School District Teaching Permits

School districts may issue a School District Teaching Permit (SDTP) to someone who does not hold a teaching certificate (Texas Education Code §21.055). The statute grants the Commissioner of Education the authority to determine if a person is eligible for an SDTP. A teacher serving on an SDTP is not “highly qualified” under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). For questions concerning course credit please contact the TEA Curriculum Division

SDTP Information

The SDTP was not designed to circumvent the professional certification system.

Individuals Ineligible for SDTP

These individual are not eligible for a district teaching permit:

  • persons serving on an emergency permits to teach in the state of Texas
  • persons who hold a Texas teaching certificate
  • persons who hold an out-of-state teaching certificate
  • persons who have their credentials sanctioned or denied
  • persons who have been unable to pass appropriate tests for certification

Ineligible Assignments for SDTP

An SDTP is valid for classroom teaching assignments only and is not applicable for:

  • counselor
  • school librarian
  • administrator
  • any other professional assignment outside of classroom teacher
  • special education or bilingual education assignments

Approval or Denial Criteria

For the subject area being taught, the candidate must have:

  • a bachelor’s degree 
    • does not apply to a person teaching Trade and Industrial Education or Health Science Technology (HST)
  • relevant college coursework in the subject area (i.e., 18 hours for elementary and middle school and 24 hours for high school)
  • active professional licensure, certification, or registration by a nationally recognized professional accrediting agency
  • five years of full-time wage earning work experience requiring licensure within the past eight years
  • letter from the school district confirming the fingerprinting and criminal-history check as a non-certified educator has been completed

If an SDTP is denied, the school district must remove the teacher from the classroom. The school district has the right to appeal the denial one time only.


If the candidate meets the criteria, a district may employ the individual and submit the following documents to the Commissioner of Education no later than the 31st day of employment.

Please contact Judy Okimura with any questions.
Judy Okimura
Division of Educator Certification
Texas Education Agency
ATTN: School District Teaching Permits
1701 North Congress Avenue, 5th Floor
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-3941