S.4016, Marcellino / A.1039, Nolan: In relation to continuing education requirements for certain individuals employed by nonpublic schools

Published on May 11th, 2017

Memorandum of Support

The New York State Coalition of Independent and Religious Schools SUPPORTS this legislation.

This measure seeks to ensure that continuing education requirements apply to all holders of professional certificates in the classroom teaching service, holders of level III teaching assistant certificates, and holders of profession certificates in the educational leadership or service regardless of whether they are employed by a school district, BOCES or nonpublic school.

In the 2015 State Budget, lawmakers enacted a new section 3006-A to the Education Law to revise the continuing education requirements for all holders of teaching certificates, teaching assistance certificates, and educational leadership certificates which are valid for life (Permanent, Professional and Teaching Assistant Level III) by requiring such individuals to register with the Department every five years and to complete 100 hours of continuing teacher and leader education during the five year registration period. The section inadvertently omitted such individuals employed by nonpublic schools from the continuing education provisions. Such certified individuals employed by nonpublic schools had been subject to the previous continuing education requirements prior to this statutory change.

The applicable five-year period began July 1, 2016.

Because the State sets certification standards, it is important that continuing education requirements apply consistently to all such certified individuals so as not to create a dual standard of what constitutes certification. Furthermore, while nonpublic schools are not required to employ certified individuals, many do and believe that such an exemption places them at a disadvantage in attracting and retaining certified teachers to work in their schools. The Coalition does not want employment in their schools to serve as an impediment to individuals seeking to maintain their certification and the same level of professional development. Accordingly, this measure is necessary to clarify that continuing education requirements will continue to apply to all such currently employed certificate holders.

The NYS Coalition of Independent and Religious Schools SUPPORTS this legislation and urges its enactment as soon as possible so that continuing education hours accumulated after July 1, 2016 can be counted toward such requirement.

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