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AZ Board of Ed removes substitute teacher work limit to handle COVID-19 teacher shortage

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The state Board of Education on Monday removed the 120-day limit on work by certified substitute teachers and instead will allow them to teach as long as necessary until a regular teacher is hired.

The move is aimed at alleviating the pandemic-aggravated shortage of substitute teachers in Arizona’s K-12 schools.

The board also decided to allow emergency substitute teacher certificates for two years instead of one.

Schools are struggling to find substitute teachers as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus surges. Education officials say the unprecedented number of absences disrupts learning and places pressure on teachers and administrators.

Groups representing rural schools and school administrators proposed the changes.

Arizona on Tuesday reported the most COVID-19-related hospitalizations statewide since last January.