New York State Certification, Early Childhood Education, School Finance, Professional Development
July 06, 2010

NYS Teacher Certification Flexibility Limited Extensions in Times of Fiscal Crisis

The New York State Board of Regents recently adopted changes to the Commissioner's Regulations permitting teacher certification flexibility to avoid or mitigate reductions in force. Certain general education and students with disabilities teachers may be reassigned to teach in grades close to their current certification area for up to two years. Such reassignment will require a "Limited Extension" to a base certificate.

Section 80-4.3 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education establish "Limited Extensions" specifically for kindergarten and the Middle Childhood grades during a period of fiscal crisis. Teachers may apply for full extensions after the two year period, upon completion of additional pedagogical study and/or examination in a content specialty area.  Hiring decisions and appointments to tenure areas continue to be governed by existing laws and regulations.

Limited certificate extensions will be granted to currently employed experienced and qualified teachers that have a Superintendent's statement attesting:

  1. The district is in an immediate fiscal crises and the issuance of the extension will avoid or mitigate a reduction in force,
  2. the teacher is Highly Qualified under NCLB,
  3. the district will provide appropriate support to the teacher, and
  4. has verified that the teacher is enrolled in study at an institution of higher education to complete the requirements for the full extension.

These Limited Extensions are not renewable and their availability will expire June 30, 2013.

Eligible
Certificates

Available
Limited Extension

Requirements for Full
Extension

Prek-6 or 1-6

Kindergarten

6 Semester Hours - Early Childhood Education

Prek-6 or 1-6

Grades 7-8, Academic Subject

Academic Subject CST; and
6 Semester Hours - Middle Childhood Education

Students with Disabilities (SWD) 1-6

Students with Disabilities Kindergarten

6 Semester Hours - Early Childhood Education

Students with Disabilities 1-6

Students with Disabilities Grades 7-8

Academic Subject CST; and
6 Semester Hours - Middle Childhood Education

Grades 7-12
Academic Subject

Grades 5-6 Academic
Subject

6 Semester Hours - Middle Childhood Education

A teacher certified in:

  1. 1-6 Childhood Education (general education or SWD) with a Kindergarten Limited Extension could be reassigned to teach kindergarten for a two-year period.
  2. 1-6 Childhood Education (general education or SWD) with a Grades 7-8 Limited Extension could be reassigned to teach Grades 7 or 8 (not for high school credit) for a two-year period.
  3. 7-12 Academic Subject Area (general education only) with a Grades 5-6 Limited Extension could be reassigned to teach an academic subject in grades 5 or 6 for a two-year period.

Advice to Local Leaders

  1. These changes are effective as of April 27, 2010.
  2. Although coursework and/or content specialty test (CST) are not needed prior to issuance of the Limited Extension, applicants must be enrolled in a program to complete coursework and, if required, pass the CST before the limited extension expires.
  3. At the end of the Limited Extension two-year validity period the teacher must be eligible for the full extension in order to maintain the reassignment.
  4. Limited extensions are offered by the State Education Department to mitigate a reduction in force but districts are not required to use this flexibility.
  5. The regulations do not address taking action against the district if they do not make use of this option.
  6. If a preferred eligibility list (PEL) exists that covers the tenure area where the district is seeking to fill a position, the district must use the PEL first before making any new appointments to that tenure area.
  7. The regulation addresses certification issues only. Hiring decisions or appointments to tenure areas continue to be governed by existing law and rules.
  8. If you should have any questions regarding Limited Extensions, please contact your NYSUT Labor Relations Specialist or NYSUT Research and Educational Services.

 

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