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Lawmakers Considering Allowing DREAMers To Get Teaching Licenses

 Under current Nevada law, an individual who is not a citizen or permanent legal resident cannot receive a teaching license, unless the state superintendent of education grants one--and then, only if there's a teaching shortage.

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A new bill being considered in the Nevada legislature would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain teaching licenses--provided those individuals have received temporary immunity from deportation under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (or DACA), otherwise known as DREAMers.

AB27 was requested by the Nevada Department of Education.

The license would have some restrictions, according to state Superintendent Dale Erquiaga: It couldn't be transferred to another county, and districts would have to inform the state if they fired a teacher who had a license under the bill's provisions.

Clark County School District is short about 600 teachers, and wants to hire 2,600 teachers by next school year to ease overcrowding.

Washoe County School District officials said they are currently short 99 teachers and would also benefit from the bill.

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During a hearing about the bill most school and business organizations who testified said they were in favor of the bill.

The lone dissenter was John Wagner of the Independent American Party, who wanted to know whether people covered by executive immigration orders would qualify.

"Would that be someone who was, say, blanketed in by President Obama's amnesty thing? I would not be in favor of that," he said.

The committee's legal counsel said they would look into the matter.

We talk with Assemblywoman Oliva Diaz, a Las Vegas Democrat and teacher, about why this change to the law is necessary.
Olivia Diaz, assemblywoman, Nevada State Legislature

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Prior to taking on the role of Broadcast Operations Manager in January 2021, Rachel was the senior producer of KNPR's State of Nevada program for 6 years. She helped compile newscasts and provided coverage for and about the people of Southern Nevada, as well as major events such as the October 1 shooting on the Las Vegas strip, protests of racial injustice, elections and more. Rachel graduated with a bachelor's degree of journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University.