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TEA Correspondence

A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.

April 6, 2010

USDE Ruling on New Interpretation
Further Clarification


SUBJECT:        Revised USDE Guidance Related to Highly Qualified Teacher Requirements
                            Elementary HOUSE Documentation Required

The Texas Education Agency (Agency) has received further clarification from the U. S. Department of Education (USDE) concerning the Agency’s appeal of the Department’s interpretation of the Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements for new elementary teachers.  This is a follow up to the letter mailed to local education agencies (LEAs) on January 22, 2010, (available on line at http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/taa/stanprog012210a.html).  

The USDE had agreed that highly qualified teacher determinations made for new elementary school teachers for the 2008-2009 and previous school years under the prior interpretation could remain valid for the teacher as long as the teacher remains in the same teaching assignment, and that portability of those determinations between Texas LEAs would remain in effect for those teachers, as long as they remained in the same teaching assignment.

However, USDE is now requiring the Agency, as part of the corrective actions to the recent monitoring visit, to require LEAs to complete the Elementary HOUSE documentation for all these teachers.  Since all these teachers are now experienced teachers, the HOUSE option is available for documenting highly qualified teacher status.  As advised by USDE, the Agency is reopening the Elementary HOUSE option (attached) for LEAs’ use in completing this documentation process.  This corrective action will be very beneficial to LEAs since once the HOUSE documentation is completed, the portability of the highly qualified teacher determination will not be limited to the same teaching assignment.  Rather, the HOUSE documentation will demonstrate highly qualified teacher status for any elementary assignment, thereby giving LEAs more flexibility in teacher assignments.

This documentation process must be completed by June 1, 2010, and any applicable changes amended on the campus’ Highly Qualified Teacher Compliance Report.

If you have questions please contact Scott Lewis in the Division of NCLB Program Coordination via electronic mail at scott.lewis@tea.state.tx.us or at (512) 463-9374.


Gene Lenz
Deputy Associate Commissioner
   for Special Programs



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