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Kansas Wants to Make It Easier to Hire Out-of-State Teachers


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is joining a fledgling effort that could one day make it easier to hire teachers from other states. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a bill that Governor Laura Kelly signed last week makes Kansas the latest member of the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact.

It is not off the ground yet. Ten states are required to fully enact the compact, and Kansas is only the fourth to join. The three others are Utah, Colorado and Kentucky. Legislation is pending in about a dozen other states.

The compact could be operational in a year or two depending on what happens. The compact is a creation of the Council of State Governments, with heavy backing from the U.S. Department of Defense, which wanted to create an easier pathway to teacher licensure for military personnel and their spouses as they move around the country. It would effectively allow teaching licenses to be viable across members of the compact, cutting through the current 50-state patchwork of disparate requirements.

The Kansas chapter of the National Education Association has raised concerns about the potential for under-qualified educators. Schools have championed the compact as a way to help fill vacant teaching jobs. Senator Pat Pettey, a Kansas City Democrat and retired educator who sponsored the bill, described the effort in a statement as “one more tool to the State Board of Education Licensure tool box.”