Substitute teachers no longer need bachelor’s degrees [Journal Inquirer]

June 16, 2011

Article as it appeared in the Journal Inquirer on Thursday, June 16, 2011

Substitute teachers without bachelor’s degrees will be able to work in schools starting July 1 under a law Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed. The law allows the education commissioner to waive a requirement that substitute teachers hold bachelor’s degrees, if a school superintendent requests the waiver. The law undoes a 2010 change that required substitute teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Sen. John A. Kissel, R-Enfield, was a primary backer of the bill. “A number of substitute teachers hold associate’s degrees, and many of them were suddenly locked out of the market after a 2010 law passed which required them to hold bachelor’s degrees,” he said. “In many cases, those substitute teachers were very much missed because they lived locally, knew the students, and the school routines.” Teacher unions opposed the change, saying any shortage of substitutes is because of low pay — not tough requirements. Another called the measure a “slippery slope to lower standards.”