Few requirements for substitute teachers in North Carolina

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – “We’re already over this school year. We already want the year to be over,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools high school math teacher, Brianna Garbacik.

It’s not exactly what you want to hear from your kid’s teacher before the first day of school.

Garbacik is worried when school starts Wednesday, the lack of teachers is going to put a strain on the ones remaining.

“Because we’re in a teacher shortage, because we’re in a substitute teacher shortage, teachers are using their planning time to go sit with another student,” she said.

The shortage usually gets blamed on COVID-19, but some say maybe not.

“There’s very little hard evidence to suggest that COVID has caused teacher shortages,” said Kate Walsh, National Council on Teacher Quality President.

Last week, CMS announced they’re aggressively looking for teachers and substitutes.

“We hire both certified and non-certified substitutes, so you do not have to have prior experience in order to substitute in our classrooms,” one school official said.

FOX 46 discovered your kid’s substitute teacher doesn’t have to do much to qualify. In fact, North Carolina is one of 15 states with zero education requirements for subs.

“In North Carolina, there’s no requirement that you have even attended elementary school,” Walsh said.

That leaves it up to the districts to make their own rules.

“Some districts will require sensible minimal education, and some won’t and so who suffers at the hands of that lapse in policy, it’s the kids,” Walsh said.

CMS requires some education, 48 hours of college credit, which is about half of a college degree.

Cabarrus County requires a high school diploma and completion of a $29 teacher training course.

Walsh says rural school districts might have even lower standards because it’s tough to attract any teachers to begin with.

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