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Office of Educator Licensure

Emergency License Validity Extension 2023-2024

The Department is pleased to announce that in response to feedback from districts and due to continued staffing challenges, Commissioner Riley is extending the validity period of some "old" Emergency licenses through June 30, 2024 (an old Emergency license was issued between June, 2020 and December 12, 2021 and was originally valid until June 30, 2021 and subsequently extended two additional years to June 30, 2023).

In order to qualify for an extension, an educator would need to apply for the extension in ELAR and demonstrate progress towards obtaining a license since earning the emergency license. An example of an academic teacher demonstrating progress for their first extension would be:

Since obtaining the Emergency license, the educator has participated in an induction program provided by their school district and completed one of the following:

  • Attempted or Passed the C&L test
  • Attempted or Passed a required content test
  • Enrolling in an approved preparation program
  • Having completed coursework within an approved preparation program

For clarity on the meaning of "since obtaining the emergency license", please see the following examples:

  1. Scott obtained an Emergency license on July 25, 2020, in Early Childhood. He passed the Communication & Literacy Skills test on June 30, 2020. Although Scott has passed a test that is required to obtain an Early Childhood license, since the Communication & Literacy Skills test was passed prior to when he obtained the Emergency license, that test will not be accepted as progress towards obtaining an extension.
  2. Jacinda obtained an Emergency license on August 1, 2020, in Chemistry. She passes the Chemistry MTEL test on September 23, 2022. Since Jacinda passed the Chemistry MTEL test after she obtained the Emergency license, that can be counted towards making progress towards an Emergency Extension.

As a result of this change, modifications to ELAR (Educator Licensure and Renewal) will be made to reflect this new process and we will provide an update at a later date as to when the application process for an extension of these "old" Emergency licenses will be available. There will not be a deadline to be able to apply for or qualify for an extension, however, "old" Emergency licenses that are not extended will expire on June 30, 2023.

If an educator with an "old" Emergency license is unable to meet the requirements to obtain an Emergency license extension, the district can pursue a Hardship Waiver in order to employ that educator in the 2023-24 school year. School districts can begin applying for a Hardship Waiver for 2023-24 through ELAR as early as April 1, 2023. In addition to applying for the waiver, the district must submit evidence of having advertised the position, submit a list of all appropriately licensed candidates that applied for the job, and state the reasons they are not qualified and reasons the candidate is qualified.

Professional Teacher Status (PTS). Time spent working under an emergency license can count towards PTS if the educator obtains a provisional or initial academic license or a preliminary vocational license within two years of the date of issuance of the emergency license in the field and continues to work for the same employer under the newly acquired license.

  • For example, an educator who received an emergency license in the field of middle school math/science on July 1, 2020, has been teaching grade 8 science classes since the start of the 2020-21 school year, receives a provisional or initial license in middle school math/science by June 30, 2022, and continues to teach under that license for the same employer can count the two years taught under the emergency license toward PTS.
  • For example, an educator who received an elementary emergency license on July 1, 2021 and an early childhood emergency license on July 1, 2022 and has been teaching under both licenses receives provisional licenses in both fields on August 1, 2023. This educator would be able to count time spent teaching under the early childhood license (provisional license granted in 13 months — within two years), but not in elementary (provisional license granted in 25 months — after two-year period) toward PTS.

Additional Questions. If you have any additional questions about the extension of Emergency licenses, please contact the Licensure Call Center at 781-338-6600. The Call Center is open each business day from 9am–1pm and 2pm–5pm.

Last Updated: December 16, 2022

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

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


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