Understanding California’s Emergency 30 Day Substitute Teaching Permit

States manage their substitute teachers through credentialing requirements that specify the standards highly qualified candidates must possess. In this way, the state Department of Education can control the quality and skill level of its educators and ascertain that all meet a minimum acceptable level of qualification.  These requirements may be amended or exempted as needs demand in order to ensure that there is an adequate number of teacher candidates. 

As in many areas of the country, the state of California has experienced shortages of teachers and substitute teachers in recent years. This has necessitated some adjustment to the requirements an educator must possess in order to temporarily increase the supply of available candidates. Understanding the requirements for California’s emergency 30-day substitute teaching permit is important for those districts currently seeking to build their substitute teacher pool.

Who are the Typical Substitute Teacher Candidates? 

Substitute teaching is a career that appeals to a variety of job seekers in the community. It provides a great opportunity for retired educators who are not yet ready to give up their student contact entirely. Substitute teaching provides flexibility of scheduling as it allows retirees to share their years of experience and expertise while easing into retirement gradually. To provide an added incentive to these qualified candidates, some states are allowing retirees to continue collecting their pension while earning substitute teacher wages.

At the opposite end of the experience spectrum, substitute teaching is a great way for mid-year education graduates and education majors to gain valuable experience while waiting to be hired in a permanent position. It is an ideal position for parents who wish to pick up a job that matches the hours their children are in school. Substitute teaching also provides flexible employment for career changers or people who have lost their jobs, as the opportunity to set your own schedule allows ample time for job hunting and interviews.

Qualifications for a Daily Substitute Teaching Permit 

In California, the emergency 30-day permit allows the bearer to serve as a daily substitute from preschool through grade 12 and in adult education classrooms. As the title suggests, this permit entitles the substitute to remain in general education placement for up to 30 consecutive days (or up to 20 days in special education).  The candidate for a 30-day permit must have earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher and must pass a Basic Skills Test with minimum scores. The testing requirement may be met through a variety of options including the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement (AP), and others. In addition, all individuals seeking California educator credentials must pass CA Department of Justice and FBI background checks that include Live Scan fingerprinting.

The application for a 30-day permit may be submitted by the individual or through the employing district or agency. It is valid for one year and is renewable. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing advises applicants to allow three months for initial application processing, while online renewals are generally completed in ten days. 

Once a substitute teacher has successfully held the 30-day permit for three consecutive years with a single district or agency, they are eligible to apply for the Career Substitute Permit. Like the 30-day permit, the emergency career substitute teaching permit requires at least a Bachelor’s degree. 

This permit has three additional requirements: verification of three years of successful substitute teacher employment with a single district or agency, a letter of endorsement from the superintendent of the employing district, and a statement that the substitute will have access to the professional development activities offered to district staff. This permit allows the bearer to serve as a daily substitute or for up to 60 days in a general education placement or 20 days in a special education placement. Like the 30-day permit, it is valid for one year, but the career permit must be renewed through the employing agency who must provide the needed verifications.

Simplifying the Credentialing Process

The process of hiring and credentialing substitute teachers is a time-consuming task made more complicated by a challenging shortage of qualified candidates. Why not eliminate the chore altogether by partnering with an educational staffing agency? By taking advantage of their expertise in recruiting under difficult conditions and for hard-to-staff positions, school districts of all sizes are realizing that there is an easier solution.

When you contact an education management agency like ESS you will receive expert assistance to assess your staffing needs and analyze existing resources. Building upon your existing substitute pool, ESS will recruit additional candidates that meet your needs and specifications. 

After handling the credentialing and processing of new hires, ESS provides face-to-face orientation training that ensures all substitute teachers are confident and classroom-ready as they begin accepting job placements. Local management teams prepare district staff to make the most of online scheduling tools. And in the long-term, ESS assumes the ongoing responsibility for managing the recordkeeping, payroll, benefits, and support that guarantees a well-managed, professional team of daily substitute teachers is available to provide continuity in your classrooms.

Contact ESS for help growing your substitute teacher pool. With expertise in substitute credentialing in California, we will help to cut through the red tape and ensure that high-quality candidates are recruited, processed, and trained in best practices in both classroom management and instruction. We will be your trusted partner in the long-term management and maintenance of these essential district professionals.