Bill scrapping college requirement for substitute teachers heads to governor’s desk

Substitute teachers may soon need just a high school diploma to be hired, as the state House of Representatives sent to the governor’s desk a bill that would no longer require substitute teachers have a bachelor’s degree.

“We’ve heard from a lot of districts it’s causing a burden on them,” said Rep. Andy Fleischmann, D-West Hartford and co-chairman of the Education Committee.

The bill would allow the state’s education commissioner to waive the college requirement. The bill had overwhelming support in both the House and Senate, with just two legislators voting against the change, including the co-chairwoman of the Higher Education Committee, Rep. Roberta Willis.

Leaders of the state superintendents and school board associations have both said there is not a shortage of substitute teachers. They also have said when the commissioner’s ability to waive the college requirement was rescinded a few years ago, it resulted in very few substitute teachers being disqualified.