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January 23, 2018
For More Information Contact:

JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



State Education Department Proposes More Flexibility in Meeting Safety Net Requirements for Teacher Certification

Removes Deadline for Candidates to Complete All Certification Requirements for Safety Net Eligibility

60-Day Public Comment Period Begins Feb. 7

The State Education Department today proposed regulatory changes to eliminate the deadline by which teaching candidates must complete all other certification requirements to be eligible for the safety nets for the teacher certification examinations, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced. The proposed amendment provides candidates with flexibility to complete all additional certification requirements at their own pace, while still requiring them to meet the expiration date for the safety nets. The public comment period on this amendment will be held Feb. 7 through April 9.

“We must give future teachers the opportunity to meet certification requirements at a realistic pace,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “The Board and I have worked to ensure that safety net regulations are in place to support teaching students and that content of certification exams is appropriate. We need well-prepared candidates to teach our children, while providing a reasonable path to certification.” 

“We need to ensure that we have the best possible teachers for New York’s students, while providing a sensible path to becoming an educator,” Commissioner Elia said. “Without this amendment, students who did not complete all requirements for certification before the safety net expires for an assessment they already took, would need to retake that assessment without the safety provision. This change will bring this requirement into alignment with other safety net regulations.”

Currently, the candidates are required to complete all other certification requirements prior to June 30, 2018 to be eligible for the safety nets for the edTPA, Educating All Students (EAS) exam and revised Content Specialty Tests (CST). The Department proposes to eliminate this requirement for candidates who use one or more safety nets. Candidates must continue to take advantage of safety nets before their applicable expiration date(s), as outlined in Section 80-1.5 of the Commissioner’s Regulations; however, they would not have to complete all other requirements for certification by June 30, 2018.

In addition, the Department is proposing to extend the Safety Net for Part Two (mathematics) of the Multi-Subject grades 7-12 CST (MST 7-12) until such time that the revised Part II mathematics portion of the exam becomes operational. This revised portion of the MST 7-12 is under development by a panel of experts formed by the Department from the P-12 and higher education communities, and is tentatively scheduled to be released operationally in fall 2018.

Since new and revised certification exams were released to the field in May 2014, the Board and Department have implemented safety nets for all certification exams. Information on those regulations is available on the Office of Teaching Initiatives website.

Timetable for Implementation 

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making will be published in the State Register on February 7, 2018. Comments on the proposed changes will be accepted through April 9, 2018 and can be submitted by email to

Following the 60-day public comment period required under the State Administrative Procedure Act, it is anticipated that the proposed amendment will be adopted by the Board of Regents at its May 2018 meeting. If adopted at the May 2018 meeting, the proposed amendment will become effective as a permanent rule on May 23, 2018.

The Board voted to permanently adopt several amendments that had previously come before them. These consent decisions can be found on the Board’s website.

Media Contact

Reporters and education writers may contact the Office of Communications by email or phone at:
(518) 474-1201