Know your rights - 21 hours, PD credits and reclassification

HSTA would like to provide the following information for teachers about earning job-embedded professional development credits and the reclassification process.


Are there any changes to the 21 hours for this school year?

Yes, the DOE just put out a memo with a lot of information about the use of 21 hours. The main thing teachers need to know is that the use of the hours for the next two years has been expanded to include anything that falls within the BOE’s and DOE’s strategic plan. A copy of the current contract language outlining the use can be found here.

Does my school still need to turn in a form outlining the use of the 21 hours to the complex area superintendents?

Yes, see this template that schools can use or modify with CAS approval. Each CAS decides the due date of the form, but generally they are not due until around the start of the school year.  More information can be found in these DOE FAQs.


What about the three PD credits, how do they work?

PD verification forms were pre-populated with teachers’ names and sent to the schools at the end of last school year.  (21 hours sample verification form) The principal has to verify which teachers completed the PD hours and should be awarded the three PD credits. According to the DOE, by this time almost all the schools have been returned and inputted into PDE3. Teachers should already be able to find the credits posted in their accounts. All credits for school year 2016-2017 will be given a completion date of June 30.

What about charter school teachers, does the DOE do anything for their credits?

DOE can award PD credits to charter school teachers for the 21 hours. However, because the DOE does not have full access to charter school teacher rosters, it is not able to pre-populate spreadsheets for them. The DOE asks charter school directors to send a list of their teachers and manually load credits for them. However, because many charters do not follow the DOE reclassification process, they do not submit anything, so this would generally only apply to those charters that use the DOE services/reclassification system.


* If you are employed by a charter school, check with your school administrator for the system used; charter schools may or may not use the DOE system for reclassification.

How do I apply my credits earned from the 21 hours for reclassification?

Once teachers have their credits posed in PDE3 , the credits can be submitted to the Teacher Reclassification Unit and applied towards the next change in classification. Please refer to the DOE’s Memos and Guidelines for Reclassification of Teachers, which was recently posted by the DOE (Reclass memo) (Reclass guidelines)

Shouldn’t my credits just automatically be processed for reclassification?

Unfortunately, the PDE3 system and the Teacher Reclassification system don’t automatically sync. Teachers have to actually take the time to download credits, and submit to the reclassification office.

What are the most important things to know about reclassification?  READ THE GUIDELINES CAREFULLY. Reclass guidelines

The reclassification process is controlled by the employer, HSTA can’t force the employer to accept credits if the teacher didn’t follow the guidelines.  Failure to follow the guidelines could cost the teacher not only the time and money spent on coursework, but the reclassification as well.

#1 - Credits MUST BE PRE- and POST-APPROVED BY YOUR PRINCIPAL – Teachers actually have to have the credits signed off twice – once before taking the class and once after to submit to the reclassification office.  If teachers don’t get classes/credits pre-approved, they will not be able to use them for reclassification.

#2 – Academic Credits (credits from a university) have special rules – no educational administration credits, nothing outside the teachers’ assignment or licensure or area of preparation (with a few exceptions).  And the university has to be accredited and the program recognized by the DOE.

#3 – Credits have to be submitted to the reclassification office – there is NO AUTOMATIC reclassification.  Due date for fall processing is Oct. 3 and spring is March 30.

#4 – Once a teacher is placed on the salary schedule, the teacher moves across each class – there is no leap frogging of classes – meaning if you are placed on class III with a master’s degree and earn a doctorate, you don’t automatically move to class VII.  Submit credits along the way – 15 at a time.  Do not wait until all the credits are “saved up” – teachers have to move through each class, maximum of one movement per semester.