Last August, the board voted to temporarily give prospective substitute teachers the choice of taking an online training course of about 20 hours – or fulfilling the standard 60 college credit hours.
Missouri has had a persistent teacher and substitute teacher shortage for years. The alternative pathway was meant to help reduce an even greater shortage during the pandemic.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has been collecting performance data on those who participated in the virtual training. The state agency says the information gathered shows the online option has had a positive impact on addressing the substitute shortage.
If the board votes in favor of the recommendation, DESE spokeswoman Mallory McGowin says the online option could be offered later this year.
The cost of the training has not been finalized but McGowin says it is expected to be similar to the amount substitute teacher candidates were charged when the temporary option was offered. During the temporary phase, candidates were charged $175 for the full set of courses and a $50 application fee. Schools also charged a background check fee.
The state used a company called Frontline as the training provider last year. If the board endorses the permanent plan, the company could be on deck to be the provider once again.
The subjects covered in the training have not been decided.
MISSOURI TEMPORARILY ALLOWS REDUCED TRAINING OPTION TO BECOME SUBSTITUTE TEACHER:
1,400 MISSOURIANS ENROLL IN RAPID SUBSTITUTE TEACHER TRAINING OPTION: https://www.missourinet.com/2020/10/06/1400-missourians-enrolled-in-rapid-substitute-teacher-training-option/
MISSOURI EDUCATION OFFICIAL CALLS SUBSTITUTE TEACHER SHORTAGE A CRISIS: https://www.missourinet.com/2020/11/10/missouri-education-official-calls-substitute-teacher-shortage-a-crisis/
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