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State waiving some recertification requirements for former teachers

Waivers depend on how long someone taught before certification expired
Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 4:55 PM EDT
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WILLIAMSTON, Mich. (WILX) - The state is making it easier for former teachers to get back in the classroom. Now, the Michigan Department of Education is offering some waivers for some recertification requirements.

Their goal: To help ease the teacher shortage school districts across the state are seeing.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said Adam Spina, Williamston Community Schools Superintendent.

Spina has seen a drastic drop in teachers applying for jobs. In his time at the district, he saw applications for a single position go from hundreds to maybe a dozen.

“The number of students interested in going into education is just, the numbers are staggering. And not in a good sense,” said Spina.

That’s why the state is waiving professional development requirements for former teachers interested in getting back into the classroom.

The number of hours waived depends on when a teaching license expired and how long someone taught.

“Really get those qualified individuals who just for no other reason than their certification has lapsed, to make sure they can get into those classrooms as quickly as possible,” said Paula Herbart, Michigan Education Association president.

Herbart said this isn’t the long term solution schools need, but it helps get teachers in the classroom quickly.

“We already have a shortage of educators in the state of Michigan, just across the board. Now with these additional retirements, we believe that we maybe in a critical state for needing educators in the classroom,” said Herbart.

Williamston Community Schools said it doesn’t plan on using the waiver unless they absolutely have to. The waiver is only for professional development courses.

Teachers will still have to pass background checks and other legal requirements.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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