OKLAHOMA CITY – This week, the State Board of Education must begin authorizing out-of-state teaching certificates after Senate Bill 1125 was signed into law Monday. The bill, by Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, will help increase the number of teachers in the state by recognizing valid out-of-state teaching certificates, with no other requirements except a criminal history record check.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Oklahoma to help get more certified teachers in the classroom this fall and help shrink classroom sizes,” Pugh said. “Before we were requiring out-of-state teachers to jump through too many hoops to teach in our state. Under this new law, they won’t have to get recertified, take competency exams or any of the other unnecessary requirements that were keeping them from returning to the classroom. Instead, Oklahoma will honor and respect their knowledge and expertise welcoming them with open arms.”
Pugh said he filed SB 1125 to follow his 2019 SB 670, which provided reciprocal licensing for military personnel and their spouses. Teacher licensing is under its own title of law requiring a separate bill.
Under SB 1125, the teaching certificate issued by the State Board of Education will only be for those subject areas and grade levels most closely aligned to those recognized on the out-of-state teaching certificate. New teachers will be required to take competency exams for any other subjects or grade levels they decide to teach. Qualifying out-of-state teachers must have both a current Oklahoma and national criminal history record check on file.
House Speaker Charles McCall is the House principal author of the measure.