|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that extensively revises the levels - by grade span and age - at which teachers are certified to more closely align with the current organization of schools and provide greater flexibility to schools for teacher placement.
Specifically, my legislation would create the following certification levels for new teachers:
Certificates which have already been issued under current regulation would remain valid over the term of the certificate; however, the PA Department of Education (PDE) would be required to provide pathways to allow current certificate holders with Elementary/Middle Certificates, Special Education - PK - 8 Certificates, and Special Education - 7- 12 Certificates the opportunity to be certified in the new grade spans and ages created under this bill. These pathways would include - but would not be limited to - obtaining certain continuing education credits or achieving the satisfactory outcome of a PRAXIS assessment for the specific certification level.
- Early childhood: pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, grades 1 though 4 or ages 3 through 9;
- Elementary: kindergarten, grades 1 through 6 or ages 4 through 11;
- Middle: grades 6 through 9 or ages 11 through 15;
- Secondary: grades 7 through 12 or ages 11 through 21;
- Specialized areas: pre-kindergarten through grade 12 or up to ages 21; and
- Special education: pre-kindergarten through grade 12 or up to age 21.
In order to give PDE enough time to plan for the changes to teacher certification levels, PDE would begin issuing the new instructional certificates on January 1, 2020.
Please join me in updating our teacher certification by co-sponsoring this legislation.