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NEWS RELEASES 2005-06 :: SEPTEMBER 9, 2005


Licensed teachers from Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina will be able to apply for a North Carolina teaching license at no charge, according to a new policy approved today by the State Board of Education's Executive Committee.

Ordinarily, the application fee for a North Carolina teacher license is $85.

Under today's decision, the Department of Public Instruction will issue a one-year temporary permit to teachers who were licensed in one of these affected states so that they can begin teaching in North Carolina. During that year, these teachers would have to assemble documentation such as transcripts to convert the temporary permit to a permanent license if they wanted to continue teaching in North Carolina beyond the 2005-06 school year.

Teachers from the hurricane-affected states will have to meet existing North Carolina licensure standards, but by facilitating the application process and waiving fees, the licensure process will be easier for these educators.

State teacher licensure officials say that they have already been in touch with the education agencies in the three states to ensure that licensure status can be readily verified for any teachers who apply for North Carolina credentials. Several North Carolina school systems have reported employment inquiries from teachers in these three states.

"We want to offer these teachers the opportunity to get back to work during this very difficult time for them and for their families," said State Board of Education Chairman Howard Lee. "Many of the schools hit the hardest by Hurricane Katrina may not re-open for many months, and some of the teachers in these schools may be interested in teaching in North Carolina while they await rebuilding in their home states. This helps make that process a little easier for them."

State Superintendent June Atkinson said that the Department's licensure staff are eager to be helpful to these teachers. "North Carolina school districts continue to have some vacancies and licensed teachers from the Gulf states may be interested in filling these. This is one way we can be helpful to educators who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina."

For more information, please call the NCDPI Communications Office at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.