View Education Commission of the States Issues Report on Teacher License Reciprocity

Teacher license reciprocity allows candidates who hold an out-of-state license to earn a license in a receiving state, subject to meeting state-specific requirements. Reciprocity agreements allow states to work through variations in licensing systems to coordinate license transfers and fill vacant teaching positions with qualified candidates. Most states have policies in place to improve reciprocity for certain teachers, but few states provide full reciprocity for all fully licensed teachers.

Education Commission of the States researched teacher license reciprocity in all states to provide four comprehensive resources:

50-State ReviewPolicy report summarizing data trends across the country.
50-State Comparison: Online resource providing access to 11 data points for all states.
State ProfilesOnline resource detailing the 11 data points for each state.
Data Visualization: Web interface allowing for interactive data exploration.

Key takeaways

  • Six states offer full teacher license reciprocity for all eligible, fully licensed teachers. In these states, fully licensed out-of-state teachers, regardless of experience, are immediately eligible to receive a standard teaching license and are subject to few or no additional requirements.
  • Thirty-five states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.) established differing requirements for experienced and inexperienced teachers, limiting licensure barriers for candidates meeting established experience requirements. Fourteen states plus D.C. require candidates with classroom experience provide evidence of effectiveness in past performance, oftentimes limiting barriers for candidates who can demonstrate success.
  • Thirty-one states require that some or all out-of-state teacher candidates take additional coursework or training prior to entering a classroom, or within a certain number of years of teaching. Forty-three states plus D.C. require that some or all out-of-state teacher candidates take additional assessments.

50-state comparisons:

  1. State licensure website
  2. State information on reciprocity
  3. Has the state signed the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement?
  4. Does the state have full reciprocity by statute for out-of-state teachers?
  5. Does the state have additional coursework requirements in place for out-of-state teachers?
  6. Does the state provide a test-out or other exemption option for coursework requirements?
  7. Does the state have additional assessment requirements in place for out-of-state teachers?
  8. Does the state have different requirements in place for experienced and inexperienced out-of-state teachers?
  9. Does the state require out-of-state teachers with experience provide evidence of effectiveness?
  10. Does the state provide special reciprocity for out-of-state teachers with advanced credentials?
  11. Does the state provide special reciprocity (or other supports) for military spouses?
  12. All data points for all states