After a lengthy discussion on the Senate floor yesterday, S.B. 48, Teacher Licensing by Competency Amendments sponsored by Senator Chris Buttars, passed it’s second reading with a vote of 17-11. This bill will allow individuals with a bachelor’s degree to obtain a license to teach after passing competency tests and/or demonstrating skills in the areas they wish to teach.
Senator Goodfellow was concerned about how this bill would affect elementary education, especially reading. “Teaching reading is not something you just pick up,” he said. “You need to learn the pedagogy, the teaching methods.” (Click here for The Salt Lake Tribune article in this morning’s paper or here for today’s article in the Provo Daily Herald.)
To address his concerns, Senator Goodfellow introduced an amendment today that would exclude the elementary grades from the bill. Both the amendment and the bill passed today, and the amended bill will now move to the House for consideration. To read the amended bill, click here or listen to the floor debate by clicking here (select Day 19).
Senator Goodfellow fully supports the current educational requirements teachers are required to take for certification. He also believes we need to send a strong message of support to all of our teachers. They are doing an outstanding job, and we thank them for teaching our precious children.