Magendanz introducing legislation aimed at reducing the teacher shortage

Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, has introduced legislation aimed at reducing the teacher shortage by increasing recruitment into teacher preparation programs. House Bill 2382 would promote alternate routes to teacher certification, and encourage candidates with industry experience into the teaching profession as a second career.

Many factors have impacted the teacher shortage including the economic downturn, high new teacher attrition, high rates of retirement, K-3 class size reduction, and fewer teacher candidates entering the profession. In the past five years, the professional educator standards board reported a two hundred fifty percent increase in demand for new teachers. Alternative route programs are a way individuals currently working in a school district such as classified staff, or individuals with established professional and/or life experience to segue into teaching.

House Bill 2382 would require the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board to work with education agencies, educators, and employers to create a public awareness campaign designed to increase recruitment into teacher preparation programs.  The Beginning Educator Support Program, which provides professional development and mentoring for beginning teachers, would be expanded to include candidates in alternative route programs and encourage districts to apply for program funds.

“We must meet the challenges of the current teacher shortages, while still keeping the highest possible standards in place,” continued Magendanz.  “We need to remove barriers to teaching and encourage coordination between Washington state colleges and universities, local school districts, and the professional educator standards board.

In order to foster partnerships with local higher education institutions, the Washington State Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) would coordinate meetings with districts that do not have alternative route teacher certification programs. Magendanz’s proposal would require public teacher preparation programs without alternative route programs to seek approval from the PESB to offer an alternative route program.

“Teacher quality plays a crucial role in a student’s education.  This is why it is so important for schools and districts to recruit highly qualified teachers,” said Magendanz, R-Issaquah. “This will help create more opportunities to find and recruit dedicated and talented teachers. This bill will help districts struggling to find qualified teachers and provide Washington students the opportunity to obtain a world class education.”

The bill text can be found online by clicking here.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
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