EDITORIAL: Administration, politics triggered teacher lack

The Clark County School District’s shortage of instructors is a huge policy failure compounded by protectionism. By keeping administrative barriers to the licensing of instructors, the system is forced to fill hundreds of classrooms with the very people those barriers are developed to stay out of schools.

The school district began a new scholastic year Monday with practically 800 uninhabited teaching positions. As typical, those tasks were filled by replacement instructors, who lack the credentials and college coursework of licensed instructors but are considered qualified to lead a class regardless, albeit at lower pay. What hypocrisy.

The state’s education systems are run by people who went through the rigmarole of an education college, pedagogy training and other licensure hoops. A great deal of them think they’ll cheapen their career track if they support the idea that individuals from various professions can quickly become effective instructors through alternative training programs.

Nevada has actually made fantastic current progress in pertaining to terms with the requirement for alternative paths to teacher licensure. For example, teacher training programs such as Teach for America and Troops to Educators are preparing numerous highly motivated people for work in the class. The Legislature this year authorized countless dollars in grant financing for such companies, as well as scholarships to motivate youths to get in the teaching occupation. Education Cost savings Accounts, charter school recruitment and other school option efforts will certainly decrease the need for brand-new government-employed instructors, too.

However more can be done. Seth Rau, policy director for education advocacy group Nevada Succeeds, said nationally renowned charter school operator BASIS won’t concern Nevada since the state would take more than a year to authorize its teacher accreditation program. That’s nuts. Nevada remains in no position to tell a highly ranked school system how to finest train its teachers.

This year, the Legislature offered charter schools with at least a three-star rating more flexibility in accrediting their instructors (provided they have bachelor’s degrees). Charter schools are public schools. Why not give every three-star school that power?

Of course, other factors are at play in driving Nevada’s certified instructor shortage. Once teachers are hired, great ones need to be kept. Which’s remarkably difficult when effective instructors are locked into a pay scale that values seniority over performance, when instructors are supplied pricey, lousy health insurance by their union, as they remain in Clark County. Merit pay and better benefits would help.

This is a self-made crisis we can fix– if we have the will.

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