IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING LICENSE RENEWAL

All Illinois educators should be aware that new legislation (Public Act 98-610, effective December 27, 2013) has changed some of the requirements for renewing the Professional Educator License endorsed in a teaching field, or in a school support personnel or administrative area.  Changes also will be made in State Board of Education's administrative rules to align the renewal requirements for the Educator License with Stipulations endorsed for Career and Technical Educator with those of the Professional Educator License. 

The following information presents both requirements stated in the law, as well as requirements currently being proposed in the State Board of Education's administrative rules.  The proposed rules will be considered by the State Board of Education in June.  Please be advised that any requirements being proposed as part of administrative rules are subject to change.  Licensees, however, should be aware that the deadlines being proposed may affect them immediately when the rules go into effect later this year.

You may review Public Act 98-610, which placed into Section 21B-45 of the School Code the new licensure renewal process, at http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=098-0610&GA=98.

An important distinction to keep in mind is that the current process for renewal that is eliminated as of July 1, 2014 (i.e., CPDUs) is referred to as the "Certificate Renewal System".  The new process for renewal that takes effect beginning July 1, 2014, is referred to as the "License Renewal System".

A. Professional Development Earned under the Certificate Renewal System

  1. Educators may continue to participate in professional development activities earning continuing professional development units (CPDUs) offered by currently approved providers through June 30, 2014. 
  1. Credit for all professional development activities completed on or before June 30, 2014, must be entered into the Educator License Information System (ELIS) as soon as possible, but no later than December 31, 2014, if credit is to be counted. 
  • CPDUs completed on or before June 30, 2014, will be credited on a one-to-one basis as clock hours under the new License Renewal System (i.e., 1 CPDU is equal to 1 clock hour). 
  • College coursework will earn 15 clock hours for each semester hour (i.e., a three-semester-hour course earns 45 clock hours of professional development) under the new License Renewal System.
  1. Under the Certificate Renewal System that is eliminated as of July 1, 2014, a licensee's completion of certain coursework or activities (e.g., highly qualified, National Board certification) or holding certain advanced degrees or Master Certificates entitled a licensee to receive credit for all or a portion of the 120 CPDUs required in each renewal cycle.  These have been referred to as "uniquely qualifying" activities.
  • A licensee who completes the required coursework or activity before August 31, 2014, will be entitled to claim credit for the activity for his or her current renewal cycle.  However, any degree earned must be conferred or any subsequent endorsement issued by December 31, 2014, in order for a licensee to receive credit for the "uniquely qualifying" activity.
  • A licensee who uses a "uniquely qualifying" activity for the current renewal cycle will be required to meet the full requirements of the new License Renewal System that pertain to his or her endorsement area beginning with his or her next full, 5-year renewal cycle.  (See Section B below for further details about the requirements under the License Renewal System.)
  1. A licensee who is mid-cycle (i.e., whose renewal cycles end June 30, 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018) may apply the credit earned under the Certificate Renewal System for CPDUs/college coursework or for "uniquely qualifying" activities to his or her current cycle.  For example:
  • a licensee who completed activities that earned 80 CPDUs by June 30, 2014, will need 40 clock hours of professional development under the License Renewal System to satisfy renewal requirements in his or her current renewal cycle; or
  • a licensee who completed 120 CPDUs before June 30, 2014, will satisfy the license renewal requirements under the License Renewal System for his or her current cycle and no additional professional development will be required; or
  • a licensee with an advanced degree will receive the reduction of 40 clock hours for the current cycle or those with two advanced degrees or holding NBPTS Master Teacher designation will receive the reduction of 80 clock hours for the current cycle; or
  • a licensee who has already completed – or will complete by August 31, 2014 -- a "uniquely qualifying" activity, such as requirements for an advanced degree or endorsement, or for National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, or who has become highly qualified in an additional teaching area, will have satisfied the renewal requirements under the License Renewal System and no additional professional development will be required in the licensee's current cycle, provided that any degree earned is conferred or endorsement issued on or before December 31, 2014.
  1. A licensee's current 5-year renewal cycle will not change under the License Renewal System; however, each licensee will be required to meet the requirements under the License Renewal System before the end of his or her current 5-year renewal cycle.  Credit earned under the Certificate Renewal System currently in effect may be applied to the total credit earned, as described in Section (A) above.
  2. Starting July 1, 2014, any licensee working 50 percent or more of full-time equivalency in a position that requires a Professional Educator License must complete the renewal requirements specific to the endorsements that he or she holds and the positions to which he or she is assigned. 
  • Teachers and School Service Personnel:  120 clock-hours of professional development for licensees holding endorsements in teaching fields, or endorsements for school support personnel who do not also hold a professional license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) (also see item (B)(3) below), except that all licensees with "teaching speech-language pathologist" endorsements must complete 120 clock hours regardless of whether they hold a professional license from IDFPR;
  • Teacher Leaders:  100 clock hours of professional development, including one Administrators' Academy course in each fiscal year of the 5-year cycle, for a licensee who holds a Teacher-Leader endorsement and is assigned to an administrative position for at least 50 percent of the school day;
  • Licensees Holding Administrative Endorsements, but Not Working as Administrators:  120 clock hours of professional development, including one Administrators' Academy course during the 5-year renewal cycle, for individuals who hold an administrative endorsement but are not working in an administrative position that requires the endorsement, to begin during the first full 5-year renewal cycle in which the endorsement was held for at least one year;
  • Administrators:  100 clock hours of professional development, plus completion of one Administrators' Academy course each fiscal year of the 5-year renewal cycle, for licensees holding endorsements in an administrative area; and
  • NBPTS Master Teachers:  60 clock hours of professional development for a licensee holding a current National Board for Professional Teaching Standards master teacher designation.
  1. School Support Personnel Endorsement:  Licensees holding a Professional Educator License endorsed for School Support Personnel and a current and active professional license issued by Department of Financial and Professional Regulation related to the endorsement area do not have to complete professional development for renewal of the Professional Educator License.
  2. Exemptions:  Certain licensees do not have to complete professional development for the years in which their licenses are exempt.
  • Licensees working in positions that do not require a Professional Educator License.
  • Licensees working less than 50 percent of full-time equivalency in positions requiring a Professional Educator License.
  • Licensees who hold a Professional Educator License but are working solely as a substitute teacher.
  • Licensees whose Professional Educator Licenses are in retired status.
  1. Providers:  Licensees may participate in professional development activities offered by providers approved under the Certificate Renewal System through December 31, 2014, provided that the professional development aligns to the requirements of Section 21B-45 of the School Code.  Providers approved under the License Renewal System will be identified before January 1, 2015.  It is anticipated that not all of the providers that were approved under the Certificate Renewal System will be eligible to be approved under the License Renewal System; therefore, a licensee should check the State Board's website for an updated list of providers after January 1, 2015.


License Renewal System:  Deadlines at a Glance

Deadline

Activity

June 30, 2014

Last day to complete activities for CPDU credit under the Certificate Renewal System.

Beginning July 1, 2014

New License Renewal System takes effect.

Beginning July 1, 2014

Providers currently approved under the Certificate Renewal System and any new providers may begin seeking provisional approval to offer professional development under the License Renewal System.  Subject to any changes in the proposed rules, a provider will receive final approval after the rules are put into effect in the fall.

Beginning July 1, 2014

Providers currently approved under the Certificate Renewal System must offer only professional development that aligns to the License Renewal System.

Beginning July 1, 2014

Licensees must participate only in professional development that aligns to the License Renewal System.

Licensees must begin entering credit for clock hours earned on or after July 1, 2014, and other information within 60 days of completing the activity.

August 31, 2014

Last day to complete any coursework or activities for "uniquely qualifying" credit.

December 31, 2014

Last day to enter credit for CPDUs completed on or before June 30, 2014, under the Certificate Renewal System, or credit for "uniquely qualifying" activities.

Licensees earning additional degrees or endorsements must have the degree conferred or endorsement issued.

December 31, 2014

Last day providers approved under the Certificate Renewal System may offer professional development without first receiving approval under the License Renewal System.

Beginning July 1, 2015

A licensee who fails to enter into ELIS information for any completed professional development within 60 days of completion will be prohibited from counting that professional development among the total hours required for that 5-year renewal cycle.