A bill that would provide more flexible requirements to enter teacher preparation programs could lead to a more diverse workforce and help address the state’s teacher shortage, local officials said.

House Bill 1621, authored by Rep. Alex Ybarra, R-Quincy, of the 13th Legislative District which covers part of Yakima County, would provide more flexibility to colleges and universities to admit education students by making adjustments to the basic skills assessment requirements.

Ybarra said the bill was aimed toward district paraeducators and parent volunteers who might be rusty in topics included in the WEST-B exam required to enter educator programs. Instead of a high test score being a necessity to be admitted, the bill would allow colleges and universities to weigh

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