School District Teaching Permits

Since 1995, Texas law has allowed school districts to issue a school district teaching permit to someone who does not hold a teaching certificate subject to approval by the commissioner of education (Texas Education Code §21.055).  For “noncore academic career and technical education (CTE) courses” only, state law allows the school district board of trustees the authority to determine if a school district may issue a school district teaching permit without approval by the commissioner of education (House Bill 2205, 84th Regular Legislative Session). Effective September 1, 2015. 

Eligible Courses

Noncore academic CTE courses are CTE courses that are not eligible to satisfy foundation graduation course credit in mathematics, science, language arts, or social studies. This includes any CTE course not on the attached list.

Qualifications

A local board of trustees may issue the school district teaching permit for an individual teaching a noncore academic CTE course based on qualifications certified by the superintendent. Under the new law, the individual’s qualifications must include demonstrated subject matter expertise, such as:

  • professional work experience
  • formal training and education
  • relevant industry license, certification, or registration
  • any combination of work experience, training and education, or industry credential related to the subject matter he or she will be teaching

A bachelor’s degree is not a requirement.  

Criminal History

Before issuing a school district teaching permit to an individual, a district must ensure that the individual has completed the criminal background check in compliance with State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rules mandated by TEC §22.0833 for a non-certified employee. The new law requires the superintendent to certify to the board of trustees that the individual has undergone a criminal history background check and is capable of proper classroom management.

Classroom Management Training

Individuals teaching under a school district teaching permit for noncore academic CTE courses must obtain at least 20 hours of classroom management training and must comply with any other continuing education requirements determined by the local board of trustees. 

Required Notification

Once a school district issues a school district teaching permit for an individual teaching a noncore academic CTE course, that individual may begin teaching the assigned courses. Promptly after employing the individual, the law requires the district to provide the commissioner with a written statement identifying the person, the courses he or she will teach, and his or her qualifications to teach the course. Use the School District Teaching Permit form (PDF, 112KB) to collect this information and submit to the TEA.

Local districts should carefully consider the courses the individual with a school district teaching permit will be teaching and ensure the individual has sufficient education and expertise to provide the instruction necessary to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for the course(s). A teacher serving on a school district teaching permit is not certified by the State Board for Educator Certification and is not “highly qualified” under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

Courses Other than Noncore Academic CTE Courses

School district teaching permits for courses other than noncore academic CTE remain available and are subject to approval by the commissioner of education. To be eligible for a school district teaching permit other than for noncore academic CTE courses, the candidate must have a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, he or she must have college credit relevant to the assigned courses as determined by the district and/or wage-earning experience relevant to the assigned courses as determined by the district.

A person is not eligible for a school district teaching permit for courses other than noncore academic CTE if he or she:

  • has or previously had a valid Texas teaching certificate or out-of-state teaching certificate
  • has applied for a teaching certificate and the application has been denied
  • has or once had a teaching certificate that has been sanctioned or revoked
  • has taken but has not passed a Texas teacher certification exams; or
  • has a pending application for a SBEC teaching certificate

A school district teaching permit is valid for classroom teaching assignments only and is not available for any other assignment, including:

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

School District Teaching Permit Form

If the candidate meets the criteria, the district may employ the individual and submit the School District Teaching Permit form (PDF, KB112) no later than the 31st day of employment.