Missouri has had a K-12 teacher and substitute teacher shortage for years and the pandemic has created an even greater shortage. The Missouri Board of Education has approved today permanently allowing an online training alternative for substitute teacher candidates.
Later this calendar year, aspiring subs will have the choice of taking a virtual course of about 20 hours – or fulfilling the traditional 60 college credit hours.
During today’s Missouri Board of Education meeting, board member Don Claycomb of Linn says although the additional route was controversial at first, he thinks the permanent route is a good move.
“To me, it’s an improvement. The 60 hours had no stipulation as to what those 60 hours might all be on one topic or nothing at all related to teaching, whereby this is a survival crash course it looks to me like. I think it’s a much, much better service for the schools and for the students,” says Claycomb.
Dr. Paul Katnik, an assistant commissioner with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, says all school feedback about the virtual program has been positive.
“We had administrators who felt like they were even more prepared than some of the folks they had with 60 credit hours,” he says.
Katnik says the department will continue to monitor the program to ensure the training is benefitting schools and students.
The cost of the training has not been finalized but it is expected to be similar to the amount candidates were charged when a temporary online option was offered last year – $175 for the full set of courses.
MISSOURI BOARD OF EDUCATION TO VOTE ON EFFORT TO BOOST SUBSTITUTE TEACHER POOL: https://www.missourinet.com/2021/08/16/missouri-board-of-education-to-vote-on-effort-to-boost-substitute-teacher-pool/
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