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Kansas Loosens Teaching Requirements for Some Classes

Topeka Capital-Journal (KS) (06/03/14) Llopis-Jepsen, Celia

The Kansas legislature passed House Bill 2506 requiring the State Board of Education to implement new regulations before July 1. The law exempts teachers from the requirement to complete teaching degrees, if science and math teachers, vocational education teachers, and out-of-state teachers have other qualifications. The latest rules do not require out-of-state teachers to have teaching degrees if they are offered a job teaching grades 8-12 and meet the state board's requirement to pass a professional test for educators. Schools also can hire professionals to teach science, math, technology, engineering, and finance in grades 8-12 if they have a bachelor's degree in any of those subjects and five years of work experience. Vocational education teachers with an industry-recognized certificate that verifies their skills and who have at least five years of work experience in the profession they would teach also can be recruited. Interim State Education Commissioner Brad Neuenswander said he expects the changes mostly to affect career and technical classes, and many of the out-of-state teachers who apply to teach in Kansas already have teaching degrees. The regulations must pass review by other authorities, including the attorney general's office, and will face a public comment period before becoming permanent on July 1.
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