The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) has told districts that it is not mandatory for a teacher to earn an Added Authorization in Special Education (AASE) in a specialty area if the teacher is already authorized to provide services in that area (www.ctc.ca.gov/notices/coded/2009/0916.pdf). At the same time, a teacher may not be assigned students with disabilities for which the teacher is not authorized; if this occurs, the teacher is considered misassigned. As an interim measure, AB 2303 has established a temporary route (called a Local Teaching Assignment Option) for assigning holders of specific special education credentials to provide special education instructional services to students with autism. This option expires in July 2011, and by that date any special education teacher assigned to students with autism disorders must have an autism disorders authorization in their prerequisite credential or through obtaining an AASE in autism.
Currently, some employers are notifying teachers that they must obtain an AASE, and some are inaccurately stating that the CTC is requiring all special education teachers to return to school to earn an AASE.
- Teachers should check their credentials first and review CTC documents to determine their eligibility to earn AASEs.
- If the employer notifies teachers that they must obtain an AASE, chapters should consider issuing a demand to bargain. Issues to be negotiated might include the following: class size, caseloads, transfer, assignment, compensation for time needed to obtain authorization, reimbursement for tuition to obtain the units, and wages.
- Get district support for obtaining AASEs. For example, a district might pay for all fees related to additional coursework, contract with a college or university with an approved AASE program to provide classes locally at a district/school site, or provide release time to attend classes during the regular school day.
For more information about the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Added Authorization Summary, see