In yet another unwelcome state mandate, the newly enacted state budget calls for educators to re-register with the State Education Department every five years.
Starting in 2016-17, all holders of a professional teaching certificate, or Level III Teaching Assistant certificate, will be required to renew their certification with SED every five years and complete 100 hours of state-approved continuing education - or risk losing their certificate.
It's important to note the new continuing education provisions do NOT apply to those holding permanent teaching certificates. However, those educators (certified pre-2004) will still have to re-register every five years.
The starting date for each permanent certficate holder will be staggered to ensure all certficate holders do not all come due in the same year. NYSUT is waiting for additional information from SED on how the process will work.
To maintain professional certification currently, teachers must complete 175 hours of locally approved professional development every five years; TAs must complete 75 hours every five years. However, school districts are responsible for providing professional learning opportunities and ensuring completion.
Under this new law, the onus - and the expense - is on the educator. And, in another example of the erosion of local control, the 100 hours of allowable continuing education activities will be governed by SED. The law directs SED to "issue rigorous standards for courses, programs and activities."