Parents unsure about unlicensed teachers in the classroom

The new law would allow districts to hire up to 10 percent of their teaching staff as unlicensed teachers to fill classrooms.

Posted: Mar. 9, 2018 6:14 PM
Updated: Mar. 10, 2018 11:11 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - A proposed bill aims to fix Indiana's teaching shortage is heading to Governor Eric Holcomb's desk.

The new law would allow districts to hire up to 10 percent of their teaching staff as unlicensed teachers to fill classrooms.

However, parents in Fort Wayne aren't sure it will work.

"I have mixed emotions about it. Ido acknowledge we do have a significant teacher shortage in Indiana," said Peggy Pizzello.

Pizzello has kids who attend Fort Wayne Community Schools.

She said having the lack of teachers is affecting her daughter's education.

"In the first nine weeks of school they had six different "permanent subs" in the classroom," Pizzello said.

However, she adds she would like to see teachers have the training needed to manage their classrooms and behavioral issues.

"It kind of frightens me how that's going to look in our classrooms because all of those things are issues in our schools right now," Pizzello said.

Many schools in our area told FOX 55 they will continue to prioritize licensed teachers for that reason.

"There are aspects of education that you can't just walk in off the street and be able to effectively teach a classroom. Most people can't do that," said Northwest Allen County Schools Lizzette Downey.

Fort Wayne Community Schools said it will also continue to hire licensed teachers.

Spokeswoman Krista Stockman tells FOX 55 in an email teaching is like other licensed professions.

"We expect other professionals, including doctors, lawyers, plumbers and hairstylists, to be licensed in their fields, and for good reason. they perform important jobs, and those seeking their services need to know they have been trained," Stockman's statement said.

There are ways people can get a license, such as the transition to teaching program.

"We may even find we may get people who missed their calling and they're amazing in the classroom. I just don't think it's worth taking a chance with our kids," said Pizzello.

It would be up to every school district in the state to decide if they whether or not they hire unlicensed teachers.

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