Educator Licensure

Educator Licensure

This page was originally produced Sept. 3, 2020; 
Jan. 12, 2021 updates below in gray boxes.

A Guide for Restart

The Ohio Department of Education remains committed to assisting districts and educators by providing resources and flexibility for educators applying for or renewing licenses, certificates or permits. The information on this webpage is intended to help educators understand the licensure flexibility provided for the 2020-2021 school year.  

The ongoing coronavirus health crisis has not disrupted the Department’s ability to receive and process applications and renewals for licensure. The Office of Educator Licensure currently is processing applications within five to seven business days and is ready to assist educators, schools and districts with their licensure-related inquiries and needs. 


Flexibility for Current Educators Whose Licenses were Previously Set to Expire July 1, 2020

The Department is providing flexibility regarding the licensure renewal deadline. With the passage of House Bill 404 of the 133rd General Assembly, educators now have flexibility regarding the renewal of credentials previously set to expire on July 1, 2020. Under this law, the period for educators to complete their renewal requirements and renew their licenses has been extended to July 1, 2021. 

Please note that all educators whose licenses or permits were previously set to expire July 1, 2020, still must renew for the 2020-2021 school year in accordance with their license renewal cycles. As such, the effective date for renewal will be July 1, 2020, for all licenses that were provided flexibility to renew. Accordingly, educators who hold renewable one-year licenses or permits and wish to renew for the following (2021-2022) school year first must renew for the 2020-2021 school year.  

Educators will need to complete their legally required professional development and renew their licenses by July 1, 2021, or an additional three semester hours of professional education coursework will be required for renewal. Educators may need to adjust their individual professional development plans as needed. Educators are encouraged to complete their renewals as soon as they are ready to allow adequate time for processing and to avoid a gap in licensure. 

Please note that these extensions do not apply to any educator whose license, certificate or permit is suspended as of June 30, 2020. 

  

Local Professional Development Committees

Current educators whose licenses now expire July 1, 2021, should contact their Local Professional Development Committees and work to modify, as needed, their individual professional development plans as soon as possible. Although many in-person professional development opportunities have been canceled, educators can continue to take advantage of remote and web-based professional development opportunities as approved by their Local Professional Development Committees. 

Local Professional Development Committees are encouraged to continue meeting via telephone, video-conference or other remote means. If a meeting is subject to Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, districts should work with their legal counsels to determine how best to proceed. These committees also should be flexible in their approaches to reviewing and approving professional development considering the current circumstances. 

 

Federal Bureau of Investigation and/or Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification Background Checks for Current and Prospective Educators

The Department has been notified by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Identification it is processing background checks at this time. Educators are encouraged to first check with their local school districts or educational service centers to find the closest Webcheck locations. Educators also can inquire with local law enforcement agencies or use the Ohio Attorney General’s website to find a convenient location. Additional information regarding background check requirements can be found in the Department’s background check FAQ. Any applicant wishing to complete fingerprint collection at home should contact BCI at (877) 224-0043. 

 

Current University or College Students Enrolled in Educator Preparation Programs

The Department is closely monitoring the availability of initial licensure examinations. Currently, examination sites throughout the state are open and available for scheduling required examinations.  Applicants can find up-to-date information about testing and schedule future examinations on the Department’s licensure examination page

 

Licensure Examinations Currently Available 

The Department is closely monitoring the availability of initial licensure examinations. Currently, examination sites throughout the state are open and available for scheduling required examinations.  Applicants can find up-to-date information about testing and schedule future examinations on the Department’s licensure examination page

 

Licensure Flexibility for 2020-2021 School Year

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus health crisis, school districts and educators are being given licensure flexibility for the 2020-2021 school year only. Pursuant to HB 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 does not, however, apply to assignments in special education classrooms. This is a result of legal requirements in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and federal regulations, including the requirement to provide students with disabilities with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and the requirement for certain personnel to have specific qualifications. An educator may not be employed or assigned as an intervention specialist or teach in a special education classroom without holding the appropriate license as an intervention specialist. Please note, educators holding a 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.  
  
The flexibility provided in HB 164 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 HB 164. 

 

One-Year Temporary Non-Bachelor's Substitute Teaching Licenses 

The Department understands the current situation has increased the need for substitute teachers to help schools and districts remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. In response, the Department has been granted the authority (HB 409 of the 133rd General Assembly; Section (3)) to issue a one-time non-renewable one-year temporary non-bachelor’s substitute teaching license for the 2020-2021 school year. An eligible applicant who does not hold a postsecondary degree must meet the employing school or district’s set of education requirements.  

One-year temporary non-bachelor’s substitute teaching licenses now are available at the request of the employing school or district. These licenses are valid for teaching in an assigned class of any subject area and grade level in the employing school district for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Applicants must have current background checks on file with the Department. Please see the Background Check FAQs webpage for more information. 

The flexibility provided in HB 409 is available only for the 2020-2021 school year. Following the 2020-2021 school year, educators will be held to the same substitute teaching licensure requirements that existed prior to HB 409. 

Last Modified: 2/26/2021 4:41:10 PM