A Virginia lawmaker has called for military spouses with out-of-state teaching licenses to be fast-tracked to teach as the state contends with a educator shortage. So reports TheVirginian-Pilot.
Richard Bell, a Republican with the Virginia House of Delegates, says the spouses should be granted a reciprocal license for the license they already have without having to fulfill additional requirements. The license can be renewed after one year.
“We were looking for ways to help the military families in our commonwealth and to try and ease this teacher shortage, so I think we came up with a pretty practical solution,” Bell says. “They come here, they get this one-year reciprocal license and they’re allowed to teach for a year. They’re evaluated at the end of the year. If favorable, they are then eligible to apply for a renewable license.”
But some educators think Bell’s plan is a short-term fix that does not address the root issue. Scott Ziegler, Portsmouth Public School’s director of human resources and operations, says the state needs to tackle the low beginning pay and the high college loan debt that dissuade graduates from pursuing a career in teaching. “I think it’s unrealistic to take on $20,000, $30,0000, $40,000 worth of student debt for a job that pays $44,000 a year,” Ziegler says.