Commission on Teacher Credentialing Actions for Flexibility During COVID 19
On April 23-24, 2020, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved several actions to provide flexibility for credential holders and current credential candidates who are facing barriers due to the emergency measures in place throughout California due to COVID 19. The CTC acted only within the statutory boundaries available to the Commission, while announcing that they are also pursuing further flexibility through an executive order and/or legislative action for situations that are outside the authority of the CTC to change. The changes approved by the CTC that affect most credential holders are summarized below; additional approved actions can be found on the CTC website. Because of the specific and numerous conditions that apply to each situation, CTA members and staff should read the detailed requirements applicable to each situation at https://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/covid-19-commission-action-related-to-covid-19. There are seven CTC archived webinars that discuss each of the actions in detail with related FAQs available online at the site referenced above.
1. Extensions for Renewal of Credentials/CTC Documents
The CTC will extend any expiring credentials for one year even if none of the renewal requirements have been met [except for Provisional Intern Permits (PIP) and Short-Term Staff Permits (STSP). [See #2 below for more information]. The extension is available for preliminary teaching credentials, preliminary services credentials, emergency permits, child development permits, and intern credentials for teachers and administrators. These extensions will be granted for “good cause” and the CTC considers the health and safety conditions to meet that standard.
The CTC will approve the renewal of clear teaching or services credentials where the holder was unable to renew in a timely manner due to health and safety restrictions related to COVID 19. They can be renewed as of the expiration date of the credential with no lapse in validity.
2. Additional Actions by the CTC on Short Term Staff Permits (STSP) and Provisional Intern Permits (PIP)
Although not determined at the April CTC meeting, the CTC has since announced that teachers who have been authorized on a STSP or PIP in 2019-20 will be allowed to step-down to a Variable Term Waiver (VTW) for 2020-21 assuming the individual meets the qualifications for the waiver. This VTW had been in place previously but was not available for prior holders of STSPs and PIPs. This waiver should be distinguished from the PS VTW discussed below; the requirements and application process are different. For the webinar that discusses this change, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s61CVECGQHI&feature=youtu.be. The CTC should be issuing further detailed guidance on this process soon; until then the Variable Term Waiver guidebook can be found at https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/credentials/manuals-handbooks/waiverhandbook.pdf?sfvrsn=8a8b7d36_0.
3. Flexibility for Induction Programs (Teacher and Administrator Induction)
The CTC designated 2019-20 as a complete program year and induction participants do not need to participate in additional time to complete the year. Participants who were successfully completing their second year of induction prior to program shut-downs will be eligible to apply for a clear credential and participants who were successfully completing year one of induction will move on to their second year at the beginning of 2020-21 school year.
The CTC changed the requirement that a teacher or administrator entering induction must hold a preliminary credential. This will allow first year teachers in the 2020-21 school year to begin their induction program even if they are working under a Program Sponsor Variable Term Waiver (see more on the PS-VTW below).
4. Flexibility for Current Credential Candidates
Current credential candidates who were on track to complete their preliminary credential between March 19, 2020 and September 1, 2020 but were unable to do so because of the health and safety conditions of COVID 19 will be eligible to teach in the 2020-21 school year on a Program Sponsor Variable Term Waiver (PS VTW). This is a newly approved waiver that will be applied for by the credential preparation program and differs from existing variable term waivers. New teachers on a PS VTW will be the teacher of record and will complete any remaining requirements for the preliminary credential (e.g., the Teaching Performance Assessment/TPA requirement) as the content of their induction program. The unfinished requirements will be in lieu of, not in addition to, other induction work and will be specified in their Individual Induction Plan (IIP).
Because application for the PS VTW will be filed by the preparation program rather than by the employer, the cost for the waiver will likely fall on the candidate. Teachers working on a PS VTW will be considered ineffective under ESSA reporting, and some locals have negotiated reduced salary for teachers who are on any type of credential that is not a preliminary or clear. In addition, the assumption is that the waiver will be considered a provisional credential under Ed Code Section 44911 and therefore the time spent teaching under the PS VTW will not be counted toward permanent status; CTA will be examining this issue in the coming weeks. While allowing new teachers to begin their careers, these negative consequences make the PS VTW a less-than-ideal solution and CTA will continue to advocate for further emergency executive or legislative action to remedy the situation.
The CTC approved credential preparation programs to determine that a candidate has sufficient clinical practice hours even if the candidate has not completed the existing 600 hour requirement and that the candidate has satisfied the ‘solo’ teaching requirement, even if less than the required minimum number of weeks.
The CTC approved credential preparation programs to determine that Education Specialist candidates have sufficient experience across grade levels and settings even if they were unable to practice in all disability areas and settings authorized by their credential.
5. Flexibility for Incoming Credential Candidates Entering Programs in 2020-21
The CTC has waived the provision that student teachers must have completed their subject matter requirement prior to daily whole class instruction. The candidate must now complete this requirement prior to recommendation for the preliminary credential.
The Basic Skills/CBEST requirement (BSR) will be deferred for up to one year for applicants or candidates using the CBEST examination route to meet this requirement. The BSR will not be required for program entry. The deferral will not be granted to candidates who have taken all parts of the CBEST previously and failed the examination.
 Information on fees charged by the CTC can be found at https://www.ctc.ca.gov/docs/default-source/leaflets/cl659.pdf?sfvrsn=48637d4b_4