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FAQs Regarding Teacher Requirements Under ESSA

Teacher Requirements Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Frequently Asked Questions.
Who should I contact for credentialing and/or teacher placement (staffing) questions (non-charter)?

Questions related to teacher credentialing and/or teacher placement should be directed to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). The CTC can be contacted by phone at 916-322-4974, Option 1 (Monday through Friday from 12:30 to 4:30pm Pacific Standard Time) or by e-mail at credentials@ctc.ca.gov.

Who should I contact for credentialing and/or teacher placement (staffing) questions for charter schools?

For questions related to charter school staffing, please contact the chartering authority of the charter school. The CTC cannot address any specific questions for charter school staffing as the monitoring of these schools does not fall under the authority of the Commission. Also, the California Department of Education has developed a charter school FAQ page [http://staging.cde.ca.gov/sp/ch/csqatoc.asp] which includes staffing information.

What authorization must a charter school teacher hold?

Teachers in charter schools shall hold a CTC credential, permit, or other document equivalent to that which a teacher in all other public schools would be required to hold. An equivalent credential, permit, or other document would mean that the teacher has the appropriate authorization for their assignment. Per California Education Code Section 47605(l), it is the intent of the Legislature that charter schools be given flexibility with regard to noncore, noncollege preparatory courses.

Are charter schools required to complete the Title I, Part A—Educator Equity section of the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Addendum which requires Local educational agencies (LEAs) applying for Title I funds to describe how the LEA will identify and address any disparities that result in low-income and minority students being taught at higher rates than other students by ineffective, inexperienced, or out-of-field teachers as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Section 1112(b)(2) External link opens in new window or tab. [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:20%20section:6312%20edition:prelim)%20OR%20(granuleid:USC-prelim-title20-section6312)&f=treesort&edition=prelim&num=0&jumpTo=true}?

Yes. If a charter school is applying for Title I funding, it is required to follow any and all conditions for receiving federal funding, which includes responding to the Title I, Part A—Educator Equity section of the LCAP Addendum.

Are local educational agencies (LEAs) required to ensure that all teachers of core academic subjects in the state are “highly qualified”?

No. Under the ESSA, the NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements were eliminated and replaced with applicable State certification and licensure requirements.  Thus, teachers must meet applicable State certification and licensure requirements, including any requirements for certification obtained through alternative routes to certification, or, with regard to special education teachers, the qualifications described in section 612(a)(14)(C) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20U.S.C. 1412(a)(14)(C).

Are LEAs that receive Title I funds required under the ESSA to notify parents at the beginning of each school year that they may request information regarding the professional qualifications of their student’s classroom teachers?

Yes. ESSA Section 1112(e) External link opens in new window or tab. [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:20%20section:6312%20edition:prelim)%20OR%20(granuleid:USC-prelim-title20-section6312)&f=treesort&edition=prelim&num=0&jumpTo=true] states that LEAs shall notify the parents of each student attending any school receiving Title I funds that the parents may request, and the agency will provide the parents on request (and in a timely manner), information regarding the professional qualifications of the student’s classroom teachers, including at a minimum, the following: (1) Whether the student’s teacher (a) has met State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade levels and subject areas in which the teacher provides instruction; (b) is teaching under emergency or other provisional status through which State qualification or licensing criteria have been waived; and (c) is teaching in the field of discipline of the certification of the teacher and (2) Whether the child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

Under the ESSA, can teachers still use the High Objective Uniform State Standard of Evaluation (HOUSSE) document to demonstrate highly qualified status?

No. The HOUSSE document was an option developed for veteran teachers under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act to demonstrate “highly qualified” teacher status. Under the ESSA, the NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements were eliminated and replaced with applicable State certification and licensure requirements. Therefore, the HOUSSE document is not applicable under the ESSA. All teachers must meet state certification and licensure requirements as stated in ESSA Sections 1111(g)(2)(J) External link opens in new window or tab. [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?hl=false&edition=prelim&req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title20-section6311] and 1112(c)(6) External link opens in new window or tab. [http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:20%20section:6312%20edition:prelim)%20OR%20(granuleid:USC-prelim-title20-section6312)&f=treesort&edition=prelim&num=0&jumpTo=true].

Under the ESSA, can teachers in special settings still use the Verification Process for Special Settings (VPSS) to be eligible to teach outside their credential area?

No. The VPSS process was an option under the NCLB for teachers assigned to special settings to demonstrate subject matter competency (one of the highly qualified teacher requirements) to allow them to teach outside their credential area. Under the ESSA, the NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements were eliminated and replaced with applicable State certification and licensure requirements. Therefore, the VPSS process is not applicable under the ESSA. All teachers must meet state certification and licensure requirements as stated in ESSA Sections 1111(g)(2)(J) and 1112(c)(6). LEAs may choose to use VPSS programs that are still available as an option for professional learning.

Do I need a Certificate of Compliance to apply for a teaching position in California?

No. The Certificate of Compliance was a document used to demonstrate that a teacher met all of the highly qualified teacher requirements under the NCLB Act. Under the ESSA, the NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements were eliminated and replaced with applicable State certification and licensure requirements. Therefore, the Certificate of Compliance is not applicable under the ESSA. All teachers must meet state certification and licensure requirements as stated in ESSA Sections 1111(g)(2)(J) and 1112(c)(6).

Questions:   Teacher and Leader Policy Office | TLPO@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0780
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 15, 2020
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