The bill is a response to the shortage of replacement teachers in Ohio during the COVID-19. Many substitute teachers are retired K-12 teachers, but the Centers for Disease Control says anyone over the age of 60 is more likely to develop a serious illness with COVID-19. Some substitutes did not seem to be able to risk it.
But in general there was a shortage of teachers. Schools also face issues related to teachers being affected by COVID-19 and requiring leave, but there are not enough substitutes to protect all sick teachers.
Many rulers and education lobbyists have supported the bill. But at least one superintendent at Madison Local School in North Central Ohio, Robert Peterson, said the district was able to recruit college students seeking careers in education.
Adam C. Byrd, a Republican from Cincinnati, was one of Bill’s sponsors. “It ensures that teachers can teach and that students can eat.”
Another sponsor of the bill is Don Jones, a Republican from Freeport. In Appalachia, where he lives, he noted that most college graduates are already working. But the bill has the support of both parties.
“It simply came to our notice then. This is something that has been going on for a long time, “said Rep. Phil Robinson, a Democrat from Solan and a ranking member of the Committee on Primary and Secondary Education.” The COVID-19 situation has worsened. “
But not all Democrats supported the bill. Joe Miller, a Democrat and former teacher from Amherst, said he opposed the bill because low standards meant substitutes were not qualified to teach lessons.
“It’s a slippery slope,” he said. “I hope we find real support and real solutions to the recognition that our teachers are one of the most valuable public servants in Ohio and the United States.”