Senate Bill 387 has died. This controversial measure in Indiana would have allowed school districts to hire up to 10% of their teaching staff as unlicensed teachers. The bill died as many in the legislature recognized that there are already plenty of other alternative pathways to licensure in Indiana, including emergency permits. The bill was initially drafted in response to Indiana’s teacher shortage by Senator Andy Zay from Huntington. The bill targeted new teachers who could not pass the state’s Pearson licensure test and would have allowed them to request a waiver to teach anyway. Other measures to address the teacher shortage in Indiana failed as well, including increasing or modifying pay scales slightly. While there are widespread criticisms of the licensure exams, most educators and teacher educators do not see them as the main hurdle to new teachers entering the profession in the state. They cite other issues such as pay, discipline issues, and cultural respect for teachers.
In 2017 6,160 college graduates earned an initial practitioner license in Indiana, up by about 35% over 2016. The teacher shortage continues to be a problem in Indiana, and it is of concern both to schools and teacher education colleges.