Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should offer a license with minimal requirements that allows content experts to teach part time.
Arkansas offers the Arkansas Professional Teaching Permit, which allows individuals to teach up to two class periods a day in grades 7-12.
Professional Teaching Permit candidates must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum of three years relevant work experience. Applicants must be currently employed in the content field related to their intended teaching assignment.
In addition, applicants must pass a subject-matter test. The state also requires that candidates complete a 40-hour pedagogy training within the first year of teaching. This training is designed specifically by the state for individuals teaching under the Professional Teaching Permit.
Consider flexibility in current employment requirement.
Arkansas is commended for offering a license that increases districts' flexibility to staff certain subjects, including many STEM areas, that are frequently hard to staff or may not have high enough enrollment to necessitate a full-time position. The state should consider whether its requirement that applicants be currently employed in the field they will teach is necessary. The state requires verification of content knowledge, as well as prior related work experience. The requirement of current employment in the field may unnecessarily exclude well-qualified candidates who may have retired or changed fields.
Arkansas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.