On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 368 by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), which eliminates duplicative credential coursework requirements for special education teachers.
The bill allows credential programs to accept coursework from multiple programs approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Previously, some qualified candidates were required to retake duplicative courses because of a lack of clear system for accepting coursework from multiple programs. The bill helps address a shortage of special education teachers in California classrooms.
SB 368 applies only to credentialed special education teachers seeking specialized authorizations to teach students with specific physical, mental, emotional or other disabilities.
“Proper training is critical for maintaining high-quality instruction, but we should remove unnecessary roadblocks when possible so teachers can focus on what matters – the students,” Senator Pavley said. “This bill will maintain high-quality training while saving time and money and helping to address the shortage of special education teachers.”
“When California is only producing 50% of the credentialed Special Educators needed, it is important that those seeking proper credentials focus their time and energies on gaining the skill set necessary to serve their students and not waste time on duplicative coursework,” said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers. “SB 368 will assist in assuring that every Special Education student gets instruction from a properly credentialed teacher, and we are pleased that the Governor agrees.”
Pavley represents about half of the Santa Clarita Valley in the state Senate.