Senator Alex PadillaSACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Calif. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) announced the introduction of Senate Bill 5. The bill would allow undergraduates to qualify for a teaching credential by earning a bachelor’s degree in education. The bill would also allow graduate level teaching programs to expand from one to two years.

“Allowing students to earn a teaching credential as an undergraduate will help well-prepared teachers enter California’s classrooms sooner,” said Senator Alex Padilla.

“SB 5 will provide aspiring teachers more time to develop effective teaching skills,” said Senator Padilla.

Since 1970, California has mandated that aspiring teachers earn a bachelor’s degree in a specific subject, and then take a one-year graduate level program to qualify for a teaching credential. State law currently prohibits a bachelor’s degree in education from being used as a qualification for a teaching credential and also limits the graduate level programs to one-year. Unfortunately, more than forty years later, these policies serve as a barrier to aspiring teachers.

Specifically, SB 5 would remove both the prohibition on bachelor’s degrees in education and the one year cap for graduate level teacher training programs. This change would provide students the time necessary to meet the rigorous academic and training requirements to become a certificated teacher in California.

“The state’s future economic competitiveness depends upon qualified teachers who can educate our diverse student population. Better prepared teachers will improve the academic success of students,” added Padilla.

Senator Alex Padilla, 39, graduated from MIT with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He currently serves on the Board of MIT and is President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. He is Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and represents the more than 1,100,000 residents of the 20th State Senate District in Los Angeles.

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