Properly Certified or Licensed Teacher Requirements for the 2020-2021 School Year

Properly Certified or Licensed Teacher Requirements for the 2020-2021 School Year

As districts complete their plans for the 2020-2021 school year and begin reopening, employment and assignment of teachers and substitutes is a key consideration. The information on this webpage is intended to help administrators and teachers understand the licensure flexibility in effect for the 2020-2021 school year to ensure districts continue meeting the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Ohio law to employ properly certified or licensed teachers.  


WHAT IS A PROPERLY CERTIFIED OR LICENSED TEACHER? 

A "properly certified or licensed teacher" has successfully completed all requirements for certification or licensure in the subject of the teaching assignment and currently holds the corresponding license. Core academic subject areas are defined as reading and English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign language and fine arts. For teachers to be properly certified or licensed to teach in a core academic subject area according to Ohio law, their teaching assignments must align with their license parameters in all the following ways:
  • Subject areas in which they provide instruction;
  • Grade levels in which they provide instruction; and
  • The student population to whom the teacher provides instruction, such as regular, special education or gifted.
 
More details regarding properly certified or licensed teacher requirements can be found on the Ohio Department of Education website
 

LICENSURE FLEXIBILITY PROVIDED IN HOUSE BILL 164 OF THE 133RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Pursuant to House Bill 164 of the 133rd General Assembly, a superintendent may employ or assign an educator to teach a subject area or grade level for which the person is not licensed that is within two grade levels of the person's licensure grade band. To qualify, an educator must hold a professional or resident educator teaching license issued under section 3319.22 of the Ohio Revised Code and have at least three years of teaching experience. This flexibility is available only for the 2020-2021 school year. Following the 2020-2021 school year, educators will be held to the same licensure requirements that existed prior to passage of the bill.
 
The Ohio Department of Education currently is updating the Teacher Licensure Course Status checks to reflect this licensure flexibility. Those educators who meet the requirements for licensure flexibility will reflect as properly certified for reporting purposes.
 
Please note, this flexibility does not apply to employing or assigning educational aides. Educational aides still are required to meet the requirements of a properly certified paraprofessional under Ohio law for the 2020-2021 school year to be employed in a position providing academic support in a core subject area for a program supported with Title I funds.
 
One exception to this licensure flexibility includes assignments in special education classrooms. To comply with federal legal requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and federal regulations, an educator may not be employed or assigned as an intervention specialist or teach in a special education classroom without holding the appropriate licensure as an intervention specialist. Please note, educators holding a currently valid standard Ohio teaching certificate or license may apply for a one-year supplemental intervention specialist teaching license to allow the educator to teach in a special education classroom.
 

REPORTING STAFF AS THE TEACHER OF RECORD IN THE EDUCATION MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM  

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Department understands districts face unique circumstances regarding the hiring, placement and employment of educators. Further, education is occurring remotely, in-person and in blended models. This may result in confusion regarding how to determine who is serving as the teacher of record and how to properly report the teacher of record in the Education Management Information System (EMIS).
 
To report a staff member as the teacher of record for a course, the district includes the staff member’s local ID number on the record for that course. Generally, the staff member listed on the Staff Course record type must be reported in EMIS with the Teacher (230) position code. However, due to the challenges presented this year, EMIS also will accept staff with the Full-time Substitute Teacher (225) position code as the staff member assigned to a course for the 2020-2021 school year only.  Even with this EMIS reporting flexibility, any teacher reported with a 225 position code must meet the same licensure criteria as a 230 position code staff member to pass the Teacher Licensure Course Status checks.
 

REMOTE INSTRUCTION AND PROPERLY CERTIFIED OR LICENSED TEACHERS

The Department has received a significant amount of interest in remote learning approaches (including blended learning approaches) and the compliance requirements for using such approaches. Specific information on remote learning plans and blended learning declarations can be found on the Department’s Reset and Restart Education webpage. The 2020-2021 school year may be the first time schools and districts report educators providing remote online instruction to students or report courses offered in digital mode remote learning (also referred to as online-instructed courses in the EMIS manual). As a general rule, the requirements for an educator to be properly certified or licensed are the same whether the instruction is being provided in person, remotely or in a blended model. The educator still must be licensed to teach the subject area, grade level and student population or qualify for licensure flexibility under House Bill 164 to be properly certified or licensed.
 
One exception to this requirement is a computer-instructed course. A course is considered computer-instructed when the software application or website used by the student is directly completing most of the tasks normally completed by the educator. In these situations, the educator is providing neither the direct instruction nor direct assessment of the students enrolled in the course. Rather, the educator is serving a more limited role to help facilitate the students’ successful use of the software or website. As the educator is not directly teaching the course, the proper certification or licensure requirements for a computer-instructed course are more general. Staff with certification or licensure as a teacher, counselor, principal or superintendent will be considered properly certified or licensed for this type of course, regardless of the grade level and subject areas of the credential or license. An educator holding only a substitute teaching license will not be considered properly certified or licensed for this type of course.
 
Please refer to the EMIS manual section 4.2, Course Master (CN) Delivery Method element for further details on what qualifies a course as computer-instructed.
 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT PROPERLY CERTIFIED OR LICENSED TEACHER REQUIREMENTS FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR

 
Does an individual holding a Temporary Teaching License qualify as a properly certified or licensed teacher?
Yes, the individual would be qualified to teach in the subject areas, grade levels and with the student population listed on the license.
 

Can an educator holding an Intervention Specialist Teaching License teach a regular education class under the flexibility provided in House Bill 164?
An individual holding a Resident Educator Intervention Specialist License or a Professional Intervention Specialist License and having at least three years of teaching experience can serve as the teacher in a regular education classroom for the 2020-2021 school year only.

 
Can an educator holding a Resident Educator Teaching License or Professional Teaching License that enables the educator to only teach in a regular education class be assigned to a special education classroom under the flexibility provided in House Bill 164?
No, under federal law, an educator may not be employed or assigned as an intervention specialist or teach in a special education classroom without holding the appropriate licensure as an intervention specialist.

 
May a pupil services license holder (including a school counselor, school psychologist, school speech-language pathologist, school audiologist, school nurse or school social worker) providing related services under an individual education program (IEP) serve as the teacher of record for a special education course or as the teacher for a special education classroom?
No, an educator only providing related services under an IEP cannot serve as teacher of record for a special education classroom. If the educator also holds an Intervention Specialist Teaching License, the educator may be assigned to teach in a special education classroom and serve as the teacher of record if the educator is serving in the role of the classroom teacher.
 

Can an educator holding an Alternative Teaching License qualify for the flexibility provided in House Bill 164?
No, an individual must hold either a Resident Educator or Professional teaching license issued section 3319.22 of the Ohio Revised Code to qualify for licensure flexibility under House Bill 164.
 

Can an educator holding only a substitute teaching license serve in a long-term substitute assignment in a core academic subject area?
Yes, an educator with a substitute teaching license may teach for an unlimited number of days if the educator holds a postsecondary degree in education or a subject area directly related to the subject of the class the educator will teach. In addition, if the educator with a substitute teaching license has a postsecondary degree in a subject area that is not directly related to the subject of the class the educator will teach, the individual may teach for one full semester, subject to the approval of the employing school district board of education. A district superintendent can ask the board to approve one or more additional semester-long periods. Educators holding only a substitute teaching license do not meet the definition of properly certified or licensed and will not pass the EMIS licensure and certification checks.
 

Can a district hire an educator holding only a substitute teaching license to serve as the teacher of record in a long-term substitute assignment in a core academic subject area?
No. To serve as the teacher of record in a school district, an individual must be a properly certified or licensed teacher or qualify for flexibility under House Bill 164. An educator holding only a substitute teaching license does not qualify as properly certified or licensed.
 
Example: District Z is seeking to employ an educator to serve as a long-term substitute and teacher of record in a 10th grade English classroom. Educator A holds a one-year substitute teaching license with an English teaching field. Educator A does not meet the requirements to be a properly certified or licensed teacher and would not pass the Teacher Licensure Course Status checks if serving as the teacher of record.
 

Can a district hire and designate an educator serving in a long-term substitute assignment as the teacher of record in a core academic subject area if the educator is properly certified or licensed?
Yes. A district may assign a properly certified or licensed teacher, including a teacher qualified for flexibility under House Bill 164, to serve as the teacher of record if employed in a long-term substitute assignment. The individual can be assigned as the teacher of record because the teacher holds the appropriate resident educator or professional teaching license for the long-term substitute teaching assignment. Such an individual can be designated as the teacher of record regardless of employment status with the district.
 
Example: District Z is seeking to employ an educator to serve as a long-term substitute and teacher of record in a 10th grade English classroom. Educator B holds a four-year adolescent to young adult (7-12) resident educator teaching license with an integrated language arts teaching field. Educator B does meet the requirements to be a properly certified or licensed teacher and can serve as the teacher of record.
 

How does a district report an employed long-term substitute teacher who holds an appropriate resident educator or professional teaching license for the assignment as the teacher of record in EMIS to ensure properly certified or licensed status is met?
To provide additional flexibility in school year 2020-2021 only, EMIS will allow a broader list of positions to be reported as the teacher of a course on the EMIS Staff Course record. Generally, only those staff coded with an EMIS Position Code of Teacher (230) are reportable in EMIS as the staff member assigned as the teacher of record for a course. For the 2020-2021 school year only, EMIS also will allow a Position Code of Full-time Substitute Teacher (225) to be reported as the teacher of record for a course. Note that a teacher reported with a 225 code still will have to meet the same licensure requirements as a teacher reported with a 230 code to meet proper certification and licensure and pass the EMIS licensure check.
 

Are there different requirements for an educator to be properly certified or licensed if the course is being taught by the educator online?
No, the requirements to be licensed to teach the subject area, grade level, and student population, or qualify for licensure flexibility under House Bill 164, remain the same regardless of whether a course is taught in person or online.
   
 
Are there different requirements for an educator to be considered properly certified or licensed to serve as the teacher of record for a computer-instructed course?
For a computer-instructed course, the application and/or website used by the student is completing most of the tasks normally completed by the teacher (see the EMIS manual section 4.2, Course Master (CN) Delivery Method element for details on what qualifies a course as computer-instructed). Therefore, the proper certification or licensure requirements for a computer-instructed course are more general. Staff with certification or licensure as a teacher, counselor, principal or superintendent will be considered properly certified or licensed for this type of course, regardless of the grade level and subject areas of the credential or license. An educator holding only a substitute teaching license will not be considered properly certified or licensed for this type of course.
 
 
 

Last Modified: 8/31/2020 10:18:39 AM