KILLEEN, Texas – Several parents received a letter from Killeen ISD last week stating that a math teacher worked in the classroom for more than 30 days without an “appropriate state teaching certificate or license.”
The district is required to notify parents by state law.
This is a situation that second-grade health science teacher Hana Hendrix experienced last year.
“I arrived with a trainee certificate. It was not a standard certificate. I was not a certified teacher, honestly I got my standard certificate 3-4 days ago, ”said Hendrix.
Prior to teaching, Hendrix obtained a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and worked 7 years as a healthcare professional.
She also took several hours of classes to earn teaching certifications in her first year.
” Everything is done online. Even our classroom observations are done online. We have to do all of that and then they stick us in the classroom, ”Hendrix said.
KISD spokeswoman Taina Maya said they couldn’t talk about the math teacher’s background or personal information.
She said they have several teachers who are not certified, some are new.
“The reality is that we are still short of 170 certified teachers in the district. We are getting really creative in the way we recruit and retain teachers, ”said Maya.
Maya said the majority was originally certified and needs to be renewed.
“Some of them fall into the wrong time slot. Someone’s certification has been transferred to COVID, there is a strange period of time for them to retest and they couldn’t get anything planned at that time. This is where a lot of our opinions come and play, ”said Maya.
KISD officials say uncertified teachers are still allowed to teach, but are being replaced by full-time replacements rather than full-time teachers.
The law defines “unduly certified or uncertified teacher” as a person who holds an emergency permit or who does not hold any certificate or permit.