State Board of Education relaxes rules for substitute teaching in Missouri

Staff Writer
Columbia Daily Tribune
Columbia Daily Tribune

A new state rule should make it easier to find substitute teachers.

The state Board of Education on Tuesday approved an emergency rule that eliminates the requirement that people seeking to obtain certification for substitute teaching have at least 60 hours of college-level coursework from a regionally accredited and state-recognized institution. Instead, people who have a high school diploma or equivalent degree can take a 20-hour state-approved online training course to be certified.

The training includes topics such as professionalism, honoring diversity, engaging students, classroom management, basic instructional strategies, supporting students with special needs, and working with at-risk youth.

“Many teachers and school administrators have expressed concern about the potential shortage of substitute teachers during the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19,” Assistant Commissioner of Education Paul Katnik said in a news release. “With already a declining number of candidates entering the education profession, this option will help Missouri school districts and charter schools develop a deeper pool of substitute teachers both in the short- and long-term.”

The emergency rule will be filed Wednesday and be in effect on Sept. 2.