Individuals with a bachelor’s degree and three years of work experience would have a faster route to getting a teacher’s license under a proposal introduced by Republicans in the Iowa House.

Those workers would need to get 15 credit hours of teacher education and then work in what would amount to a yearlong internship, Iowa Rep. Dustin Hite, a Republican from New Sharon who chairs the House’s education committee, told reporters Monday at the Iowa Capitol.

Hite said he is not aware of any data that shows a shortage in the state’s education workforce, but that he and his legislative colleagues hear about it from their local schools. He said it is difficult to determine if any shortage in education workers is different from the overall workforce shortage, which is impacting Iowa and most other states.

“When we hear from our schools, what they’re telling us is they are having a hard time finding not only teachers, but bus drivers and lunch personnel, janitors. You name it, they’re having a hard time filling it,” Hite said. “We have schools telling us that 10 years ago, 20 years ago you’d have hundreds of people apply for an elementary job, and now you might get six. And for high school jobs, you might have one now.”

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