Educator Certification Rule for New ESE Requirement

On January 21, 2014, The Florida State Board of Education (SBOE) clarified the changes to the requirement for teacher certification as outline in in the 2013 passage of Senate bill 1108. The new law requires all teachers who recertify after July 1, 2014 to complete one college credit or 20 inservice points in ESE. Since passage, we have been waiting for the State Board of Education (SBOE) to approve a rule outlining the courses which would meet the new requirement.  
On January 18, 2014 the State Board met and approved the rule regarding the ESE requirement including the acceptable courses.
 
1. Anyone renewing a FL professional certificate after July 1, 2014, will be required to obtain one college credit or 20 in‐service points in the area of teaching students with disabilities. This will not add to the total already required (six semester hours/20 in‐service points).

2. No one is exempt from meeting the requirement. It does not matter what you are certified in, whether or not you are teaching, or what your degree major is in.
 
3. A National Board certificate in Exceptional Needs Specialist – Early Childhood through Young Adult can be used to satisfy the requirement.

4. A passing score on the FL Subject Area Exam in Exceptional Student Education, Hearing Impaired, Visually Impaired, or Speech‐Language Impaired can be used provided it was taken during the validity period of the professional certificate being renewed. www.fl.nesinc.com

5. Credit in any in‐service or college course related to the instruction of students with disabilities (except for Gifted content) an used provided it was earned during the validity period of the period of the professional certificate being renewed.  SEE list of Courses ON FLDOE site.

6. If your certificate expires on June 30, 2014, you will NOT need to meet this new requirement provided the renewal application and fee is submitted to district Certification by June 30, 2014. An applicant whose certificate expires on June 30, 2014, who submits an application for late renewal on or after 1, 2014, will need to have satisfied the requirement for teaching students with disabilities.

7. Professional certificates can only be renewed in the last year of the validity period. Therefore, the application and fee to renew professional certificates expiring on June 30, 2015, can be submitted any time after July 1, 2014. 

Teachers should consult with their local human resources office for guidance on certification. Local school districts are authorized by Florida law to process the renewal of professional certificates for their employees. The Florida Department of Education verbally informed school districts that they have the discretion to accept early renewals.

We encourage you to check with your district as to their policy on the ESE requirement and early renewal.
 flowchart
FEA has created this flowchart and Frequently Asked Questions to help teachers understand what we do know about the new requirements. Click here. Please contact our Public Policy Department if you need additional information.

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