CSPG 24 - Appropriate Certification in Charter Schools in Pennsylvania
Modified: January 1, 2022
Pennsylvania's Charter School Law requires that at least 75 percent of a charter school's professional staff hold appropriate state certification.
State law further specifies which professional staff must be certified and, therefore, may not be included in the calculation of the 25 percent exclusion to the certification requirement:
Principals must hold an Administrative certificate. Pursuant to the Public School Code, service as a principal, vice principal, or assistant principal in a charter school must be counted against the validity (service time) of the certificate.
Special Education Teachers (and Supervisors) must hold "appropriate certification," which includes the requirement to convert the Special Education Instructional I certificate to an Instructional II certificate within six years of service in the charter school. (This includes Special Education certificate categories: speech-language, visually impaired, hearing impaired, general special education, supervisory).
School Psychologists must hold "appropriate certification," which includes the requirement to convert the School Psychologist Educational Specialist I certificate to an Educational Specialist II certificate within six years of service in the charter school.
Speech and Language Pathologists must hold "appropriate certification," which includes the requirement to convert the Speech and Language Pathologist Educational Specialist I certificate to an Educational Specialist II certificate within six years of service in the charter school.
- Related services positions as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) includes the position of school psychologist, school nurse, school counselor, school social worker and education specialist speech and language pathologist. Service in these related services certificate areas will count against the validity of the certificate for Level II purposes.
To be appropriately included in the 75 percent of professional staff who are certified, an individual must hold an active and valid certificate for their assignment or hold an emergency permit.
Appropriate certification required to qualify an individual for assignment is determined through a position description and course content that lists specific duties to be performed/fulfilled. (Refer to CSPG 1.)
Charter school principals must be properly certified as required by the Public School Code and meet Act 45 continuing education requirements.
- A PA Inspired Leadership (PIL) induction program is required for conversion to an Administrative II certificate for any Administrative I certificate issued on or after January 1, 2008, or for those who received an Administrative certificate prior to January 1, 2008, and whose initial public or charter school service in the position of principal, vice principal, or assistant principal occurred on or after January 1, 2008.
Administrators that began public or charter school service in a principal, vice principal, or assistant principal position prior to January 1, 2008, are not required to complete the PIL induction program.
If a charter school does not employ any individual in a position titled principal, but employs an individual in a locally titled position (i.e., school director) and that individual performs all of the duties of a principal, the charter school must utilize an Administrative certified educator and identify the individual as Principal in Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS)/Professional Educator Records Management System (PERMS). Regardless of the local title given to the position, if an individual serves in the position of Principal in a charter school, the individual must comply with all related Act 45 and PIL requirements. Local education agencies (LEAs) may not create and utilize local titles to avoid state requirements.
- For further clarification of the PIL requirements, refer to:
PA Inspired Leadership
For further clarification on calculation of the 75/25 percent of professional staff, refer to Clarification of Professional Certification Requirements for Professional Staff in Charter Schools (PDF).
Pa. Public School Code:
Article XI: §11-1109
Article XIV: §14-1401(8); §14-1402(a.1)
Article XVII: §17-1724-A; § 17-1732-A (c) (2); §17- 1749-A (b) (8)
22 Pa. Code: Chapter 711: § 711.4, § 711.5
This revision supersedes all earlier CSPGs carrying this number and/or addressing this subject.
Summary of Changes
- Updated to clarify certification requirements
information on Special Education certificate areas as mandatory service
- Removed NCLB requirements (highly qualified teacher requirements)
- Added information on certificate areas that must be calculated in the 75% of properly certified individuals
- Add the link to Charter School 75/25 Calculation Clarifications
|11/2015||Charter school principals are subject to the certification requirements of 24 P.S. 11-1109 as well as Act 45 continuing education requirements, therefore:|
- Charter school service as principal, vice principal, or assistant principal must be counted against the validity (service time) of the certificate.
- Principal, vice principal, or assistant principal must complete Act 45 and PIL requirements as specified.
- Educators performing principal, vice principal, or assistant principal service must be titled as such, and not given local titles.
- Individuals employed in a locally titled position (i.e. school director) who perform the duties of a principal, vice principal, or assistant principal in the charter school must be identified as Principal in PIMS/PERMS.