Teacher Qualifications

Implications of ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) on Highly Qualified Rules in Colorado
In order to facilitate an orderly transition to the ESSA, the USDOE has clarified that section 1119 of NCLB, which requires all teachers of core academic subjects in the State to be “highly qualified,”  is among the provisions of the ESEA, as reauthorized by NCLB, that States are not required to implement in the 2016-17 school year. Highly qualified is a term that originated and was defined in NCLB. Information on this definition and how requirements have been implemented in Colorado can be found at http://www.cde.state.co.us/fedprograms/tii/a_hqt.

Although States will not be required during the 2016-17 school year to ensure that teachers, including special education teachers, are highly qualified, the ESSA maintains the requirement that a person employed as a special education teacher in elementary school, middle school, or secondary school has:

     *obtained full certification as a special education teacher (including certification obtained
      through alternative routes to certification), or passed the State special education teacher
      licensing examination,
     *holds a license to teach in the State as a special education teacher,
     *holds a bachelor’s degree.

States must continue to comply with these certification requirements during the 2016-2017 school year.  

For more information about 2016-2017 teacher qualifications, data and reporting as well as questions for which CDE is still seeking answers, please visit CDE website here: Highly Qualified Teachers ESSA Transition

Title II, Part A—Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High Quality Teachers and Principals

CSI’s Student Services staff is responsible for overseeing that schools comply with the applicable teacher qualification requirements, including principal attestation, parent right to know, and the four week rule for Title I schools.

Principal Attestation
Annually, principals must verify, in writing, that their school is in compliance with ESEA §1119, which defines the requirements for Qualified Teachers and Paraprofessionals. Because CSI receives Title IA funds as a local educational agency (LEA), all CSI-authorized schools must comply with the Principal Attestation requirement.

Principal Attestation Form

Parents Right to Know
As required by ESEA §1111(h)(6), at the beginning of each academic year, schools must notify parents of the right to know the professional qualifications of their child(ren)’s classroom teacher. Because CSI receives Title IA funds as a local educational agency (LEA), all CSI-authorized schools must comply with the Parents Right to Know requirement. 

Parents' Right to Know Sample

Four Week Rule
If a student in a Title I school is being instructed, for longer than four weeks, by a teacher/substitute who does not meet the HQ requirements, a letter informing the students' parents of this information must be sent, in a timely manner.

Sample letter

HQ Checklist and Cover Sheet
This cover sheet can be used for documenting qualification requirements for all of your staff members.  
HQ Checklist and Cover Sheet

Webinar: Qualified Personnel & Principal Attestation 09/12/2016

CDE’s Office of Federal Programs offers several resources related to HQ requirements.  
You can also access the Highly Qualified Checklist, which is required for SPED teachers.

Professional Development and Continuing Education Units (CEUs)