Legislature passes, sends governor bill to recruit more teachers

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Legislature has passed a bill that would implement a number of measures to recruit new teachers to public schools and reduce a shortage of teachers in the state.

The measure, which lawmakers said is a compromise between the chambers, was passed on a 96-2 vote in the House on Thursday and then quickly given final legislative approval by the Senate Thursday night.  The bill now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for his expected signature.

The bill would, among other policies, would create a teacher recruitment program, allow new paths to become a teacher in the state, create a grant program to aid some new teachers who demonstrate financial need and let some retired teachers be substitute teachers without hurting retirement benefits.

The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has reported a shortage of teachers in Washington.