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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Department of Education pulls proposed teacher certification rule changes

After months of review and comment, the Florida Department of Education has decided to withdraw its proposed changes to the rules defining whether a teacher is qualified for his or her position.

"The 2016-2017 requirements for educator certification and qualification will remain for the 2017-2018 academic year," K-12 Chancellor Hershel Lyons told superintendents in a memo.

The move came shortly after the State Board of Education delayed action on the recommendation. The board was to take up the item when it meets Tuesday.

Hundreds of teachers, particularly in the areas of special education, dropout prevention, juvenile justice programs and teenage parent programs, could have found themselves labeled "out of field" if the rule had taken effect in July.

The withdrawal does not mean the ideas are completely off the table, though. Rather, the plan appears to be to give teachers and districts more time to prepare.

"Since we anticipate the requirements under Rule 6A-1.0503, F.A.C. will be implemented during the 2018-2019 academic year, the district is proceeding with submitting a plan to the school board for approval to assist the potential increase of teachers teaching out-of-field," Pasco County human resources manager Kara Deschenes wrote to district administrators. "The delay in the timeline allows us to work with eligible teachers during the 2017-2018 school year to be designated as a 'subject matter expert' once the plan is board approved."

The State Board has not set a date for considering the rule.

[Last modified: Monday, May 15, 2017 2:41pm]


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