The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners is proposing an emergency rule to let paraeducators continue to serve as substitute teachers in any class in the district where they’ve been working.

Paraeducators had been allowed to sub in multiple classrooms under the governor’s public health emergency proclamation, which expires tomorrow (Tuesday) at midnight. Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls says he heard from a superintendent who’d been assigning paraeducators to cover for multiple teachers and was concerned the governor’s proclamation was expiring.

“A lot of our schools are already having a shortage,” Wahls says, “and they’re really worried that we’re going to see that be dramatically exacerbated.”

Before the governor’s pandemic proclamation, paraeducators had been assigned to work under the supervision of a licensed teacher rather than serve solo in any classroom as a substitute. The Administrative Rules Review Committee, a legislative panel that reviews agency rules, is scheduled to meet tomorrow and is expected to approve the emergency directive to let paraeduators continue to be substitutes for any class.