As school districts attempt to do what is best for their students, they may find it challenging to comply with certification rules.
The 2018–2019 school year has begun, but some classrooms across the state don’t have a certified teacher. This occurs most frequently in identified teacher shortage areas (i.e., Bilingual/English as a Second Language; Special Education; Career and Technical Education—Technology Applications and Computer Science; and Mathematics).
The main goal of district recruiting efforts is finding and securing a fully certified teacher to serve students. When unable to fulfill this task, districts must use other avenues, including certifying individuals using one of the following:
- Alternative certification program (ACP)
- School district permit
- Emergency certification
- Temporary Classroom Assignment Permit (TCAP)
- Nonrenewable permit
- Texas Education Agency (TEA) waiver
Alternative Certification Program (ACP)
About half of new teachers to the profession are certified through an ACP. An ACP program is ideal for an individual holding a bachelor’s degree and showing content proficiency by taking the Pre-Admission Content Test (PACT). Eight steps, as identified by TEA, for an individual to become certified through an ACP include:
- Decide what you would like to teach
- Select an approved Texas ACP
- Meet the screening criteria of the program
- Develop a certification plan with your program
- Obtain a teaching position
- Apply for a probationary certificate
- Complete all requirements for a standard certificate
- Apply for the standard certificate
Additional information regarding certification via an ACP can be found in our HRX article Teacher Certification: Part 1—Alternative Certification Programs.
School district teaching permit
Districts have the option to issue a school district teaching permit to an uncertified individual with a bachelor’s degree and subject matter expertise. For core academic classes, districts may issue a school district teaching permit subject to approval by the commissioner of education.
A person is not eligible for a school district teaching permit for core academic courses if he or she:
- Has or previously had a valid Texas teaching certificate or out-of-state teaching certificate
- Has applied for a teaching certificate and the application has been denied
- Has or once had a teaching certificate that has been sanctioned or revoked
- Has taken but has not passed a Texas teacher certification exam; or
- Has a pending application for a State Board for Educator Certification teaching certificate
The local school board can issue school district teaching permits for teachers of noncore academic Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses. Commissioner approval and a bachelor’s degree aren’t required.
A school district teaching permit is valid for general education classroom teaching assignments only and isn’t available for other assignments including counselor, librarian, administrator, any other professional assignment outside of classroom teacher, or special education or bilingual education.
More details can be found in the HRX article Teacher Certification: Part 2—DOI Flexibility and School District Teaching Permits.
An emergency permit may be used when a district cannot secure an appropriately certified and qualified individual to fill a vacant position or who doesn’t have the appropriate credentials for the assignment. Familiarity with TAC Chapter 230 Subchapter F will help with determining eligibility for an emergency teaching permit. An emergency permit limits an individual to one year of service with the exception of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and instructors or teachers of students with visual impairments.
To be eligible for an emergency permit, the individual must meet the following criteria:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree (CTE—appropriate degree for assignment or specified work experience)
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Communicate and understand the English language
- Be of good moral character
- Submit fingerprints
For an elementary teaching assignment, the individual must have completed 12 semester credit hours in a combination of subjects directly related to the elementary curriculum, 12 semester credit hours in elementary education, or any combination of areas of study.
For secondary assignments, the individual must have completed 24 semester hours in the subject to be taught or 24 semester credit hours toward a composite teaching field appropriate for the assignment, including at least 12 semester credit hours in the subject to be taught.
Districts must document efforts to employ an appropriately certified individual and file an application with TEA within 45 instructional days of the date of the assignment. The district must have a support system in place for the individual, including a trained mentor. It also must inform the individual of SBEC rules regarding permits and permit renewal requirements.
Districts may grant an emergency permit on a hardship basis for an individual not meeting all emergency permit requirements. They also need to document local conditions requiring the assignment of an individual not meeting emergency permit requirements, verify the deficiencies sought don’t exceed 36 semester credit hours, and verify the individual is enrolled in the next available course on the certification plan or registered for the next content specialization test.
Learn more about emergency permits in Teacher Certification: Part 3—Emergency Permits.
Temporary Classroom Assignment Permit (TCAP)
Districts may activate a TCAP for each class period (maximum of four) taught by a teacher certified at the secondary level assigned to a subject area not covered by the certificate. The individual must have completed 12 semester hours in the specific subject area. For science or mathematics, the individual must have completed 15 semester hours.
The TCAP is valid for one school year unless it’s issued for fewer than 90 calendar days before the last day of instruction. For an assignment that exceeds four class periods or for an individual who hasn’t completed the minimum semester hours in the subject area to be taught, TEA must grant the approval; however, an individual with six or fewer hours in the subject area will not be approved.
Read more about the TCAP in Teacher Certification: Part 4—Temporary Classroom Assignment Permit.
Districts may activate a nonrenewable permit for an individual who hasn’t completed the appropriate examination requirements and expires 12 months after activation. This may include an individual who has completed all course and degree requirements of a Texas educator preparation program but hasn’t successfully completed examination requirements. An individual who holds a Texas teacher certificate with an effective date before February 1, 1986, but hasn’t revalidated the certificate for employment purposes by passing an examination, also may qualify for a nonrenewable permit expiring six months from activation.
A nonrenewable permit may not be activated in an assignment area for which another permit had previously been activated. The application for a nonrenewable permit and fee must be submitted to TEA within 45 calendar days of the assignment.
More information about nonrenewable permits can be found in Teacher Certification: Part 5—Nonrenewable Permit.
There are two types of waivers available to districts who are unable to meet the criteria for permits and certification described above. Districts can file a bilingual exception and/or English as a Second Language (ESL) waiver when it’s unable to provide a certified teacher to implement its bilingual or ESL program. The bilingual exception allows the district to offer an alternative instructional program (e.g., replace with an ESL program). The ESL program waiver allows the district to forego the certification requirements for teachers who will provide ESL instruction.
A certification waiver allows an individual to serve without the necessary certification requirements. The certification may be issued to allow:
- A person to teach without the necessary certification requirements
- Qualified individuals to teach outside their areas of certification in Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- Qualified individuals to teach outside their areas of certification in a subject or course for which no state assessment has been developed
- Qualified individuals to teach outside their areas of certification in Alternative Education
- Qualified individuals to teach JROTC classes outside their areas of certification
You can find additional information regarding these waivers in the HRX article Teacher Certification: Part 6—Exceptions and Waivers and also on the TEA website. Send questions to the TEA waiver unit at 512.463.9630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, a substitute is a type of temporary employee. Temporary employment suggests a definite start and end date and is not open-ended or indefinite. Teacher Retirement System (TRS) defines substitute as a person who serves on a temporary basis in place of a current employee. On the other hand, a regular employee is employed for four and one-half months or more, for one-half time or more, and paid at a rate comparable to other persons employed by the employer in similar positions during the school year.
Before retaining a substitute in a vacant position for an extended period of time, consider Texas Education Code §21.003, which prohibits a person from being employed as a teacher unless the person holds an appropriate certificate or permit. It may be better to seek applicants meeting the criteria for one of the options above rather than assigning a substitute for an indefinite period of time.
More about employing substitutes can be found in Teacher Certification: Part 7—Substitute.
Karen Dooley is a senior HR consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Karen an email email@example.com.
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Tagged: Certification, Employment, Hiring, "Teacher certification"
Since 1995, Texas law has allowed school districts to issue a school district teaching permit (SDTP) to someone who does not hold a teaching certificate (Texas Education Code §21.055). A teacher employed on a school district teaching permit is not certified by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC).What are the requirements to be a teacher in Texas? ›
- Obtain a Bachelor's Degree. You must earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. ...
- Complete an Educator Preparation Program. ...
- Pass Certification Exams. ...
- Submit a State Application. ...
- Complete Fingerprinting.
Becoming a Certified Texas Educator Through an Alternative Certification Program. Alternative certification programs (ACP's) offer a nontraditional route to certification that may allow you to teach while completing the requirements.Can you be a substitute teacher without a degree in Texas? ›
Do you have to have a degree to be a substitute teacher in Texas? No, although school districts in Texas require substitute teachers to possess a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree or at least several college credit hours. Some schools ask for substitute teacher training. Most trainings last for 7 or 8 hours.How long does Texas teacher certification take? ›
To teach in the state of Texas, the certification process can take 4 to 6 months if you have a bachelor's degree. If you do not have a bachelor's degree, your work experience may still qualify you for an educator preparation program in which your timeline to certification would remain the same.Can I teach online without a certificate? ›
While a degree isn't necessary to earn money teaching English online, most hiring companies do expect and require a TEFL certification. There are a LOT of full online TEFL courses that you can take and get certified in no time from home! A few years of experience.What test is required to teach in Texas? ›
All teachers in the state of Texas are required to pass the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam to receive a Standard Certificate. Texas Teachers will give you access to the online PPR review coursework, once you begin teaching on the Intern Certificate.How much do Texas elementary teachers make? ›
The average salary for a elementary school teacher in Texas is $48,500 per year. Elementary school teacher salaries in Texas can vary between $19,500 to $61,000 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.How much money does a teacher make in Texas? ›
|Years of experience||Per hour|
|1 to 2 years||$32.48|
|3 to 5 years||-|
|6 to 9 years||$37.87|
|More than 10 years||$43.50|
What is the fastest way to become a teacher with no degree? Completing an alternative teaching certificate in Texas through Teachers of Tomorrow typically takes most individuals 9-12 months to complete.
How long does it take to become certified through online teachers programs? Teachers of Tomorrow is a fully online program, which allows you to take coursework and training at your own pace. This means that you can receive your online teacher certification within 9-12 months versus the traditional 4 years.What is a one year teaching certificate in Texas? ›
After a credential review, the Texas Education Agency may issue a One-Year teaching certificate, which is non-renewable. During the year the certificate is valid, teachers must complete the Texas teacher certification exams. For additional information on reciprocity refer to the Texas Education Agency website.What disqualifies you from being a substitute teacher in Texas? ›
Misdemeanor or felony convictions for crimes of moral turpitude. Misdemeanor or felony convictions for crimes involving minor victims, including sexual offenses or abuse. Felony drug convictions.How do I become a teacher without a bachelor's degree in Texas? ›
If you do not hold a degree you must complete a university program. If you hold a degree you may contact an Alternative Certification Program or Post Baccalaureate program . Pass Certification Exams - You must pass the appropriate teacher certification exams. Contact your program for exam approval.How much do subs get paid in Texas? ›
The average salary for a substitute teacher in Texas is $20,500 per year.How hard is the Texas teaching exam? ›
The TExES has a passing rate of about 92%. Candidates should keep in mind that each subtest is different and will vary in difficulty. Preparation is the best way to avoid intimidation and achieve success on the TExES Exam.How fast can you complete Texas Teachers of tomorrow? ›
Completing an alternative teaching certificate in Texas through Teachers of Tomorrow typically takes most individuals 9-12 months to complete. This is because the curriculum for the online certification program happens at your own pace with the support of mentors and an online community.How fast can you finish Texas Teachers of tomorrow? ›
Time to complete this education training ranges from 7.5 days to 1 year depending on the qualification, with a median time to complete of 3 months.Can I teach kids online without a degree? ›
Can I Teach English Online without a Degree? Yes, you can teach English online without a degree! While some of the major online teaching companies require a degree, there are many that don't. A TEFL certification can provide you with the training and qualifications that you need to get a job teaching English online.What credentials do you need to be an online teacher? ›
- English proficiency.
- A college degree.
- Background in teaching or working with kids.
- Proficiency and comfort with computers and online technology.
- Experience or training with online course management platforms, such as D2L, Canvas, Blackboard, or Angel.
The Wrap Up: Is Magic Ears Legit? Among hundreds of online ESL companies, Magic Ears is one of the best in 2021. Magic Ears is a legitimate company that offers applicants a flexible and exciting job opportunity; one where you can set your own schedule and teach from anywhere in the world.How much does the Texas teacher certification exam cost? ›
Each TExES exam costs $116. Depending on your certification, you may need to take more than one exam, so it's important to know that every exam costs $116. Some certification areas require that you take both the $116 exam and a CORE Subject exam for $58.How many times can you take the Texas teacher certification test? ›
Candidates are limited to a total of 5 attempts to pass a certification examination under Texas Education Code §21.048.Does Texas require Praxis? ›
Certification programs in some states rely on Praxis tests, while others mainly use state-specific exams. Texas falls into this latter category, yet there are still situations where Praxis certification tests can be used.What is the lowest teacher salary in Texas? ›
|10th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary||$38,031||TX|
|25th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary||$46,367||TX|
|50th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary||$55,523||TX|
|75th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary||$67,713||TX|
Grand Prairie ISD pays the highest salaries to new teachers in North Texas for the 2022-23 school year, according to a new study. GPISD pays $61,000 for first-year teachers, one of a dozen districts in the region to pay more than $60,000.What is the average 1st year teacher salary in Texas? ›
The average Entry Level Teacher salary in Texas is $41,902 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $34,992 and $51,101.Who pays teachers the most? ›
The three states that pay teachers the most all offer more than $70,000 a year on average. New York leads the nation in teacher pay with an average salary of $80,286, according to WalletHub.Are teachers in demand in Texas? ›
While Texas and the rest of the country have dealt with teacher shortages for years, the pandemic exacerbated them. Shifting requirements on masking and the closure then reopening of schools have taken a toll on teachers.How much does a elementary teacher make an hour in Texas? ›
|Years of experience||Per hour|
|1 to 2 years||$17.12|
|3 to 5 years||-|
|6 to 9 years||$20.00|
|More than 10 years||$23.90|
Each prekindergarten teacher has a Texas certification that enables them to teach prekindergarten. Each prekindergarten teacher has or is completing one of the “additional qualifications.”Do all Texas teachers have to be ESL certified? ›
Do all Texas teachers have to be ESL certified? According to TEA, the certification requirements do not mean that all teachers must possess ESL certification. Instead, they apply only to teachers who work within an ESL program approved by the state.Do you need a degree to be a kindergarten teacher in Texas? ›
Obtain a Bachelor's Degree - You must earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Complete an Educator Preparation Program - You must complete an Approved Educator Preparation Program. If you do not hold a degree you must complete a university program.What certifications do you need to be a preschool teacher in Texas? ›
a) A graduate or undergraduate degree in early childhood education or early childhood special education or a non- early childhood education undergraduate degree with a documented minimum of 15 hours of coursework in early childhood education; or b) Documented completion of the Texas School Ready Training Program (TSR ...How much do Pre-K teachers make in Texas? ›
How much does a Preschool Teacher make in Texas? The average Preschool Teacher salary in Texas is $37,280 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $33,650 and $42,610.Can I teach ESL without a certificate? ›
No, you don't always need a TEFL certificate to teach English abroad. However, it depends entirely on where you'd like to work, what level you're interested in teaching, and your professional and educational background.What qualifies as a ESL teacher? ›
A bachelor's degree in education, English, linguistics, applied linguistics, any foreign language, composition, bilingual/bicultural studies, reading, or speech; and a certificate in teaching English as a second language, which may be completed concurrently during the first year of employment as a noncredit instructor.What tests are required for Texas teacher certification? ›
All teachers in the state of Texas are required to pass the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam to receive a Standard Certificate. Texas Teachers will give you access to the online PPR review coursework, once you begin teaching on the Intern Certificate.Why are so many teachers quitting in Texas? ›
Surveys and studies conducted since 2020 concluded that low pay, lack of respect (from parents, administrators, and elected officials), unrealistic workloads (including the focus on standardized test scores and required courses), and the erratic changes brought on by the pandemic are the most common reasons.What city in Texas pays teachers the most? ›
- Mansfield ISD.
- Crowley ISD.
- Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD.
- Lackland ISD.
- Deer Park ISD.
- Grady ISD.
- Draw Academy.
- Academy for Academic Excellence.
Grand Prairie ISD pays the highest salaries to new teachers in North Texas for the 2022-23 school year, according to a new study.