The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) was created in 1995 by the Texas Legislature to regulate and oversee certification, continuing education and standards of conduct of public school educators. The SBEC comprises 15 members, 11 of whom are voting members appointed by the governor; of the four nonvoting members, one represents the Texas Education Agency, one represents the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, one is a college of education dean, and the last one is a person who has experience with an alternative certification program not affiliated with an institution of higher education. Among the 11 voting members are four public members and seven practitioners: four teachers, two administrators and one counselor.
Certificate Renewal Periods and CPE Requirements
Teacher certificates issued after Sept. 1, 1999, are subject to a five-year certificate renewal period, with a 150-hour continuing professional education (CPE) requirement that must be met through an SBEC-approved provider.
Counselor and librarian certificates issued after Aug. 31, 2000, have a 200-hour CPE requirement for every renewal cycle, as do all educational diagnostician and master teacher certificates. Counselor and librarian certificates issued after Sept. 1, 1999, and before Sept. 1, 2000, had a 150-hour CPE requirement for the first five-year renewal cycle, but now must meet the 200-hour CPE requirement.
Educators who add another class of certificate during a renewal cycle can prorate the additional CPE hours required by the new certificate for the remainder of the renewal cycle.
Certificates issued prior to Sept. 1, 1999, are exempt from these rules. Educators adding new certificate areas should be aware that while their current certificates retain the “lifetime” designation, any certificates added after Sept. 1, 1999, are renewable and subject to the continuing education requirements.
Education aides are required to be certified but are not subject to the continuing education requirements.
Certification tests to be offered for final time in 2015-16
- Bilingual Generalist Spanish EC-6
- Bilingual Generalist Spanish 4-8
- Generalist EC-6
- Generalist 4-8
- Journalism 8-12
- Math/Physical Science/Engineering 8-12
- Physics/Math 8-12
- ESL Generalist EC-6
- ESL Generalist 4-8
- Trade and Industrial Education 8-12
Certification by exam
TCTA-initiated legislation allows teachers who are already certified to become certified in another area or level simply by passing the applicable certification exam, without having to complete an educator preparation program or obtain additional college credit hours. Teachers in this situation can register for the applicable certification exam by indicating that they are obtaining certification by examination and will not have to receive a bar code for the exam from an educator preparation program to take the exam. Any certified teacher seeking to add visual impairment certification after Sept. 1, 2011, must undergo an educator preparation program in addition to passing the applicable certification exam.
Certification exam retakes
Legislation passed in 2015 limits retakes of certification exams to four times per exam unless SBEC waives the limitation for good cause, starting Sept. 1, 2015.
Disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) teachers
DAEP teachers are required to be fully certified.
Applied Science/Technology/Engineering/Math (STEM) teachers
Persons seeking certification to teach applied STEM courses must pass the certification test administered by the recognized group that created the curriculum on which the STEM course is based.
SBEC rules require that a certified teacher assigned out of field must consent to the activation of an emergency permit and be advised of the conditions of the emergency permit. A teacher who refuses to consent to activation of an emergency permit may not be terminated or nonrenewed or otherwise retaliated against because of the teacher’s refusal to consent to the activation of the emergency permit. However, a teacher’s refusal to consent shall not impair a school district’s right to implement a necessary reduction in force or other personnel actions in accordance with local school district policy.
Maximum length of service without standard certification
Without obtaining initial, standard certification, an individual may not serve for more than three school years in the same assignment while holding a probationary certificate, emergency certificate or one-year certificate.
Certain out-of-state/country certified educators may become certified in Texas without having to pass the Texas certification exams if they passed a comparable test in their home state or country of employment. SBEC maintains an extensive and ongoing comparability study of current certification tests administered in other states and countries. Results of the SBEC studies as they progress are available via the Educator Certification link on the TEA website at www.tea.texas.gov.
An out-of-state certified educator who has submitted all required documents has at least one full year from final SBEC review of his/her credentials to complete all Texas certification requirements.