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.

We periodically update our forms and webpages for quality and continuous improvement. Please be sure to check your bookmarked links and downloaded forms at least annually to ensure that you are linked to the most up-to-date information and latest forms available.

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.

Teacher Assignment Information

  1. How do I find the certificate that covers the assignment?
    Assignment information can be found on the Teacher Assignment Chart. This information will let you know which certificates can be used to teach a particular course.
  2. What if I do not find a course listed in the teacher assignment chart?
    Assignment information can also be found in the Texas Administrative Code Chapter 231. If you do not find a course listed in the teacher assignment chart, you may contact staff in the Division of Educator Certification for assistance Monday through Friday at 512-936-8400, option 2.
  3. We are a district of innovation with an exemption from certification requirements. Do we have options for teacher assignments?
    Districts may have other options to fill assignments. Districts should review their DOI plan for each claimed exemption to make sure that the claimed exemption complies with the law and rules. We encourage all districts to consult with their legal counsel regarding the effect of any exemption claimed. The Texas Education Agency does not have the authority to approve a district's innovation plan.
  4. Do I have additional flexibility with assignments?
    Yes. The Certification Assignment Flexibility chart outlines options available to districts to address some of the most common certification assignment challenges and scenarios. However, these flexibilities are not applicable for special education, bilingual, or ESL assignments due to federal requirements and state statutes.

Out of State Certification 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 is the certification process in Texas for individuals licensed in other states?
    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. Our detailed out of state check list and detailed out of country check list can be used to guide educators through the entire process.

    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.
  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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Are teachers with the 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. How can I contact the Division of Educator Certification?
    Division of Educator Certification staff are available by phone Monday through Friday, 8:00am until 4:30pm at 512-936-8400, option 2. If it is not convenient to call the office, we also offer assistance via Help Desk Ticket. Allow 3 to 5 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.

ECOS for Entities Information

  1. 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. Typically, 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.
  2. What is the difference between an entity account and an educator account?
    ECOS for Entities allows school districts, charter schools, and educator preparation programs to view certain information on educators and apply for Educational Aides certificates and Emergency Permits. ECOS for educators allows them access to their certification account to verify or apply for certification.

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.

The emergency permit is a credential that must be initiated by an employing school district as it is a permit to teach that belongs to the specific district. Individual candidates for certification cannot pursue an emergency permit, a school district teaching permit, or a teacher certification waiver on their own. Any district in Texas has the option to pursue temporary credentials if interested in doing so.

Emergency Permits Guide
 
 
  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). District Permit Reminders and Which Permit should I Choose 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. District personnel must first contact the candidate’s EPP and the TEA Educator Preparation Programs Division before submitting a permit application for guidance.
  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.
  4. What roles, other than classroom teacher, can qualify for emergency permit issuance?
    Student Services positions, such as counselor, librarian, or educational diagnostician, may be eligible for an emergency permit. Emergency permits are not available for principals or superintendents; however, districts may utilize the general certification waiver for teacher, principal, and superintendent roles.

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?
    To view an educational aide certificate, the individual may use Certificate Lookup. First and last names must be entered to locate the certificate. The name must match what is in the TEA database.
  4. Do Educational Aides renew their certificate?
    Educational Aide certificates are no longer renewable. As of January 1, 2018, Educational Aide certificates cannot be renewed.  An individual who holds a Standard 5-year Educational Aide certificate will no longer be able to renew and must reapply for the new 2-year, non-renewable Educational Aide certificate. Every two years, they will need to apply for a new aide certificate and be recommended by their school district.
  5. 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 a 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.