California legislators pass another law to make it easier to substitute teach

Masked students walk across the hallway on their first day back at Concord High School in Concord, Calif., on Aug. 12, 2021. (Harika Maddala/ Bay City News)

The K-12 Education Trailer Bill approved by legislators Thursday allows substitute teachers to teach for up to 60 days in one assignment, instead of the 30 days previously allowed. The change comes as some California school districts are struggling with substitute shortages that are threatening to close classrooms.

Substitutes who have credentials to teach in general, special or career technical education are eligible.

The trailer bill, which details aspects of the state budget, will go into effect immediately after it is signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The governor has until Oct. 10 to sign or veto bills approved by legislators.

Two other recent changes to credentialing requirements are expected to help increase the pool of substitutes for school districts. In July state lawmakers approved a bill that allows teacher candidates to use eligible coursework to prove they have the basic skills required to teach, instead of taking the California Basic Education Skills Test.

Newsom also issued an executive order last month allowing retired school staff to return to campuses to help fill staffing shortages without waiting 180 days after their retirement, as has previously been required.

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