Kansas is joining a fledgling effort that could one day make it easier to hire teachers from other states.
A bill that Gov. Laura Kelly signed Thursday makes Kansas the latest member of the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
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.
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It would effectively allow teaching licenses to be viable across members of the compact, cutting through the current 50-state patchwork of disparate requirements.
It’s 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, however, is pending in about a dozen other states. Depending on what happens, the compact could be operational in a year or two.
The Kansas chapter of the National Education Association has raised concerns about the potential for underqualified educators.
Schools have championed the compact as a way to help fill vacant teaching jobs.
Sen. 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.”