RD481 - A Report on Requirements and Recommendations for Teacher Reciprocity – October 30, 2017

Executive Summary:

The 2017 Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 2352 (refer to Appendix A) which required that the Department of Education analyze the current requirements for teacher licensure by reciprocity in the Commonwealth, including the statutory and regulatory requirements for such licensure, and report its findings, including any recommendations for changes to such requirements, to the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than November 1, 2017.

The Department of Education convened a Reciprocity Work Group to review the current statutory and regulatory requirements and make recommendations for consideration. The group included representatives of the Virginia Education Association, the Virginia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Virginia Association of School Superintendents, and the Advisory Board on Teacher Education and Licensure, as well as human resources officers and college and university faculty and administrators.

“Teacher Reciprocity"

Reciprocity facilitates the license transfer of teachers from jurisdiction (states, District of Columbia, and territories of the United States) to jurisdiction. Reciprocity requirements vary greatly among states, and typically reciprocity does not constitute an automatic transfer, even for those with a clean disciplinary/legal record. Few jurisdictions offer “full" reciprocity (the exchange of a full, renewable license in one state for a license in another state) without requiring applicants to complete additional requirements.

In addition to statutory and regulatory requirements outlining requirements for reciprocity, many states, including Virginia, participate in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) Interstate Agreement. NASDTEC makes clear that the agreement does not guarantee “full" reciprocity. The educator may be required to complete additional requirements, such as coursework, assessments, or classroom experience, before receiving a full professional license in the new state.

This report provides the statutes and regulations addressing “reciprocity" in Virginia, as well as information from other jurisdictions. The report also includes recommendations for consideration.


The Department of Education offers the following recommendations regarding teacher reciprocity in Virginia. Please note that even though this report focuses on “teacher" reciprocity, the current requirements and recommendations also may apply to other areas of required licensing, such as pupil personnel services areas and administration and supervision.

• Consider “full" reciprocity for an individual who holds an out-of-state, District of Columbia, or territory of the United States renewable teaching license (with no deficiencies) with comparable endorsements that is in force at the time the application for a Virginia license is received by the Department of Education. With “full" reciprocity, such individuals would not be required to meet prescribed Board of Education initial licensure assessments.

• Request that the General Assembly eliminate the following statutory requirement for initial licensure and license renewal:
o Section 22.1-298.1, Item 1.D.1
“Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license demonstrate proficiency in the use of educational technology for instruction."

• Request that the General Assembly eliminate the following statutory requirement for initial licensure and license renewal:
o Section 22.1-298.1, Item 1.D.3
“Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall receive professional development in instructional methods tailored to promote student academic progress and effective preparation for the Standards of Learning end-of-course and end-of-grade assessments.

• Request that “ancillary" statutory requirements, such as demonstration of instructional technology, be reviewed to determine current applicability. Consideration should be given to require such requirements for employment, not licensure.

• Request that the Virginia Board of Education consider the feasibility of allowing for the issuance of a Provisional License while the Code of Virginia “ancillary" requirements are being met. [Reference 22.1-298.1H.] Request the General Assembly to consider that if an individual is eligible for a renewable license, allow for a notation on the license that the “ancillary" requirements must be completed “during the first year of employment in a Virginia educational agency or, if not so employed, during the renewal period."

• Consider the feasibility of allowing a time frame for teachers (with an active, renewable license from another state, D.C., or U.S. territory with no deficiencies as required by reciprocity) to apply for a license. State law requires in Section 22.1-299 of the Code of Virginia, “No teacher shall be regularly employed by a school board or paid from public funds unless such teacher holds a license or provisional license issued by the Board of Education."