2017 Hiring Policy
The state should ensure that substitute teachers are appropriately placed and assessed in the classroom. This goal was new in 2017 and was not graded.
Substitute License(s): Kansas offers two substitute licenses: a Standard Substitute License that requires a bachelor's degree and completion of a teacher preparation program, and an Emergency Substitute License requiring 60 semester hours from an accredited college or university.
Length of Assignment: Kansas allows certified teachers to substitute teach for up to 125 consecutive days in the same assignment. The state permits holders of a Standard Substitute License to teach for up to 90 consecutive days in the same assignment. Holders of the Emergency Substitute License who also possess a bachelor's degree may teach up to 30 consecutive days in the same assignment. Kansas permits holders of just an Emergency Substitute License to teach for no more than 15 consecutive days in the same assignment. However, districts may apply to the state board of education to extend the assignment for up to 93 days. If the state board of education declares an emergency, there are no restrictions on the amount of time any substitute can teach "in a position made vacant by reason of the emergency."
Evaluation of Long-Term Substitutes: Kansas has no requirements for the evaluation of any of its substitute teachers. Kansas state policy is unclear on whether substitutes with a current teaching license are subject to evaluation under the state's evaluation requirements.
Kansas Administrative Regulations 91-1-201(d) and (e) and 91-31-34 Kansas Substitute License http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Teacher-Licensure-and-Accreditation/Licensure/License-Requirements/Substitute-License-Requirements http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Teacher-Licensure-and-Accreditation/Licensure/License-Application/Sub-FAQ http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/TLA/Accreditation/QPA_Manual.pdf See page 58 91-31-34 (b) Staff
Require substitute teachers to have a substitute license or meet uniform minimal requirements.
Kansas should require all substitute teachers to obtain a substitute teaching license. Licenses issued by the state allow for uniform minimum requirements so that all districts have access to a similarly qualified substitute teaching pool. In absence of requiring state substitute licenses, Kansas should establish uniform baseline requirements to help ensure that all substitutes are at least minimally qualified to teach students.
Distinguish requirements for short-term and long-term substitutes.
Kansas should distinguish between requirements for short-term and long-term substitutes so that it can ensure that its requirements are appropriate for the needs of these teachers. The state's long-term substitute requirements should be rigorous (e.g., that all long-term substitutes have current or expired licenses) to help ensure that teachers who are spending extended periods of time with students are prepared to do so.
Require long-term substitute teachers to be evaluated.
Kansas should maintain standards for substitute teacher quality and accountability for all substitutes, but especially for long-term substitutes who are expected to stand in for licensed teachers for extended periods of time. Kansas can help ensure that substitute teachers are held to high standards and have access to the supports necessary to improve their practice by requiring evaluations— which it may find appropriate to modify from its standard, state-required teacher evaluations— of long-term substitutes.
Kansas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
Research finds that teacher absences negatively affect student achievement and growth. While some of this is attributable to the disruption of regular classroom practices and instruction, it may also be attributable to substitute teacher quality. The gap in instructional quality and daily productivity when a regular teacher is replaced by a substitute teacher is significant. However, absences covered by substitutes licensed by the state are not as detrimental to student achievement as those covered by non-licensed substitutes. Some research hypothesizes that the low-skill level and mobility of substitute teachers may contribute to the reduction in instructional focus and quality and that even when substitute teachers are good instructors, they may be unable to effectively implement a teacher of record's long-term instructional strategies. Parents, teachers, principals, and students have concerns about substitute teachers' quality and qualifications. States should maintain rigorous standards for substitute teacher quality and accountability for all substitutes, but especially for long-term substitutes who are expected to stand in for teachers for long stretches of time.