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FUHSD to issue emergency credentials

The Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) has recently approved its declaration of need for fully qualified educators with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC).

During their May 24 general board meeting, the FUHSD board of trustees approved the 2010-2011 Declaration of Need, which superintendent Dale Mitchell, Ed.D., stated was an annual requirement for the district.

According to Mitchell, all school districts estimate their staffing needs for the following school year. The document gives an estimate of the number of emergency permits, limited assignment and internship credentials that may be needed in the upcoming school year, and must be filed with the CCTC before any application for these types of permits or credentials can be processed.

“There is the expectation that all teachers will be No Child Left Behind Highly Qualified, meet credential requirements and be authorized to teach English learners,” said Mitchell.

According to Marilyn Erret, Ed.D., a representative for CCTC, school districts wishing to hire teachers on emergency-type permits need to file a Declaration of Need with the Commission once a year.

“Primarily, it ensures the Commission and the public that there is a process for conducting a diligent search for fully credentialed teachers,” said Erret. “If the district does not submit the required verification, the Commission would reject the application for the permit and request the information.”

On May 24, the district declared that there is an insufficient number of certificated persons who meet the district’s specific employment criteria for various positions.

According to the declaration, six teachers needed a CLAD/English Learner Authorization, though they already held teaching credentials.

In addition, based on the 2009-2010 academic year’s actual needs and projections of enrollment, the FUHSD indicated that it will need two multiple subject limited assignment permits, five single subject limited assignment permits and two special education limited permits.

“The Declaration of Need is primarily required for emergency-type permits for non-credentialed teachers,” explained Erret. “There are options for assigning a credentialed teacher to teach out of field. They include a Limited Assignment Teaching Permit which requires Board approval, but not the Declaration of Need. There are also Board Assignment Options in the Education Code that allow a credentialed teacher with a specified number of units in the subject to teach out of field as long as the Board approves the assignment.”

These permits can only be issued to applicants that hold a valid California teaching credential based on a baccalaureate degree and a professional preparation program including student teaching.

“Presently, I am less than enamored with the way this system works,” said Mitchell, who stated that the teachers who have applied for the emergency credentialing are better compensated. “The District desires to hire fully credentialed and qualified teachers. Yes, these teachers are better compensated, but they are also better qualified and prepared. Sometimes we do ask a teacher to teach during his or her prep period. Sometimes, we hire someone to teach less than full time.”

According to Mitchell, FUHSD uses only one process for the recruitment and selection of teachers for the district.

“We employ the best person possible,” stated Mitchell. “Sometimes, due to the candidate pool, the best candidate requires an emergency credential or permit. The interview panel consists of teacher and administration representatives. They make a recommendation to me and I make a recommendation to the Board.”

Mitchell did not disclose what the budget difference would be for hiring part time teachers to teach the courses compared to giving additional teaching periods to current teachers, though the meeting agenda reflected no immediate budget impact.

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