Education Department

Department News - Act 48 Credits

Many Teachers Certified in Pennsylvania Have One Year to Complete Continuing Education Requirements

HARRISBURG: Pennsylvania 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 period.

Act 48 information and status notification may be accessed at under the Act 48 Reporting System.



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Education Department Moravian College / 1200 Main Street, Bethlehem PA, 18081
Dr. Joseph Shosh, Department Chair – phone: (610) 861-1482 / fax: (610) 861-1696 / email: