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Senate rejects bill to allow person with 'documented disability' to teach

The North Dakota Senate on Wednesday rejected a bill that would have allowed a person with a "documented disability" to teach in areas where there are teacher shortages.

Senate Bill 2199, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, received a unanimous "do not pass" recommendation from the Senate Education Committee.

Sen. David Rust, R-Tioga, said Wednesday, Feb. 13, that the committee learned there are several teachers in the state who meet all of the requirements to become a teacher but cannot pass an exam for beginning teachers.

However, Rust said the committee believed the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board would be better suited to make changes through their rules, rather than a law.

"Assurances have been given that ESPB rules will be implemented to address this and similar situations; therefore, the bill is not needed," Rust said.

The bill failed by a vote of 46-1.