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Missouri lawmakers, education leaders make it easier to certify substitute teachers

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Future substitute teachers in Missouri won’t need as many credit hours to get a job inside the classroom.

After the General Assembly passed a law earlier this year reducing the number of college credit hours needed to become a substitute from 60 down to 36, the State Board of Education amended its rules Monday.

Even before the pandemic, Missouri endured a teacher shortage, including substitutes, but state leaders say COVID made the lack of educators more prominent.

“There’s no surprise to anyone that we’ve been looking for substitute teachers, qualified substitute teachers,” Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Margie Vandeven said. “School districts are still looking for substitute teachers and that’s why it’s really important to put these various pathways into place.

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