SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Siouxlanders who complete a practitioner preparation program at an Iowa college no longer have to pass a professional exam to be licensed teachers in Iowa.

School officials hope this change helps improve the teacher shortage

Maria Ruelas is the principal at Irving Dual Language Elementary School. She said schools across the district have struggled to fill positions.

“I believe that the consensus from principals that I’ve talked to in the district and other places, this is one of the hardest years that we have found to be to fill positions that we have open,” she said.

Ruelas said the praxis exam has often been a tough hurdle for teaching applicants.

“I’m hoping that it will be beneficial as we hope to get more teacher candidates,” she said. “A lot of times teachers have struggled to pass the praxis either the first time or the second time.”

Dr. Jen Gomez is the director of human resources at the Sioux City Community School District. She said teacher applicants lose valuable time waiting for the results of their praxis exam.

“I would say probably a couple months,” Gomez said. “So, if they’re taking it in May or June, we may not be getting their license until late July, early August.”