Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Why Are Permanent Certification Holders Now Forced To "Register" Their Licenses Every Five Years?

There is some conjecture that I have misinterpreted the budget provision that I said seems to force New York State teachers with permanent licenses to "register" with the state and complete 100 hours of "rigorous" professional development every five years or lose their teaching certification.

A commenter wrote:

I'm as angry as the next person, but I disagree with your interpretation.

There are two separate sections in the law, Subpart C Section 1 which applies to "Valid for Life" certifications and Subpart C Section 2 for "Professional" certificate holders.

The permanent certificate holders need to register every five years to continue teaching.

Professional certificate holders have to do 100 hours every five years instead of 175. The hours we can submit are subject to the Commissioner's approval now.

So it still sucks, but not quite as much as you've described here.

I was working off the Jessica Bakeman summary of the education provisions in the budget, not the actual budget language.

Here is what she wrote:

 TEACHER CERTIFICATION:Teachers and administrators with lifetime certification must register with the state every five years.

Applicants for registration must complete 100 hours of continuing education or professional development every five years. “The department shall issue rigorous standards for courses, programs and activities that shall qualify as continuing teacher and leader education,” according to the bill.

Principals or teachers who perform observations for the purpose of the state’s teacher evaluation system may count those hours toward the total.

If educators don’t complete the state-approved professional development, they will not be able to maintain certification.

The Capital NY article suggests that lifetime certification holders must do the 100 hours of PD or risk losing their licenses.

But the budget langauge is different than the way Bakeman wrote it up at Capital NY.

Here is the actual langauge in the budget (sorry for the mish-moshed excerpt - I'm doing this during lunch!):

Section 1. Section 3006 of the education law is amended  by  adding  a
     9  new subdivision 3 to read as follows:
    10    3. Registration. a. Commencing with the two thousand sixteen--two
    11  thousand seventeen school year, any holder of a teaching certificate in
    12  the classroom teaching service, teaching assistant certificate, or
    13  educational leadership certificate that is valid for life as prescribed
    14  by the commissioner in regulations shall be required to register with
    15  the department every five years in accordance with regulations of the
    16  commissioner. Such regulations shall prescribe the date or dates by
    17  which applications for initial registration must be submitted and may
    18  provide for staggered initial registration and/or rolling re-registra-
    19  tion so that re-registrations are distributed as equally as possible
    20  throughout the year and across multiple years.
    21    b. The department shall post an application for registration on its
    22  website. An application shall be submitted for a registration certif-
    23  icate. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the department
    24  shall renew the registration of each certificate holder upon receipt of
    25  a proper application on a form prescribed by the department. Any certif-
    26  icate holder who fails to register by the beginning of the appropriate
    27  registration period may be subject to late filing penalties as
    28  prescribed by the commissioner. No certificate holder resuming practice
    29  after a lapse of registration shall be permitted to practice without
    30  verification of re-registration.
c. Any certificate holder who is not engaging in the practice of his
    32  or her profession in this state and does not desire to register shall so
    33  advise the department. Such certificate holder shall not be subject to
    34  penalties as prescribed by the commissioner for failure to register at
    35  the beginning of the registration period.
    36    d. Certificate holders shall notify the department of any change of
    37  name or mailing address within thirty days of such change. Willful fail-
    38  ure to register or provide such notice within one hundred eighty days of
    39  such change may constitute grounds for moral character review under
    40  subdivision seven of section three hundred five of this chapter.
    41    § 2. The education law is amended by adding a new  section  3006-a  to
    42  read as follows:
3006-a. Registration and continuing teacher and leader education
    44  requirements for holders of professional certificates in the classroom
    45  teaching service, holders of level III teaching assistant certificates,
    46  holders of professional certificates in the educational leadership
    47  service. 1. a. Commencing with the two thousand sixteen--two thousand
    48  seventeen school year, each holder of a professional certificate in the
    49  classroom teaching service, holder of a level III teaching assistant
    50  certificate and holder of a professional certificate in the educational
    51  leadership service shall be required to register every five years with
    52  the department to practice in the state and shall comply with the
    53  provisions of the continuing teacher and leader education requirements
    54  set forth in this section.
2006--B                         113                        A. 3006--B

     1    b. Any of the certified individuals described in paragraph a of this
     2  subdivision who do not satisfy the continuing teacher and leader educa-
     3  tion requirements shall not practice until they have met such require-
     4  ments and have been issued a registration or conditional registration
     5  certificate.
     6    c. In accordance with the intent of this section, adjustments to the
     7  continuing teacher and leader education requirement may be granted by
     8  the department for reasons of health certified by a health care provid-
     9  er, for extended active duty with armed forces of the United States, or
    10  for other good cause acceptable to the department which may prevent
    11  compliance.
    12    d. Any certificate holder who is not practicing as a teacher, teaching
    13  assistant or educational leader in a school district or board of cooper-
    14  ative educational services in this state shall be exempt from the
    15  continuing teacher and leader education requirement upon the filing of a
    16  written statement with the department declaring such status. Any holder
    17  of a professional certificate in the classroom teaching service, holder
    18  of a level III teaching assistant certificate and holder of a profes-
    19  sional certificate in the educational leadership service who resumes
    20  practice during the five-year registration period shall notify the
    21  department prior to resuming practice and shall meet such continuing
    22  teacher and leader education requirements as prescribed in regulations
    23  of the commissioner.
    24    2. a. During each five-year registration period beginning on or after
    25  July first, two thousand sixteen, an applicant for registration shall
    26  successfully complete a minimum of one hundred hours of continuing
    27  teacher and leader education, as defined by the commissioner. The
    28  department shall issue rigorous standards for courses, programs, and
    29  activities, that shall qualify as continuing teacher and leader educa-
    30  tion pursuant to this section. For purposes of this section, a peer
    31  review teacher, or a principal acting as an independent trained evalu-
    32  ator, conducting a classroom observation as part of the teacher evalu-
    33  ation system pursuant to section three thousand twelve-d of this article
    34  may credit such time towards his or her continuing teacher and leader
    35  effectiveness requirements.
Nothing in this section shall limit the ability of local school
    37  districts to agree pursuant to collective bargaining to additional hours
    38  of professional development or continuing teacher or leader education
    39  above the minimum requirements set forth in this section.
    40    c. A certified individual who has not satisfied the continuing teacher
    41  and leader education requirements shall not be issued a five-year regis-
    42  tration certificate by the department and shall not practice unless and
    43  until a registration or conditional registration certificate is issued
    44  as provided in subdivision three of this section. For purposes of this
    45  subdivision, "continuing teacher and leader education requirements"
    46  shall mean activities designed to improve the teacher or leader's peda-
    47  gogical and/or leadership skills, targeted at improving student perform-
    48  ance, including but not limited to formal continuing teacher and leader
    49  education activities. Such activities shall promote the professionaliza-
    50  tion of teaching and be closely aligned to district goals for student
    51  performance which meet the standards prescribed by regulations of the
    52  commissioner. To fulfill the continuing teacher and leader education
    53  requirement, programs must be taken from sponsors approved by the
    54  department, which shall include but not be limited to school districts,
    55  pursuant to the regulations of the commissioner.
The department, in its discretion, may issue a conditional regis-
     2  tration to a teacher, teaching assistant or educational leader in a
     3  school district or board of cooperative educational services in this
     4  state who fails to meet the continuing teacher and leader education
     5  requirements established in subdivision two of this section but who
     6  agrees to make up any deficiencies and take any additional continuing
     7  teacher and leader education which the department may require. The dura-
     8  tion of such conditional registration shall be determined by the depart-
     9  ment. Any holder of a professional certificate in the classroom teaching
    10  service, holder of a level III teaching assistant certificate or holder
    11  of a professional certificate in the educational leadership service and
    12  any other certified individual required by the commissioner to register
    13  every five years who is notified of the denial of registration for fail-
    14  ure to submit evidence, satisfactory to the department, of required
    15  continuing teacher and leader education and who practices without such
    16  registration, shall be subject to moral character review under subdivi-
    17  sion seven of section three hundred five of this chapter.

The language in the budget does seem to say that "lifetime" certification holders have to "register" every five years but the 100 hours of professional development does not apply to them, only to professional certification holders - as the commenter at Perdido Street wrote in his comment.

You can imagine how easy it is to mistake what's actually in the budget, though, given that the bill itself was not released until very late in the budget process and the governor released this as part of his press release for the budget agreement finalized last night:

The State currently requires teachers to pass a teacher “bar” exam – and will now also require teachers to complete 100 hours of continuing education and recertify every five years or lose their licenses.

Gee, that does make it sound like everybody's got to do the 100 hours of PD or lose their licenses, doesn't it?

No wonder there's confusion over what's actually happening with permanent certification.

One way or the other, someone stuck a new mandate into the budget that forces teachers with permanent certification to "register" that permanent certification every five years, thus rendering it essentially no longer "permanent."

And you have to wonder, why is that suddenly in the budget?

I don't remember hearing Cuomo clamor about that as part of his Opportunity Agenda.

So, why is it there?


  1. Are they going to refund the money spent on applying for the permanent certificate as well the cost of along the video. How can this happen in any sort of legal way?

  2. I'm still confused. One thing I am really happy about is that I'm very happy with Unity. Go Unity Caucus. Yea Unity. Go on bitches!!! WooHoooo. When is the next vote to dump Unity?

  3. I still believe that NYSUT should sue on behalf of all permanent certificate holders. We have lifetime certificates so I cannot see how after the fact a new requirement can be placed on us to keep those certificates valid. I don't think we could stop them from doing it to future certificate holders, but surely should try to stop them from doing it to us.

    1. I agree with you. I don't understand how we are not automatically grandfathered in. Aren't our certificates a binding contract? On top of that, am I going to have all my loans, that I am paying off and my money for college going to be given back to me, since this was not part of the deal when I signed up. I worked very hard and am on the brink of having everything taken away. They should give something back so I can go back to school for a different profession, since they want to take this one away.

  4. For my part, I never implied that you had the reading wrong. I was always of the impression that J Bakeman read into it the law wrong. I'd trust no secondary sources for a while. The big question of whether we'd need the 100 hours of PD seems to be unanswered or to be determined by SED, with no information stated otherwise. Pretty vague. Maybe even unconstitutional.
    I'm a bit offended that if I move and don't tell some state agency lole SED for six months that they think they can remove my livense. I suppose that's a different gripe?

    1. You were right in your skepticism, NYCDOEnuts. And you make another good point about waiting for clarification on so much of this - the whole process was such a cluster$%^&, with each side giving a different variation of what's in the budget, that it's hard to know exactly what we're going to be subject to.

      It was after another commenter pointed out the langauge in the actual budget that I wanted to correct the post and try and get some clarity around the issue.

  5. Teachers must question their Unity chapter leaders and ask why they devote all their policy votes to Mulgrew? Ask if they have signed a Unity oath. Ask them if they think these new reforms are a "victory"?

    May change occur from the bottom - up.

  6. I called my Assemblywoman, Nily Rozic, this morning to voice my displeasure at the lack of checks and balances in the NYS government. I asked the person who answered if Rozic voted for this abomination, and I told her that Cuomo is downright horrible and a fascist. She didn't know how her boss voted, but I'm sure she voted for it. She told me how much "better" this budget "agreement" was than the previous one Cuomo proposed. I told her the NYS legislature caved in and that there are no checks and balances, nor is there any more democracy in NYS. I also asked her how people getting advanced degrees and working are supposed to get their PD hours; I also told her that this sets up another cash cow in teachers' backs, with who knows what administrative fees for the renewal of certificates,and a form of a diploma mill for the PD itself. I told her that public education is on life support in NYS and I am seriously considering becoming an independent because of Cuomo and the Democratic party.

    1. Every Democrat who voted for the bill should be called and commended for standing with Governor Scott Walker.

    2. And you win the comment for the day - you're right!

    3. "Completing coursework for more advanced certification or certificates in additional areas or in accordance with teaching assignment requirement for extension to certification." - is listed under Suggested Activities in the PD section on the OTI website.
      I do beleive that the conversion rate is 1 SH = 15 hrs PD


    4. If you look at the numbers of who voted in this atrocious plan, it was overwhelmingly supported by Republicans. Interesting that the gov's own party didn't even support him!

  7. So some honest thinking from folks here: what do we think the numbers will be under this new system every year? 10% teachers fired? 20%? I know it'll take a couple years to bed in, but really, folks should probably bail after the first "ineffective." I've been a teacher for 13 years (11 in NYS public schools) and Im trying to be practical and plan for what's next. I have no faith that this current system will Go away or be modified in any positive way for us. In fact Im pretty sure things will probably get worse. So what do you think docs? How long do we all have before it gets real bad? What do we think the numbers will be?

    I'm trying real hard to move as fast as possible into accepting this new reality. The stress and psychological agony of this can't be tolerated without real impacts to my health any longer. I'm done talking about it and replaying the horror show of NYSUT's response, Cuomo, etc. This was my career. My income. My stability. I'm sure we are all thinking the same things. What do we thing the numbers are?

    1. I finally wrapped my brain around the idea of 5 more years, when I'll be 60 and have 23 years in. I'm now thinking that I'll go when I have 20 years in (if I can last that long). What's the good of a full pension and retirement if my health becomes so compromised I can't enjoy it?

      In a perfect world, I'll be able to get a job in a private school to supplement my income until I can collect social security. Things are not going to get better. I say it will be so-so for the next two years until they work the bugs out of the new evaluation system, and then progress rapidly downhill from there. I'm so disgusted.

    2. 20% dismissal rate in one year would require NY public schools to find 40,000 effective replacements. This simple fact will effectively derail this hair brained plan.

    3. From your mouth to G-d's ears.

    4. Can't they put TFA on steroids?

  8. PERDIDO STREET BLOG RULES! It is my go to blog every day to keep me updated on teaching in NYC. Thank you for the clarification on the Permanent Certification situation. As a Permanent Certificate holder myself, I was shivering in fear all day that I will have to partake and document 100 hours of bullsh*t PD every five years. Now that the truth is out I feel a tad better. (I would rather not have to "re-register" my Permanent Certificate, but that is much better than having to do the 100 hours) PS-Mulgrew has to go!!!

    1. I am concerned that making lifetime certification holders "register" every five years is another one of those ways to dismiss a few teachers based on technicalities. Just as ATR's can be fired if they miss two interviews, it is conceivable that they are looking to use this as just another way to trim the roster of veteran (i.e., older) teachers.

      Hope I'm wrong about that.

  9. What was UNITY's cost in all this? What was their role besides telling teachers to use social media to invite Cuomo to the classroom? How on earth did they think this was going to be an effective way to get Cuomo to change his reforms? It was getting the teachers to do their own dirty work to save their own careers. It failed...miserably. Our leadership failed us. I feel like I got punched in the face. I'm stunned.

  10. What are you going to do about it? Nothing. Organizing teachers is more important than commenting on blogs

  11. @ 9:31pm... That was a pretty moronic comment. Seriously. It really was. And I'm being kind. Everything I did as a Chapter Leader in my school was undermined by Weingarten and Mulgrew. I wish I could punch you in the face like Mulgrew to anyone who would take away his Common Core!

  12. Since he couldn't take our tenure away, this was his way of trying to screw us with an additional annoying process to exact revenge. That's my take on it.

  13. Has anyone found any language or sites that give information about what this "registration" process entails? Are there fees? Is this going to be a money maker for NYS? Seriously wish I would have gone to law school instead....

  14. Still listed on NYSED.GOV website:

    "Validity Period

    The Permanent certificate is valid for life, unless revoked for cause by the New York State Education Department. NOTE: The Provisional certificate is valid for five years from its effective date."

    Guess they missed the fine print on this one...the life of what...moving out of the state is looking better and better...and I do LOVE NY!

    1. Seems like a class action suit just waiting to happen. Valid for life until NYS decides that what we earned and paid for has new conditions? Suddenly Permanent = Provisional?

  15. I'm wondering how this all affects my certification. I'm a certified teaching assistant hired prior to 2004. I have what is called a continuing certificate which is supposed to be valid as long as I am continuously working as a teaching assistant. Anyone know?

    1. Based on the information, what it says on your certificate is a lie. Everyone, even if it is a permanent or continuing ed. certificate has to register every five years. The language is iffy as to the 100 hours staff development every five years. That may just be for professional certificates.

  16. What is the purpose of having a lifetime certificate holder register every five years? It sounds like the state can come up with requirements that the lifetime certificate holders must meet if they want to keep their certificates.

  17. I have really benefited from reading others comments on this issue. I have been teaching 33 years and just turned 55 so I will be retiring at the end of next year ( if Cuomo doesn't cut my pension too). I am so concerned about these changes along with the myriad of other attacks on teachers. My thoughts on this is as I retire and should I sub, do I have to do the 100 hrs to maintain my license? And at whose expense? What about other subs? Who could possibly pay for that kind of "rigorous studies" on sub pay? We already do not have enough subs on a daily basis in our school and I teach in a "good" area! And then, if I move out of state and teach there, after 5 years do I lose my NYS permanent license because I did not complete the requirements? And lastly, of course there will be fees every 5 years... we all know THAT and somebody will have to be hired to verify all the 100 hours of "rigorous studies" - more State ed employees. Maybe I can do THAT when I retire - LOL

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