RELEASE: STATE SENATOR JOYCE WOODHOUSE CALLS FOR REVIEW OF TEACHER LICENSING TO EASE TEACHER SHORTAGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, November 11, 2015

STATE SENATOR JOYCE WOODHOUSE CALLS FOR REVIEW OF TEACHER LICENSING TO EASE TEACHER SHORTAGE

LAS VEGAS -  Today, State Senator Joyce Woodhouse called for a review of teacher licensing in Nevada. Specifically, Senator Woodhouse called for the Legislative Committee on Education to begin a study of potential legislative changes that could be implemented during the 2017 Legislative Session in order to expand flexibility for local school districts, attract more qualified teachers to Nevada, and better equip teachers to provide a high quality education to students.

Senator Woodhouse made the following statement regarding her proposal:

“The teacher shortage in Clark County is a crisis that is putting students and their long-term educational success at risk. Modernizing our approach to licensing teachers could help us put more teachers in classrooms, reduce class sizes, and improve educational outcomes.” 

“However, we should also be mindful of the fact that teacher licensing is a complex issue that deserves a thorough review. It will require us to draw on the expertise of our teachers, school administrators, and local communities, while also taking a look at the experiences of other states. That’s why I’m calling on the Legislative Committee on Education to begin this process now so that we will have at least a year to complete this important work.” 

As part of its review of Nevada’s teacher licensing practices, Senator Woodhouse proposed that the committee should consider the following areas:

1. Exploring potential options for reciprocity in teacher licensing so that qualified teachers who are currently licensed in other states can more easily move to Nevada. This would include a review of the experiences of other states that already grant reciprocity. 

2. Examining the process for out-of-state licensure applications to look for possible areas of improvement that would expedite the review and reduce the burden on applicants. The current process has been criticized for being too tedious and for taking too long to complete. 

3. Reviewing possible regulatory adjustments that would be required at the Department of Education in order to implement any changes to existing licensure requirements. 

4. Ensuring that any changes are made in a way that preserves Nevada’s ability to ensure that only qualified teachers are licensed in the state. 

Joyce Woodhouse has served on the Senate Education Committee during four legislative sessions, including as the committee chair in 2013. She also chaired the Legislative Committee on Education during the 2013-2015 interim. Woodhouse spent 40 years working for the Clark County School District as a first grade teacher and an elementary school principal. Throughout her career, she also held leadership positions with the Nevada State Education Association.

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