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Whitmer signs bill so non-teaching staff can work as subs

Governor Gretchen Whitmer giving a speech in a mask
Associated Press
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Associated Press

The bill lets secretaries, paraprofessionals and other school employees without a teaching certificate — such as library aides, bus drivers, cooks and office workers — work as subs as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate.

Michigan public schools can use non-teaching staff as substitute teachers the rest of the academic year under a law designed to address a shortage during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that she signed the bill last week, calling it a “temporary stopgap” in a letter to lawmakers. It lets secretaries, paraprofessionals and other school employees without a teaching certificate — such as library aides, bus drivers, cooks and office workers — work as subs as long as they have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate.

The legislation had been approved by the Republican-led Legislature on largely party lines over objections from many Democrats and a couple of Republicans.

“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,” the Democratic governor said in a written statement. “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 a quality education.”

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