Yuma, AZ - Districts in Arizona now have the opportunity to hire someone who does not have the traditional teacher training but have strong skills in subjects such as math or science.
The Subject Matter Expert Standard Teaching Certificate allows districts to hire people who go through a teacher preparation program, who pass a subject matter, professional knowledge exams and teaching for two years.
But now, the Senate bill 1042 taking effect Wednesday will "ease the requirements for people from other states to be able to teach in Arizona and allow local school districts to decide whom to certify as teachers," according to the bill.
School officials say even after Arizona school districts hire teachers, they have a hard time convincing them to stay for long periods.
"There is a big shortage here in Arizona. In Yuma, we have been struggling lately. This year, I am not going to lie, this was a very hard year to find teachers and to recruit teachers to come teach for us. It was very difficult. This gives us an opportunity to bring in different people. I mean I much prefer we would get the highly qualified teacher's or someone who chose to go that route," says Fourth Avenue Jr. High School Principal Jose Cazares.
This law is an effort to relieve the teacher shortage that Arizona is facing but some parents say it drags teaching standards down the drain.
"If you have a degree let's just say for marketing and then they go in to go teach science. How is that going to help our students? I don't think it's a good idea," said Josue Rosales, a resident of Yuma, Ariz.
Goodwill Yuma Career Center along with Crane schools has set a hiring fair for August 9th from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.