Arizona loosens substitute teacher rules to help alleviate staffing shortage
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona is loosening statewide education rules to help alleviate a pandemic-aggravated shortage of substitute teachers.
The state Board of Education on Monday removed the 120-day limit on work by certified substitute teachers and instead will allow them to teach as long as necessary until a regular teacher is hired.
Also, the board decided to allow emergency substitute teacher certificates for two years, up from one year.
Schools are struggling to find substitute teachers, which disrupts student learning and places pressure on teachers and administrators, board officials said.
Groups representing rural schools and school administrators proposed the changes.
Erin Hart of Education Forward Arizona, an advocacy group, said the changes should help make it easier for school districts to recruit new instructors.
“The pandemic has significantly impacted our teacher workforce,” Hart said. “The need for substitute teachers has become significant.”