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General Assembly To Reconsider Vetoed Teaching Bill

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RALEIGH, N.C. — After vetoing a bill two weeks ago that would relax standards for out-of-state teachers, Gov. Mike Easley Monday called on state lawmakers to reconvene this week to reconsider it.

House Bill 706

relaxes requirements for hiring out-of-state teachers to help ease the state's teacher shortage.

Easley vetoed the bill Sept. 29 because he said the bill lowered North Carolina's education standards and because he worried that it would send a message that other states' standards were good enough for North Carolina and could lead to a decline in teacher quality.

According to the North Carolina Constitution, Easley is required to reconvene the General Assembly within 10 days of the veto or the bill becomes law. Lawmakers will have to decide whether to accept a compromise or attempt to override the veto, which requires the vote of three-fifths of the members present in each chamber.

Last week, state education leaders approved a broader policy that they said relaxes standards for teachers coming to the state without compromising quality. The policy, adopted by an unanimous vote, allows out-of-state teachers to teach in North Carolina without a certification exam if they have taken and passed a similar exam and if they meet North Carolina's teaching standards.

"It really solves a lot of the hurdles I had to deal with when I came into this state to be a teacher," school board member Melissa Bartlett.

It also allows an out-of-state teacher with at least three years of teaching experience to be licensed in North Carolina after a year of local classroom evaluation.

Because the bill had virtually no opposition, lawmakers said they believe they would have no problem overriding the veto. The bill passed unanimously in the state House by a vote of 113-0, and by a vote of 45-4 in the Senate. It will take just 72 votes in the House and 30 votes in the Senate to override the veto. Lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene Wednesday at 10 a.m.

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