Delegates pass bill in House to help statewide teacher shortage

Published: Feb. 5, 2018 at 6:28 PM EST
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To help end the teacher shortage in the Commonwealth, the House of Delegates recently passed a bill to help military spouses keep their teaching license if they are relocated to Virginia.

Delegate Dickie Bell proposed the bill in order to help school divisions in Virginia with the statewide teacher shortage. After passing in the House unanimously, the bill will now head to the Senate for further consideration.

Dr. Jeffrey Cassell, superintendent of Waynesboro Public Schools, said school administrators have been asking for legislation like this and said this bill will have positive benefits for all school divisions in the state.

"Superintendents were able to have a conversation with our delegates and senators about the teacher shortage," Cassell said, "so I think the legislature that's been proposed is an appropriate and proactive reaction to addressing the teacher shortage."

According to Cassell, the licensure process for teachers in Virginia can be tedious and if put into place, he expects the new bill will make the hiring process easier on both the schools and teachers.

"If the teacher is not licensed and it's going to take them several weeks or months to get their license in Virginia," he said, "that could cause problems both for the school division that wishes to hire them and for the teacher who wants to start teaching."

Cassell said superintendents hope to see more legislation geared toward teacher compensation and teaching licensure to make it easier to recruit and maintain good teachers in schools.