Nebraska legislative panel hears bill to ease requirements for vets to become teachers

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Monday was the first day of legislative hearings at the Nebraska State Capitol.

And the Education Committee had a busy day.

One of the bills that was being heard was LB 188 from Sen. Ben Hansen of Blair.

That bill would allow veterans who served for at least four years to get an expedited teaching certificate.

If they have at least 60 college credits and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, they can get a five-year temporary teaching certificate.

Proponents of the bill say it would give veterans who wanted to teach but couldn’t finish college a chance to teach young people.

Opponents believe not requiring the veterans to have a degree would hurt Nebraska schools.

Hansen said the veterans would still have to take an exam in the subject they wish to teach to receive the certificate.

They also would have to be working toward their full teaching certificate.

Opponents also say the lack of in-class teaching experience could be a problem.

Hansen has an idea for an amendment to help alleviate those concerns.

“We may look at doing something where they can have to do some of the student teaching beforehand,” he said.

Another bill that was heard was LB 141 from Sen. Tom Briese, who represents much of central Nebraska.

That bill would allow schools to hold a moment of silence each day for students and staff to use for their own reflection.

The bill would also have the Department of Education provide guidance for the moment of silence.

Briese said the bill is secular and not driven by religion.

“Some of the folks at the hearing, they equated this with religion in schools, prayer in schools,” he said. “No, that’s not the intent here. The intent is to put a secular moment of silence in place in public education in Nebraska, that I that I think can be very helpful. But again, that’s up to the local school board.”

Should the committees find these bills acceptable, they’ll move onto the floor for further debate.

If passed there, they’ll go to Gov. Jim Pillen’s desk for final approval before becoming law.

Categories: Capitol News, Education News, Nebraska News, News