Connecticut, Iowa, Missouri, New York and Nevada have dropped college credit requirements for substitute teachers, at least temporarily.
Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency regulation last month, in place through the end of February, that allows large school districts to hire substitutes who hold only a high school diploma. Previously, only small, rural districts could hire emergency substitutes.
The regulation will allow large districts such as Washoe County, home to Reno, to recruit from a more diverse pool and hire college freshmen and sophomores looking for a part-time job, Ellison said. “We realize that there’s not a direct relationship between success in the classroom and possessing 60 [college] credits.”
Some teachers worry, however, that substitutes hired under the lower standards won’t be prepared to handle a room of stressed-out students.
Nevada teachers “are concerned that all of a sudden, just anybody with a high school diploma can step into this role,” said Clark County Education Association President Marie Neisses, who leads Nevada’s largest educator union.
It’s unclear whether the recruiting strategies will outlast the pandemic, said Sarah Glover, an assistant director at Education Commission of the States, a Denver-based research group that advises state lawmakers.