The state should close loopholes that allow teachers who have not met licensure requirements to continue teaching. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Provisional/Emergency License(s) Availability: Texas allows teachers to teach under an emergency permit. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree and must complete specific coursework requirements in the area of the permit. The hiring district must submit the applicant's certification plan in the area of the emergency permit. The emergency permit is also available to certified teachers to teach out-of-field. Applicants with a current teaching certificate must have passed the applicable content test.
A Temporary Classroom Assignment Permit (TCAP) can be issued to secondary teachers to teach out-of-field. Applicants for the TCAP must have completed 15 semester hours in the specific subject area and a TCAP can be activated for no more than four class periods.
The state also offers a nonrenewable permit. Local superintendents may issue nonrenewable permits to applicants who have completed all educator preparation program requirements except passage of all licensure assessments.
Educator preparation candidates who are eligible for a paid internship can apply for an Intern or Probationary certificate. Applicants for these certificates must pass all applicable licensure tests first.
Provisional/Emergency License Validity Period: Texas' emergency permit is valid for up to one year, and may be renewed for up to one additional year if the emergency permit was used for fewer than 90 calendar days. Test requirements and at least seven semester hours are required for renewal. The emergency permit can be extended without meeting these renewal requirements if the superintendent receives hardship approval.
The nonrenewable permit is available for one year. The TCAP is valid for one year and is nonrenewable, unless it was activated for less than 90 calendar days. It is unclear what is required to renew this permit.
The Intern certificate is valid for one year and may not be renewed. The Probationary certificate is valid for one year and may be renewed once. Renewal requirements are unclear.
COVID-19 State Policy: Texas has implemented the following changes to its rules regarding Provisional and Emergency Licensure. Candidates who have completed all program requirements except testing requirements will be issued a one-year probationary certificate. 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.
Texas Administrative Code Title 19 Part 7 Chapters 230.36;.37 and 230.71 through 230.81 COVID-19 Information: https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/covid/covid19-educator-certification-and-preparation-guidance-faq.pdf
Ensure that all teachers pass required subject-matter licensing tests before they enter the classroom.
Although Texas's policy of requiring that the emergency permit be used for fewer than 90 calendar days and requiring tests to be passed before the emergency permit can be renewed minimizes the risks inherent in having teachers in classrooms who lack appropriate subject-matter knowledge; the state could strengthen its policy by requiring all teachers to meet subject-matter licensure requirements prior to entering the classroom.
Texas 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.