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603 CMR 7.00
Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval

Most Recently Amended by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education: September 22, 2015

Section:
7.01:
7.02:
7.03:
7.04:
7.05:
7.06:
7.07:
7.08:
7.09:
7.10:
7.11:
7.12:
7.13:
7.14:
7.15:
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7.15: General Provisions

(1) Previous Employment. Previous employment in any role covered by the licenses issued under 603 CMR 7.00 does not exempt a candidate from the provisions of 603 CMR 7.00, except for school librarians, teachers of young children with disabilities, school business administrators and school nurses as specified in 603 CMR 7.15 (9).

(2) Additional Licenses. Licensed educators may earn additional licenses as follows:

(a) New Field (available only for licenses under 603 CMR 7.04 (3) (a)):

  1. Teachers holding an Initial or Professional license in one field may earn a license of the same type and at the same level in a new field, except as provided in 603 CMR 7.15 (2) (a) 2. and 3. by:
    1. Achieving a passing score on the appropriate subject matter knowledge test(s) of the MTEL, or
    2. Passing a competency review for those licenses for which there is no subject matter test.
  2. Additional requirements for earning a license as an early childhood, English language as a second language, or elementary teacher: completion of a practicum/practicum equivalent or internship of 150 hours in the role of the license sought in an appropriate classroom.
  3. Additional requirements for earning a license as teacher of students with moderate disabilities, teacher of students with severe disabilities, teacher of the deaf and hard-of-hearing, or teacher of the visually impaired are completion of both:
    1. A competency review, and
    2. A practicum/practicum equivalent or internship of 150 hours in the role of the license sought in an appropriate classroom.

(b) New Level (available only for licenses under 603 CMR 7.04 (3) (a) and (d) 1.):

  1. Teachers holding an Initial or Professional license at one grade level may obtain a license of the same type and in the same field at a new grade level by:
    1. Achieving a passing score on the appropriate subject matter test(s) at the new level or by passing a competency review for those licenses for which there is no subject matter test.
    2. Completing one of the following:
      1. A seminar, institute, or course approved by the Department addressing the curriculum and developmental characteristics of the age group appropriate to the license sought.
      2. A practicum/practicum equivalent or internship of 150 hours in the role of the license in an appropriate classroom.
  2. Guidance counselors holding an Initial or Professional license at one grade level may obtain a license of the same type and in the same field at a new grade level by completing one of the following:
    1. A seminar, institute, or course approved by the Department addressing the curriculum and developmental characteristics of the age group appropriate to the license sought.
    2. A practicum/practicum equivalent or internship of 150 hours in the role of the license sought in an appropriate classroom.

(c) New Field and Level. Teachers holding an Initial or Professional license in one field may earn a license of the same type in a new field and a new grade level by meeting the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 7.15 (2) (a) and (b) 1.

(3) Additional Licenses for Administrators. Licensed administrators may earn additional administrator licenses by passing the Communication and Literacy Skills test and meeting other requirements as follows:

(a) New Field. Administrators holding an Initial or Professional license may earn additional licenses of the same type as follows:

  1. Superintendent/assistant superintendent or principal/assistant principal by:
    1. Completing one of the following:
      1. Three full years of employment under a valid administrator license.
      2. A practicum/practicum equivalent or internship of 300 hours in the role of the license sought.
    2. Demonstrating successful application of the Professional Standards for Administrators as set forth in 603 CMR 7.10 through completion of a Performance Assessment for Initial License. Administrators who successfully completed a Performance Assessment for Initial License to obtain their current administrator license are not required to complete an additional Performance Assessment for Initial License.
  2. School business administrator by completing:
    1. One of the following:
      1. Three years' full-time employment under a valid license as a superintendent or assistant superintendent.
      2. A practicum/practicum equivalent or internship of 300 hours in the role of a school business administrator.
    2. A Performance Assessment for Initial License that meets the requirements set forth in 603 CMR 7.09 (5) (a) 2.and 7.10.
  3. Supervisor/director by:
    1. Completing one of the following:
      1. Three years of employment under a valid administrator license.
      2. A practicum/practicum equivalent or internship of 300 hours in the role of the supervisor/director license sought.
    2. Demonstrating successful application of the Professional Standards for Administrators as set forth in 603 CMR 7.10 through a Performance Assessment for Initial License. Administrators who successfully completed a Performance Assessment for Initial License to obtain their current administrator license are not required to complete an additional Performance Assessment for Initial License.
    3. Possessing the appropriate prerequisite license as specified in 603 CMR 7.09 (3) (b) 1.
    4. Meeting the additional requirements for directors, department heads, and curriculum specialists in core academic subjects at the secondary level (5-12) as specified in 603 CMR 7.09 (3) (b) 6.
  4. Special education administrator by:
    1. Completing one of the following:
      1. Three years of employment under a valid superintendent/assistant superintendent, principal/assistant principal, or school business administrator license.
      2. A practicum/practicum equivalent or internship of 300 hours in the role of a special education administrator.
    2. Demonstrating successful application of the Professional Standards for Administrators as set forth in 603 CMR 7.10 and the appropriate knowledge of special education laws, regulations, and issues through a Performance Assessment for Initial License.
    3. Possessing the appropriate prerequisite experience as specified in 603 CMR 7.09 (4) (a) 1.

(b) New Level. Licensed principals/assistant principals may earn an additional principal/assistant principal license of the same type at a new level by completing one of the following:

  1. A seminar, institute, or course approved by the Department, addressing the curriculum and developmental characteristics of the age group appropriate to the license sought.
  2. A practicum/practicum equivalent or internship of 300 hours in the role and at the level of the license sought.

(4) Prerequisite Licenses. The requirement that an applicant for licensure hold a Massachusetts educator license may be waived for an applicant who has earned an equivalent license based on the same level of preparation in another state or jurisdiction.

(5) Renewal of an Initial License.

(a) An educator may renew an Initial license one time for an additional five years of employment. The decision of the Commissioner shall be final.

(b) In order to be eligible for such renewal a candidate shall:

  1. Have been employed for five years under a valid Initial license.
  2. Present evidence of sound moral character.
  3. Submit a plan outlining how the candidate will fulfill the requirements for a Professional license.
  4. Additional requirements for the teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing license - American Sign Language/Total Communication: passing score on a test of sign language proficiency approved by the Department.

(6) Commissioner's Determination. The Commissioner, for good cause, may determine which specific requirements for licensure set forth in 603 CMR 7.04, 7.05, 7.06, 7.07, 7.09, 7.11, and 7.15(2) and (3) shall apply and/or be modified for applicants who have submitted evidence that they have either substantially met the requirements for licensure prior to a change in the regulations or that they would have met the requirements but were unable to do so because of extreme hardship. No modification of the requirements will be granted without satisfactory evidence that the applicant has made a good faith effort to complete the requirements for licensure. The Commissioner, at his discretion, may impose reasonable conditions upon any modification granted. The decision of the Commissioner shall be final.

(7) Reconsideration. An applicant for licensure may request that the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education reconsider the Department's decision not to issue a license. The applicant shall submit a written request for reconsideration to the Commissioner within 30 days of the date that the applicant received notice that his or her application for license has been denied. The decision of the Commissioner shall be final.

(8) Revocation of Licenses.

(a) Grounds for License Action.

  1. The Commissioner may suspend or limit, either indefinitely or for a fixed period of time, or revoke a license if after investigation any of the following is determined:
    1. The license was obtained through fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact;
    2. The holder of the license is unfit to perform the duties for which the license was granted;
    3. The holder of the license has pleaded guilty, received deferred adjudication, or been convicted in a court of law of a crime involving moral turpitude or of any other crime of such nature that in the opinion of the Commissioner the person so convicted discredits the profession, brings the license into disrepute, or lacks good moral character;
    4. The holder has had one or more licenses or certificates revoked, suspended, surrendered, or otherwise limited as part of an administrative proceeding in another jurisdiction or by another licensing body for reasons that are sufficient for limitation of a Massachusetts license, regardless of whether or not the holder obtained a Massachusetts license through the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.
    5. There exists other good cause to revoke, suspend, or limit the license including, but not limited to, gross misconduct or negligence in the conduct of the license holder's professional duties and obligations, commitment of an offense against any law of the Commonwealth related to the license holder's professional duties and responsibilities, willful action in violation of Board regulations or Department orders, or dismissal for just cause from a position in a school or child care facility.
  2. If any of the grounds in 603 CMR 7.15 (8) (a) 1. are determined, the Commissioner may put limitations on a license that may include:
    1. Restrictions on the ages of students with whom the certificate holder may work;
    2. Additional supervision requirements;
    3. Education, counseling, or psychiatric examination requirements;
    4. Notification to the employer of the circumstances surrounding the Commissioner's decision to put limitations on the license holder.

(b) Investigatory Subpoenas.

  1. At any stage of the investigation, the Department may request that the Commissioner or his designee issue a subpoena requiring the attendance and testimony of a witness, including the license holder, and the production of any evidence, including files, records, correspondence, or documents, relating to any matter in question in the investigation.
  2. The request shall be made in writing.
  3. The subpoena shall require a witness to appear at the Department at a specified date and time and shall specify any evidence to be produced.
  4. The licensee shall not be entitled to be present, but the Department shall provide the licensee with a copy of any recorded testimony prior to any hearing under 603 CMR 7.15(8)(e).
  5. Failure of a license holder to comply with a duly issued investigatory subpoena shall be grounds for revocation, suspension, limitation, or denial of a license.

(c) Procedure. No license may be revoked, suspended, or limited until:

  1. The Department has determined that there is probable cause to find that the holder's license may be revoked, suspended, or limited for one or more of the grounds set forth in 603 CMR 7.14 (8) (a); and
  2. The Department sends written notice to the license holder of its determination of probable cause and of the holder's right to request a hearing before the Commissioner in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30A and 801 CMR 1.00: Adjudicatory Rules of Practice and Procedure. Notice shall be sent by certified mail and regular mail to the holder's last known address. The holder shall have 21 days from receipt of the notice to make a written request for a hearing. If no written request for a hearing is received by the Commissioner in accordance with the above, the holder's license shall be deemed to be revoked, suspended, or limited and the holder shall be so notified by certified mail.

(d) Surrender. A license holder may surrender a license by submitting documentation to the Commissioner in an approved manner. If a license holder surrenders a license after the Department has found probable cause to revoke, suspend, or limit the license, the surrender will be treated as a revocation.

(e) Hearing.

  1. If the Commissioner receives a request for a hearing from the license holder in accordance with 603 CMR 7.14 (8) (c), the Commissioner or his designee shall schedule a hearing no later than 60 days after receipt of the request. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30A and 801 CMR 1.00: Adjudicatory Rules of Practice and Procedure. The hearing shall not be open to the public unless the license holder requests a public hearing.
  2. Within 30 days of the date the hearing concludes, the Commissioner or his designee shall render a written decision determining whether or not the holder's license shall be revoked, suspended, or limited. The decision shall comply with the requirements of M.G.L. c. 30A, § 11 and 801 CMR 1.00: Adjudicatory Rules of Practice and Procedure.
  3. The Commissioner shall send a copy of the decision to the license holder along with a notice informing him or her of the right of appeal in accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 30A, § 14.

(f) Notice of License Action. The Department shall send notice of the revocation, suspension, limitation, or surrender of a license to all Massachusetts superintendents of schools and to the certification or licensure officers of every state.

(g) Reinstatement.

  1. A person whose license has been revoked in accordance with 603 CMR 7.14(8) may again be licensed in Massachusetts only upon a 2/3 vote by the Board.
  2. The Department may reinstate a suspended license upon determination by the Commissioner that the condition causing the suspension has been corrected.
  3. License limitations or conditions shall remain in effect as determined by the Commissioner.

(h) Administrators' Obligation to Report. Any administrator who has dismissed, declined to renew the employment of, or obtained the resignation of any educator for any of the reasons cited in 603 CMR 7.14 (8) (a) shall report in writing such resignation or dismissal and the reason therefor to the Commissioner within 30 days. This obligation to report also applies when an administrator acquires relevant information after an educator's dismissal, resignation, or non-renewal. Failure to make such reports shall be grounds on which the Commissioner may revoke the administrator's license.

(i) License Holder's Obligation to Report. Any license holder who has been convicted of a crime in a court of law shall notify the Commissioner of such conviction in writing within ten days of such conviction. The term "convicted of a crime" shall include any guilty verdict, admission to or finding of sufficient facts, and any plea of guilty or nolo contendere, whether or not a sentence has been imposed. Any license holder who is the subject of an enforcement action by the Massachusetts Ethics Commission shall notify the Commissioner of such action in writing within ten days of such action. Any license holder who has surrendered an educator license or any professional license or certificate or who has had such a license or certificate revoked, suspended, or limited in any jurisdiction or by any agency shall notify the Commissioner of such action in writing within ten days of such action. Failure to do so shall be grounds on which the Commissioner may revoke the holder's license.

(j) Records. Nothing herein shall be construed to require the Department to disclose, under the Massachusetts public records law M.G.L. c. 66, § 10 and M.G.L. c. 4, § 7 Clause Twenty-sixth, any information, documents, or evidence sought by or provided to the Commissioner pursuant to his responsibilities under 603 CMR 7.14 (8) until final disposition of the matter.

(k) License Denial. The Commissioner may deny an applicant's application for a license for the reasons set forth above and for reasons enumerated in 603 CMR 7.00. If the Commissioner denies an application for a license, an applicant may request reconsideration by the Commissioner under 603 CMR 7.15 (7). All of the above rules pertaining to investigatory subpoenas apply to license applicants. Failure of an applicant to comply with a duly issued investigatory subpoena shall be grounds for denial of a license.

(9) General Provisions for Employment.

(a) Legal Employment. To be eligible for employment by a school district in any position covered by 603 CMR 7.00, a person must have been granted a license by the Commissioner that is appropriate for the role. A person holding a license may be employed for a maximum of 20% of his/her time in a role and/or at a level for which s/he does not hold a license.

(b) Sheltered English Immersion.

  1. Notwithstanding 603 CMR 7.15(9)(a), starting on July 1, 2016, no core academic teacher shall be assigned to provide sheltered English instruction to an English language learner unless such teacher either holds an SEI Teacher Endorsement, or will earn an SEI Teacher Endorsement within one year from the date of the assignment.
  2. Notwithstanding 603 CMR 7.15(9)(a), starting on July 1, 2016, no principal, assistant principal, or supervisor/director shall supervise or evaluate a core academic teacher who provides sheltered English instruction to an English language learner unless such principal, assistant principal, or supervisor/director either holds an SEI Teacher or SEI Administrator Endorsement, or will earn such endorsement within one year of the commencement of such supervision or evaluation.
  3. Notwithstanding 603 CMR 7.04, 603 CMR 7.05, 603 CMR 7.09 and 603 CMR 7.15 (5), any core academic teacher, principal, assistant principal, or supervisor/director supervising or evaluating a core academic teacher, who fails to obtain an SEI endorsement within the time period designated for his or her cohort established pursuant to 603 CMR 14.07(2), will not be eligible to advance or renew his or her license until such educator obtains the SEI endorsement. Provided however, in accordance with 603 CMR 14.07(2), upon a showing of hardship, the Department may grant an educator an extension of time beyond the date designated for his or her cohort to earn an SEI endorsement.

(c) District Requirements. Nothing in 603 CMR 7.00 shall be construed to prevent a school district from prescribing additional qualifications beyond those established in 603 CMR 7.00

(d) Preliminary Licenses. Persons holding Preliminary licenses are permitted to seek employment in teaching positions requiring licensure in school districts that have an approved program of preparation for the Initial license.

(10) Exemptions. The following are exempted from the provisions of G. L. c. 71, § 38G or M. G. L. c. 71A, § 6, which require the possession of an educator license:

(a) All those exempted by statute or regulation, including but not limited to temporary substitute teachers and exchange teachers and regionally licensed or certified educators;
(b) Any person legally employed as an intern;
(c) Any trade and vocational instructor, supervisor, guidance counselor or director, or administrator (except school business administrators employed on or after September 1, 1980) in vocational programs approved by the Commissioner under the provisions of M. G. L. c. 74;
(d) Any trade and vocational school business administrator employed prior to September 1, 1980, as the chief fiscal officer of a school committee responsible for vocational programs.
(e) Any school nurse employed by a school district on or before June 18, 1993.
(f) Any school librarian employed by a school district prior to May 2, 1960.
(g) Any teacher employed by a school district to teach young children with disabilities prior to May 11, 1978.

(11) Role. The role covered by each license is defined by the title and requirements of the license. Superintendents and principals intending to employ an educator in a role not obviously defined by an existing license must determine the most appropriate license set forth in 603 CMR 7.00 or 603 CMR 4.00 by comparing the actual duties and responsibilities of that role with the license requirements.

(12) Public Record. Each school district shall maintain as a public record, in a central location or in each school, a list of all staff members whose employment is governed by 603 CMR 7.00, indicating the role in which each is employed and the credential that authorizes such employment.

(13) Hardship Waivers and Critical Shortage.

(a) The Commissioner may exempt a district for any one school year from the requirement to employ licensed or certified personnel in accordance with M. G. L. c. 71 § 38G. The Commissioner may deem a district to have a great hardship in securing licensed or certified personnel for the purposes of M. G. L. c. 71 § 38G upon request of a superintendent and demonstration to the Commissioner that the district has made a good-faith effort to hire licensed or certified personnel, and has been unable to find a licensed or certified candidate who is qualified for the position. Persons employed under waivers must demonstrate that they meet minimum requirements as established by the Department and are making continuous progress toward meeting the requirements for licensure or certification in the field in which they are employed. During the time that a waiver is in effect, service of an employee of a school district to whom the waiver applies shall not be counted as service in acquiring professional teacher status or other rights under M. G. L. c. 71, § 41.
(b) The Commissioner may deem a district to have a critical shortage of licensed or certified teachers for the purposes of M. G. L. c. 32 § 91 (e) upon request of a superintendent and demonstration that the district has made a good-faith effort to hire personnel who have not retired under M.G.L. c. 32 and has been unable to find them. A district deemed to have a critical shortage of licensed or certified teachers for the purposes of M. G. L. c. 32 § 91 (e) may employ retired teachers subject to all laws, rules, and regulations governing the employment of teachers. The period of a determination of a critical shortage of licensed or certified teachers shall not exceed one year, but a district may seek to invoke this provision in consecutive years upon a new demonstration of a good-faith effort to hire personnel who have not retired. The Commissioner shall notify the Teachers' Retirement Board of each determination of a critical shortage made for the purposes of M. G. L. c. 32 § 91 (e).
(c) In each instance when, after a good-faith effort, a district is unable to hire a licensed or certified teacher who has not retired under M. G. L. c. 32, the superintendent of the district has discretion to choose whether to seek a waiver, pursuant to 603 CMR 7.14 (13) (a) or to seek a determination of a critical shortage, pursuant to 603 CMR 7.14 (13) (b).

(14) Implementation.

(a) Between March 7, 2009 and June 30, 2012, candidates for the following preliminary or initial licenses who earn a scaled score of at least 227-239 on the Mathematics portion of the General Curriculum test: Elementary, Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities, Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities, Teacher of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing and Teacher of the Visually Impaired, will be deemed to have passed the Mathematics portion of the General Curriculum test. All candidates who are licensed under this provision must earn a scaled score of 240 or above on the Mathematics portion of the General Curriculum test in order to be eligible for the next stage of licensure or to renew their initial license.
(b) Individuals who apply and complete all requirements for licensure as a Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities prior to August 31, 2012, may qualify for an initial or preliminary license by meeting the requirements under 603 CMR 7.06 (25) in effect prior to July 1, 2011.
(c) Individuals who apply and complete all requirements for licensure as a Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities prior to August 31, 2012, may qualify for an initial or preliminary license by meeting the requirements under 603 CMR 7.06 (26) in effect prior to July 1, 2011.
(d) Individuals who apply and complete all requirements for Administrator licensure as set forth in 603 CMR 7.09 by December 31, 2013, may qualify for a license by meeting requirements under 603 CMR 7.09 and 7.10 in effect prior to January 1, 2012.
(e) Individuals who apply and complete all requirements for Initial licensure prior to July 1, 2014, may qualify for that license by meeting the requirements under 603 CMR 7.00 in effect prior to August 1, 2012.
(f) Individuals who apply and complete all requirements for Teacher licensure prior to July 1, 2016, may qualify for a license by meeting the requirements under 603 CMR 7.08 in effect prior to February 1, 2014.

Regulatory Authority:
M.G.L. c. 69, § 1B; c. 69, §§ 1J and 1K, as amended by St. 2010, c. 12, § 3; c. 71, § 38G.



Last Updated: May 2, 2016
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