Districts must show ‘diligent search’ for credentialed teachers

Associated Press
Tuesday September 11, 2001

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Districts seeking emergency permits for teachers who don’t meet state qualifications would have to show a state agency they had made a “diligent search” for qualified teachers under a bill approved Monday by the state Assembly. 

“We want to make sure districts take every step to hire credentialed teachers before they hire teachers on emergency permits,” said a backer, Assemblywoman Carol Liu, D-La Canada-Flintridge. 

Districts that cannot find teachers who have full state credentials must apply to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing for an emergency permits for people who have not met requirements. 

Nearly 40,000 of the almost 300,000 state teachers are on emergency permits. Schools with large numbers of poor or non-English-speaking students and low test scores are more likely to have large numbers of such teachers. 

Liu said the bill would discourage districts from hiring emergency-permit teachers “to save money” by paying lower salaries. 

The bill was opposed by Assemblyman Phil Wyman, R-Tehachapi, who said remote rural districts have trouble finding credentialed teachers. Under the bill, “state government is coming in and saying ’You’re not diligent enough,”’ he said. 

The bill was approved 58-13 and returned to the Senate for a vote on amendments.