Oregon State House Committee Considering Education Bill

Jordyn Gregory, News Contributor

Under consideration by the Oregon State House Committee: the Interstate Teaching Mobility Compact (Senate Bill 279) — a bill that would help combat the teacher shortage.

Already passed by the Senate at the beginning of March, the House is the second to last step before this bill becomes law. Deliberations began on the 13th.

Rebecca Bahr, a Licensure Barrier Reduction Specialist for the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission — TSPC —  explained that Oregon currently offers a pathway for licensed out-of-state teachers who have completed an educator preparation program.

What the ITMC will provide is extra support to state licensing authorities to move out-of-state teachers into the classroom quickly and efficiently according to Bahr. The ITMC will cost little to no additional state funding because the TSPC is mostly funded by educator licensing fees.

Barriers to teaching licensure are not a big contributing factor in the teacher shortage crisis, but this amendment will still have a positive effect according to Bahr.

Bahr said that this bill would really help state teaching workforces, state teacher licensing authorities and teachers would all benefit from this amendment in one way or another.

According to Bahr, the nationwide teacher shortage is a very complicated and nuanced issue that didn’t result from just one cause, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each state has their own set of requirements for teachers to get licensed, with some having more or less requirements than the other.

These differing requirements make it difficult for teachers to smoothly transition into teaching in Oregon or any other state.This is especially true for teachers who are spouses of active military members, who typically need to move around the United States on a regular basis.

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