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Nevada weighs permanent rule allowing emergency substitutes

January 28, 2022 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A state panel will consider allowing public schools in Nevada’s two most populous counties to hire emergency substitute teachers who have only a high school diploma.

A planned Feb. 24 hearing by the Commission on Professional Standards in Education comes as the pandemic has aggravated school staffing shortages, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The state Department of Education partnered with Gov. Steve Sisolak on a temporary regulation allowing emergency substitutes in late November 2020. That temporary regulation was extended but expired Nov. 1.

If endorsed by the commission, the new permanent regulation would be considered by the state Board of Education and then the Legislative Commission, department spokeswoman Allegra Demerjian said Thursday.

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School districts with fewer than 9,000 students and charter schools within their boundaries already can hire emergency substitute teachers, but how long they can teach in one classroom is limited.

The proposed change would allow larger districts and charter schools within their geographic boundaries to hire emergency substitutes during “a state of emergency or declaration of disaster” who’ve earned a high school diploma “or its equivalent.”

Currently, substitute teachers must have at least 60 college credits — or an associate degree or higher — to obtain a license.