To address the national teaching shortage, Senator Kevin Corbin (R-Macon) and Sen. Jim Burgin (R-Harnett) introduced a bill to allow people who complete one college semester of teacher preparation classes to become part-time high school instructors.
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Monday that he signed the legislations to law.
“This is a great example of working across the aisle to address the needs of our state, said Senator Corbin.
Senate Bill 582 allows an individual to become a high school “adjunct instructor” if they teach classes related to their bachelor’s degree or graduate degree. These adjunct instructors would have to complete at least one semester of courses concentrating in teacher preparation at a community college.
“We are proud to have this endorsed by both the Department of Public Instruction and Secretary of Public Education Truett,” said Sen. Corbin. “Senate Bill 582 passed with unanimous bipartisan support in both chambers and was signed by the Governor. In no way do we want replace our very valuable teachers in North Carolina. What this does is address the shortage in some systems for some classrooms. Which would help relieve the pressure on our principal and superintendent to get these classes covered.”
The new law will make it easier for non-educators who don’t want to go through the “lateral entry” process of getting a license to become a teacher.
Adjunct instructors would only be working part-time — up to 20 hours a week or for less than six months at a time — so they wouldn’t need a teaching license. Instead of taking a full load of classes, they’d only need to complete one semester, or about three teacher preparation classes.
Schools would be responsible for training adjunct instructors in areas such as educating students with disabilities and how to positively manage student behavior. They’d also need to pass the same background checks as licensed teachers.
The law allows for adjunct instructors to teach high school core academic subjects, arts classes and foreign language classes “in their area of specialized knowledge or work experience.”
The new law also calls for the State Board of Education to develop criteria to allow faculty members at colleges to serve as adjunct instructors in K-12 fine and performing arts classes and foreign language classes. Currently, they can only be adjunct instructors in K-12 “core academic” subjects, like reading and math.