Update on Verification of Educator Licensure Status
|To:||Applicants for Educator Licensure, Superintendents of Schools, Charter School Leaders, Directors of Approved Day or Residential Schools, Educational Collaboratives, Approved Preparation Programs, and Other Interested Parties|
|From:||Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.|
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
|Date:||February 5, 2011|
As you may be aware, due to recent cutbacks in funding, the Department has been exploring a range of actions to increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness within its Educator Licensure office.
We have made a number of changes in the way we process applications, and continue to look for ways to improve the services we offer to current and prospective educators. Among the changes is a recent decision to move toward increasingly paperless processes in the Licensure office in an effort to streamline the review process, reduce wait times, and become more environmentally sensitive. This effort includes a number of technology enhancements that will be put in place over the coming months to allow virtually all communication regarding a licensure application to be processed electronically and via email.
In this regard, effective April 28, 2011, the Department's online Educator Licensure and Recruitment system (ELAR) will serve as the official record for educator licensure. After that date, the Department will no longer send hard copy licenses as a matter of practice to verify that an educator holds a credential and has met the requirements to become an educator in the Commonwealth.
With this change, upon issuance of their license, educators will receive notification via email, directions on how to look up their license status on ELAR, along with a general overview of how they may advance their license to the next stage.
Educators and school districts are already encouraged to use ELAR to verify licensure and are able to print out the profile page to verify the license number as well as the fields and grade levels a credential is held. ELAR will have an additional feature added that will allow licensees to print out an unofficial copy of their license, in addition to the previously mentioned profile page. However, should they wish to receive an official hard copy of their license, they may do so through their ELAR account by applying for a duplicate license.
In addition, the Department has a 24-hour automated system that can validate an educator's licensure status. This service is accessible by calling 781-338-3000 and then pressing 2. School districts are further encouraged to use the Licensure Status Drop Box, which is accessible via Drop Box Central through the Security Portal, to ensure that their educators or prospective educators hold an appropriate license for their assignment. Lastly, the Department is in the early stages of developing a publicly accessible web page as further verification of educator licensure.
We deeply appreciate and respect the hard work and dedication of the Commonwealth's educators. These changes are designed to make our Educator Licensure office more efficient and cost effective in challenging economic times. We will continue to seek ways to improve the important services that the office provides.