TEA Provides Certification and Summer Hiring Information

June 02, 2023 • Karen Dooley

 TEA Provides Certification and Summer Hiring Information

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.


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 is available. The site includes FAQs, approved J-1 Visa Exchange Program sponsors, teacher requirements, and historical certification data.


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:


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

Karen Dooley is an assistant director at TASB HR Services. Send Karen an email at karen.dooley@tasb.org.

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Tagged: Certification, "Districts of innovation", DOI, Hiring, "Teacher certification"