1. Establish requirements for special education teachers teaching core academic subjects.

For any public elementary or secondary school special education teacher teaching core academic subjects2, the term “highly qualified” has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the ESEA3 and 34 CFR 200.56, except that the requirements for highly qualified also include:

  • The requirements for special education teachers in general described in 34 CFR 300.18(b) [see “Establishes requirements for special education teachers in general,” “Describes how a special education teacher can meet the general requirements when participating in an alternative route to certification program” and “Describes how a special education teacher who is not teaching a core academic subject can meet the requirements” in this document]; and

  • The option for teachers to meet the requirements of section 9101 of the ESEA by meeting the requirements of 34 CFR 300.18(c) and (d)[see “Establishes requirements for special education teachers teaching to alternate achievement standards” and “Establishes requirements for special education teachers teaching multiple subjects” in this document].


[34 CFR 300.18(a)] [20 U.S.C. 1401(10)(A)]


2 “Core academic subjects” means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography. 34 CFR 300.10.
3 For purposes of this document, NCLB also is referred to as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA).


Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder


NCLB defines a highly qualified teacher as….

(i) The teacher has obtained full State certification as a teacher (including certification obtained through alternative routes to certification) or passed the State teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in such State, except that when used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school, the term means that the teacher meets the requirements set forth in the State’s public charter school law; and……

(ii) The teacher has not had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis;….

(B) When used with respect to—
(i) An elementary school teacher who is new to the profession…


Reaction Questions

  1. In your view, why is this change important?

  2. In your experience, what will it mean:

    • for the delivery of services in elementary special education programs?

    • for the delivery of services in secondary programs?

  3. What impact will this have on teachers:

    • at the elementary level

    • at the secondary level?


Application Questions

  1. How should higher education respond to these changes?

  2. Do you know what higher education programs in your area are doing? How can you find out?

    These questions were developed by the following

stakeholders working together:

Role: Teacher
Location: Pennsylvania

Role: Family
Location: Georgia

Role: Teacher
Location: Florida

Role: Service Provider
Location: Kentucky

Role: Administrator
Location: Illinois

Role: Technical Assistance Provider
Location: California

Role: Administrator
Location: Wyoming

Role: State Education Agency
Location: Arkansas

Role: Higher Education
Location: Florida

Role: Higher Education
Location: Pennsylvania