LAS VEGAS (AP) — A state panel will consider allowing public schools in Nevada’s two most populous counties to hire emergency substitute teachers who have only a high school diploma.

A planned Feb. 24 hearing by the Commission on Professional Standards in Education comes as the pandemic has aggravated school staffing shortages.

The state Department of Education partnered with Gov. Steve Sisolak on a temporary regulation allowing emergency substitutes in late November 2020. That temporary regulation was extended but expired Nov. 1.

If the commission backs the proposed new permanent regulation, a department spokeswoman says it would be considered by the state Board of Education and then the Legislative Commission.