A bill to set up a new, quicker routes for getting a license to teach in Iowa cleared the Iowa House this week. Representative Henry Stone, from Forest City, says it would help ease the teacher shortage.
If the bill becomes law, people with a college degree could be hired as teaching interns while they complete their training for a license. The bill would also let a college graduate take an online course to get a temporary teaching license rather than enroll in a teacher prep program at a college or university. Sixty-one Republicans voted for the bill. Two Republicans and all the Democrats in the House voted against it. Representative Molly Buck, from Ankeny who’s a teacher, says there should be a required period of student teaching under the direct supervision of an experienced educator before someone leads a class on their own.
Representative Sue Cahill, from Marshalltown who’s a retired teacher, says she’s seen people quit after a stint of student teaching — with another veteran teacher in the room.
Stone says these type of alternative licensing options are being used successfully by teachers in other states like Wisconsin and Missouri.
Stone says the traditional route of licensure, with periods of supervised student teaching, is always an option, but this bill would let capable people more quickly get a job leading a classroom.
Also this week, legislators in the House passed a bill to change the make-up of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners so five would be parents, five would be educators and one would be a school board member. Currently, the Iowa Department of Education’s director, two parents and nine educators serve on the board.