Governor Northam Signs Teacher Certification Bill
RICHMOND (June 21, 2018) – Virginia Governor Northam signed Senate Bill 349 and House Bill 1125 today that will help increase the number of qualified teachers that could fill critical teaching positions in Virginia this year. The bills eliminate unnecessary barriers in the teacher licensing process and increase flexibility for educator preparation programs. The legislature moved quickly to pass these bills knowing it could have an impact on future teacher shortages.
“We want to make sure our children have access to a world class education. This is a giant step forward in teacher licenses for Virginia.” stated Governor Northam at the bill signing. “We want to take care of our teachers. We want to recruit and retain the best possible teachers for our schools.”
The bill creates improved opportunities for Career Switcher programs to attract teachers for two very high needs subject areas; Special Education and Elementary Education. Both subject areas are at the top of the critical shortage areas identified by the Virginia Department of Education. In 2016, the school year started with over 1,000 unfilled teacher vacancies. According to US DOE Title II reporting, students enrolling in teacher preparation programs at Virginia colleges and universities has dropped by 24% in just the last four years.
“We have been working with groups in Virginia to bring our Teachers of Tomorrow program to the state” said Dave Saba of Virginia Teachers of Tomorrow. “I grew up here and graduated from a Virginia high school – I know how great these schools can be and we want to make sure that every Virginia student has a great teacher.”
Teachers of Tomorrow is now accepted in seven different states and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has recommended the approval of the North Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow program. Virginia Teachers of Tomorrow has been meeting with school division leaders to ensure the program will meet the needs of Virginia students. They continue to receive input and are expected to complete work on an application to the Virginia Department of Education to become an approved Career Switcher Program this summer.
About Teachers of Tomorrow (www.teachersoftomorrow.org)
Teachers of Tomorrow is the largest, fastest growing Teacher Certification Program in the nation, delivering online training to individuals who want to pursue a career in teaching. Teachers of Tomorrow attracts career changers with an average age of 32 into teaching so they can bring their real-world experiences into the classroom. Teachers of Tomorrow is the second most diverse certification program in the country with 46% non-white enrollment. In addition, 70% of Teachers of Tomorrow teachers remain in the profession after five years, which is significantly higher than the national average of only 50%. Over the last 11 years, Teachers of Tomorrow has certified more than 45,000 new teachers, and in 2016 the company trained and certified more than 7,000 teachers. An independent study revealed that Teachers of Tomorrow graduates see student achievement results equal to teachers coming through university programs. Teachers of Tomorrow is an approved teacher certification provider in Texas, Florida, Nevada, Indiana, South Carolina, Michigan, and Arizona.