New Haven, Conn. – The state Senate passed a bill today that would remove long-standing barriers to teacher certification for talented candidates of color, leaving members of the House to decide by next week if SB 455 will become law.

“While much work remains to be done, SB 455 takes many steps forward in building a certification system that recruits, retains and fosters top, diverse teaching talent throughout our state,” said Marc Porter Magee, interim executive director of ConnCAN, an education advocacy nonprofit. “We applaud the Senate’s passage of this important piece of legislation and call on the House to similarly pass this bill quickly and we call on the Governor to sign this into law because our children can’t wait.”

The bill removes the red tape, needless delays and artificial barriers for teachers at a time when the state faces a major shortage of highly-qualified educators. By removing obstacles for candidates who demonstrate subject area mastery, speeding up the process for qualified out-of-state teaching candidates and allowing already-certified teachers to earn the flexibility to instruct in subject areas where there is a teaching shortage it takes an important step forward to the goal of a stronger, more diverse teaching force.

“While half of our students are children of color, less than 10 percent of our teachers are. Our outdated certification requirements exclude too many well-trained, committed, and diverse candidates from teaching in our state, especially in shortage or in-demand areas,” Magee said. “But the research is clear:  the quality of a child’s classroom teacher is the No. 1 factor for success in school—and students of color perform better in school when taught by teachers of color.”


About ConnCAN: ConnCAN: the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now is leading a movement to improve education outcomes for Connecticut’s kids. We bring advocates, policymakers, parents and educators together to change the system and give all kids access to the great public schools they deserve.

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