A public school assistant teacher measures in the Senate
House Bill 1251 would, among other things, allow adjunct teachers in public school classrooms. It aims to help curb teacher shortages, but critics say it belittles qualified teachers and targets their unions.
The bill was amended in committee to bring it closer to a similar measure that had been removed from a Senate bill.
This would allow anyone with five years of professional experience to teach in a relevant content area. It is aimed primarily at middle and high school classes, or primary school art teachers. Assistants could work a maximum of 20 hours per week under the direction of a “mentor teacher”.
READ MORE: Bills to create auxiliary status for public school teachers reviewed in Statehouse
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However, assistants would not be covered by collective agreements between unions and districts. Union advocates describe it as an “anti-union” bill.
Many teachers, including Delphi’s Tim Conner, testified against the measure saying that while auxiliaries may have work experience, they are concerned about the lack of teaching skills.
“Just because you’ve done a specific job doesn’t mean you can teach that job,” Conner said. “My friends, I have an oven at home. I tell you right away, this oven does not make me a baker.
Several lawmakers responded by pointing out that most districts require even less experience from temporary replacements. The committee passed the bill along party lines.