April 2022 Committee on School Initiatives Item 9
Review of Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 245, Certification of Educators from Other Countries
April 8, 2022
COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION
SUMMARY: This item provides the State Board of Education (SBOE) an opportunity to review the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rule actions that would propose amendments to 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 245, Certification of Educators from Other Countries. The proposed amendments would update the requirements for certification of educators from other countries.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: The statutory authority for the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 245 is the Texas Education Code (TEC), §§21.041(b)(1), (4), and (5); 21.048; and 21.052(a), (b), (c), (d), and (e).
TEC, §21.041(b)(1), states the SBEC must propose rules that provide for the regulation of educators and the general administration of the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B, in a manner consistent with the TEC, Chapter 21, Subchapter B.
TEC, §21.041(b)(4), states the SBEC must propose rules that specify the requirements for the issuance and renewal of an educator certificate.
TEC, §21.041(b)(5), states the SBEC must propose rules that provide for the issuance of an educator certificate to a person who holds a similar certificate issued by another state or foreign country, subject to the TEC, §21.052.
TEC, §21.048, states the SBEC shall propose rules prescribing comprehensive examinations for each class of certificate issued by the board that includes not requiring more than 45 days elapsing between examination retakes and that starting January 1, 2021, all candidates teaching prekindergarten through grade six must demonstrate proficiency in the science of teaching reading on a certification examination.
TEC, §21.052(a), states that the SBEC may issue a certificate to an educator who submits an application for certification and holds a degree issued by an institution accredited by a regional accrediting agency or group that is recognized by a nationally recognized accreditation board, or a degree issued by an institution located in a foreign country, if the degree is equivalent to a bachelor's degree issued in the United States, or holds an appropriate certificate or other credential issued in another state or country and has met all certification requirements for issuance of the credential.
TEC, §21.052(b), states that for purposes of §21.052(a)(2), a person is considered to hold a certificate or other credential if the credential is not valid solely because it has expired.
TEC, §21.052(c), states that the SBEC may issue a temporary certificate under this section to an educator who holds a degree required by §21.052(a)(1) and a certificate or other credential required by §21.052(a)(2) but who has not satisfied the requirements prescribed by §21.052(a)(3). Subject to subsections (d) and (d-1), the SBEC may specify the term of a temporary certificate issued under this subsection.
TEC, §21.052(d), states that a temporary certificate issued under §21.052(c) to an educator employed by a school district that has constructed or expanded at least one instructional facility as a result of increased student enrollment due to actions taken under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (10 U.S.C. Section 2687) may not expire before the first anniversary of the date on which the SBEC completes the review of the educator's credentials and informs the educator of the examination or examinations under the TEC, §21.048, on which the educator must perform successfully to receive a standard certificate.
TEC, §21.052(e), states that an educator who has submitted all documents required by the board for certification and who receives a temporary certificate as provided by subsection (c) has one year to successfully complete examination requirements identified in the review of credentials and specified in Section 21.048 to receive a standard certificate.
The full text of statutory citations can be found in the statutory authority section of this agenda.
PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION: None.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION: The SBEC is statutorily authorized to regulate and oversee all aspects of certification of public school educators. The SBEC is also statutorily authorized to ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse population of this state.
At the July 2021 SBEC meeting, the SBEC and Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff discussed the current pathway in which an individual certified in another country must comply to obtain a Texas educator certificate. Following is a description of the proposed amendments included in attachment that incorporates feedback received by the SBEC as well as technical clean-up to update current cross-references.
§245.1. General Provisions.
The proposed amendment to §245.1(d) would remove the outdated reference to a "certificate entitlement card" as it is not a document that has been presented by individuals certified outside the state who submit applications for the review of out of state credentials. Candidates must submit other documents referenced in rule (statement or approval letter) that are sufficient proof of an individual's completion of requirements for licensure to teach in another state.
§245.5. Requirements for Issuance of a Texas Certificate Based on Certification from Another Country.
Proposed new §245.5(a)(3) would add a reference to the provisions in Chapter 152, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Examination Requirements, that may qualify an individual for exemption from required state examinations leading to issuance of the Texas standard certificate.
The proposed amendment to §245.5(b) would clarify that demonstration of English language proficiency is required prior to issuance of a Texas one-year certificate and would add the word "legacy" to align with the correct title to Chapter 239, Student Services Certificates, Subchapter E, that has been renamed, Legacy Master Teacher Certificate, effective December 27, 2020. The title of Chapter 241 would also be updated in subsection (b) to align with the correct title.
The proposed amendment to §245.5(e) would clarify that the current process requires applicants issued the temporary, one-year certificate to obtain a Texas standard classroom teacher certificate prior to adding a supplemental certificate area to their record of certification. This is not a change in the certification process, only a clarification of current rule and procedures.
§245.10. Application Procedures.
The proposed amendment to §245.10(a) would delete the requirement in paragraph (3) that individuals licensed in other countries must obtain an original written statement, provided by the authorizing licensing agency in the issuing country, that the educator's certificate is in good standing, and has not been revoked, suspended, or sanctioned for misconduct and is not pending disciplinary or adverse action. The proposed amendment would reduce duplicative efforts and barriers for educators. The original written statements from foreign licensing agencies have been difficult for some foreign educators to obtain and difficult for TEA staff to verify. With the proposed amendment, educators licensed in other countries would still be required to successfully complete Foreign Credential Evaluation and Texas background check and fingerprinting processes, which are the verifiable safeguards to ensure an educator applying for issuance of a Texas certificate is in good standing. These safeguards are sufficient to ensure that an applicant licensed by another country is qualified to be an educator in Texas.
The proposed amendment in §245.10(a) would provide technical edits to renumber paragraphs (4)–(6) to paragraphs (3)–(5).
§245.15. Evaluation of College Credentials.
The proposed amendment would add the phrase "Requests for" to the title of §245.15, which is the section that covers all requests to have college credentials reviewed by TEA staff, to match the title of §230.115, Requests for Evaluation of College Credentials, which is the rule specific to individuals certified in other states or territories of the United States. The proposed amendment would also establish the acronym "EPP" to align with Texas Register style requirements.
SBOE Review of Proposed SBEC Rules
Under the TEC, §21.042, the SBEC must submit a written copy of each rule it proposes to adopt to the SBOE for review. The SBOE may reject the proposed rule by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the SBOE present and voting but may not modify a rule.
FISCAL IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The TEA staff has determined that there is no additional fiscal impact on state and local governments and that there are no additional costs to persons or entities required to comply with the proposal.
LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal has no effect on local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code (TGC), §2001.022.
SMALL BUSINESS, MICROBUSINESS, AND RURAL COMMUNITY IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal has no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, or rural communities; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in TGC, §2006.002, is required.
COST INCREASE TO REGULATED PERSONS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal does not impose a cost on regulated persons, another state agency, a special district, or a local government and, therefore, is not subject to TGC, §2001.0045.
TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal does not impose a burden on private real property and, therefore, does not constitute a taking under TGC, §2007.043.
GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The TEA staff prepared a Government Growth Impact Statement assessment for this proposed rulemaking. During the first five years the proposed rulemaking would be in effect, the proposed amendment to §245.10 would repeal an existing regulation by removing the requirement that individuals must obtain a letter of professional standing by the issuing licensing country.
The proposed rulemaking would not create or eliminate a government program; would not require the creation of new employee positions or elimination of existing employee positions; would not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency; would not require an increase or decrease in fees paid to the agency; would not create a new regulation; would not expand or limit an existing regulation; would not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to its applicability; and would not positively or adversely affect the state's economy.
PUBLIC BENEFIT AND COST TO PERSONS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The public benefit anticipated as a result of the proposal would be clearly defined rules and requirements for individuals to obtain Texas certification based on already being licensed to teach in other states or territories of the United States. There is no anticipated cost to persons who are required to comply with the proposal.
DATA AND REPORTING IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal would have no new data and reporting impact.
PRINCIPAL AND CLASSROOM TEACHER PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The TEA staff has determined that the proposal would not require a written report or other paperwork to be completed by a principal or classroom teacher.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: In accordance with the SBEC rulemaking process, a summary of comments received by the SBEC on its proposed rules is shared with the SBOE under separate cover prior to this SBOE meeting.
MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:
Take no action on proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 245, Certification of Educators from Other Countries.
Staff Members Responsible:
Emily Garcia, Associate Commissioner, Educator Preparation, Certification, and Enforcement
Marilyn Cook, Director, Educator Certification
Text of Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 245, Certification of Educators from Other Countries