School District Personnel Certification Information

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.

Out of State Certification Information

1. What is the certification process for educators that hold a standard out-of-state certificate?  
Educators who 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.

Note: Temporary permits, a credential issued locally by a city or school district, or a certificate for which academic or other program deficiencies are indicated are not acceptable.

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, which provides school district human resources personnel access to educator application information, may view an educator’s application status by clicking on Educator Information, then Educator Search. After entering the educator’s information in the search bar, you will be able to see a list of documents received by TEA in the Document Link column.  You will not have access to select and view the actual document. If the list is empty, then documents either have not been received or not yet uploaded into the system. Please allow approximately two weeks for documents to appear in an educator's file after they are submitted by the educator. Document Upload Access for Entities will assist you with viewing documents. Documents received prior to February 2020 will not be available for view in ECOS for Entities. 

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 by your primary approver, you may then 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. An official transcript is one that is 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 who 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 and are not eligible for an added expedited request. 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 by TEA Division of Educator Certification. See question 3 above for instructions on this process. Due to the volume of applications, we cannot address incomplete applications. Please follow instructions for submission provided on the expedited request form.

Note: Test exemption reviews are not expedited.

7. Does Texas have full reciprocity for educator certification?
Texas does not have full reciprocity with other states. Educators who hold a standard certificate in another state(s) must apply for a review of credentials. Verification of work experience and official test score reports must be submitted to determine Out-of-State test exemptions. 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 who 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?
Yes. 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 who holds a standard certificate?
Effective May 3, 2018, our test exemption process allows for 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. Therefore, if the educator is exempt from testing, then test history would not be available. Educators who were exempt from TEA exams based on their review of credentials would have received a test exemption letter, shared and available for download in the My Documents tab in ECOS. This letter may be requested from the educator for placement in the 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 Chapter 231. 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?
Division of Educator Certification staff are available by phone at 512-936-8400, option 2 or via Help Desk Ticket. Allow 7 to 10 business days for staff to respond to your ticket. Tickets are answered in the order received. Please do not submit duplicate tickets as this will cause a delay in response time.

Emergency Permit Information

This information can assist authorized school district personnel with determining permit eligibility for a certified educator not covered for a specific assignment.

1. What emergency permit types are available to a district?
There are three types of permits; emergency, non-renewable and temporary classroom assignment permits (TCAP). Permit InformationWhich Permit should I Choose and Permit Processing FAQs are documents that provide additional permit information.

2. 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.  

3. When and how do I apply for an emergency permit?
Permits for the upcoming school year can only be submitted beginning on July 1st.  Applications submitted prior to this date will be processed for the previous school year. School district personnel with permit access in ECOS for Entities can submit a permit application. The application must be submitted and paid for online within ECOS for Entities. 

4. Can administrators and student services personnel be placed on a permit?
Emergency permits are not available for principals or superintendents. Student Services positions, such as counselor, librarian, or educational diagnostician, may be eligible for an emergency permit.

Educational Aide Assignment Information

1.  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 an individual for an educational aide certificate. The application will require the district to select the appropriate certificate level.

2. 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.

3. How does someone view an educational aide certificate?
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. In ECOS select Educator Information, Educator Search, then Certifications. When verifying a certificate, we recommend using Google Chrome, as other browsers may not reflect the most current certification information. 

4. Are qualifying students eligible for an educational aide I certificate?
Due to amendments of the Educational Aide rules in February 2020, specific CTE students may be eligible for an Aide I certificate. We recommend having conversation with your school district CTE administrator. Certain steps of the application process will vary across school districts and require participation from other district staff members. You may also contact CTE@tea.texas.gov for more information regarding student eligibility for the Educational Aide I certificate.