The ongoing coronavirus health crisis has not disrupted the ability of the Ohio Department of Education to receive and process applications and renewals for licensure. The Office of Educator Licensure currently is processing applications within five business days and is ready to assist educators, schools and districts with their licensure-related inquiries and needs.
Flexibility for Current Educators Whose Licenses Expire July 1, 2020
The Ohio Department of Education is providing flexibility regarding the licensure renewal deadline. All licenses currently set to expire on July 1, 2020, will have their expiration dates extended to Sept. 1, 2020. This license expiration extension will allow educators additional time to complete their requirements for renewal. It is important that educators complete their legally required professional development by Sept. 1, 2020, or an additional three semester hours of professional development will be required for renewal. Educators may need to adjust their individual professional development plans as needed.
Local Professional Development Committees
Current educators whose licenses expire this year should contact their Local Professional Development Committees and work to modify, as needed, their individual professional development plans as soon as possible. Although many in-person professional development opportunities have been canceled, educators can continue to take advantage of remote and web-based professional development opportunities as approved by their Local Professional Development Committees.
Local Professional Development Committees are encouraged to continue meeting via telephone, video-conference or other remote means. If a meeting is subject to Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, districts should work with their legal counsels to determine how best to proceed. These committees also should be flexible in their approaches to reviewing and approving professional development considering the current circumstances.
Federal Bureau of Investigation and/or Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Investigation and Identification Background Checks for Current and Prospective Educators
The Ohio Department of Education has been notified by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and Identification it is processing background checks at this time. Any applicant who needs to complete a background check should contact BCI at (855) 224-6446 for instructions on how to complete fingerprint collection at home.
Current University or College Students Enrolled in Educator Preparation Programs
The Ohio departments of Education and Higher Education have worked with educator preparation programs to create more flexible pathways for students to complete their clinical experience requirements. Please contact your college or university and work with your educator preparation program to determine your pathway to completion.
Initial Licensure Exams
The Ohio Department of Education understands the current situation impedes the ability of applicants to take their initial licensure examinations, including the Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE), American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) testing and others. At this time, it is unknown how long this disruption will last. In response to this unprecedented situation, the Ohio Department of Education has been granted the authority to issue a one-time, one-year temporary license for the 2020-2021 school year to applicants who meet all other qualifications for licensure but have been unable to complete their required initial licensure examinations. Under this one-year temporary license, an applicant can apply to advance his or her license upon successful completion of the required licensure examinations. The Office of Educator Licensure will begin accepting applications for these temporary licenses on May 15, 2020.
Educators can find up-to-date information regarding coronavirus impacts on educator licensure on the Department’s website.