Hiring Information for School District Personnel
School district personnel are responsible for ensuring that individuals serving in positions requiring educator certification hold the appropriate Texas credential. The questions and answers on this page address new and current certification processes and the most common hiring inquiries.
TEA continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation. Please visit the COVID-19 Educator Certification and Preparation page for important updates as they become available.
Educators Certified Outside of Texas
1. What is the certification process for educators that hold a standard out-of-state certificate?
Educators that hold a standard certificate in another state or country must apply for a review of credentials. Upon successful completion of a review of credentials, educators may be eligible for a One-Year Certificate.
2. What does TEA consider to be a standard certificate?
A standard certificate is a certificate or other credential issued by an authorized licensing agency in another state or territory of the United States. Our office will not accept a temporary permit, a credential issued by a city or school district, or a certificate for which academic or other program deficiencies are indicated.
3. Can I check the status of an educator’s out-of-state/out-of-country application?
Yes. Authorized school district personnel with access to ECOS for Entities may view an educator’s application status by clicking on Educator Information, then Educator Search. Select the Document link to verify whether any documents have been received. If nothing is displayed, TEA has not received the documents. TEA staff, the educator, and district staff will see the same information, so please allow several business days for documents to appear in an educator's file after they are submitted to our office. Please be aware that you will be able to see the type of document, not the document itself. Document Upload Access for Entities will assist you with viewing documents. Documents received prior to February 2020, cannot be viewed in the Document link.
4. Who may request access to ECOS for Entities?
If you are Human Resources Personnel and you need access to ECOS for Entities, you must confirm with your primary approver before applying for this access. Generally, the primary approver for school districts is the superintendent or their designee. Once advised, you may apply for access. Requesting Access to an Application will assist you with requesting access to ECOS for Entities.
5. Can an authorized school district employee upload a transcript on behalf of the educator?
Yes. District employees with access to ECOS for Entities may upload a verified official transcript on behalf of an out-of-state applicant. Official means an original, or one directly emailed to district personnel by the institution or servicer. It does not include photocopied, printed, or forwarded electronic versions that were provided by the educator. Document Upload Access for Entities will assist you with uploading documents into a TEA file. Documents that are not required or labeled properly will not be addressed and deleted. Electronic transcripts can be sent directly from the educator’s institution or servicer via email. Institutions must email the transcript directly to our office. We will not accept emailed transcripts from the educator. Submission of electronic and official transcripts can be found on the Out-of-State Certified Educators page.
6. Who can receive an expedited review of credentials?
Educators that hold a standard certificate in a teacher shortage subject area, eligible active duty military personnel, their spouses, and military veterans automatically receive an expedited application review. Authorized school district personnel may submit an expedited request for an educator with a pending contract. Before submitting your request, you must verify that all documents have been received. Due to the volume of applications, we cannot address incomplete applications. Test exemption reviews are not expedited.
To verify documents, you must be an authorized school district employee with access to ECOS for Entities. You may view the application status by clicking on Educator Information, then Educator Search. Select the Document link. If nothing is displayed, TEA has not received the documents.
TEA staff, the educator, and district staff will see the same information, so please allow several business days for documents to appear in an educator's file after they are submitted to our office. Please be aware that you will be able to see the type of document, not the document itself. Document Upload Access for Entities will assist you with viewing documents.
7. Does Texas have full reciprocity for educator certification?
Texas does not have full reciprocity with other states. Educators that hold a standard certificate in another state(s) must apply for a review of credentials and verification of work experience and test information must be submitted to be determined. The Out-of-State Test Exemption frequently asked questions will provide additional information.
8. Are members of the military community exempt from testing?
Yes. Eligible members of the military community that complete a successful review of credentials may qualify for immediate issuance of a Standard Certificate.
9. Are teachers with National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification exempt from the TExES exams?
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards tests are accepted for certification testing requirements in Texas. Applicants must also hold a standard certificate in a corresponding subject area and grade level that was issued by their state's department of education. Educators must apply for a review of credentials to qualify for test exemption.
10. Why is there no test history for an educator that holds a standard certificate?
Effective May 3, 2018, our test exemption process allows the exemption of Texas tests for eligible individuals certified outside the state, in accordance with 19 TAC Chapter 152, Commissioner’s Rules Concerning Examination Requirements, §152.1001, Exceptions to Examination Requirements for Individuals Certified Outside the State. Educators that were exempt from TEA exams based on their review of credentials would have received a test exemption letter. This letter may be requested from the educator for placement into district file if needed.
11. How do I verify an educator's certification?
Authorized school district personnel with access to ECOS for Entities can verify any educator certification with the educator’s social security number or TEA ID number. When verifying a certificate, we recommend using Google Chrome, as other browsers may not reflect the most current certification information.
12. How do I find the certificate that covers the assignment?
Assignment information can be found in the Texas Administrative Code and the Teacher Assignment Chart (PDF, 585 KB). This information will let you know which certificates can be used to teach a particular course.
13. How can I contact the Division of Educator Certification?
As a result of the evolving coronavirus situation, TEA has determined it will move to a mandatory telework policy for agency employees beginning March 17, 2020. Division of Educator Certification staff are available via Help Desk Ticket only during mandatory teleworking. Allow several business days for staff to respond to your ticket. Tickets are answered in the order received. Staff will continue to process applications and certification requests while working remotely. Please do not submit duplicate tickets as this will cause a delay in responding.
Emergency Certification for Inappropriately Certified Candidates
This information can assist authorized school district personnel with determining permit eligibility for a certified educator not covered for a specific assignment.
1. Can an emergency permit be reissued for the 2020-2021 school year?
Yes, the governor has suspended SBEC rules specific to emergency permit renewal. This will allow the employing districts to submit an online application and $57 fee to re-issue the emergency permit valid for one additional year during the 2020-2021 school year. This is not an automatic renewal of the emergency permit. Employing districts must initiate this process by submitting the emergency permit application for those certified educators that served on a permit during the 2019-2020 school year, that they intend to employ in the same assignment for the 2020-2021 school year. Please visit the COVID-19 Educator Certification and Preparation page for emergency permit renewal information.
2. What emergency permit types are available to a district?
There are three types of permits, emergency, non-renewable and temporary classroom assignment permits (TCAP). District Permit Reminders and Which Permit should I Choose, provide additional permit information.
3. Are candidates currently enrolled in an approved Texas Educator Preparation Program (EPP) eligible for an emergency permit?
Candidates enrolled in an EPP, may be employed on an emergency permit if the emergency permit is being issued in a certificate area not available through the educator preparation program. Please contact the candidate’s EPP before submitting a permit application.
4. When and how do I apply for an emergency permit?
Permits cannot be submitted prior to July 1st for the upcoming school year. Applications submitted prior to this date, will process for the previous school year. School district personnel with permit access in ECOS for Entities can submit a permit application.
5. Can administrators and student services personnel be placed on a permit?
Emergency permits are not available for principal or superintendent. Student Services positions, such as counselor, librarian, or educational diagnostician, may be eligible for an emergency permit.
Educational Aide Assignments
This information can be helpful when determining appropriate requirements for educational aides.
1. How does someone apply for an educational aide certificate?
The individual will need to set up online TEAL and ECOS accounts. Once they are in the ECOS account, they would select the Applications tab and then Educational Aide Certificate and follow the prompts to apply and pay the fee.
2. How does a school district recommend an individual for an Educational Aide certificate?
District personnel must have educational aide access in ECOS for Entities to recommend for an educational aide certificate. The application will require the district to select the appropriate certificate level.
Teacher Salary and Service Information
1. I have an employee with an error on their service record, who should be contacted?
You must contact the district that made the error. If the service was completed at a charter school that is no longer operating or has been taken over by another charter school or district, then you will need to contact the Region 13 Educational Service Center and use their Programs & Services option to submit a Charter School Records Request.
2. How do I determine if a private school is accredited?
For Texas schools, The Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) can be used to determine accreditation. For out of state schools, please view the Regional Accrediting Associations list.