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TEA Provides Certification and Summer Hiring Information

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Districts have started their summer hiring processes to secure qualified individuals for the start of the 2023-2024 school year.

The key to success in this endeavor is the word “qualified”. Accomplishing this requires knowing routes to certification and how they apply to uncertified applicants. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has created a School District Personnel Certification Information webpage to assist HR staff in ensuring educators across the state hold the appropriate Texas credentials. A Q&A addresses new and current certification processes and most common hiring inquiries.

In advance of the busy summer hiring season, the TEA team would like to provide some important reminders and links to information to assist in hiring challenges. 

Important information

TEA’s Educator Preparation and Certification division can be reached Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 512-936-8400, option 2. Staff are available to answer district questions, or if further research is needed, they will respond in a timely manner with appropriate guidance.

Permits

The emergency permit application process for the 2023-2024 school year begins July 1. HR staff can use the Emergency Permits Guide to assist with the application process. Remember, an emergency permit is valid for one year. If an individual serves on the permit for less than 90 days, it may be reactivated the following school year. These are counted as calendar days, so if an individual is approved for an emergency permit late in the school year and serves less than 90 days, the district should request it be inactivated at the end of the year, allowing the individual to be placed on an emergency permit at the start of the new school year.

Out-of-state and out-of-country applicants

When interviewing applicants who are out-of-state or out-of-country certified, it is important to share resources available on the TEA website.

The out-of-state applicant can find out how to apply for a Texas teaching certificate, view test exemption information, requirements regarding the Science of Teaching Reading (STR) exam, and helpful FAQs. Additionally, information regarding student services or administration certification is available. Keep in mind, TEA doesn’t review credentials for areas such as school psychology, speech language pathology, nursing, social workers, and daycare workers.

The out-of-country applicant will have access to the application process, helpful FAQs, and social security number requirements for certification.

ECOS updates

A recent update to the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) allows HR staff with the appropriate level of access to view the letter provided to educators concerning the results of their credential review. When looking at educator preparation program (EPP) candidates without posted certificates, HR staff will be able to view the application/fee button to confirm if the candidate has “applied” versus been “recommended”.

Another update to ECOS is the ability for districts to pay for multiple educational aide certificates online simultaneously.

Visiting international teachers

Visiting international teachers (VITs) are becoming more common as districts struggle to fill vacancies. TEA has a Visiting International Teachers section on its website. VIT submission instructions for the visiting teacher and for ISD staff are available. The site includes FAQs, approved J-1 Visa Exchange Program sponsors, teacher requirements, and historical certification data.

DOI

Many districts are relying on their district of innovation (DOI) plan to qualify individuals for certain teaching positions by exempting certification requirements. Individuals may link to all district plans on the District of Innovation section of the TEA website. Additional resources available include:

Resources

The HRX article Seven Ways to Qualify an Uncertified Teacher can be a useful tool for qualifying applicants. Search certification in the HR Resources Library (member login required) for additional information.

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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.

Leadership Team


Amy Campbell
Amy Campbell
Director of HR Services
April Mabry
April Mabry
TASB HR Services Assistant Director
Zach Hobbs
Zachary Hobbs
Assistant Director
Karen Dooley
Karen Dooley
HR Services Assistant Director

Consultants


Jennifer Barton
Jennifer Barton
Senior HR and Compensation Consultant
Ashley Broughton
Ashley Broughton
HR and Compensation Consultant
Shannon Burns
Shannon Burns
HR Consultant
Luz Cadena
Luz Cadena
Senior Compensation Consultant
Nicolle Gee-Guzman
Nicolle Gee-Guzman
HR and Compensation Consultant
Cheryl Hoover
Cheryl Hoover
Senior HR Consultant
Keith McLemore
Keith McLemore
Senior HR and Compensation Consultant
Lauren Wurman
Lauren Wurman
HR and Compensation Consultant
Christine Zenteno
Christine Zenteno
HR and Compensation Consultant

Data and Support


Taylor Billingsley
Taylor Billingsley
HR Data Analyst
Kyla Brandenberg
Kyla Brandenberg
HR Data Analyst
Jennifer Forrester
Jennifer Forrester
Administrative Assistant
Sarah James
Sarah James
Communications Specialist
Headshot of Jose Martinez.
Jose Martinez
HR Data Analyst
Kathie Randolph
Kathie Randolph
Program Coordinator
Troy Richardson
Troy Richardson
HR Data Analyst
Headshot of Catherine Rubiera
Catherine Rubiera
Data Services Manager
Garrett Ward
Garrett Ward
HR Data Analyst