A bill that would make it harder for public schools to hire teachers, including by forcing teachers to apply for federal aid, was introduced in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bill, which passed the House Education and the Workforce Committee, would allow schools to use the Department of Education’s “pre-existing employment” criteria for hiring teachers.
This could include schools that are already hiring, but are not certified to use that credential.
But it would also allow for teachers to be hired on the basis of a state or federal certification.
It is not clear how many states currently use this certification.
The Education and Labor Committee’s bill, H.R. 4346, is a response to a state-wide push by parents and teachers’ unions to require teachers to have at least one years of state-issued education certification to work in public schools.
But a coalition of teachers’ organizations and civil rights groups have argued that the bill, if passed, could make it more difficult for teachers, especially those who are struggling with mental health issues, to secure jobs.
The Senate version of the education bill, S. 532, has been introduced in recent days by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a supporter of the state-level bills, but has not yet passed the Senate.
This bill is also being sponsored by Democrats.
In an interview, Senator Sessions said he supports the states’ right to regulate their schools, but that he supports federal legislation to limit schools’ use of the pre-existing education certification, which could be problematic if schools have to apply to the federal government for assistance to hire new teachers.
“What I support in the state of Alabama is that schools can choose to hire people from the community.
That’s my preference,” he said.”
But if you’re trying to give schools a federal certification, that’s an issue for the states.
They have the authority to do that.”
A new bill from the Education and Workforce Subcommittee of the House is also currently being considered, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R -S.C.).
This legislation would require public schools with 50 or more students to provide a teacher certification.
Duncan, a Democrat, said that if passed by the House, his bill would make that certification mandatory for teachers at all public schools in the United States.
The National Education Association, which represents teachers, called the bill “a disaster for American education.”
“This bill is an outrage.
This is a travesty for teachers,” said Jennifer J. Pfluger, the association’s president.
“The bill would give teachers a tool to deny education to students who are at the very top of their class and who need the most help.”
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Chris Gibson (R –N.Y.), told reporters after the House vote that he believes the preclearance provision “will help teachers and students and schools in a lot of cases.”
He added, however, that it could create a “huge bureaucratic mess” if states don’t comply.
“If states are not required to comply with the requirements, the department will come to us and say, ‘Oh, no, we don’t have enough staff,'” he said, adding that he believed the preclearing requirement would make “teachers, principals, school administrators and teachers all look bad.”
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) called the proposal “a blatant attack on teachers, parents and students.”
“These are teachers, principals and teachers who are doing their jobs to serve the students,” AFT National President Karen Lewis said in a statement.
“This bill puts at risk the most critical jobs in our schools.”
A spokesman for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the administration is considering the bill’s language and has no plans to amend it.
The Department of Labor, which is in charge of enforcing the laws requiring schools to train teachers, said the proposal would create “unnecessary confusion” in a number of states, which are already required to have preclearances.
“This is a clear attack on the federal education law,” said David Miller, a spokesman for the department.
“States are already working to comply, so this proposal would unnecessarily complicate the education process.”