INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana State Board of Education narrowly agreed Wednesday to continue moving forward with plans enabling Hoosiers with a bachelor's degree and good grades in college, but no education training, to become middle and high school teachers.

The concept for an "adjunct teacher permit" initially was approved in December 2012 by a state School Board seeking to give Republican Tony Bennett, who lost the month before to Democrat Glenda Ritz in his bid to remain state superintendent of public instruction, a final victory on his way out of office.

The adjunct permit creates a different route to the classroom than the traditional "practitioner" license, which requires training in child development, child psychology and how to run a classroom — along with student teaching and additional in-school internship requirements.

Bennett and then-Gov. Mitch Daniels, also a Republican, strongly backed the adjunct proposal, claiming it would give local school corporations greater flexibility in hiring.

Ritz opposed the plan but was not allowed to participate in the board's discussion at the time.

When technical rule-making changes brought the permit issue before the board again Wednesday, Ritz recommended the adjunct teacher plan be dropped.

She noted several alternative paths to teacher licensing already exist and include vital training in how to teach children.

Brad Oliver, a Republican board member from Muncie, agreed with Ritz that teachers should learn how to teach before they're standing in front of a classroom and charged with ensuring each student achieves at least a year's worth of academic progress.

Nevertheless, the board voted 6-5 to overrule Ritz and work toward a final teacher licensing plan that includes the adjunct permit.

Democrat Tony Walker, of Gary, who represents Northwest Indiana on the state education board, supported the adjunct permit, as he did in 2012 when he said school corporations ultimately will decide whether they want to hire adjunct permit holders.

The board later voted 8-3 to support a motion by Gordon Hendry, an Indianapolis Democrat who serves as a statewide representative, to require teachers on an adjunct permit take appropriate education training programs to maintain it.

It still likely will be many months before any Hoosier can obtain an adjunct teacher permit.

The final proposed rule must be reviewed at public hearings and approved by Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Gov. Mike Pence, both Republicans, before it can take effect.

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