School has just started and there is some confusion and uncertainty about a law stating that all teachers from across the state needing to be certified to teach English as a Second Language.
“[Texas Education Agency] had passed this law and every region in the state sent a letter opposing to it because it posted an undue burden that every teacher would have to have an ESL certification,” said Patrick Hammes, a leader for a teacher union, Brownsville Educators Stand Together.
Hammes looked into the policy after several teachers were notified by administrators that they had to get ESL certified.
At this time, based on Brownsville Independent School District policy, only certain teachers who teach general education, special education, or English as a second language in 6, 7 or 8th grade at a school that failed to meet state standards, need to get certified.
“Teachers do not have to take immediate action. Wait and see what TEA decides to do on the certification. They may change, it it’s under consideration, it’s not gone into effect,” Hammes said.
Although dual certification is usually a good thing for teachers, itt can be problem if a dual certified teachers are moved to an area where they have never taught before.
“Once you go to a new department, secondary wise, you’re last man in, first man out and you’ve lost any seniority in the district,” he said.
For now, Hammes encourages teachers to wait until they hear from top district officials before they seek ESL certification.
At this time you are not required to be ESL certified unless you are in the language arts area teaching ESL students. This could change in the future.