Teachers are quitting their Texas classrooms.

And who could blame them? Between low pay compared to other states, big class sizes, burnout, and low state funding per student, it sounds stressful at best, if not downright dismal.

So Texas is responding by increasing their pay, giving them more classroom support, and reducing their classroom sizes, right? Sadly, no.

Instead of fixing the problems facing highly trained and educated teachers, Texas is hiring unlicensed people to fill in the gaps, to the detriment of students, particularly those in rural areas.

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Why are unlicensed tearers being hired?

Until 2015, it was federally mandated that teachers be licensed to teach. However, the ironically named  Every Student Succeeds Act eliminated that requirement.

Texas has used this new flexibility to hire more unlicensed teachers than those that have a license. Last year, 75% of new teachers hired in rural districts were unlicensed.

Are we just being elitist to think an educator should have at minimum a Bachelor's Degree and certification to teach? Is a warm body with a state-mandated curriculum good enough? Not according to research.

Research shows unqualified teachers negatively impact a student's success, particularly in middle and high school math.

Additionally, unlicensed teachers are more likely to quit (they never invested time, money, and effort into a teaching degree). We all know sudden and steep turn-around is disruptive to any organization, and that training a new employee comes at a high cost.

That's certainly true for Texas teachers which is, "expensive, costing school districts $9,000 to $21,000 to hire and train a replacement for each teacher who leaves." Imagine paying a professionally trained teacher $9K to $21K more a year to stay, but clearly, that makes too much sense.

These are our children losing out on the education that will help them find a future career, and they are the workforce that will work for our businesses, be our nurses, etc.

Unless something changes drastically, and soon, Texas's major education problem will negatively affect everyone who lives here for decades to come.

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