It's passed initial votes in the Senate so far, and has a House sponsor, but there have been some concerns expressed, most notably by Senators Ross Romero and Scott McCoy,
"This bill really is an insult to education," said Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake City. "Teachers have a skill set that is unique, developed and is nurtured and trained. I think this bill expands the profession of teaching into a hobby of teaching."I see this bill as a way to add value to schools by attracting talented, motivated professionals willing to teach. They still have to pass competency tests and hold a bachelor degree, but they would no longer have to take, and pay for, 1 or 2 years of classes to be teacher certified.
"I have seen the incredible amounts of very important training and learning that goes into learning how to teach," McCoy said, saying the bill was "too cavalier."
Is there a precedent for this? Absolutely. Many of my classes at the University of Utah were taught by adjunct professors - professionals from the community who, in addition to their regular jobs, taught courses at the U. These were upper level accounting and finance courses required for a University degree, and all taught by "non-teachers".
This bill simply does for junior and senior high schools what is already going on at our state's universities. At a time when we are faced with teacher shortages, adding this avenue to attract good teachers seems to make a lot of sense.