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Oregon schools lean heavily on emergency teachers, including untrained ones

Struggling with staffing shortages exacerbated by the pandemic, Oregon schools leaned heavily last year on teachers who received emergency licenses from the state. 

During the 2021-22 school year, districts employed 438 emergency licensed teachers, up from 181 the year prior and a low of 134 five years ago, according to data from the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. Emergency licensed teachers can fill a full-time role at one school in a single subject area for up to one year. These teachers are not required to have a bachelor’s degree or any training. Last school year was also the first time the state approved an emergency substitute teaching license following reports of staffing difficulties by individual districts, education service districts and public charters.

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