The State Board of Education passed a temporary emergency rule creating an alternative path to becoming a substitute teacher in Missouri.
Currently in order to obtain a substitute teacher certificate, an applicant must complete the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education online substitute certificate application, pass a fingerprint/background check and submit original transcripts showing sixty semester hours or more of successfully completed college level credit from a regionally-accredited academic degree granting institution recognized by DESE.
The current path to obtain a substitute teaching certificate will continue to exist, but for the next six months, there will be a second alternative path under the emergency rule. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has been working on increasing the availability of substitute teachers, recognizing that the substitute teacher shortage will only get worse due to the pandemic.
The new path for those trying to obtain a substitute teacher certificate contained in the emergency rule requires applicants to have a high school diploma, General Education Diploma (GED) or High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) and successfully complete a minimum of twenty clock hours of DESE-approved substitute teacher training that includes professionalism, honoring diversity, engaging students, foundational classroom management techniques, basic instructional strategies, supporting students with special needs, and working with at-risk youth. This Emergency Rule will expire in February 2021.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education stated they will continue to collect data and gain further input from Missouri educators before moving forward with any action to extend the emergency rule.
Individual School Districts will continue to retain the responsibility and oversight to make all decisions regarding the hiring of substitutes in their districts.