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Government / IPBS

New law creates adjunct teacher permits to public school classrooms

FILE PHOTO: WFIU/WTIU
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The legislation signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb would create an adjunct teacher permit process for professionals without teacher training to work in classrooms.

Public schools will soon be able to hire professionals without teaching experience under a new law signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb. Lawmakers designed it to fill vacant teacher jobs, but opponents worry it will hurt education quality.

Adjunct teachers – a common job in colleges, but rare in public schools – can be hired and permitted to teach in public schools as early as the next academic year.

The state only requires them to have four years of career experience and pass a background check to be eligible for part-time or full-time jobs. Once hired, they must be assigned a mentor intended to help guide the new teachers.

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In testimony on HB 1251, several teachers said they felt it disregarded the importance of pedagogy – the way material is taught. And one major pain point for unions: adjuncts aren’t allowed to be a part of the teachers' union. Several superintendents favored the new law, saying they’re having a hard time hiring teachers.

When the law takes effect in July, schools will be required to announce vacant adjunct positions at school board meetings and notify parents.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

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