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More than a dozen local teacher licenses at risk if North Carolina bill fails

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More than a dozen teachers in our area could lose their jobs unless lawmakers vote to approve a one-year extension to pass licensure exams.

North Carolina Association of Educators President Mark Jewell explained that Senate Bill 219 would give extra time to teachers to re-take exams they may be struggling to pass.

“This is really impacting our most vulnerable school districts, particularly rural school districts in North Carolina that struggle to get licensed teachers,” Jewell said.

FOX8 reached out to local districts to see how the bill could impact their educators. Guilford County Schools reported that about 10 teachers needed more time for their licenses. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools said eight teachers would be impacted and Randolph County Schools reported just one.

A representative for the Alamance-Burlington School System said that the data requested was not immediately available, and a spokesperson for Davidson County Schools did not respond.

Jewell explained that some teachers in the state struggled to pass math questions on the Pearson exam, which was preventing them from getting their license.

“There was actually calculus equations on there," Jewell said. "Formulas and problems that obviously if you’re teaching in a K-5, there would be no necessity for that higher level math.”

Jewell said with the teacher shortage in the state near 1,200, he hoped lawmakers would vote to approve the extension before a June 30 deadline.

“If we lose them, they’re probably going to be replaced with a substitute teacher. And we need all the good teachers we can possibly get here in North Carolina,” Jewell said.

He added that the law would make it easier for teachers relocating from out of state to secure their licenses as well.

You can read the bill in its entirety here.

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