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In push for educator diversity, state needs to boost emergency license holders

Second-grade teacher Rachelle Milord helped Schemaeja Paillant learn to tell time at Mozart Elementary School in Boston in June 2021.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Emergency license holders should be a focus for the Massachusetts teacher workforce — they have a level of education and diversity that will help move our schools in the right direction (”Bill would improve diversity in educators,” Metro, July 5). In order to best serve these new educators, the state should provide assistance for emergency license holders to gain master’s degrees and full initial licenses rather than continue to offer them temporary, second-class status.

At our institution, we have developed programming to provide a pathway to endorsement for full licensure as quickly as possible. In addition, we are offering an incentive to encourage these new educators to become fully licensed and seek leadership positions in their schools. Our outreach to emergency license holders has convinced us that these individuals are not just a stopgap for COVID-related staffing but rather, in many ways, are the future of teaching in many of our districts.


Russ Olwell

Associate dean

Deborah Margolis


Winston School of Education and Social Policy

Merrimack College

North Andover