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 They also have said when the commissioner’s ability to waive the college requirement was rescinded a few years ago, it resulted in very few substitute teachers being disqualified.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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