teacher, Rep. Sheila Klinker said this bill will be a disservice to people in the profession and their students.
"Teaching is difficult today anyway and for goodness sakes we want folks to be prepared to do that very difficult job," said Klinker.
The bill also targets positions that are hard to staff by letting teachers specialize in special education or STEM fields for more pay.
A music composition and theory teacher at Lafayette Jefferson High School said he has mixed feelings on the bill. Judd Danby said on one hand, it would be a stab at licensed teachers but on the other hand, if people aren't filling the positions he isn't sure what else can be done.
"I know the question is sometimes asked, if this is just a band-aid and yet there are moments where we need a band-aid in the moment," said Danby.
The bill passed the Senate 35-12 and the House, 66-29. Representative Klinker said it would likely be on the Governor's desk soon.