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Employee Resources

Basic Requirements:
Tennessee Code Annotated, 49-5-101, outlines basic qualifications for employment.  The basic requirements are:  No person shall be employed as principal, teacher, or supervisor of any public elementary or high school by any local school district, or receive any pay for such services out of the public funds of the local school district until the person presents to the director of schools a valid license as prescribed in the part.  It is unlawful for any board of education to issue any warrant or check to such persons for services as principal, teacher, or supervisor until the person has presented for record a license valid for the term of employment.
 
Required Literacy Training:
The Tennessee Literacy Success Act (TLSA) provides two pathways for demonstrating knowledge of foundational literacy instruction:  completing a foundational literacy skills course or passing a foundational literacy instruction assessment.  The Tennessee Early Literacy Assessment (TELA) was fully approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) during the June 2023 special-called board meeting.  Educators may now take and pass the TELA as one option to meet TLSA licensure requirements.  The second option is to complete either an Early Reading Training or a Secondary Literacy Training.
 
Please refer to the Tennessee Literacy Success Act document to review detailed information on the list of endorsements required to take literacy training for licensure/licensure renewal.
Educators with a full and valid license may add additional endorsements through one (1) of the following options:
  1. Complete an additional endorsement program from a State Board-approved educator preparation provider, be recommended by the approved provider, and submit qualifying scores on all required content assessments as defined in the Professional Assessments for Tennessee Educators Policy (5.105).
  2. Complete an additional endorsement program from an educator preparation provider approved by a state other than Tennessee, be recommended by the approved provider using the Out-of-State Verification of Completion form, and submit qualifying scores on all required content assessments as defined in the Professional Assessments for Tennessee Educators Policy (5.105).
  3. Hold a qualifying current or retired endorsement, as determined by the department, on an active educator license from a state other than Tennessee, and submit qualifying scores on all required content assessments as defined in the Professional Assessments for Tennessee Educators Policy (5.105).
  4. Hold a qualifying current of retired endorsement, as determined by the department, on an active Tennessee educator license, and submit qualifying scores on all required content assessments as defined in the Professional Assessments for Tennessee Educators Policy (5.105)
Additional Endorsements Added by Assessment Only
 
Educators may apply for additional endorsements by content assessments only for each endorsement an educator is seeking to add if all the criteria below are met.  Educators who are eligible to apply for an additional endorsement by content assessments only:
  • have a completed an approved educator preparation program; hold an active Tennessee educator license; and 
  • have obtained qualifying scores on all state-required content assessments that are:
    • submitted to the department directly by the assessment administrator (ETS or Pearson)
    • the assessments and scores required at the time of application for the additional endorsement (qualifying scores on assessments no longer used may not be used for the purpose of adding endorsements by assessments only); and
    • no more than 5 years old at the time of application for additional endorsement.
 
Consult The TN Department of Education Licensed Educators page for additional information on adding endorsements.
The Educator Licensure Policy 5.502 describes the use of professional development points (PDPs) for educator licensure advancement or renewal.  Once educators staffed in a Tennessee public school enter their PDPs into TNCompass, appropriate district staff approve or deny PDPs based on state guidelines.  If an educator is not staffed in a Tennessee public school at the time of application, the department of education will approve or deny PDPs based on state guidelines.
 
For additional information, use the links provided below:
All Tennessee educators, including teachers and school services personnel, must visit TNCompass to take action on a current license.  Educator licenses must be renewed ON or BEFORE the date of expiration.  Licenses that are no longer issued will be converted to new license types.  The Licensure Renewal Application Checklist provides step-by-step instructions. 
 
More information can be found on the Licensed Educators page of the TN Department of Education website.
 
Advancing License
For step-by-step instructions on how to advance your license, you may refer to the Licensure Advancement Application Checklist.