Introduction: The following FAQ addresses some common questions from the field regarding available credential waivers and permits authorized by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and California Department of Education (CDE) for use in situations where an LEA experiences an unexpected teacher vacancy. The information contained in this FAQ is an overview of current CTC guidance, permit leaflets, and available resources. For more information on any of the referenced permits or waivers, visit the following websites:
Because each situation is nuanced, it is important to confirm the requirements of these permits and waivers, and their applicability in individual scenarios. You can do this by contacting your credentialing expert, your authorizer, your LEA’s County Office of Education, or by reaching out to the CTC.
Q1. I am having a difficult time finding an appropriately credentialed Single Subject, Multiple Subject, Education Specialist, or intern to fill an urgent teacher vacancy. What are my options?
A1. Short-Term Waivers authorize local employing agencies one semester or less to address unanticipated, immediate, short-term organizational needs by assigning teachers that consent to teach outside of their credential authorization. This waiver is only available to credentialed teachers, such as a general education teacher who will be serving as an Education Specialist.
These waivers are submitted to the LEA’s County Office of Education, can be obtained in a short amount of time because they do not require CTC approval (instead require SELPA approval), and last for one semester. For more information, visit the CTC Waiver Request Guidebook (starting on page 29).
Q2. I have an open teaching position and, despite continued efforts, cannot find any credentialed candidates or interns to fill the position. I have an interested staff member or applicant with no credential who has a bachelor’s degree that is interested in the position. How can I hire this applicant for the job?
A2. The Short-Term Staff Permit (STSP) allows an employing agency to fill an acute staffing need (see leaflet Terms and Definitions) when local recruitment efforts have been made but a fully credentialed teacher cannot be found. The STSP is only available at the request of an employing agency. Individuals may not apply directly to the Commission for this document. Holders of the STSP are restricted to service with the employing agency requesting the permit. The STSP is available in the areas of Multiple Subject, Single Subject, and Education Specialist. An individual with a bachelor’s degree who meets certain course and experience requirements can be hired as a teacher in one of the above specializations under an STSP. These permits must be approved by CTC, do not require SELPA involvement, are good for one year, and are not renewable.
Q3. I am unable to find an Education Specialist with the appropriate specialization to fill a specific special education teacher position. For example, I need a Moderate/Severe teacher. Can I hire a new Mild/Moderate teacher or assign one of my current Mild/Moderate teachers to this Moderate/Severe caseload?
A3. The Special Education Limited Assignment Teaching Permit (SELAP) authorizes the holder to teach in the area of specialization listed on the permit and is available for many common settings (see leaflet). Individuals must be currently employed by the agency requesting such assignment, hold a valid CA special education credential, and meet certain coursework or experience criteria. The experience criteria requirement is waived for Mild/Moderate and Moderate/Severe credentialed teachers when applying for a SELAP for the reverse role, as there is significant overlap in these specializations. This permit is valid for one year but may not exceed the expiration date of the prerequisite credential. A SELAP issued for less than one calendar year may be extended for the remainder of the calendar year. This permit may be reissued twice in any one specific specialty area.
Q4. How long can a substitute teacher on an Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit teach in the same assignment?
A4. With the passage of AB 167, effective 09/23/2021 until 7/1/22, any holder of a credential or permit issued by CTC that authorizes substitute teaching may substitute for up to 60 cumulative days for any single educator in a general education or special education assignment. For more information on all available substitute teaching permits, visit the CTC substitute permit requirements page.
Q5. Are there additional SELPA resources addressing current staffing shortages and unexpected vacancies?
A5. The SELPA’s Addressing the Special Education Teacher Shortage support document includes tips and strategies for creating a special education teacher pipeline at your LEA.