Many districts are offering or developing grow your own programs to address teacher shortages. One viable source of candidates is instruction aides.
When an aide becomes a teacher, the district is required to recognize some of the individual’s experience as a certified aide for salary placement. This TEA Correspondence states up to two years of full-time equivalency can be added for salary increment purposes when a certified aide obtains a teacher certificate for the first time and transitions to a teaching role.
The goal of the 2005 commissioner rule was to encourage teacher aides to become certified teachers. Those who previously held their initial teaching certificates and then went into a teacher aide role would not be eligible for the additional years of service described above.
Below is the full excerpt from TAC Chapter 153.1021 (m):
Certified teacher aides. Beginning with the 2004–2005 contractual year, a certified teacher aide who subsequently attains initial classroom teacher certification may count up to two years of full-time equivalency of direct student instruction for salary increment purposes. Such experience must be verified on the teacher service record form (FIN-115) or a similar form containing the same information. A teacher aide who received a teaching certificate or was placed under a permit prior to the 2004–2005 contractual year will not qualify for the additional years of service on the minimum salary schedule under this section.
Occasionally, an aide who has moved into a teaching role may question his or her years of creditable service. If a review of an individual’s service record uncovers a miscalculation of creditable service and pay, the district may be liable for underpayment for up to four years. Consult your local counsel to determine the specific amount due.