At Policy Watch, we’ve reported extensively on the struggle to recruit and hold onto teachers in North Carolina, particularly given the ongoing back-and-forth over lagging teacher pay in the state.
And as many school leaders have testified, it’s a major problem in the state’s low-performing schools.
Now, here is some interesting news over the weekend, courtesy of the Salisbury Post, which reported on one freshman GOP senator’s proposal to speed teacher certifications for the state’s teaching assistants.
From the Post:
Many of North Carolina’s rural counties struggle to attract and retain quality teachers, but State Sen. Tom McInnis believes he has a solution.
During a chamber breakfast event on Friday, McInnis, R-25, described details of a proposal that would provide teachers assistants a loan to take classes at night or during weekends. At the conclusion of the program, participants would receive a degree and be able to teach. Loans would be forgiven if the program participant teaches at a low-performing school for four years, McInnis said.
“I didn’t have enough horsepower up there, being a freshman, but I’m going to get enough horsepower and we’re going to work on this program,” said McInnis, who is nearing the end of his first term in the N.C. Senate.
As McInnis himself notes in the report, it’s worth asking how likely the one-term senator—who represents a rural district that includes Anson, Stanly, Rowan, Richmond and Scotland counties—is to get support for the legislation, but it’s something to follow.
The Post reported that McInnis was responding to a local school administrator’s complaints that the system, like many in North Carolina, continues to struggle retaining teachers or even filling long-posted vacancies.