This week’s blog continues the coverage of Senate Bill (SB) 216 licensure changes effective on July 1. Last week’s blog covered licensure changes for substitutes. SB 216 also enacted Ohio Revised Code (RC) 3319.074 (amended by HB 477, eff. Apr. 8, 2019), which prohibits any school district from employing certain classroom teachers and paraprofessionals after July 1, 2019, if they are not “properly” certified or licensed. Here’s a quick overview of the requirements:

  • Classroom teachers providing instruction in a core subject must be properly certified or licensed.
  • Paraprofessionals in a program supported by Title I funds to provide academic support in a core subject area to any student must be properly certified.
    • Core subject areas are English language arts, math, science, social studies, foreign languages and fine arts. 
  • A teacher is properly certified or licensed if he or she has completed all requirements for certification or licensure applicable to the subject areas, grade levels and students for which the teacher provides instruction.
  • A paraprofessional is properly certified if he or she holds an educational aide permit issued under RC 3319.088 and satisfies at least one of the following conditions:
    • Has the designation of “ESEA qualified” on the permit.
    • Has successfully completed two or more years of coursework at an accredited college or university.
    • Holds an associate or higher degree from an accredited college or university.
    • Has attained a qualifying score on an academic assessment specified by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).

As the Legal Ledger reported in February, ODE has prepared a guidance document to help teachers and districts comply with the SB 216 requirements. The guidance document includes a flowchart explaining ways to obtain proper licensure, instructions on how districts can verify teachers’ credentials and contact information for nine regional licensure specialists who can help your district comply with the law.

If you have questions about RC 3319.074, OSBA’s Division of Legal Services is here to help. You can reach us via OSBA’s Legal Hotline at (855) 672-2529.

Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 6/7/2019