Edulink Solutions understands that State educational mandates and requirements can be overwhelming and even confusing sometimes. We’re providing the following information in response to questions we often receive from our clients and colleagues. Additionally, in light of the recent update from the PDE regarding Act 48 requirements for the 2019-2020 school year, we wanted to provide easy access to the latest information. If you have any questions about PA Act 48 or other state mandates and requirements, please contact us and we’ll include them in a future blog post.
Due to school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, what is the new deadline for completing Act 48 professional development requirements?
Act 13 of 2020 gives educators a one-year extension to complete the required Act 48 professional development requirements for the original five-year period. The actual deadline will depend upon when the educator was certified and if the educator had any other extensions during that time. For more information on all of the requirements resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, visit the PDE website linked below. In addition, the PDE provides a comprehensive FAQ relative to Act 13.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, training sessions offered by the PA Inspired Leadership Program (PIL) have been cancelled through June 30, 2020. Will there be other dates offered in the future?
The PDE is working to accommodate PIL programs and plans to offer courses beginning July 1, 2020. As more information becomes available, the State website will be updated. For more information on this and to follow the updates, visit the link below.
ACT 48 GENERAL INFORMATION
What is PA Act 48 and why do we have to do it?
PA Act 48 of 1999 is a requirement enacted by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) beginning July 1, 2000, requiring all Pennsylvania professional educators to complete continuing education hours every five years in order to maintain an active teaching certificate. The objective behind PA Act 48 is to ensure that educators stay up to date with the latest technology and teaching strategies, as well as improve the accountability and quality of professional development for educators.
What’s the significance of the five-year period and when does it begin?
Educators are given five years to earn six credits of collegiate study or PDE-approved continuing professional education courses; or 180 hours of continuing professional education programs, activities or learning experiences through a PDE-approved provider. All credit hours need to be related to the educator’s certificate type or area of specialty. The five-year period begins on the effective date of the educator’s initial Instructional I certificate or the implementation of PA Act 48 on July 1, 2000, whichever is later. The PDE will notify educators of their status and remaining credit hours at least 12 months prior to the end of the five-year period in order to ensure completion. Again, due to COVID-19 and Act 13 of 2020, the five-year period has been extended by one additional year.
What happens to an educator’s certificate if PA Act 48 hours/credits are not completed?
If PA Act 48 requirements are not met, the teaching certificate becomes inactive after the five-year period (and extension period for 2019-2020) and the educator is disqualified from being employed by a Pennsylvania public school entity until all PA Act 48 requirements are met.
How can educators reactivate certificates if they become inactive because requirements were not met by the end of the five-year period?
Once an educator completes the required PA Act 48 hours within the five-year period, their inactive certification becomes active again and the PDE will assign them a new five-year period.
Whose responsibility is it to submit documentation of PA Act 48 credits to the PDE?
PA Act 48 providers (where the hours were earned – i.e., college/university, school districts, etc.) are responsible for submitting the credits/hours earned by educators to the PDE. However, it is important to note that the educator is responsible for contacting the college or university registrar to make them aware that credits should be reported to the PDE.
How does PA Act 48 relate to Instructional I, II certificate status and does it eliminate Level II certification?
PA Act 48 applies to all educators holding a Pennsylvania public school certificate at Instructional Level I or higher. Educators holding a Level I certificate are required to convert to a Level II by completing all service time and educational requirements. PA Act 48 and Level II requirements must each be met.
For more information on Act 48, please visit the PDE website.
Did you know that Edulink’s Act 48 Module of Comply, our online PA Clearance Tracking and Compliance Software, enables educators to easily track and manage compliance items and submit PA Act 48 hours to PERMS? To learn more or schedule a demo, please visit our Act 48 page linked below.