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Special class staffing

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) eliminated the highly qualified teacher (HQT) requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The New York State Board of Regents is in the process of changing certification requirements for special education teachers to conform to federal law.

It is not permissible to assign special education teachers to teach a general education class on an incidental basis because incidental teaching is permitted for a “subject” that is outside of the teacher’s certification area, but not for different student populations. In the same way, teachers certified in general education cannot teach special classes on an incidental basis because IDEA requires teachers of special classes to be certified in special education. Incidental teaching doesn’t override that requirement.