Written by: Brian J. DeSantis, Esq.
After an unexpected delay, the Ohio General Assembly has passed—and the Governor has signed—emergency legislation (S.B. 1) that permits boards of education to relax the requirements for employing substitute teachers. While S.B. 1 is similar to last year’s legislative flexibility, it contains additional requirements. To take advantage of S.B. 1, boards of education will need to take action (again) to establish their own requirements for substitute teachers. Pepple & Waggoner has prepared draft resolutions that align with S.B. 1’s requirements.
Under existing law, an individual must have a post-secondary degree to become a substitute teacher. S.B. 1 allows a board of education to waive this requirement and establish its own education requirements. If a board does not act, the post-secondary degree requirement will remain for that school district.
Districts may recall that the General Assembly permitted similar action for last school year pursuant to H.B. 409. Like H.B. 409, S.B. 1 does not restrict boards of education from varying education requirements by grade or subject area. However, unlike H.B. 409, S.B. 1 additionally conditions employment on the substitute teacher being “deemed of good moral character,” and successfully completing an R.C. 3319.39 criminal background check.
When adopting new education requirements, boards should ensure that any new requirements do not conflict with board policy, administrative guidelines, or existing job descriptions.
S.B. 1’s flexibility only applies to the 2021-2022 school year. Although S.B. 1 was passed by the General Assembly back on October 6th, it was just signed into law by Governor DeWine on October 28th. As S.B. 1 was passed as emergency legislation, it is effective immediately. This means that boards of education can act now to establish their own education requirements for substitute teachers.
Pepple & Waggoner has prepared a draft resolution that aligns with S.B. 1’s language. If your board wants to consider the model resolution or if you have questions about S.B. 1’s language related to substitute teachers, do not hesitate to contact us.