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School District Teaching Permits

The 74th Legislature, 1995, enacted into law, Texas Education Code § 21.055, School District Teaching Permit. This section allows school districts to issue a district teaching permit to an individual who does not hold a teaching certificate. The statute grants the Commissioner of Education the authority to determine whether a person is eligible for a School District Teaching Permit. The person may not teach if the Commissioner finds the person is not qualified to teach.

NOTE: A teacher serving on an approved School District Teaching Permit, is not classified as “highly qualified” under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). For questions concerning course credit please contact the TEA Curriculum Division.

School District Teaching Permit Guidelines

Individual Eligibility

Legislative intent was clarified regarding the kind of person the sponsors envisioned when drafting this section of the code. Legislative leadership clearly stated that the district teaching permit was not designed to circumvent the professional certification system. With that direction clearly stated, the persons in the following situations are not eligible for a district teaching permit under § 21.055: 

  1. persons serving on active emergency permits to teach in the state of Texas;   
  2. persons who hold a Texas teaching certificate;  
  3. persons who have their credentials sanctioned or persons who have had their applications for credentials denied; or    
  4. persons who have been unable to pass appropriate Examinations for the Certification of Educators in Texas for certification.   

Assignment Eligibility

A School District Teaching Permit is valid for classroom teaching assignments only. A School District Teaching Permit is not applicable for the following:

  1. counselor; 
  2. school librarian; 
  3. administrator; and approved. A permit for a bilingual assignment may in some cases be approved; however, if the request involves a program for which an
  4. any other professional assignment outside of classroom teaching duties.

Because of federal requirements for professional standards in special education, no permit for a special education assignment will be application for an exception under § 29.054 is required, that process must be used.

Criteria Considered for Approval and or Denial

The following criteria are considered when determining whether or not a candidate may be approved for a School District Teaching Permit. For the subject area being taught, the candidate must have:

  1. at least a baccalaureate degree. This requirement does not apply to a person who will teach only career and technology education;
  2. relevant college/university coursework in the subject area to be taught (i.e. 18 hours for elementary and middle school and 24 hours for high school);
  3. active professional licensure, certification, or registration by a nationally recognized professional accrediting agency
  4. at least five years of full-time wage earning work experience requiring licensure within the past eight years
    • Health Science Technology (HST) work experience must be in one of the health career occupations (186.91, KB) for the HST teacher certification.
    • Health Science Technology (HST) requires an associate of applied science (AAS degree in a health related field
  5. an official criminal history inquiry (obtained from an appropriate law enforcement agency or the Texas Department of Public Safety) with at least a nationwide search that indicates the candidate is free from prior or current criminal activity involving crimes of moral turpitude.

Note: If a permit application is denied, the school district has the right to appeal the denial one time only. If the appeal is denied, then the teacher must be removed from the classroom.

Required Applications

If the candidate meets the criteria outlined above, a district may employ the individual and submit the following documents to the Commissioner of Education no later than the 31st of employing a person under this section.

  1.    Texas Education Agency School District Teaching Permit, (61.40 KB)   
  2.    Verification of Professional Experience for the School District Teaching Permit, (320.86 KB)  

Please contact Judy Okimura with any questions. 

Judy Okimura
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX  78701
Email: Judy.Okimura@tea.state.tx.us
(512) 463-3941

Related Links

Highly Qualified Teachers under The No Child Left Behind ACT (NCLB)
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-9213

Curriculum Division
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-9581

Page last modified on 7/1/2014 03:22:19 PM.