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Could New York ease requirements for teachers? It’s up to Gov. Cuomo now

The New York State Legislature passed a bill with bipartisan support to remove GPA requirements for graduate-level teacher and educational programs.

It’s up to Governor Andrew Cuomo if that gets his signature.


“I feel like a lot of people who may have missed that cutoff are people from the community who had other things going on, like working full time,” Patty Pion told Spectrum News. “I was 17 years old, what did I know about college degrees. I wouldn’t want anyone to be discouraged from not applying because that 3.0 for me was a dead stop and I had people help me get over that dead stop. I think part of the thing we’re hoping is that this dead stop is removed, because I do think it discourages people and it limits people.”

Mary Beth Labate, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities says intense, strict standards make sense. But only to a degree. “Let them go through the process,” she said to Spectrum. But for government to tell an 18 year old, ‘hey you took calculus and you did really poorly on it,’ or, ‘you took organic chemistry and did really poorly and your GPA isn’t going to rebound and therefore you can’t be a teacher,’ I think it’s shortsighted.”

Governor Cuomo vetoed the bill last year, but there has been a well-documented staff shortage during the Coronavirus Pandemic.



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