The Kansas State Board of Education has approved changes that will allow people with career experience – but no education degree — to teach in public schools. The changes will allow people with real-world experience to teach subjects including math, science and technical education.
The new regulations were prompted by a bill passed earlier this year by the Kansas Legislature, although the Board of Ed had already been considering some new rules. The changes easily passed on a 9-1 vote.
"There are some people who have natural gifts of communication, as well as expertise in a particular academic subject, that we should welcome into the classroom," says board member Steve Roberts, who was among the majority.
Roberts says there will be challenges, but he believes this could help attract people to teach in districts that may have trouble attracting qualified teachers. Board member Sally Cauble supports the changes but says not everyone with experience can teach. She uses the example of a professional with years of experience in the science field.
"That's very valuable to students. But if they cannot get that knowledge across and contain their classroom, then they're not going to be very effective in the classroom," says Cauble.
The new rules will also allow some people with out-of-state licenses to teach in Kansas.