Virtual High Schools: Must Teachers Meet the Same Certification Requirements as Regular Classroom Teachers?
Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 •

Virtual High Schools: Must Teachers Meet the Same Certification Requirements as Regular Classroom Teachers?

This database identifies the states in which teachers at state-level virtual high schools must meet the same employment and certification requirements as teachers in brick-and-mortar schools.

Why does it matter?

  • Students benefit from quality instruction.
  • While certification does not ensure quality, it establishes a baseline of expectation.

  • Twenty-five states require online teachers to meet the same requirements as classroom teachers.
  • One state (West Virginia) does not.
  • Information was not available to answer this question in two states.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agencies, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Sources for all data points are available through this link.

    Last updated: December 3, 2007

    Research conducted by Melodye Bush and Michael Colasanti. Please contact Bush (303.299.3631 or or Colasanti (303.299.3672 or with comments or questions about this database.

  • Must teachers meet the same certification requirements as regular classroom teachers?
    Alabama Yes. However, faculty of postsecondary institutions are allowed to teach online courses without state certification if they are faculty at a state postsecondary institution and teaching in their content area.
    Arizona Yes
    Arkansas Yes
    California Yes
    Colorado Yes
    Florida Yes
    Georgia Yes. In addition, Georgia offers but does not require a specific online teaching endorsement.
    Hawaii No information available
    Idaho Yes; instructors for dual credit courses must also meet postsecondary requirements. 
    Illinois Yes
    Iowa Yes
    Kentucky Yes. No additional information is available on the requirements for postsecondary instructors.
    Louisiana Yes
    Maryland Yes
    Michigan Yes
    Mississippi No information available.
    Missouri Yes
    New Mexico Yes
    North Carolina Yes
    North Dakota Yes
    Oregon Yes
    South Carolina Yes
    South Dakota Yes
    Texas Yes
    Utah Yes
    Virginia Yes
    West Virginia No
    Wisconsin Yes

    © 2015 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
    To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please contact the Education Commission of the States’ Communications Department at (303) 299.3609 or
    Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy