STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
[ 22 PA. CODE CH. 49 ]
Certification of Professional Personnel
[50 Pa.B. 7164]
[Saturday, December 19, 2020]
The State Board of Education (Board) proposes to amend Chapter 49 (relating to certification of professional personnel) to read as set forth in Annex A. The Board is acting under the authority of sections 1109, 1141, 2603-B and 2604-B of the Public School Code of 1949 (act) (24 P.S. §§ 11-1109, 11-1141, 26-2603-B and 26-2604-B).
Chapter 49 sets forth requirements for educator preparation, certification, induction and ongoing professional education.
In July 2018, the Department of Education (Department) invited interested stakeholders to participate in dialog on issues surrounding educator preparation and certification. Attendees at forums held in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh provided input on potential changes to State policy that could strengthen preparation and certification and strategies to advance the Department's other priorities for the educator workforce, including diversifying Pennsylvania's educator workforce and ensuring all students have equitable access to effective teachers. Stakeholder feedback from these convenings was considered in tandem with a review of research on the impact and effectiveness of policy changes suggested by stakeholders in a report prepared for the Department by the Learning Policy Institute (LPI).
Guided then by input from diverse stakeholders and a review of related academic literature, the Secretary of Education (Secretary) presented a set of recommendations to the Board for updating Chapter 49 in November 2018. The Board accepted the Secretary's recommendations on its agenda for consideration and initiated a major review of Chapter 49 that is to occur at 10-year intervals per § 49.51(b) (relating to review of certification) with the Secretary's recommendations serving as a starting point for that review.
The Board, through its Teacher and School Leader Effectiveness Committee (Committee), held four public hearings on the Secretary's recommended updates to Chapter 49 and invited additional testimony from stakeholders on the chapter broadly. In advance of the hearings, draft proposed amendments to Chapter 49 prepared by the Secretary were posted on the Board's web site for public review. Hearings were held at the Philadelphia School District administration building on March 4, 2019, at the Department of Education in Harrisburg on March 14, 2019, at Lock Haven University on March 28, 2019, and at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit on April 23, 2019. In addition to providing an opportunity to testify before the Committee, the Board invited individuals to submit written testimony on draft proposed revisions to Chapter 49.
Individuals affiliated with small businesses were welcome to participate in the public hearings convened by the Committee and to submit written testimony to the Board. In addition, the Board invited comments on the impact of draft proposed amendments on small businesses directly from the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business prior to adopting this proposed rulemaking.
Comments received during this process were taken into consideration by the Board in making further revisions to the Secretary's recommendations. Draft proposed amendments to Chapter 49 were reviewed and approved by the Committee and by the Council of Higher Education before being adopted by the Board as a proposed rulemaking at its public meeting on July 8, 2020.
Need for the rule
This proposed rulemaking has two aims—conforming the chapter to changes in State statute and enhancing educator preparedness by establishing new training requirements related to culturally responsive and sustaining education (CR-SE), structured literacy and professional ethics.
The majority of proposed revisions reflect technical amendments to align certain provisions of Chapter 49 with statutory changes to the Public School Code, clarify ambiguous language and update language for relevancy.
Substantive changes related to educator training are needed to address concerns surrounding Pennsylvania's supply of effective educators. Section 49.51(a) directs the Department to report annually to the Board on the status of certification in the Commonwealth. Data presented in the Department's July 2020 annual human capital report shows that enrollment in traditional educator preparation programs in this Commonwealth has decreased by 67% since 2010, with a slight increase between 2017 and 2018.
This downward trend is consistent with declines in educator preparation program enrollments Nationally that fell by 35% between 2009 and 2014. Data on National educator preparation program enrollments was presented by LPI in a presentation titled ''National Trends in Teacher Preparation and Certification'' that was delivered at a public meeting of the Board in March 2019. The steep decline in the number of individuals preparing for a career in education is a contributing factor to the challenges districts face in hiring fully prepared educators. Issues surrounding educator supply further are compounded by persistent teacher shortages in certain geographic areas and subject areas.
The decline in supply and resulting shortages disproportionately impact inequities in access to qualified teachers for low-income students and students of color. A report prepared by LPI titled ''Examining Educator Certification in Pennsylvania: Research and Recommendations for Chapter 49'' notes that the eight districts that top the State's list for teacher shortages based on unfilled vacancies are all Title I districts. Title I is a Federal program that provides financial assistance to local education agencies and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families. Collectively, in 2016-2017, these districts served over 13% of the State's overall student population and over 30% of student of color in this Commonwealth. According to the LPI report, six of the eight districts with the greatest teacher shortages serve primarily students of color.
To address these gaps, the State has become increasingly reliant on long-term substitutes serving on emergency permits to staff classrooms as evidenced by a 100% increase in the number of emergency permits issued to districts in Pennsylvania between 2014-2015 and 2016-2017. Data on the increasing reliance on emergency permits was presented to the Board in the Department's 2018 annual certification report and further reported in the aforementioned report prepared by LPI. These circumstances are concerning because research demonstrates that teachers with little or no preparation often lead classrooms with lower student outcomes and experience a higher attrition rate from the field. Nationally, 66% of teacher turnover in 2015-2016 was due to pre-retirement attrition, as reported by LPI in its March 2019 presentation at a public meeting of the Board.
While significant turnover occurs before educators reach retirement age, the Board gauged Pennsylvania's educator workforce needs by reviewing data on the supply gap as measured by potential retirements. In 2018-2019, 12% of teachers were close to or at the age of retirement (defined as 55 years of age or older) and, in that same year, 5% of teachers were close to retirement based on years of services (defined as 30 or more years of service) as evidenced by data in the Department's July 2020 annual human capital report.
Proposed amendments are intended to reinforce the professional integrity expected of both new and experienced educators. The Professional Standards and Practices Commission, the State body charged with adjudicating educator misconduct, has seen its caseload more than triple over the past 5 years according to data from the Commission. The Commission disciplines nearly 300 educators annually, and the Department's Office of Chief Counsel currently has more than 2,000 educator misconduct complaints pending. Protecting students from educator misconduct is of the utmost imperative. Through these proposed amendments, the Board seeks to ensure that educators in this Commonwealth are prepared not just in pedagogy and content knowledge, but that they possess a clear understanding of the ethical practice that is expected of them.
Collectively, these challenging circumstances require attention to ensure that all students in this Commonwealth are served by teachers fully prepared to meet their needs. To address these challenges, the Board is proposing new educator training requirements that would be integrated throughout three points in an educator's career to provide a continuum of professional learning.
First, this proposed rulemaking would add requirements for instruction for preservice educators, which would be delivered as part of undergraduate or alternative post-baccalaureate programs for individuals who are working toward earning a teaching certificate. Under this proposed rulemaking, individuals studying to become teachers would need to complete instruction in professional ethics, structured literacy, and CR-SE. CR-SE is inclusive of mental wellness, trauma-informed instruction, cultural awareness, and technological and virtual engagement.
Second, this proposed rulemaking would add requirements for training as newly-employed teachers enter the profession. When teachers enter the classroom for the first time, they are required to complete an induction program that includes a variety of professional support services, often delivered under the guidance of a mentor teacher, to facilitate entry into the education profession. Induction programs typically span an educator's first year in the classroom, and, under this proposed rulemaking, would make supports available for at least the first 2 years of an educator's career. This proposed rulemaking would require induction programs for newly-employed educators to include training in CR-SE, as described previously, and in professional ethics.
Finally, this proposed rulemaking would add requirements for training as part of continuing professional development for current educators. The act of November 23, 1999 (P.L. 529, No. 48) amended the act to require educators in this Commonwealth to complete continuing education requirements every 5 years to maintain an active teaching certificate. Educators must earn either six credits of collegiate study, six credits of Department-approved continuing professional education courses, or 180 hours of continuing professional education programs, activities or learning experiences through a Department-approved provider to maintain active certification status.
Further, both section 1205.1 of the act (24 P.S. §§ 12-1205.1) and § 49.17 (relating to continuing professional education) require school entities to develop continuing professional education plans every 3 years. The existing requirements of Chapter 49 further require that professional education plans must address training in meeting the needs of diverse learners (defined as students with limited English language proficiency or students with disabilities), improving language and literacy acquisition, and closing the achievement gap among students. This proposed rulemaking would require that continuing professional education for current educators include training in CR-SE, structured literacy and professional ethics.
The proposed substantive amendments are intended to support efforts to improve educator recruitment, increase the number of classrooms staffed by fully prepared teachers, increase retention in the profession, and improve student outcomes by strengthening the preparation of new educators, creating conditions to provide more support for educators as they enter the classroom and by improving the skill sets of current educators in working with an increasingly diverse student population.
Provisions of this Proposed Rulemaking
The majority of revisions in this proposed rulemaking would make technical amendments to either align provisions of Chapter 49 with statutory changes, clarify language or update language for relevancy. The balance of proposed amendments would establish new competencies for educators to be incorporated both in preservice instruction for individuals preparing to enter the field and in training delivered through induction programs and professional development for current educators. This proposed rulemaking would strengthen supports for beginning educators by extending the length of induction programs. Finally, this proposed rulemaking would create additional certification pathways for school psychologists.
§ 49.1. Definitions
Proposed amendments to § 49.1 (relating to definitions) would add a new definition for ''alternative program provider.'' The act of June 30, 2011 (P.L. 112, No. 24) amended the act to create new powers and duties for the Secretary through the addition of section 1207.1 to the act (24 P.S. § 12-1207). These powers permit the Secretary to evaluate and approve postbaccalaureate certification programs and to evaluate and approve qualified providers of postbaccalaureate certification programs, which may include providers other than institutions of higher education. The definition of ''alternative program provider'' is proposed to be added as a technical revision to align the regulation with the authorization in statute permitting the Secretary to approve these providers and to acknowledge the current landscape of educator preparation providers that is inclusive of approved alternative programs. References to alternative program providers are incorporated throughout the chapter as appropriate to recognize the presence of alternative program providers.
The term ''approved teacher certification program'' is proposed to be amended for relevance to refer to ''approved educator preparation program.'' This proposed revision to terminology recognizes that preservice education providers offer a breadth of programming that extends beyond preparing individuals to serve only as classroom teachers. The definition is being amended to reflect the presence of alternative program providers, as described previously in the proposed new definition.
A new definition for ''baccalaureate degree'' is proposed to be added as a technical amendment to provide context for individuals qualified to pursue certification through an alternative program provider as defined in statute. Requirements established in section 1207.1 of the act set forth that these programs may be offered at the postbaccalaureate level.
The existing definition of ''professional certified personnel'' is being revised to refer to ''certified personnel'' to clarify professional as certified and to reflect the application of the term as applied in current inter-State reciprocity agreements.
A new definition of ''completer'' is proposed to be added to differentiate between a candidate who has met all requirements in a certification program and candidates who have received a certificate, as some completers do not become certified.
A definition for ''culturally relevant and sustaining education'' is proposed to be added to describe new competencies for educators in which instruction and training would be required under this proposed rulemaking. The definition of CR-SE includes the following specific competencies: mental wellness, trauma-informed approaches to instruction, technological and virtual engagement, and cultural awareness.
The existing definition for the ''Professional Educator Discipline Act'' is proposed to be amended to the ''Educator Discipline Act'' to appropriately refer to the Act as it was renamed under the act of December 18, 2013 (P.L. 1205, No. 120). References to the ''Professional Educator Discipline Act'' throughout the entirety of the chapter are updated accordingly to align with the title as changed in statute.
A new definition for ''historically underrepresented groups'' is proposed to be added to provide context for reporting under § 49.14(4)(v) (relating to approval of institutions).
A new definition for ''professional ethics'' is proposed to be added to provide context for instruction and training for educators in ethical practice and professional integrity that would be required under this proposed rulemaking.
The term ''school entity'' is being amended to replace the existing reference to ''area vocational-technical schools'' with ''area career and technical schools.'' This proposed amendment aligns language included in the definition with terminology as it was updated throughout the act under revisions enacted by the act of October 30, 2019 (P.L. 460, No. 76).
A new definition for ''structured literacy'' is proposed to be added to provide context for instruction and training for educators in these competencies that would be required under the proposed rulemaking.
A new definition of ''subject area'' is proposed to be added to distinguish content instruction from grade spans.
§ 49.12. Eligibility
References to providing a physician's certification in paragraph (2) are deleted as these certificates are no longer required in statute.
Paragraph (4) is amended for clarification.
§ 49.13. Policies
Proposed amendments replacing the term ''teacher education'' with ''educator preparation'' are reflected in subsection (b)(1) and (4) to update language for relevancy and to reflect proposed updates to the definition of ''approved educator certification program'' in § 49.1. Parallel amendments to this terminology are reflected throughout the balance of the chapter for greater accuracy and relevancy in identifying the breadth of program offerings by preservice education providers.
Section 49.13(4)(ii) requires instruction in professional ethics to be integrated throughout educator preparation programs and directs the Department to determine whether this requirement is being satisfied by educator preparation providers. This instruction must align with standards for competencies in professional ethics that would be developed by the Department as set forth elsewhere in this proposed rulemaking (§ 49.14(4)(i)).
Subsection (c) is proposed to be amended for clarity and to reference the proposed new definition of ''alternative program provider'' to recognize the presence of alternative providers in the landscape of educator preparation programs.
Subsection (f) is proposed to be added to the regulation to address procedures for evaluating applicants for certification who seek certification after their educator preparation program has closed or been discontinued. This addition is intended to ensure there are no gaps in the evaluation of applicants.
§ 49.14. Approval of institutions and alternative program providers
The title of this section is proposed to be amended to reference the proposed new definition of ''alternative program provider'' to recognize the inclusion of these providers in section 1207.1 of the act. References to ''alternative program provider'' are proposed to be added throughout the section, and throughout the balance of the chapter as appropriate, to reflect the Secretary's responsibility for approving these providers as established under the act of June 30, 2011 (P.L. 112, No. 24).
Proposed amendments to paragraph (4)(i) require educator preparation program providers to deliver instruction that includes competencies, coursework, and field experiences in professional ethics, structured literacy, and CR-SE, inclusive of mental wellness, trauma-informed approaches to instruction, cultural relevancy, and virtual instruction. The section further would require the Department of Education to identify the competencies and to develop standards for them.
Paragraph (4)(iv) proposes to grant more discretion over clinical experiences to the Secretary in consultation with the Board.
Paragraph (4)(v) proposes to establish annual reporting requirements for educator preparation programs on students admitted, retained and graduated, including students from historically underrepresented groups.
Proposed amendments to paragraph (4)(vii) better clarify the institutional approval process.
Paragraph (4)(viii) proposes to grant more discretion over clinical experiences to the Secretary in consultation with the Board.
Paragraph (4)(x) proposes to clarify the Board's role in consulting with the Secretary to approve achievement targets.
Amendments to paragraph (6) are proposed to acknowledge the need of educator preparation programs to comply with federal requirements.
§ 49.15. Approval of experimental programs
As noted in the previous section, the proposed new definition for ''alternative program provider'' is being added to relevant provisions throughout the chapter to recognize their inclusion in the landscape of educator preparation programs.
Section 49.15 (relating to approval of experimental programs) proposes to add a cross-reference to § 49.13 (relating to policies) for clarification to highlight needs for experimental programs to meet requirements.
§ 49.16. Approval of induction plans
The Board proposes to amend subsection (a) to strengthen the supports available to beginning educators by extending the length of induction programs to 2 years.
Proposed amendments to subsection (c) direct school entities to include professional ethics, cognitive competencies and CR-SE in induction program plans for new educators.
§ 49.17. Continuing professional education
Proposed amendments to subsection (a)(6) require school entities to provide professional development in CR-SE, structured literacy and professional ethics.
The proposed amendments direct school entities to address delivery of training in CR-SE for current educators as part of existing continuing professional education plans. Inclusion of trauma-informed approaches to instruction as a component of professional development for current educators, which would be required by the inclusion of CR-SE in Subsection (a)(6), is consistent with the recent additions of sections 1205.1 and 1205.7 to the act that require school entities' professional education plans to include trauma-informed approaches.
In addition to providing a foundation in professional ethics for individuals preparing to enter the profession as established earlier in the proposed rulemaking, training in professional ethics would be delivered to current educators under revisions to § 49.17(a)(6) that direct school entities to address professional ethics as a component of their continuing professional education plans.
Finally, proposed amendments to subsection (a)(6) would require school entities to provide training in structured literacy for educators at the elementary level as part of existing continuing professional education plans.
Subsections (b) and (c) are proposed to reflect technical amendments to align the regulation with sections 1205.5 and 1217 of the act that set forth requirements for continuing professional education for school and system leaders.
Proposed amendments to subsection (d) align terminology in this section with proposed amendments to the definition of ''certified personnel'' in § 49.1.
§ 49.18. Assessment
Proposed amendments to subsection (a) and provide clarification that assessments used to demonstrate the knowledge and skills delineated in this section may be stand-alone measures. These clarifications reflect existing practice in preservice assessment.
Subsection (b) is proposed to be amended for grammatical consistency with the proposed amendments to subsection (a).
Subsection (c) is proposed to be amended for clarification and for cross-refence to changes enacted under the act of October 22, 2014 (P.L. 2624, No. 168) which added section 1207.3 of the act (24 P.S. § 12-1207.3). Section 1207.3 establishes satisfactory achievement of the basic skills assessment as a requirement to be reached prior to formal entry into a certification preparation program and further established that candidates enrolled in a postbaccalaureate certification program are not required to take and pass a basic skills assessment.
Subsection (d) is proposed to be amended to establish a more feasible timeframe for conducting periodic reviews of assessments required for certification by changing the timeframe from every 3 years to every 5 years.
Subsection (e) is proposed to be amended to clarify that certifications added-on through testing by individuals with an Instructional I or Intern Certificate may be issued in related subject areas, and retains the exclusion for all special education certificates to be added-on through testing. Proposed amendments to this section clarify the Board's role in consulting with the Secretary in identifying other certification areas that may be excluded.
§ 49.31. Criteria for eligibility
Section 49.31 (relating to criteria for eligibility) proposes to add language to include approved private schools and eligible providers as defined in Chapter 405.2 (relating to definitions) to reflect changes in statute.
§ 49.65. Out-of-State and Nationally-certified applicants
Subsection (a)(3) is proposed to be amended to make clear that the section refers to subjects on out-of-State certificates, rather than to subjects that the candidate desires to teach.
Subsection (d) is proposed to be added to permit school psychologists certified by the National Association of School Psychologists to be granted the highest level certificate available for certification as a school psychologist. This revision parallels existing policy for classroom teachers in subsection (c) that permits educators certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to be granted the highest level certificate applicable.
Subsection (e) is proposed to be amended to reflect more accurate terminology and to make clear that a candidate must demonstrate mastery of the ''certification'' area, not the ''subject'' area. In this subsection, the existing reference to ''bachelor's'' is replaced with ''baccalaureate'' to align with the new proposed definition of ''baccalaureate degree'' in § 49.1.
Multiple provisions of Chapter 49 are being updated to reflect changes made to statute by the act of June 30, 2011 (P.L. 112, No. 24), including proposed amendments to subsection (f). The act of June 30, 2011 (P.L. 112, No. 24) modified eligibility requirements, set forth in section 1206(a) of the act (24 P.S. § 12-1206(a)), for issuing instructional certificates to candidates who hold a valid certificate from another state. Proposed technical amendments presented in subsection (f) bring the regulation in line with eligibility requirements as now defined in statute regarding the experience that must be demonstrated by out-of-State candidates certified in another state who are seeking certification in this Commonwealth. Proposed revisions to this section add references to educational specialist, supervisory and administrative certificates to clarify the types of certificates to which these requirements apply.
§ 49.72. Categories of certificates and letters of eligibility
Subsection (a)(10) proposes to rename the category of ''Vocational Education Certificates'' as ''Career and Technical Education Certificates.'' This terminology update is consistent with global terminology changes enacted throughout the act by the act of October 30, 2019 (P.L. 460, No. 76).
§ 49.82. Instructional I
Subsection (a) proposes to add language for consistency with Chapter 405.2 regarding eligible providers and in acknowledgement of additional providers for qualified service leading to conversion of Instructional Level I to Instructional Level II certification.
§ 49.83. Instructional II
The proposed amendment to § 49.83(1) (relating to instructional II) establishes completion of a 2-year induction program as a requirement to earn an Instructional II certification. This revision is included for consistency with the proposed amendments to § 46.16(a) (relating to approval of induction plans) that would strengthen the supports available to beginning educators by extending the length of induction programs to 2 years.
§ 49.84. Collegiate credit acceptable for conversion of the Instructional I Certificate
Subsection (a) proposes to add a reference to ''approved associate degree-granting institutions'' to permit credits earned at a community college to be accepted toward credits required to convert an Instructional Level I to an Instructional Level II certificate.
Subsection (c) proposes to add language to permit graduate credits earned before an individual becomes certified to count toward the credits required for conversion of a Level I certificate.
§ 49.85. Limitations
Subsection (c) proposes to reflect technical amendments to align the regulation with changes to Special Education certificates under the act enacted by the act of October 19, 2018 (P.L. 545, No. 82) that added section 1202.1 of the act (24 P.S. § 12-1202.1). These statutory changes modified the grade spans and ages for these certificates and decoupled the requirement for special education certificates to be issued in tandem with an additional content area certificate.
Language in subsection (f)(2) is proposed to be amended for clarity.
Subsection (g) proposes to update existing language that permits the Secretary to grant exceptions in response to shortages of certified personnel to include an effective date of January 1, 2022. This revision aligns the date of applicability with changes to the act enacted under the act of October 19, 2018 (P.L. 545, No. 82).
§ 49.86. Accelerated program for Early Childhood and Elementary/Middle level certificate holders
The proposed amendment separates the words ''certificate'' and ''holders'' to correct a typographical error in the existing text of the regulation.
§ 49.90. Criteria for eligibility
Language in subsection (a)(1) related to eligibility criteria for a Temporary Teaching Certificate is proposed to be deleted as the criteria are no longer used due to changes in statute.
§ 49.91. Criteria for eligibility
Consistent with revisions elsewhere in the regulation, subsection (c) is proposed to be amended for clarity to refer to ''certification'' area rather than ''subject'' area.
Subsection (d) proposes to reflect revisions both for clarity and to align with practice that an Intern Certificate is valid for 3 years of service, rather than 3 calendar years.
§ 49.92. Term of validity
Like § 49.91(d) (relating to criteria for eligibility), this proposed amendment reflects both clarity and alignment with practice that an Intern Certificate is valid for 3 years of service, rather than 3 calendar years.
§ 49.104. College credit acceptable for conversion of Educational Specialist I Certificate
Subsection (c) proposes to permit graduate credits earned before certification as an Educational Specialist to count toward conversion of the certificate from Level I to Level II.
§ 49.111. Supervisory Certificate
Subsections (b) and (c) are proposed to permit individuals certified in one area of supervision to add-on another area by demonstrating expertise in the content of that area. Special Education Supervisory Certificates would be excluded from this add-on pathway.
Subsection (e) is proposed to be added to permit school psychologists who have completed 5 years of satisfactory certified experience as a school psychologist to be issued a Special Education Supervisory Certificate. The Board proposes this revision to help increase the availability of qualified special education supervisors in this Commonwealth.
§ 49.121. Administrative Certificate
Subsection (a) proposes to align the regulation with changes to the act enacted under the act of July 20, 2007 (P.L. 278, No. 45) that established school leadership standards that must be addressed in principal and superintendent leadership programs.
Subchapter C. Career and Technical Education Certification
Throughout the entirety of Subchapter C (relating to vocational education certification), and the balance of Chapter 49, references to ''vocational-technical education'' are proposed to be amended to refer to the more current term ''career and technical education.'' These proposed amendments are included for consistency with the same terminology updates that were reflected globally in the act under revisions enacted under the act of October 30, 2019 (P.L. 460, No. 76).
§ 49.131. Basic requirements for baccalaureate and nonbaccalaureate programs
Proposed amendments to subsection (a) replace ''teacher education'' with a more current and more accurate reference to ''educator preparation,'' as reflected throughout the chapter, and adds a reference to the proposed new definition for ''alternative program provider'' to recognize the presence of these providers in the landscape of educator preparation.
§ 49.142. Career and Technical Instructional I
Proposed amendments to subsections (a)(1) and (b) align these provisions with statutory changes enacted under the act of June 22, 2018 (P.L. 241, No. 39) that address requirements for issuing Career and Technical Instructional I, Career and Technical Instructional II and Career and Technical Intern certification.
Section 49.143. Career and Technical Instructional II
Proposed amendments to paragraph (2) align this provision with statutory changes enacted under the act of June 22, 2018 (P.L. 241, No. 39) that address requirements for issuing Career and Technical Instructional I, Career and Technical Instructional II and Career and Technical Intern certification.
Paragraph (3) is proposed to be amended for clarity to bring the conversion of Career and Technical I certification to Career and Technical II certification into alignment with conversion from Instructional I to Instructional II under § 49.18(a) (relating to assessment).
Paragraph (4) proposes to establish completion of a 2-year induction program as a requirement to earn a Career and Technical Instructional II certification. This revision is included for alignment with the proposed amendments to § 46.16(a) that would strengthen the supports available to beginning educators by extending the length of induction programs to 2 years.
Section 49.151. Eligibility and criteria
Proposed amendments to subsection (b) align this provision with statutory changes enacted under the act of June 22, 2018 (P.L. 241, No. 39) that address requirements for issuing Career and Technical Instructional I, Career and Technical Instructional II and Career and Technical Intern certification.
Subsection (c) is proposed to be added to clarify that continuing enrollment in a State-approved teacher intern program is a condition for maintaining the validity of a Career and Technical Education Intern Certificate from one year to the next. This clarification aligns with language regarding eligibility for Intern Certificates as set forth in § 49.91(d) (relating to criteria for eligibility).
§ 49.153. Career and Technical Day-to-Day Substitute Permit
Subsection (b) proposes to delete a cross-reference to § 49.32 (relating to exceptional case permits).
§ 49.163. Career and Technical Administrative Director
Proposed amendments to paragraph (1) that reduce the minimum number of years required from 5 years to 3 years reflect technical amendments to align with changes in statute. Further revisions to this section provide clarity and relevancy by amending the phrase ''successful teaching in vocational education'' with the phrase ''relevant professional experience in a Career and Technical Education School.''
Paragraph (2) proposes to add a cross-reference to § 49.111(a) (relating to supervisory certificate) and add a reference to an ''approved alternative program'' as established under section 1207.1 of the act.
§ 49.172. Letter of eligibility
Subsection (a)(3) reflects proposed technical amendments to align eligibility requirements for receiving a Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility with changes to section 1000.3 of the act (24 P.S. § 10-1003) enacted under the act of June 30, 2012 (P.L. 684, No. 82). These changes permit individuals to earn a Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility based on prior experience in higher education.
§ 49.182. Letter of eligibility
Subsection (d) is proposed to be added by the Board to permit Intermediate Unit Boards of Directors to address vacancies in their Executive Director positions by appointing an Acting Director to serve in that capacity for not more than 1 year if the Intermediate Unit (I.U.) Board finds it impossible or impractical to fill the vacancy.
§ 49.191. Letters of equivalency
Paragraph (1) proposes to clarify procedures for earning a letter of equivalency for a baccalaureate degree by removing the requirement that the minimum number of credits toward the equivalency that must be earned at a State-approved baccalaureate degree granting institution, currently set at 18 of the 90 total credits required, must be completed during the final 30 credits.
Paragraph (2) proposes to update language for clarity to refer to certification area as opposed to primary teaching assignment. This clarification is being recommended so that college-level credits earned in pursuit of a Letter of Equivalency for a master's degree be in the candidate's certification area(s) rather than in the primary teaching assignment. This proposed revision improves the alignment of the credits with the candidate's formal education and area(s) of expertise, if these are different from the primary teaching assignment. In addition, this proposed revision streamlines application reviews by the Department as staff examining applications have ready access to the candidate's certification area(s) but not the primary teaching assignment.
This proposed rulemaking would affect educator preparation program providers and the students enrolled in their programs, public school entities and educators.
Cost and Paperwork Estimates
Extending induction programs to 2 years may result in a cost for school entities that do not currently offer that length of support for beginning educators. Currently, 58 school entities offer a 2-year induction program and another 68 school entities offer a 3-year induction program. There are 551 school entities that offer a 1-year induction program. This proposed rulemaking would impact those 551 school entities that would need to extend induction programs for another year. Costs to districts could range from $1,000 to $5,000 per second-year teacher to support mentor stipends and additional professional development days. The estimated cost to school entities for scaling to 2-year induction programs Statewide is $9,643,000 (based on the 551 school entities that would need to convert from a 1-year to a 2-year induction model and an assumption that each of those school entities would support seven second-year teachers annually at a cost of $2,500 per second-year teacher).
The Department would incur costs to support the delivery of training in new competencies for educators as part of both induction programs and professional education for current classroom educators. Some training opportunities focused on the new competencies identified in the proposed amendments already are available through the State's existing network of I.U.s and other professional development educational entities within this Commonwealth. Work to develop additional trainings in mental wellness, trauma-informed instruction, cultural awareness, and virtual and technological engagement, and to provide professional development to I.U. staff to serve as trainers, is estimated at a one-time cost of $26,700. This estimate is based on engaging 10 stakeholders over a 2-day period to develop new topics and trainings at a cost of $3,000 for facilitators and $2,000 to support expenses related to this work, and an additional cost of $21,700 to train one staff person in each of the State's 29 I.U.s at a cost of $750 per I.U.
Support for providing training to current classroom educators at the elementary level in structured literacy is estimated at $350,000 annually. Professional development training and technical assistance in structure literacy currently is available at no cost to school entities through the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network. To support the proposed amendments to Chapter 49 that would require this training for all elementary educators, the Department intends to enhance and scale up the current offerings by hiring a Statewide lead for structured literacy efforts and establishing a Statewide system of supports in structured literacy through the existing network of I.U.s. The estimated annual cost to support this work is based on a cost of $203,000 to support trainings to be offered by 29 I.U.s (estimated at $700/day for 10 days annually) and to support the salary and benefits of hiring a Statewide lead. Support for the first 2 years of this work has been budgeted through Federal funds available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (Pub.L. 116-136, 134 Stat. 281) (CARES Act) set aside funds.
This proposed rulemaking would become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
The Board will review the effectiveness of Chapter 49 every 10 years in accordance with § 49.51(b) that directs the Board to conduct a major review of certification regulations at 10-year intervals. Thus, no sunset date is necessary.
Under sections 5(a) and 5(f) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P.S. §§ 745.5(a) and (f)), on December 8, 2020, the Board submitted a copy of this proposed rulemaking and a copy of the Regulatory Analysis Form to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the Legislative Reference Bureau. Under section 5(f) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Board will submit this proposed regulation and a copy of the Regulatory Analysis Form to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Committees on Education at the start of the 2021-2022 legislative session, no later than the second Monday after the date by which both committee designations have been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.
Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC may convey any comments, recommendations or objections to the proposed rulemaking within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The comments, recommendations or objections must specify the regulatory review criteria in section 5.2 of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P.S. § 745.5b) which have not been met. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final publication of the rulemaking, by the Board, the General Assembly and the Governor.
Public Comments and Contact Person
Interested persons and individuals affiliated with small businesses are invited to submit written comments, questions, suggestions, commendations, concerns or objec- tions regarding this proposed rulemaking to Karen Molchanow, Executive Director, State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, 1st Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17126, firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments must be submitted to the Board within 30 days of publication of this notice of proposed rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
Persons with disabilities needing an alternative means of providing public comment may make arrangements by calling the Board at (717) 787-3787 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users) to discuss how the Board may accommodate their needs.
Fiscal Note: 6-346. (1) General Fund; (2) Implementing Year 2020-21 is $350,000; (3) 1st Succeeding Year 2021-22 is $376,000; 2nd Succeeding Year 2022-23 is $350,000; 3rd Succeeding Year is $350,000; 4th Succeeding Year is $350,000; 5th Succeeding Year is $350,000; (4) 2019-20 Program—$5,309,000; 2018-19 Program—$5,309,000; 2017-18 Program—$5,959,000; (7) Teacher Professional Development (8) recommends adoption. Funds have been included in the budget to cover this increase.
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