teachers who received certification before July
1, 2000, now have less than a year to complete
a required amount of continuing education in order
to remain in the classroom.
There are a total of 179,138 educators
who were certified prior to July 1, 2000, and 97,852
have the required number of hours needed to retain
their certification, according to Pennsylvania
Department of Education data.
Of the approximately 130,000 teachers
currently employed in Pennsylvania’s public
schools, more than 77,000 have the required 180
hours of continuing education; more than 15,000
have attained at least 144 hours; and about 32,000
have less than 144 hours.
Educators must maintain active teaching
certificates by earning six college credits or
six PDE-approved, in-service credits or 180 continuing
education hours or any combination of the above
every five years. The first five-year period began
on July 1, 2000, and included more than 600,000
educators who were issued their initial certificates
prior to and including July 1, 2000. That five-year
period will end on June 30, 2005.
The number of teachers now working
includes individuals who received their certification
after July 1, 2000. Those teachers have five years
from their first year to complete the requirement.
In November 1999, the Pennsylvania
legislature passed Act 48 related to continuing
professional education for individuals holding
educator certification issued by the Department
of Education. This statute requires all persons
holding a Pennsylvania certificate to complete
continuing education requirements every five years
in order to maintain their Level I and Level II
certificate in active status.
The law applies to all public school
certificate holders no matter where they live,
their current occupation or when their certificates
were issued. Inactive certification will prevent
an educator from serving in a professional position
in the public schools of the Commonwealth.
The law requires the PDE to notify
educators at least 12 months prior to the end of
the five-year period. School district administrators
have been provided with access to a summary report
of the continuing education status for all professional
personnel in their district.
Educators who are not employed as
professional or temporary professional employees
by public school entities may elect to request
voluntary inactive certificate status from the
Department. Additionally, educators may request
an extension of the Act 48 continuing education
period when there are extenuating circumstances
(medical, military, etc.) that prevent him/her
from completing requirements during the five-year
Act 48 information and status notification
may be accessed at www.pde.state.pa.us under
the Act 48 Reporting System.