We have been busy working with education leaders in Virginia to help solve the teacher shortage by making the career switcher program more effective. Legislation we helped with has now been rolled into Senate Bill 349. This will allow all teacher programs focused on career switchers to help alleviate Virginia teacher shortages in elementary education and special education.
The current rules for elementary require that potential teachers have a transcript review with requirements that are so particular that no one could qualify. SB349 would encourage the use of a subject matter test to determine subject matter expertise for elementary teachers.
SB349 also allows career switcher programs to certify in Special Education. Since this is the highest need in the state it only makes sense to allow people who have in an interest in special education to go through preparation to be certified to teach.
SB349 has passed out of sub-committee in the Senate and moves to the full education committee next week.