LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4924 on Monday, which allows school staff members that are not teachers, such as paraprofessionals, to work as substitute teachers for the rest of the school year.
“Making sure every child in Michigan has access to a high-quality public education is my top priority, which is why this year we made the largest investment in K-12 public schools in Michigan history without raising taxes,” said Governor Whitmer in a press release.
“The pandemic has been challenging for our children, teachers, and parents, and our educators have gone above and beyond to ensure Michigan’s children have a bright future. Allowing schools to employ school staff that students know as substitute teachers will help keep school doors open and students learning in the classroom the rest of the school year. I am committed to working with the legislature to develop high-quality solutions to address these staff shortages long-term so that we can ensure that every child is able to access quality education.”
“House Bill 4294 will temporarily allow schools to employ an individual without certification who already works at the school to substitute teach through the end of the 2021-2022 school year,” Whitmer said.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Brad Paquette, a Republican from Niles, and a copy can be found here.
“Michigan already faced a severe educator shortage prior to the coronavirus pandemic”, said Paul Liabenow, Executive Director of the Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA). “The pandemic has only exacerbated that shortage by further hindering school districts’ abilities to fill vacant positions and keep buildings open, placing undue stress on educators already working tirelessly every day to ensure all students in Michigan receive quality, in-person instruction. House Bill 4294 will provide districts with additional flexibility to fill substitute teaching vacancies so students can continue to learn in a safe, supportive environment. On behalf of educational leaders throughout Michigan, we want to thank Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Representative Brad Paquette for their continued advocacy on behalf of educators and students throughout Michigan.”