DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Many of the teachers in North Texas classrooms hold a certification from the state.

There is a new push to require teachers to carry a professional license as well. The proposal is backed by one of the country’s largest teacher unions and the largest teacher association in North Texas.

The American Federation of Teachers wants future teachers to complete a more rigorous academic program and to acquire a professional license before entering a classroom.

“This an important job, working with our children. To be truly effective, you need to have the right credentials,” says Rena Honea, Alliance AFT President.

Rena Honea speaks from 25 years of experience as a teacher for Dallas children. She says educators of tomorrow may need more than the traditional teacher certification.

“If they’re suggesting teachers need to grow in our craft, we would agree with, but I would refute the notion certification isn’t a qualification to teach,” says Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles about the proposal.

Currently, more than 25 thousand teachers fill North Texas public school classrooms. That does not include charter, private or parochial teachers.

In Dallas public schools, about half of all new hires don’t have certification. The district also has about 300 teacher vacancies. Some worry that requiring teachers to obtain a license will make it more challenging for schools to fill teaching positions.

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