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  News Release
 
The following is a news release from the Oregon Teacher Standards and Commission. If there are more details that we can provide for you, please feel free to contact us (see Contact Us).
 
 
  HQT News
  Released: Friday, October 14, 2005 at 5:00 PM
 
 
 
FIRING TEACHERS FOR NOT BEING HIGHLY QUALIFIED IS NOT AUTHORIZED OR REQUIRED BY THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT (NCLB) OR THE INDIVIDUALS with DISABILITIES EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT ACT (IDEIA)

There has been some confusion about the consequences of teachers not meeting the definition of 'highly qualified teacher' under the NCLB or the IDEIA.

There is nothing in either federal law that authorizes or requires school districts to fire teachers exclusively for not meeting the federal definitions.

The law requires that districts and states that receive Title IA funding from NCLB and Special Education funds under IDEIA make sure that all teachers teaching core academic subjects only meet the definition of 'highly qualified teacher' by the end of the 2005-2006 school year. The Oregon Department of Education has interpreted this to mean by prior to the beginning of the 2006 school year, all core-academic subject teachers must be highly qualified.

What if teachers are not highly qualified by that time? The consequences for "non compliance" are not clear under the law. However, if the district is not meeting adequate yearly progress, having teachers deliver instruction in the core academic subjects who do not meet the definition is one of the corrective actions the district must take. Additionally, under the federal law, districts must be working diligently and have a plan to see that all teachers who do not meet the federal definition are on a quick path to becoming highly qualified. A teacher's refusal to become highly-qualified presents another employment issue and districts are encouraged to consult with their legal counsel prior to making employment-related decisions.

Remember as well, all parents of students who receive instruction in core academic subjects by a teacher that does not meet the federal definitions for 'highly qualified teachers' must be notified that the teacher is not 'highly qualified.'

Under Oregon law, teachers who are properly licensed by the TSPC and properly assigned in accordance with that license are legally in the classroom under all circumstances. However, that does not allow the district to fail to comply with the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act or the IDEIA, because if the district receives federal monies under these two federal laws, the district has agreed to comply with the requirements of those laws.

Districts should be working diligently to see that all teachers teaching core academic subjects meet the federal definitions by the beginning of the 2006 school year.

Vickie Chamberlain
Executive Director
 

 

  Archived: December 31, 2005  [VC:242-1] 
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