Schools recruit parents to be substitute teachers amid COVID staffing shortages
Parents who just months ago had their role in education publicly questioned are now being implored to enter classrooms to combat staffing shortages.
"I knew when COVID hit, they started to make some exceptions for subs and I thought, 'Oh my gosh.
I'm just going to try and see if I like it,'" said Kristin Kuhlman, a California mom of two who is currently serving as a long-term substitute teacher in Encinitas, California.
"I think it's a huge solution," she said, "It's really a gift that you're giving these kids, especially in the elementary years.
Parents in the Lake Washington School District in Washington State have already heeded the call.
The Hays Consolidated School District in Texas also reached out to parents in January through a social media post, asking them to sign on as guest teachers.
On Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a temporary executive order that allows school districts to issue 30-day emergency substitute credentials.
This provides for a process that is more expedited than what Kuhlman completed before taking on her new role.
NO COVID RELIEF DOLLARS FOR YOUWashington, Texas, and Pennsylvania are among the many states that have implemented similar emergency credentials.
In Pennsylvania, individuals who are 25 or older are able to serve in the classroom if they have at least 60 college credits or 3 years of experience as a paraprofessional.
Texas will accept guest teachers who have a minimum of 30 college credits or received an honorable military discharge from full-time active duty service.
Under the policy that is set to expire in June, high school graduates over the age of 18 are eligible to serve as substitute teachers so long as they can pass a background check.