Investigation finds Missouri teacher credentials vulnerable
The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy. An investigation in Missouri finds social security numbers vulnerable, Oregon drops college requirements for substitute teachers, special ed teachers in Indiana face new requirements, and more in this week's regulatory news.

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Social Security numbers for teachers and school administrators and counselors across Missouri were susceptible to public exposure as a result of flaws on a website maintained by the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Over 100,000 Social Security numbers were vulnerable, according to a Post-Dispatch report which revealed a web application vulnerability that allowed public search of teacher certifications and credentials. Later, Gov. Mike Parson called the Post-Dispatch reporter who revealed the vulnerability a “hacker” and vowed to seek criminal prosecution.

New California legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom groups recreational trailers under Class C driver’s licenses, allowing both recreationalists and equestrians to pull trailers without undergoing needless verification and paying exorbitant fees that are meant for the industry’s heaviest commercial trailers. The bill will be fully implemented in 2027, due to the California Department of Motor Vehicle’s concerns of budgetary needs and bandwidth for programming updates.

Oregon has temporarily dropped a key college degree requirement for substitute teachers in order to address a labor shortage. The state’s teacher licensing board says it will temporarily kill a requirement demanding substitute teachers carry a college degree. The state’s school districts have been facing a substantial drop in licensed substitute teachers. The move is considered optional for districts, which can hire candidates who qualify for the new temporary requirement and also hire substitutes with existing license requirements.

Special education teachers in Indiana must now be either fully licensed or meet new provisional licensing requirements after state officials said the state had violated federal law over the last four years by issuing thousands of emergency special education teaching permits. Indiana issued over 40% more special education emergency teaching permits in the 2019-2020 year than it had four years earlier. Federal law prohibits states from providing emergency permits for special education teachers although the federal government has not penalized Indiana for its violation. State officials will not issue emergency permits for special education next year and instead will require educators to have full licenses or else enroll in programs that result in special education licensure.

Also noteworthy:

• The government wants to bolster its tech — starting with workers (Wired)

• Once hailed as heroes, health care workers now face a rash of violence (ABC)

• Virtual world will surpass real world if we don’t do something about it (Forbes)

Got a news tip? Write us at editor@ascend.thentia.com.

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Paul Leavoy
Written byPaul Leavoy
Paul Leavoy is Editor of Ascend Magazine and writes on occupational licensing, regulation, digital government, and public policy.

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