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: Utah offers a Local Education Agency (LEA) Specific Educator licenses that districts may apply for if the district can demonstrate that "other licensing routes for the applicant are untenable or unreasonable." All applicants for this license are required to pass the applicable content tests. Elementary and secondary applicants must also have a bachelor's degree. This license cannot be issued to teach special education or preschool education.
Emergency License Validity Period: The LEA Specific Educator license can be valid for one to three years at the discretion of the hiring LEA. Renewal requirements are set by the hiring LEA. All renewals must be approved by the Utah State Board of Education in a public meeting and may be approved for three years or indefinitely. LEA Specific Educator licenses in Special Education and Preschool Special Education are only valid for one year and may not be renewed.
COVID-19 State Policy: Utah 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.
Utah Administrative Rules R277-301-7 https://www.schools.utah.gov/file/0fa22ef0-7a2f-4bef-9c00-2735eb6be44a Local Education Agency (LEA)-Specific License https://www.schools.utah.gov/licensing/humanresources?mid=5270&tid=2
Due to Utah's strong policies in this area, no recommendations are provided.
Utah was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state also indicated that Local Education Agency (LEA) Specific Educator licenses must be approved by the local governing board in an open meeting.
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.