Highly Qualified Teachers


Requirements related to highly qualified teachers will remain in place through the end of 2015-2016 school year. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, schools and teachers will only need to meet state requirements for certification.  The federal term of “highly qualified teacher status” will no longer apply.  It is important to note that all state certification requirements adopted in State Board for Educator Certification rule remain in place.  Paraprofessionals must still meet the highly qualified requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for the 2016-17 school year.

A copy of  a To the Administrator Addressed  letter from the commissioner of education can be found on the TEA website http://tea.texas.gov/ under The Latest TEA News, then “online correspondence” (March 8, 2016).

Highly Qualified Requirements 2015-2016

Districts must complete an amendment of their current HQ survey data in eGrants by June 15, 2016.  

Section 1119 of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) focuses on improving teacher quality at the local level. To achieve this goal, the act requires all teachers teaching core subject academic areas to meet specific competency and educational requirements. Teachers who meet these requirements are considered “Highly Qualified.”

General Information

Teachers are required to be highly qualified if they are the Teacher of Record providing direct instruction to students in any core academic subject area, including English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages (languages other than English), civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography. Highly qualified teachers must:

  • Hold at least a bachelor’s degree; 
  • Be fully certified to teach in Texas; and 
  • Demonstrate competency in their core academic subject area.

The following links provide information on implementing NCLB requirements, improving academic achievement for disadvantaged students:

Guidance for Implementation of NCLB Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements (PDF, 823KB), updated Oct. 2015.

This document includes additional information about which teachers must meet the highly qualified requirements and how the state is implementing the program.

Title I – Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged

This is the full text in HTML format of Title I, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act. Section 1119 which addresses Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements. 


The following reports are available for review:

Highly Qualified Teacher Reports by state, region, district, or campus
This report includes information about high-poverty and low-poverty districts. It covers the beginning and end-of-year reports on state, regional, and local progress toward highly qualified teacher compliance.

State plan for meeting the highly qualified teacher goal (PDF, 165KB)
This is the revised plan for achieving compliance to NCLB highly qualified teacher requirements. Additional resources are here:

Attachment 1: Texas Strategic Plan to Address the Teacher Shortage (PDF, 507KB)
Attachment 2: SampleCampus HQT Compliance Report (PDF, 349KB)
Attachment 3: District HQ Percent (PDF, 509KB)
Attachment 4: Campus HQ (PDF, 3,646KB)
Attachment 5: NCLB Monitoring Description (PDF, 1,451KB)
Attachment 6: Equity Plan (PDF, 224KB) (Updated February 2, 2012)
USDE Approval Letter (PDF, 14KB)
USDE Review Sheet and Comments (PDF, 45KB)

Additional Resources

TEA provides the following resources for use at the district level:

Highly Qualified Teacher Determination forms 
These forms help to determine whether or not a teacher meets HQT requirements.

Sample Forms for use by Local Education Agencies
These are NCLB compliance and parental notification sample forms in English and Spanish.

Highly Qualified Teacher Continuous Improvement Plan (HQTCIP) Process
LEAs not meeting HQT requirements must analyze local data to identify the causes of and possible solutions to non-compliance.

Requirements for Highly Qualified Paraprofessionals