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Proposed changes to teacher licensure facing resistance

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah educators say changes to teacher license requirements will only make an existing teacher shortage worse in the long run. A handful of concerned teachers spoke with the Utah State Board of Education yesterday, saying the proposed licensing guidelines would cheapen the profession as a whole.

The proposed changes would make it so licenses would be granted to people with a bachelor’s degree in any field, and pass a background check and test on course criteria. They would also need to complete four modules created by district officials on ethics, classroom management, special education law, and Utah teaching standards.

Those in favor of the licensing updates say struggling districts and schools would have a larger recruitment pool to choose from. Opponents of the changes say the likelihood of teachers quitting after a few years would increase if the requirements to become a teacher become easier.

The Utah State Board of Education will hear public testimony and gather background information over the next month. The board will then decide to make revisions to the rule or move forward with how it is currently proposed.