Teaching certification transfer for military spouses in NY made easier through local effort

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FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — A local effort has resulted in an easier transfer of teaching certification for military spouses.

A new teaching mandate, that went into effect on November 4, 2020, now allows for military spouses with out-of-state teaching certification to transfer credentials to New York State. The mandate, a Transitional J certificate, was issued through the New York State Education Department Board of Regents.

This certificate will now be available to military spouses, and grant individuals one year to pass required tests for state certification. The certificate can also be renewed for an additional two years if the individual is on track with additional requirements.

The Transitional J Certificate will be added to Section 6501 of New York State Law, which previously in 2016, expedited review of licensure application for spouses. The amends also provided accommodations for a variety of licenses, including dental, hygiene, mental health counseling, occupational therapy and cosmetology.

Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services Superintendent Steve Todd worked on the effort and helped to identify issues.

“The leadership of FDRLO / Advocate Drum identified this issue as a top priority and kept their focus on it throughout the last few years,” stated Todd “The FDRLO’s Education Committee, which I chair, was tasked with crafting proposals that could remedy this issue, and then with leading the charge in terms of legislative and regulatory advocacy on the issue.”

Many local efforts helped to add this certificate to the law, including Advocate Drum, in Fort Drum, N.Y and Jefferson-Lewis BOCES, as there were previous issues faced by military spouses.

“This presented potential retention issues for Soldiers who are deciding to come to Fort Drum,” said Fort Drum Plans Director Sonja Draught. “Additionally, there may be concerns in the area of financial readiness if the opportunity for dual-income families is not possible because the spouse is a teacher. This has been a long road with many people working tirelessly for years to see this come into fruition, particularly Advocate Drum and Steve Todd.”

More information for eligible military spouses can be found on the NYS Education Department website.

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