When licensed teachers cross state lines, they often need to complete additional coursework or assessments to be able to teach in a new state. Currently, eight states offer full reciprocity, meaning that out-of-state teaching licenses are recognized and accepted. Among the other states: 31 require additional coursework for full licensure, and 43 (and the District of Columbia) require additional assessments for some licensed teachers. This lack of agreement across states — and the resulting variation in requirements — complicates a talent pipeline for schools and districts and can unintentionally worsen shortages. 

This Policy Outline defines license reciprocity and provides examples of states with additional requirements — or exemptions — for licensed, out-of-state teachers. 

For a state-by-state breakdown of policies, requirements and exemptions pertaining to reciprocity, see our 50-State Comparison
The three-part Ed Note blog series explores how reciprocity policies can help schools reopen after closures from the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to flexibilities offered to military spouses. 

 PUBLISHED: March 4, 2021

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