PHOENIX (AP) - Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation that will change the rules and qualifications for who can become a teacher in the state.

Ducey signed the measure greatly opposed by Democrats on Tuesday. The governor said in a written statement the legislation will empower principals to make hiring decisions and attract the best individuals to serve Arizona's students.

Senate Bill 1042 will allow individuals with expertise in certain areas to obtain a particular certificate to become eligible to teach in schools. Those candidates will bypass the state's regular requirements to obtain basic or standard teaching certificates.

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Advocates say it will allow more qualified teachers to enter classrooms.

Opponents say the legislation will not alleviate the state's teacher shortage and will undermine teacher standards.