Some recent news stories related to Senate Bill (SB) 1159 provided inaccurate information related to the requirement that teachers hold a bachelor’s degree.
SB 1159 does not remove the bachelor’s degree requirement for teaching certificates established in A.R.S. § 15-501(A) or provide additional exceptions to the bachelor’s degree requirement established in A.R.S. § 15-501(F). Instead, SB 1159 amends A.R.S. § 15-553, which relates to alternative teacher training programs administered by school districts and charter schools; these programs are approved by the State Board of Education as “classroom-based preparation programs.”
Under the current state statute, an individual must have a bachelor’s degree to enroll in a classroom-based preparation program. SB 1159 amends state statute to allow a school district or charter school to enroll a candidate who does not have a bachelor’s degree into their classroom-based preparation program if the candidate is enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited college or university. However, SB 1159 also requires that:
The candidate “is not a contracted or permanent full-time teacher or the teacher of record for any classroom of students”.
The candidate “does not regularly instruct students without the presence of a full-time teacher, certificated teacher, instructional coach, or instructional mentor unless the candidate possesses other means of certification, including an emergency substitute certificate, substitute certificate, or emergency teacher certificate.”
Please see pg. 9, lines 20-41 on the PDF version of SB 1159, which may be retrieved from the Arizona State Legislature’s website.
Foreign Credential Evaluation Agencies – List of foreign credentialing agencies for applicants who are using coursework or degrees from a foreign college or university to meet certification requirements.