Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Employees Hiring & Licensure Exceptions for the 2020-2021 School Year

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Educator Effectiveness & Licensure
Regulatory Authority
Response Required
Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Technology Coordinators; Test Coordinators; General Business Managers; Teachers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; Bookkeepers; School Counselors; Techstart Coordinators or Contact Name; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); Child Nutrition Directors/Managers; Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND); District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster); Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators

Primary Contact Information

Secondary Contact/s Information

Memo Text

Hiring staff for the 2020-2021 school year as a result of COVID-19


Maximum flexibility will be given to ensure candidates are eligible for employment.


Traditional Educator Preparation Graduates:

Upon recommendation for licensure, if an applicant has:

  1. Graduated, completed student teaching, met all testing requirements: a standard licensed may be issued.
  2. Graduated, not completed student teaching, met all testing requirements: a provisional license may be issued.
  3. Graduated, missing testing requirements (Praxis and/or Pearson Reading): a letter of employment eligibility for the Emergency Teaching Permit (ETP) or provisional license may be issued upon employment in an Arkansas school district. ETPs are not available for Special Education. Instead, Special Education graduates will be able to serve as Long-Term Substitutes (LTS).


Alternative Preparation Programs:

  1. Admitted into an approved program, met testing requirements: provisional license issued upon employment in an Arkansas school district.
  2. Conditional admission into an approved program, missing testing requirements; ETP may be issued. If teaching in a core area, must be an Arkansas Qualified Teacher (AQT).  If not, LTS upon employment in an Arkansas school district.
  3. Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Special Education: Upon Employment, LTS until requirements are met.


Licensure Exceptions:

Additional Licensure Plans (ALP), Administrator Licensure Completion Plans (ALC), Emergency Teaching Permits (ETP), and Long-Term-Substitute (LTS) will be approved or denied on a case-by-case basis using maximum flexibility due to COVID-19. Current documentation procedures still apply. 

Email for any questions regarding ALPs and ALCPs.


Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What will a candidate have to present to a hiring Arkansas school district? DESE will give letters of employment eligibility for the ETP upon recommendation from an Institution of Higher Education (IHE). Letters of eligibility can be submitted to an Arkansas school district upon graduation. Districts will need to follow current application procedures for ETP upon employment of the educator. 
  • What happens if a graduate has not taken the Foundation of Reading exam? If a traditional graduate is lacking only the foundations of reading exam, a one year provisional license is available upon recommendation from IHE.
  • Will flexibility also apply to educators adding an endorsement? Those enrolled in endorsement programs have a standard license and may work under an Additional Licensure Plan (ALP) or Administrator Licensure Completion Plan (ALCP) if needed.



Assistant Commissioner: Karli Saracini,

Licensure Program Manager: Melissa Jacks,

Licensure Program Coordinator: David Baca,

Educator Prep Coordinator: Joan Luneau, 



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