Charter Schools - Do teachers in a charter school have to be certified?

Charter Schools - Do teachers in a charter school have to be certified?

June 2014

At the present time, 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have enacted charter school laws, so this database contains information only for them. It does not contain any information for the 8 states that have not enacted charter school laws.

Please contact Jennifer Thomsen, 303.299.3633 or with questions or comments about the database.

Do teachers in a charter school have to be certified?
Alaska Yes
Arizona No
Arkansas Yes. Charter school teachers must be certified unless a waiver of the certification requirement is granted in the charter.
California Yes, but there is some flexibility for non-core and non-college-preparatory courses.
Colorado Yes. Unless a waiver is granted in the charter.
Connecticut At least 50% of a charter school's teachers must have standard certification. Up to 50% of teachers in a charter school may have alternative certification or temporary certification and be working toward standard certification.
Delaware Yes, with exceptions.
District of Columbia No
Florida Yes
Georgia Yes. However, a charter school may request a waiver from teacher certification rules and regulations.
Hawaii Yes
Idaho Yes
Illinois Charter schools may also hire uncertified teachers if they have the following qualifications: a bachelor's degree, 5 years experience in the area of degree, a passing score on state teacher tests and evidence of professional growth. Mentoring must be provided to uncertified teachers.

At least 50% of the individuals employed in instructional positions by a charter school in Chicago established after April 16, 2003 must hold teaching certificates, and 75% of teachers in Chicago charter schools established before April 16, 2003 must hold teaching certificates. Outside of Chicago, at least 75% of teachers in a charter school must be certified.
Indiana At least 90% or more of full-time teachers in a charter school must either be certified or be in the process of obtaining a license to teach through the transition to teaching program. For those teachers in the transition to teaching program, licenses must be obtained within 3 years of beginning to teach at a charter school. Charter schools may request a lower percentage from the state board of education.
Iowa Yes
Kansas Yes
Louisiana No. Instructional staff must have at least a baccalaureate degree.
Maine Yes. Full-time teachers must have a teaching certificate or become certified within 3 years of employment, unless they have an advanced degree, professional certification, or unique expertise or experience in their teaching area.
Maryland Yes
Massachusetts Yes
Michigan Yes. Special exemptions are made for a charter school operated by a state college or university that may wish to use collegiate staff to teach charter school students.
Minnesota Yes
Mississippi When the initial charter school application is submitted, up to 25% of teachers in a charter school may be exempt from licensure, as are all administrators. Within three years of initial application, all teachers must have at least an alternative license.
Missouri Up to 20% of full-time teachers may be non-certified personnel.
Nevada Up to 30% of instructional staff may be non-licensed personnel. In a vocational charter school, up to 50% of instructional staff may be non-licensed personnel.
New Hampshire At least 50% of a charter school's teaching staff must be certified or have 3 years of teaching experience.
New Jersey Yes. Teachers in nonpublic conversions have to take actions toward receiving certification and be in compliance within two years.
New Mexico Yes
New York Yes. However, up to 30% or 5 teachers (whichever is less) are permitted to have other credentials, but non-certified teachers must meet specified criteria: uncertified teachers with at least 3 years of elementary, middle or secondary classroom teaching experience; tenured or tenure track college faculty; individuals with 2 years of satisfactory experience through the Teach for America program; and individuals who possess exceptional business, professional, artistic, athletic, or military experience.
North Carolina At least 50% of teachers must hold teacher licenses. All teachers who are teaching in the core subject areas of mathematics, science, social studies and language arts must be college graduates.  
Ohio Yes. However, a charter school may engage noncertificated persons to teach up to 12 hours per week. (Note: This option is not unique to charter schools--districts can employ such noncertified persons as well.)
Oklahoma Yes. However, a charter may include a waiver for this requirement.
Oregon At least one-half of a charter school's teachers must be licensed by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), and the non-TSPC-licensed staff must be registered by the TSPC.
Pennsylvania Up to 25% of teachers may be non-certified.
Rhode Island Yes
South Carolina Up to 10% of teachers in conversion schools and 25% in start-up schools may be non-certified. In either a new or converted charter school, a teacher teaching in the core academic areas of English/language arts, mathematics, science or social studies must be certified in those areas or possess a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the subject he or she is hired to teach.
Tennessee Yes
Texas No. However, bilingual/English language learner teachers and special education teachers must be certified.
Utah Yes. A charter school must employ teachers who are either licensed or would qualify to teach under alternative certification or authorization programs, based on demonstrated competency .
Virginia Yes
Washington Yes. However, charter schools may hire non-certificated instructional staff of unusual competence and in exceptional cases, and the provision on hiring non-certified staff is the same as for traditional public schools.
Wisconsin Yes. However, if a search for licensed teachers is unsuccessful, a special charter school permit is available for persons with a bachelor's degree in their field who take 6 credits of training each year and are supervised by a teacher with a regular license.
Wyoming Yes
Puerto Rico Yes

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