New Hampshire Senate Approves Bill Allowing Hiring of Part-Time Teachers without Certification

The New Hampshire Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that permits school districts to employ part-time teachers without requiring a State Board of Education credential.

“House Bill 1298” proposes that teachers working less than 30 hours weekly and passing a background check can be hired to teach without a credential. However, the bill excludes teachers with revoked New Hampshire education credentials. It mandates adherence to the state conduct and ethics codes for teachers.

Advocates argue that the bill will help address teacher shortages and encourage innovative solutions for school administrators.

Senator Tim Lang emphasized the importance of trusting local school boards to hire skilled individuals for specific subjects like business accounting or art, even if they lack certification.

Representative Rick Ladd highlighted the flexibility the bill would offer superintendents and community college professors to teach high school classes without certification hurdles.

Critics including educators, teacher unions, and Democrats oppose the bill, fearing it could lower teaching quality and student achievement.

The National Education Association of New Hampshire warns of potential consequences by citing the rise of unlicensed teachers in Texas following a similar deregulation move in 2015.

While the U.S. Department of Education’s 2015 report suggests that licensed teachers are more likely to continue teaching compared to unlicensed ones, concerns about teacher shortages continue to grow in New Hampshire.

The Senate’s bill expands teaching opportunities without credentials compared to the House’s initial version. Republicans emphasize the bill’s potential to facilitate skilled individuals like artists and musicians as part-time teachers.

Some senators, like Suzanne Prentiss, express concerns about the bill potentially diluting the teaching profession and its impact on certifying part-time teachers working almost full-time hours.

The revised bill will return to the House for approval or further negotiation with the Senate.

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