Processing Time for Educator Licensing Actions- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Educator Services

Processing Time for Educator Licensing Actions

To:Superintendents, Principals, and Directors of Charter Schools, Approved Private Special Education Schools, Educational Collaboratives, and Institutional Programs
From:Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:August 15, 2011


As many of you know, due to cutbacks in funding, our Office of Educator Licensure has experienced significant staffing reductions over the past several years. We have made a number of changes to our procedures to help maintain our productivity but, unfortunately, the processing time has grown significantly during this extremely busy time of year in licensure.

The Department continues to maintain a number of services specifically designed to assist districts with licensure matters. These include:

  • ELAR - superintendents and designated district staff have access to our online licensing system in order to check the licensure status of current staff or potential hires.
  • Commissioner's Hotline - a special phone number for obtaining assistance on urgent licensure matters.
  • Drop Boxes - two licensure related drop boxes accessible through the Department's Security Portal.
    • Expedite Drop Box - If an applicant's status is "Ready for Review," the request to expedite that application can be made through the Expedite Drop Box and will be reviewed within two days. Applicants that are in the "Pending" or "Not Ready" status cannot be processed for an expedited review.
    • Licensure Status Drop Box - A useful tool that can provide districts with the license status of all their staff. After submitting a file request, the complete status file is ready to be retrieved from "Drop Box Central" the next day.

We realize that some newly hired teachers may be affected by the delay with regard to earning professional teacher status. Please feel free to send the Licensure Office the names and license numbers of any new teachers who have lost time toward professional status due to a delay in the licensure application process. We will provide you with a letter informing you of the date when the license could have been awarded, assuming there were no delays in the licensure process, and you may use this earlier date for the purpose of calculating service time.

We regret that we cannot produce a significantly quicker turnaround time of applications at this time for our educators and prospective educators. We are moving forward on additional enhancements to ELAR and plans for obtaining additional resources for the Office of Educator Licensure, that we hope will address these problems in future years. If you have questions regarding this information, please contact the Commissioner's Licensure Hotline at 781-338-3065 or Brian Devine, Administrator, Office of Educator Licensure, at or 781-338-3124. Thank you for your understanding.

Last Updated: August 19, 2011

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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