Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org
Charter School Teacher Certification

At the present time, 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have enacted charter school laws, so this database only contains information for them. It does not contain any information for the 10 states that have not enacted charter school laws.

Do teachers in a charter school have to be certified?
Alaska : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Arizona : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Arkansas : Charter Schools (2005) Yes, unless a waiver is granted in the charter.
California : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Colorado : Charter Schools (2005) Yes, unless a waiver is granted in the charter.
Connecticut : Charter Schools (2005) At least 50% of a charter school's teachers must have standard certification, and up to 50% of teachers in a charter school may have alternative certification or temporary certification and be working toward standard certification.
Delaware : Charter Schools (2005) Yes, with exceptions.
District of Columbia : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Florida : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Georgia : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Hawaii : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Idaho : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. Although teachers may apply for a waiver or any of the limited certification options as provided by the state board of education.
Illinois : Charter Schools (2005) Charter schools may employ non-certified teachers if they have a bachelor's degree, five years' experience in the area of degree, a passing score on state teacher tests and evidence of professional growth. Mentoring must be provided to uncertified teachers. Beginning with the 2006-07 school year, at least 50% of the individuals employed in instructional positions by a charter school in Chicago established after April 16, 2003, shall hold teaching certificates and 75% of the individuals employed in instructional positions by a charter school in Chicago established before April 16, 2003, shall hold teaching certificates.
Indiana : Charter Schools (2005) Teachers must either be certified or be in the process of obtaining a license to teach through the transition to teaching program. For those in the transition to teaching program, licenses must be obtained within three years of beginning to teach at a charter school.
Iowa : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Kansas : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Louisiana : Charter Schools (2005) For most types of charter schools, up to 25% of a charter school's teachers may be non-certified if they meet other specific requirements. For low-performing schools that are converted to charter schools as part of the state's accountability system, beginning no later than the third year of operation, teachers in core subjects must be certified and teachers in other subjects may be non-certified if they meet other specific requirements.
Maryland : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Massachusetts : Charter Schools (2005) For Horace Mann charter schools, yes. For commonwealth charter schools, no teacher shall be hired who is not certified unless the teacher has successfully passed the state teacher test.
Michigan : Charter Schools (2005) Except as otherwise provided by law, yes. For example, faculty at a university or community college may teach in a charter school operated or authorized by that institution.
Minnesota : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Mississippi : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Missouri : Charter Schools (2005) Up to 20% of full-time equivalent instructional staff may be filled by non-certified personnel.
Nevada : Charter Schools (2005) Up to 30% of instructional staff may be non-licensed personnel. In a vocational charter school, up to 50% of instructional staff may be non-licensed personnel.
New Hampshire : Charter Schools (2005) At least 50% of a charter school's teacher staff must be certified or have three years of teaching experience.
New Jersey : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
New Mexico : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
New York : Charter Schools (2005) Up to 30% or five teachers are permitted to have other credentials, but non-certified teachers must meet specified criteria: uncertified teachers with at least three years of elementary, middle or secondary classroom teaching experience; tenured or tenure track college faculty; individuals with two years of satisfactory experience through the Teach for America program; and individuals who possess exceptional business, professional, artistic, athletic, or military experience.
North Carolina : Charter Schools (2005) Up to 25% of teachers in grades kindergarten through five and up to 50% of teachers in grades six through twelve may be uncertified.
Ohio : Charter Schools (2005) Yes, except that a charter school may engage noncertificated persons to teach up to twelve hours per week.
Oklahoma : Charter Schools (2005) Yes, unless a waiver is granted in the charter.
Oregon : Charter Schools (2005) At least one-half of a charter school's teachers must be licensed by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), and the non-TSPC-licensed staff must be registered by TSPC.
Pennsylvania : Charter Schools (2005) Up to 25% of teachers may be non-certified.
Puerto Rico : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Rhode Island : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
South Carolina : Charter Schools (2005) Up to 10% of teachers in conversions and 25% in start-ups may be non-certified. In either a new or converted charter school, a teacher teaching in the core academic areas of English/language arts, mathematics, science or social studies must be certified in those areas or possess a baccalaureate or graduate degree in the subject he or she is hired to teach.
Tennessee : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Texas : Charter Schools (2005) No.
Utah : Charter Schools (2005) A charter school must employ teachers who are licensed or on the basis of demonstrated competency would qualify to teach under alternative certification or authorization programs.
Virginia : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.
Wisconsin : Charter Schools (2005) Yes. However, if search for licensed teachers is unsuccessful, a special charter school permit is available for persons with a bachelor's degree in their field who take six credits of training each year and are supervised by a teacher with a regular license.
Wyoming : Charter Schools (2005) Yes.


© 2013 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 fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail ecs@ecs.org.
Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy