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Do teachers need to be licensed in the state where they teach?

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2021 | Professional License Defense |

Teachers clearly need to have a license if they want to do more than substitute teaching. But do they need to have that license in California if they want to teach here, or is a license from another state good enough?

For instance, say you went to school in Texas and got licensed there when you graduated. You took a job there and worked for a year, but you really wanted to work out of state. When you were offered a job in California, you needed to decide if you wanted to move, but do you also have to get certified all over again before you can accept the job?

You do need a local teaching certificate

A teaching certificate does have to be specific to the state in which you teach. The good news is that the states understand the problems this creates, and they have a system that helps teachers who are certified apply for and get the certification they need. That doesn’t mean you can skip this step, but it is a bit more streamlined if you already have the certification.

What if you lose your certification?

If you lose your certification, you can no longer teach, per federal and state laws. You don’t always need an education-based degree, but you do need certification as a teacher.

There are numerous reasons that a teacher could lose their certification. A few examples include things like:

  • Violating state or federal laws
  • Violating school regulations
  • Being convicted of a felony
  • Being convicted of a crime, even if it’s not a felony, that involves moral turpitude
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Being unfit for service
  • Engaging in unprofessional and immoral conduct

As you can imagine, a lot of these issues need to be considering on a case-by-case basis. California specifically lists these as reasons that a teacher can be fired and reasons they can lose their license. This could lead to some contention between teachers that felt they should only have lost their job, not the entire license.

If you’re at risk of losing that certification, you absolutely need to know what legal options you have. It is the most critical documentation you have, in any state, and it determines the path your career takes. Consider all of your options carefully.

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