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Updated Teacher Equity Definitions

Updated “ineffective” and “out-of-field” teacher definitions for the California Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Consolidated State Plan approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) in November 2019.

On November 6, 2019, the SBE approved updated definitions for “ineffective” and “out-of-field” teachers to be included in the amended California ESSA Consolidated State Plan. Extensive training and feedback with the field revealed the need for clarifications to the definitions to include specific permits and authorization that fall under each of the definitions.

The former teacher equity definitions (DOCX) were utilized by local educational agencies for completing their 2019 Local Control and Accountability Plan Federal Addenda.

Term Definition
Ineffective teacher

An ineffective teacher is any of the following:

  • An individual whose assignment is legally authorized by an emergency permit that does not require possession of a full teaching license; or
  • A teacher who holds a teaching credential but does not possess a permit or authorization that temporarily allows them to teach outside of their credentialed area (misassigned)
  • An individual who holds no credential, permit, or authorization to teach in California.

Under this definition, teachers with the following limited emergency permits would be considered ineffective:

  • Provisional Internship Permits,
  • Short-Term Staff Permits
  • Variable Term Waivers
  • Substitute permits or Teaching Permits for Statutory Leave (TSPL) holders serving as the teacher of record
Out-of-field teacher A credentialed out-of-field teacher is:

A credentialed teacher who has not yet demonstrated subject matter competence in the subject area(s) or for the student population to which he or she is assigned. Under this definition, the following limited permits will be considered out of field:

  • General Education Limited Assignment Permit (GELAP)
  • Special Education Limited Assignment Permit (SELAP)
  • Short-Term Waivers
  • Emergency English Learner or Bilingual Authorization Permits
  • Local Assignment Options (except for those made pursuant to the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 80005[b])
Inexperienced Teacher A teacher who has two or fewer years of teaching experience.
Minority Student A student who is American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, African American, Filipino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or Two or More Races Not Hispanic.
Low-Income Student A student who is eligible to receive Free or Reduced-Price Meals
Questions:   Teacher and Leader Policy Office | | 916-445-7331
Last Reviewed: Monday, May 1, 2023
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