Waivers to Employ Unlicensed Personnel- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Educator Services

Waivers to Employ Unlicensed Personnel

To:Superintendents of Schools, Leaders of Horace Mann Charter Schools, Directors of Collaboratives and Approved Private Special Education Schools
From:David P. Driscoll, Commissioner of Education
Date:April 18, 2006


As you begin your planning and hiring for the 2006-07 school year I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the requirement to hire licensed educators. Pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 71, s. 38G, no person shall be eligible for employment as a teacher, professional support personnel or administrator unless he or she has been granted by the Commissioner an educator license with respect to the type of position for which he or she seeks employment. We have received an increased number of complaints surrounding the proper hiring procedures being followed; in fact, the Department is undertaking an increased role in investigating these complaints.

If you are unable after making a good faith effort, to hire a capable candidate who is licensed, you may apply for a waiver from the Commissioner exempting you for one school year from the requirement to employ licensed personnel. To qualify for a waiver you must demonstrate that you made a good faith effort to hire a licensed educator. Documentation of these efforts must be retained by the district, are subject to review by the Department, and should include the following:

  1. All actions taken, beyond internal postings, to recruit an appropriately licensed person for the position (for example, letters sent to placement officers/agencies, participation in a job fair and copies of advertisements placed in the media).
  2. The name and license number of any appropriately licensed educators who applied for the position, an explanation of why they were not appropriately qualified to perform the duties, and/or the name and license number of any appropriately licensed candidates who declined the position.

Please note that this guidance relates to legal employability as outlined in M.G.L., c. 71, s. 38G and 603 CMR 7.00. This guidance does not pertain to individuals who will not meet the federal "highly qualified" requirements deadline of June 30, 2006. For hiring and employment guidance in relation to those requirements, please refer to: http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=2787.

The process for obtaining a first waiver is quite streamlined and is accomplished by the superintendent or her/his designee online through ELAR. Please note that additional requirements must be met to obtain subsequent waivers. In order to request a subsequent waiver, the district must document that the educator employed is making significant progress toward meeting the requirements for licensure in the field in which they are employed. The requirements can be found at: http://www.mass.gov/edu/government/departments-and-boards/ese/programs/educator-effectiveness/licensure/districts/how-continuous-progress-is-calculated-for-an-additional.html

As a reminder, during the time that such a waiver is in effect, service of an employee of a school district to which the waiver applies shall not be counted as service in acquiring professional teacher status or other rights under M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 41.

Last Updated: April 18, 2006

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