Thursday, 04 July 2019 23:51

McInnis' teacher license modification bill signed by governor

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RALEIGH — A bill introduced this year by state Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, to keep teachers in the classroom was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper on Monday.


The first part of Senate Bill 219 will modify teacher licensing requirements “ensuring that excellent teachers are kept in the classroom without the fear of losing their jobs after only two years due to testing that is nor reflective of their abilities,” according to McInnis’ office.

The legislation allows principals and superintendents to sign an affidavit “assuring the quality of the teacher,” demonstrating he or she is “highly qualified to be in the classroom.”

The second part creates a three-year, nonrenewable transitional license that can be issued to out-of-state license holders “in good standing.”

“I am grateful to all the stakeholders who have assisted with this bill ... (which) will allow local superintendents and school principals to keep qualified teachers in the classroom as they work to pass the licensing requirements,” McInnis said in a statement. 

The senator’s office said the legislation has been vetted by all interested parties and the bill has undergone changes to ensure military spouses are protected and will help combat the teacher shortage that exists in rural North Carolina.

General Assembly records show the bill passed 107-1 in the state House of Representatives, including support from Rep. Scott Brewer, D-Richmond, and 42-1 in the Senate. The only two legislators to vote against it were both Democrats.

“I believe that this bill will help to stem the tide of the teacher shortage that exists in every district,” McInnis said. “This is something that has been especially devastating to rural North Carolina schools. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this bill.”