Arizona - SB1042

teacher certification; reciprocity


January 10, 2017


When they're not calling teachers "crybabies," the AZ Chamber lobbies to pass a bill that would deprofessionalize teachers by lowering state teaching standards.

If passed, SB1042 retroactively grants approval of poorly designed, for-profit alternative teacher preparation programs that do not adequately prepare teachers and were previously revoked by the Department of Education. This bill jeopardizes Arizona teaching certificates and reciprocity with other states, worsens the current teacher shortage, undermines our profession, and children will continue to suffer for the profit of adults.

SB 1042 does the following:

1.  Prohibits the State Board of Education (SBE) from adopting rules governing charter school teachers that exceed ESSA or IDEA.
2.  Removes references to provisional certificates.
3.  Replaces specialized teaching certificates for persons with STEM expertise with “subject matter expert” standard teaching certificates for individuals with expertise in a content area and modifies requirements to obtain the certificate.  This  “Subject Matter Expert Standard Certificate” is for people who possess any advanced degree substantially similar or relevant to a content area or who have ten years of experience in a field substantially similar or relevant to a content area.  These teachers are exempt from the professional knowledge proficiency requirements and will be granted to teachers with a valid fingerprint clearance card, and who: 

a.  Taught at a college for three years in a field that is substantially similar or relevant to a content area, or
b.  Has a master’s degree, or 
c.  Worked 10 years in a similar or relevant field. 

4.  Prohibits teachers from being a “Subject Matter Expert" if they have just a bachelor's degree or if they pass the state approved assessment.
5.  Increases, from two to three years, the full-time teaching requirements to qualify for an exemption from the proficiency examination requirement.
6.  Exempts persons with a bachelor's degree in a relevant content area from the subject knowledge portion.
7.  Removes the requirement for applicants for standard or reciprocal certificates to take the proficiency examinati.on if the person has been a full-time teacher in any state for at least two years in the same area  of certification in which the person is applying for certification in this state.
8.  Allows districts and charters to certify teachers, with the only standards that the teacher make “satisfactory progress and achievement with students” for two years where the teacher’s students are performing at grade level or have shown one year of growth.  Districts or charters that do this must submit data showing the efficacy of their program. 
9.  Retroactively approves the application of alternate preparation providers and requires the Arizona State Board of Education (SBE) to reinstate providers who were denied renewal or had their status revoked and prohibits SBE from revoking or denying the renewal of alternative providers until new rules have been adopted.
10.  Prohibits alternative preparation program providers that were approved by January 1, 2015 and are a 501(c)(3) that operates in multiple states from having their status as an alternative provider revoked or denied by SBE and requires SBE to conditionally approve relevant providers for at least five years.

SB1042 already passed the Senate and is ready for a floor vote in the House. Contact key state legislators and ask them to vote no on SB1042


Our Position



Senate Bill 1042 would lower the standards in the teaching profession and tell over 50,000 teachers in Arizona that their work is not worthy of certification aligned to professional, statewide standards.

At a time when teachers already feel disrespected due to a perceived lack of support or education investments from the state, this bill sends a disturbing message to teachers, students, and parents about the value of investing in qualified teachers.

SB1042 undermines the teaching profession and teachers who worked hard to reach the high expectations set by the Arizona State Board of Education. 

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