The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Emergency License(s) Availability: Nebraska offers a number of provisional certificates. The provisional teaching permit requires completion of a teacher education program and passage of the applicable content test. This permit is available for candidates who have not met the basic skills competency, special education training, or recency requirements.
Additionally, candidates in Nebraska who have met all licensure requirements except for the human relations requirement may apply for a temporary teaching certificate. Candidates who are awaiting the results of their criminal history check, but have otherwise met all other licensure requirements, may be issued a conditional permit at the request of the hiring district.
Emergency License Validity Period: Nebraska's Provisional Teaching Permit is valid for two years and is nonrenewable. The temporary teaching certificate is valid for six months and is not renewable. The conditional permit is valid for six months to one year depending on the circumstances.
COVID-19 State Policy: Nebraska has not implemented any changes to its rules regarding Provisional and Emergency Licensure. COVID-19 policies do not affect the state's grade in Provisional and Emergency Licensure.
Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers: Because licensure requirements for out-of-state teachers are scored in Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers, only the state's policies regarding emergency/provisional license(s) are considered as part of this goal.
Due to Nebraska's strong policies in this area, no recommendations are provided.
Nebraska was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. Regarding COVID-19 policies, the state indicated that it allowed the issuance of conditional permits for those who could not schedule a content test prior to the start of the school year. Nebraska reissued conditional permits or allowed those with provisional permits to be issued conditional permits as testing centers were not readily available. The state was allowing conditional permits to be issued or renewed as a result of testing centers being closed. Now that there is at-home testing, the special guidance has been allowed to expire. Applications received after 9/1/2020 no longer qualify for the exception.
6B: Provisional and Emergency Licensure
Teachers who have not passed content licensing tests place students at risk. While states may need a regulatory basis for filling classroom positions with a few people who do not hold full teaching credentials, many of the regulations permitting this put the instructional needs of children at risk, often year after year. For example, schools can make liberal use of provisional certificates or waivers provided by the state if they fill classroom positions with instructors who have completed a teacher preparation program but have not passed their state licensing tests. These allowances are permitted for up to three years in some states. The unfortunate consequence is that students' needs are neglected in an effort to extend personal consideration to adults who cannot meet minimum state standards.
While some flexibility may be necessary because licensing tests are not always administered with the needed frequency, making provisional certificates and waivers available year after year could signal that the state does not put much value on its licensing standards or what they represent. States accordingly need to ensure that all persons given full charge of children's learning are required to pass the relevant licensing tests in their first year of teaching, ideally before they enter the classroom. Licensing tests are an important minimum benchmark in the profession, and states that allow teachers to postpone passing these tests are abandoning one of the basic responsibilities of licensure.