Home Essential support Michigan Governor Whitmer signs bill so non-teaching staff can work as submarines

Michigan Governor Whitmer signs bill so non-teaching staff can work as submarines

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LANSING, Mich. – Michigan public schools can use non-teaching staff as substitute teachers for the rest of the school year under a law designed to address a shortage during the coronavirus pandemic.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on Monday that she had signed the Invoice last week, calling it a “temporary plug” in a letter to legislators. It allows secretaries, paraprofessionals and other school employees without a teaching certificate, such as library assistants, bus drivers, cooks and office workers, to work as contractors as long as they are they have a high school diploma or an equivalency certificate.

The legislation had been approved by the Republican-led legislature largely on party lines despite objections from many Democrats and a few Republicans.

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“Allowing schools to employ school staff that students know as substitute teachers will help keep school doors open and students learning in the classroom the rest of the school year,” the Democratic governor said in a written statement. . “I am committed to working with the legislature to develop high quality solutions to address these long-term staff shortages so that we can ensure that every child can access a quality education. “

Michigan generally requires submarines without a teaching certificate to have an associate’s degree or at least 60 semester hours of college credit. There are exceptions for those who teach career and technical education courses, usually if they have a professional license in the field.

Whitmer signed the bill despite opposition from the Michigan Education Association, the state’s largest union of public servants.

“If elected officials are serious about solving this shortage, they must work to raise educators’ salaries and treat them like the professionals they are,” spokesman Thomas Morgan said.

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The law is backed by school administrators who say the pandemic has exacerbated a teacher shortage and left school districts struggling to keep buildings open. Paul Liabenow, executive director of the Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association, said the law will provide additional flexibility “so that students can continue to learn in a safe and supportive environment.”

The sponsor of the bill, Republican Representative Brad Paquette de Niles, is a former teacher. He told senators this month that many school support staff “have already proven that they care about children, that they want to be with children.” Students, he said, behave best when they know the substitute teacher.

When the Senate passed the bill, Senator Dayna Polehanki, a Democrat from Livonia and former teacher, called it a “mistaken attempt to alleviate the shortage of substitute teachers by playing musical chairs with support staff , removing secretaries and paraprofessionals, among other things, from their core functions.Duties to be replaced for teachers in classrooms. of their essential functions as the first point of contact with anyone seeking to enter the building.

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