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Certification Provisions for Military Members and First Responders

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The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) has updated 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 234, effective March 7, 2024, creating temporary certifications for certain members of the military community and first responders.

House Bill 621 and Senate Bill 544, passed during the 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, required SBEC to propose rules providing for the issuance of a temporary certificate to teach career and technology education for an individual who has:

  • Served in the armed forces of the United States military and was honorably discharged, retired, or released from active duty; or
  • Served as a first responder and, while in good standing, retired, resigned, or separated from employment as a first responder.

A first responder is identified as:

  • A peace officer as defined by Article 2.12, Code of Criminal Procedure;
  • Fire protection personnel as defined by § 419.021, Government Code; or
  • Emergency medical services personnel as defined by § 773.003, Health and Safety Code.

The updates to 19 TAC Chapter 234 include the issuance of a three-year temporary certificate for Career and Technology Education for eligible military veterans, peace officers, fire protection personnel, and emergency medical services personnel after a review of credentials by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). To obtain a standard certificate, these individuals will need to enroll in and complete the requirements of a Texas-approved educator preparation program (EPP).

Additionally, instructors for the Community College of the Air Force who hold a bachelor’s degree and have at least two semesters of full-time instructor experience may be issued a one-year temporary certificate. An individual must take the following steps:

  • Enroll in a Texas-approved EPP
  • Submit the following to TEA:
    • Completed application
    • Copy of credentials to serve as an instructor for the Community College of the Air Force
    • Official transcript showing conferred degree and date
    • Verification of at least two semesters of full-time work experience

More information can be found on the Military Community/First Responders section of the TEA website. For questions or clarification, submit a TEA help desk ticket to Educator Certification. In the subject line include Attn: Trenton Law.

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Karen Dooley
Karen Dooley
HR Services Assistant Director

Karen Dooley joined HR Services in 2016. She provides oversight to a team of consultants providing staffing services, HR reviews, and other projects. She provides training and assists school districts with their HR-related needs. Dooley is a seasoned administrator with more than 17 years of HR experience in Central Texas districts as a coordinator, director, and assistant superintendent. She also worked as an assistant principal, counselor, and teacher, and holds a superintendent certificate.

Dooley received her master’s degree from Prairie View A&M University and her bachelor’s degree from Texas State University.

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