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: Pennsylvania allows individuals who have not met the state's minimum standards for licensure to teach on emergency permits. The state will issue an emergency permit to individuals who hold a bachelor's degree if no qualified teachers can be found for the position. In order to obtain an emergency permit, the applicant must agree to enroll in a teacher certification program in the area of the emergency permit.
Pennsylvania also offers a Waiver of Certification to teachers who have been furloughed. The teacher must agree to enroll in a certification program and have completed 12 semester credit hours in the area of the waiver.
Emergency License Validity Period: Pennsylvania's emergency permits expire the last day of summer school in the year they were issued. For the first renewal, the applicant must provide evidence of enrollment in a teacher certification program and have completed up to six program credits. For the second and subsequent renewals, the applicant must show proof of completion of nine credits in the teacher certification program. If, after program completion, the candidate has not passed certification tests, the permit may be extended for one additional year, as long as the certification exams have been attempted in the previous year.
The Waiver of Certification is good for one year and is not renewable.
COVID-19 State Policy: Pennsylvania 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.
Emergency Permits https://www.education.pa.gov/Educators/Certification/PAEducators/Pages/Emergency-Permits.aspx Pennsylvania Certification Staffing Policy (CSPG) Numbers 13 and 14 Pennsylvania Code 49.31 through 49.33
Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
All students are entitled to teachers who know the subject matter they are teaching. Permitting individuals who have not yet passed state licensing tests to teach neglects the needs of students, because it enables adults who may not be able to meet minimal state standards to earn teaching licenses. Pennsylvania should ensure that all teachers are required to pass licensing tests — an important minimum benchmark for entering the profession —before entering the classroom as the teacher of record.
Limit exceptions to one year.
Although suboptimal, there may be limited and exceptional circumstances under which conditional or emergency licenses are necessary. In these instances, it is reasonable for a state to give teachers up to one year to pass required licensing tests. Pennsylvania's current policy puts students at risk by allowing teachers to teach for up to three years without passing required subject-matter licensing tests.
Pennsylvania recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
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.