Priority Notice: Executive Order Regarding Educator Certification

Today Governor Mills issued Executive Order #52, (see Executive Order #52) to assist educators impacted by the COVID-19 disruptions with completing their certification and/or Criminal History Record Check (CHRC) processes.  The Executive Order includes the following:

  • If you have a certification expiration date of February 1, 2020 through July 1, 2020, and have completed all needed components, you are encouraged to renew your certification now. This certification will be valid for five years;
  • If you have a certification expiration date of February 1, 2020 through July 1, 2020, and, due to interruptions caused by COVID-19, you do not have all completed documents for renewal, your expiration date will be automatically extended by one year of the original expiration date. The expiration date of such a renewed certificate will be four years from the date of renewal issuance;
  • For applications submitted during this period of state of emergency, enforcement of the requirement for fingerprinting is suspended until 30 days following the end of the state of emergency;
  • For applications submitted during the of state of emergency, enforcement of the requirement for Praxis testing is suspended;
  • A conditional certificate that, because of incomplete coursework, is due to expire on July 1, 2020 is extended to July 1, 2021.

While the Maine Department of Education (DOE) encourages educators not impacted by COVID-19 to renew on time, those educators who have not applied for renewal by July 1, 2020 will be granted a one-year extension.  For those educators receiving a professional certificate extension who apply for renewal in 2021, their next renewal cycle will be four years, rather than five, and will expire July 1, 2025.

Educators on their third year of a conditional certificate who have not applied for a new certificate by July 1, 2020, due to unfinished coursework, will receive an extension of one year.

Due to the limited Educational Testing Service (ETS) testing sites and tests available, the submission of Praxis exams is waived for certification from March 15, 2020 until 30 days after the expiration of Governor Mills’ Civil Emergency Order.  Thus, educators in the process or applying for initial certification will have the testing requirements waived.

The Executive Order also provides for issuance of a temporary CHRC due to the limited availability of fingerprinting locations in Maine.  An educator receiving a temporary CHRC will need to be fingerprinted immediately following 30 days after the expiration of the Civil Emergency.

We have created a table and decision-making diagrams to assist you in proceeding with your certification and/or CHRC actions.  The table can be found here.  The initial certification diagram is here, and the renewal diagram is here.

Please for further information email the Certification Team at Cert.doe@maine.gov.