Senator Jim Burgin (R-Harnett) has made it easier for accountants and other professionals to get back in the classroom, but not as students. He wants them there to help teach North Carolina high schoolers.
Senator Burgin is the primary sponsor of SB 582, which Governor Cooper signed into law on June 21. This new law allows individuals to contract with local boards of education to teach high school courses in their area of specialized knowledge or work experience.
“Two of my best teachers were retired from other careers, and they changed my life,” said Senator Burgin. “Sometimes it’s better to learn about a subject from someone who’s actually done it, as opposed to someone who has only read or heard from others about it.”
To be eligible to serve as an adjunct instructor, individuals must have a bachelor’s or graduate degree and must complete at least one semester (nine credit hours or more) of teacher preparation courses at a community college. Instructors could teach core academic subjects as well as courses in their professional expertise. The law also applies to courses in foreign languages and the fine and performing arts.
During floor debate and when discussing the measure with NCACPA, Senator Burgin specifically mentioned accountants.
“Who could be better to teach a course on financial literacy, economics, or mathematics than a retired accountant?” he asked. “Accountants could take advantage of this opportunity to equip a generation to make financially sound decisions. They might also be that teacher that inspires students to enter the profession one day.”
Burgin sees his bill as a way for professionals, artists, and others to redefine the “second half” of their lives while giving something back to their communities.
Interested professionals should contact their local community college for information about teacher preparation courses. The new law applies beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
If you have questions about this issue or other policy matters, please contact NCACPA Director of Advocacy Robert Broome, CAE.