Skip to main content





Authorities: 34 CFR Part 300; Texas Education Code; Texas Occupations Code; 19 TAC Chapter 89

All special education and related service personnel must be certified, endorsed, or licensed in the areas of assignment, except:

  • The person employed by a district prior to September 1, 2011, to perform marriage and family therapy is not required to hold a license as a marriage and family therapist to provide marriage and family therapy with that district.
For any public elementary or secondary school special education teacher in the state, qualified means that the teacher:
  • Has obtained full state certification as a special education teacher, including alternative certification, or passed the state special education teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in the state as a special education teacher;
  • Has not had special education certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and
  • Holds at least a bachelor's degree.
A teacher in an alternative certification program who is not yet fully certified may be considered to be qualified if the teacher meets the following requirements:
  • The teacher is participating in an approved State Board of Education certification alternative route to special education certification program under which the teacher:
    • Receives high-quality professional development that is sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction, before and while teaching;
    • Participates in a program of intensive supervision that consists of structured guidance and regular ongoing support for teachers or a teacher mentoring program;
    • Assumes functions as a teacher only for a specified period of time not to exceed three years; and
    • Demonstrates satisfactory progress toward full certification as prescribed by the state.
A teacher who holds a special education certificate or an endorsement may be assigned to any level of basic special education instructional program serving children with disabilities ages 3 to 21, as permitted by certification, except:
  • Persons assigned to provide speech therapy instructional services must hold a valid Texas Education Agency certificate in speech and hearing therapy or speech and language therapy, or a valid state license as a speech/language pathologist;
  • Teachers holding only a special education endorsement for early childhood education for children with disabilities must be assigned only to programs serving infants through grade 6;
  • Teachers certified in the education of children with visual impairments must be available to children with visual impairments, including deaf-blindness, through one of the local educational agency's (LEA's) instructional options, a shared services arrangement with other LEAs, or an education service center:
    • Teachers assigned full-time or part-time to instruct children from birth through age two with visual impairments, including deaf-blindness, must be certified in the education of children with visual impairments; 
  • Teachers certified in the education of children who are deaf or hard of hearing must be available to children who are deaf or hard of hearing, including a regional day school program for the deaf, or a shared services arrangement with other LEAs:
    • Teachers assigned full-time or part-time to instruct children from birth through age two who are deaf, including deaf-blindness, must be certified in education of children who are deaf and severely hard of hearing; 
  • Teachers with secondary certification with the generic delivery system may be assigned to teach grades 6-12 only; and
  • When the admission, review, and dismissal committee has specified arrangements for physical education in the child's individualized education program, physical education may be provided by:  
    • Special education instructional or related service personnel who have the necessary skills and knowledge;
    • Physical education teachers;
    • Occupational therapists;
    • Physical therapists; or
    • Occupational therapy assistants or physical therapy assistants working under supervision in accordance with the standards of their profession.

When physical education services are provided by special education personnel, the LEA must document that personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, including, but not limited to, inservice records, evidence of attendance at seminars or workshops, or transcripts of college courses.

Orientation and mobility instruction must be provided by a certified orientation and mobility specialist who is certified by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals.

Paraprofessional personnel must be certified.

Paraprofessional personnel may be assigned to work with:
  • Eligible children with disabilities;
  • General education and special education teachers; and
  • Related service personnel.
Paraprofessional personnel may also be assigned to:
  • Assist children with special education transportation;
  • Serve as a job coach; or
  • Serve in support of community-based instruction.
Paraprofessional personnel paid from state administrative funds may be assigned to:
  • The Special Education Resource System;
  • The Special Education Management System; or
  • Other special education clerical or administrative duties.

Interpreting services for children who are deaf must be provided by an interpreter who is certified in the appropriate language modes, if certification in such modes is available.

If certification is available, the interpreter must be a certified member of, or certified by, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, the Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters, or the Texas Health and Human Services Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.
  Last Updated : Tue, Apr 04, 2023