Late in 2021, the Ohio General Assembly included a provision in S.B. 1 to allow school districts to hire an individual as a substitute teacher, for the 2021-22 school year only, if the individual met the requirements established by the district, was deemed of good moral character and successfully completed a background check.
Earlier this summer, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill (HB) 583 which extended this temporary provision for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. The provision is intended to provide flexibility for districts who are facing challenges finding substitute teachers. Once again, in order to serve as a substitute for a district under the provisions of HB 583, a person must:
- Meet the district’s own set of educational requirements.
- Be deemed of good moral character.
- Successfully complete the criminal background check prescribed in Ohio Revised Code (RC) 3319.39.
HB 583 also directed that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) shall continue to issue nonrenewable temporary substitute teaching licenses to individuals who do not hold a post-secondary degree but do meet the requirements listed above.
The bill does not become effective until Sept. 23, 2022, after the start of the 2022-23 school year. However, ODE is reminding districts that RC 3319.36 and 3319.101 allow districts to conditionally employ substitutes, for up to 60 days from the date of the application, who have pending applications for substitute teaching licenses.
ODE began to accept applications for one-year temporary non-bachelor’s substitute teaching licenses on Aug. 1. According to ODE, the process of employing these individuals is:
- Applicants submit the temporary application on or after Aug. 1 for the 2022-23 school year.
- Once ODE receives an application, the local school board may conditionally employ the person as a substitute teacher for a period of 60 days. To hire the individual, the employing superintendent must believe the individual’s application indicates the person is qualified to obtain the substitute teaching license.
- On Sept. 23, ODE will begin rapidly processing all pending applications to ensure they are processed within the 60-day conditional employment period. Please note the period of conditional employment shall last for 60 days or until the licensure application has either been issued or declined, whichever comes first
After Sept. 23, ODE is planning to resume processing applications for one-year temporary non-bachelor’s substitute teaching licenses in the normal fashion.
The General Assembly has also established a study committee, composed of three members of the Senate and three members of the House of Representatives, to examine the shortage of substitute teachers and consider ways to address its causes. The committee is charged with producing a report of its findings by Dec. 31, 2022.
OSBA’s division of legal services will monitor developments regarding substitute teacher licenses and the work of the study committee. Districts with questions are welcome to contact the division at 855.OSBA.LAW or (855) 672.2529. For more specific guidance on licensure issues, please contact the ODE Office of Educator Licensure at Educator.Licensure@education.ohio.gov.