Special Education and Support Services
Special Education Certification
Teacher Certification Rules
As a result of the Corey H. litigation, the Illinois State Board of Education has implemented new rules to make the transition to a new system of certification for special education teachers.
Changes to special education approvals and authorizations for assignment (PZZs) went into effect January 1, 2002. For more information, visit www.isbe.net/coreyh/htmls/certchange.htm or the Corey H. update page at www.isbe.net/coreyh/default.html.
To receive copies of the rules, please call the Customer Service Center at 217/-782-2221 or 866/262-6663.
Notice to Special Education Teachers
Under the Transition Rules developed by ISBE in response to the Corey H. lawsuit, special education teachers who have not exchanged their current certificates for the new Standard or Master Certificates and are due to make the exchange in 2002 are allowed to exchange their certificates early. This "early exchange option" is designed to allow special education teachers to take advantage of and receive credit for continuing professional development activities offered in the area of teaching students with disabilities before July 1, 2002. In order to receive credit for such activities, special education teachers must have exchanged their certificates for the new Standard or Master Certificates and must file a Certificate Renewal Plan with their local professional development committee. The requirements for continuing professional development for special education teachers have changed, effective July 1, 2001, and the ISBE has recently distributed a Revision to the Certificate Renewal Manual to reflect those changes. Information regarding the new requirements and the text of the Revision to the Manual may be found on the ISBE web site at http://www.isbe.net/certification
Section 25.11(a)(3)(A) of the Transition Rules permits early exchange for those defined in Section 25.807(a) as "special education teachers." Section 25.807 includes those with 4-course approvals (Section 226.810) and those teaching on authorization for assignment (PZZ)(Section 226.820) in the definition of "special education teacher."
Information regarding knowledge, skills, and certification standards can be found at the following sites:
- The Council for Exceptional Children's Knowledge and Skills for Beginning Special Education Paraeducators
- The American Federation of Teacher's Paraprofessional Certification list revised in September 2002 to include the current status of state paraprofessional standards and certification regulations
- The U.S. Department of Education has released draft non-regulatory guidance on No Child Left Behind's (NCLB) paraprofessional requirements, covering training, assessment, funding, and related issues.