Bill waiving charter school teacher certification heads for governor’s desk

Legislators in both chambers have approved a bill waiving the certification requirements for many of the teachers and administrators in the state’s charter schools.

Charter schools, like regular public schools, are allowed to hire teachers who lack state certification, but the teachers must get certified within two years.

Meeting the certification requirement has been a problem at some charter schools. According to the Department of Education, half the administrators and nearly 12 percent of the teachers in the state’s 18 charter schools lack certification. Education officials have repeatedly warned school officials that teachers must be working toward certification or lose their jobs.

The bill approved by the House of Representatives early Friday allows the education commissioner to waive certification for 30 percent of charter teachers and administrators. Teacher unions have adamantly resisted the change.

“There are reasons why we have licenses and certifications: For assurances of what are proven to be successful strategies in teacher methods,” Ray Rossomando, the legislative coordinator for Connecticut Education Association, said recently.

The bill passed in both chambers with few legislators voting in opposition. It now heads to the governor’s desk.