By KEN CARPENTER
Great Bend Post
The Kansas Board of Education approved an emergency declaration on Wednesday to help local school districts hire more substitute teachers. The declaration removes the requirement that substitute teachers must have at least 60 semester credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university to get an emergency substitute license.
Great Bend Schools Superintendent Khris Thexton responded to the announcement.
“It will help us in the fact that it expands the opportunity for a substitute pool,” Thexton said. “It definitely gives some of our area people an opportunity to at least apply to be a substitute.”
The emergency declaration requires substitute teachers to be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, be fingerprinted, pass a background check and submit a completed application to the Kansas Department of Education. They also must have a verified employment commitment from a local school district. In Great Bend, that would require approval from Thexton and his school district staff.
“I would say anybody who’s interested in becoming a sub under this current declaration, please come out and visit with one of us at the district office, and we’d be happy to get them some information,” Thexton said.
The state school board's action was motivated by a shortage of substitute teachers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will expire on June 1st of this year.