Missouri is temporarily relaxing requirements to become a certified substitute teacher.
Substitute teachers used to need sixty college credit hours to get certified. Now, they can get certified by only completing twenty-hours of online training under temporary rules.
Frontline Education, an educational software company, will provide the online training, which focuses on professionalism, ethics, and classroom management.
Paul Katnik, Assistant Commissioner at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, says the change is necessary due to the pandemic.
“Some school districts told us they called in their list of people who are on their substitute teacher list, and half or more said they weren't planning on substituting this year,” Katnik said.
But the new temporary rules were not well received by everyone.
The Missouri National Education Association, one of the largest teachers union in the state, criticized the rule changes, saying that if school districts are having a hard time hiring substitutes, it's because teachers feel in-person instruction is unsafe.