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    Highly-Qualified Teacher and Paraprofessional Requirements

    Audience: Directors of Schools and HR Personnel
    Contact: Eve.Carney@tn.gov

    Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, districts are no longer required to identify and document highly qualified status of teachers. ESSA includes assurances that teachers and paraprofessionals meet state policies and licensure requirements. However, qualifications for paraprofessionals that were in effect under NCLB will remain in effect. The department will share additional information in the coming weeks. Tennessee state requirements for teachers require, at a minimum:

    1. A teacher or principal shall hold a valid Tennessee teacher license with an endorsement covering the work assignment, as outlined in T.C.A. Title 49, Chapter 5.
    2. A teacher may teach up to two sections of one course outside the area of endorsement. For a teacher to teach more than one course or more than two sections of one course outside the area of endorsement, an employment standard waiver must be requested and approved. Teachers assigned two or more sections of a course outside the area of endorsement before June 30, 1976, may continue to teach those courses until a new assignment is made by the local school officials.

    Please note: Districts may verify the courses teachers are eligible to teach using the Correlations of Course and Endorsement Codes document found here. Contact Amy.Owen@tn.gov with questions related to the correlations document.